Winnipeg

Winnipeg is located at the geographic center of North America, situated at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. It is the capital city of the province of Manitoba, which borders Canadian provinces of Ontario, Saskatchewan and Nunavut, and the US states of Minnesota and North Dakota.

Name Winnipeg has its origin in the Cree Indian name given to the lake 40 miles north, meaning "Win", muddy, "nipee", water. Winnipeg is one of the most culturally diverse cities. 685,000 people with diverse backgrounds bring close to 100 languages. The landscape is characterized by agricultural land utilized for grain production and livestock. In addition, the surrounding area also includes forests, marsh landscapes, and various lakes and rivers including Lake Winnipeg.

Though there have been fur trading posts on the site since 1738, the first permanent settlement of the area occurred in 1812 when a group of Scottish crofters arrived. Winnipeg was incorporated as a city in 1873 with a population of 1,869 people. The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 brought a 30-year period of growth and prosperity unequaled in Canadian urban development. A flood of immigrants, high wheat prices, plentiful capital, and improved farming techniques contributed to making Winnipeg the major grain, financial, manufacturing, and transportation center of western Canada.

Winnipeg is well known for its arts and culture. Among the popular cultural institutions in the city are: the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), the Manitoba Opera, the Manitoba Museum (formerly the Museum of Man and Nature), the Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Prairie Theatre Exchange, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. The city is home to several large festivals. The Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is North America's second largest Fringe Festival, held every July. Other festivals include Folklorama, the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Red River Exhibition, and Le Festival du Voyageur.

Winnipeg is and has been home to numerous professional sports franchises. The Winnipeg Jets were one of the original teams of the World Hockey Association and won three league titles. The Jets entered the National Hockey League in 1979 and played in Winnipeg until 1996. Today, Winnipeg is home to the Winnipeg Jets (NHL), Blue Bombers (CFL) and Goldeyes (baseball).

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