WINNIPEG — The federal government is going to designate Winnipeg as the cultural capital of Canada for 2010, reports the Winnipeg Free Press.
The newspaper said the announcement would be made Thursday by Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.
The honour comes with $2 million in federal funding.
The cultural capital designation is conferred upon a different Canadian city every year. Edmonton won the bid in 2007, followed by Surrey, B.C., in 2008 and Trois Rivieres, Que., this year.
Red Deer won the honour in 2003, taking a million-dollar prize to boost a dozen local arts and culture projects.
Those projects include strategies to publicize cultural events in the city and to market Red Deer as a place to stage events, including management assistance to do this.
As well, projects were set up to preserve the historical assets of the city, and particularly to link public access to the Alexander Way street promenade project downtown.
To win the bid for 2010, the City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Arts Council, Destination Winnipeg and a series of arts organizations prepared a program of proposed events, including a one-day river-barge arts festival that could see the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Winnipeg Ballet or other groups perform on up to three floating stages near The Forks.
Other proposed events include art and architecture exhibits and symposiums, a cello festival, and a mobile storytelling festival, as well as the launch of a new permanent public art project, say documents approved by city council in 2008.
“Winnipeg, in legend and in fact, is one of the most significant cultural capitals in the world,” reads the submission sent to the federal government to consider granting Winnipeg the cultural-capital status for 2010.
“The timing for this request seems not only right but auspicious, since 2010 will be the 140th anniversary of the province of Manitoba and the celebration year of Manitoba Homecoming 2010.”