Manitoba Book of Everything: Everything You Wanted to Know About Manitoba and Were Going to Ask Anyway

Manitoba Book of Everything: Everything You Wanted to Know About Manitoba and Were Going to Ask Anyway

by Christine Hanlon

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From the Hudson’s Bay Company, Louis Riel, and the Winnipeg General Strike to bone-chilling winters, flood waters, The Guess Who and profiles of Cindy Klassen, Peter Nygard, Duff Roblin and the Golden Boy atop Manitoba’s Legislature, no book is more comprehensive than the Manitoba Book of Everything. No book is more fun!

Well known Manitobans weigh in

…  See more details below


From the Hudson’s Bay Company, Louis Riel, and the Winnipeg General Strike to bone-chilling winters, flood waters, The Guess Who and profiles of Cindy Klassen, Peter Nygard, Duff Roblin and the Golden Boy atop Manitoba’s Legislature, no book is more comprehensive than the Manitoba Book of Everything. No book is more fun!

Well known Manitobans weigh in on the province. Filmmaker Guy Maddin gives us his favourite lost Winnipeg buildings, former Premier and Canadian Governor General Ed Schreyer details Manitobans that he admires most, Olympic goaltender Sami Jo Small provides us with her favourite outdoor sports memories, broadcaster Peter Warren recounts his most memorable interviews and musician Ray St. Germain lists his top Aboriginal acts. From rivers, lakes, and beaches to the Winnipeg arts scene to famous crooks and hoodlums, Manitoba slang, the Métis and the mighty mosquito ... it’s all here.

Whether you are a native Manitoban or visiting for the first time, there simply is no more complete book about Manitoba. If you love Manitoba, you’ll love the Manitoba Book of Everything!

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Editorial Reviews

CTV News at 6
A real gem. Everyone in Manitoba should have this book.
Interlake Spectator
From mosquitoes to pierogies to socials, [this] is a vast compilation of what makes our province so special and unique.
From the Publisher

"A real gem. Everyone in Manitoba should have this book."  —CTV News at 6

"From mosquitoes to perogies to socials, [this] is a vast compilation of what makes our province so special and unique."  —Interlake Spectator

Product Details

MacIntyrePurcell Publishing, Inc
Publication date:
Book of Everything
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
4 MB

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Manitoba Book of Everything

Everything You Wanted to Know About Manitoba and Were Going to Ask Anyway

By Christine Hanlon, Barbara Edie, Doreen Pendgracs

MacIntyre Purcell Publishing Inc.

Copyright © 2011 MacIntyre Purcell Publishing Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-926916-57-6


Moody Manitoba Morning

"Moody Manitoba Morning" was written and recorded by Rick Neufeld, and later re-recorded by the Bells in 1969. It became the theme song for Manitoba's Centennial in 1970. Credit goes to Cancon Music Publishing (SOCAN) for their permission to reprint these fine lyrics.

It's a moody Manitoba morning
Nothing's really happening, it never does
Just got up and waited for the mailman
To bring me a letter that never was
I'm not sad or happy, just living day by day

It's a moody Manitoba morning
I like it that way
It's a long and kind of gentle
Lazy prairie town afternoon
The sky is high
I can fell the grass growing
From yesterday's rain
Sun's a glowing and so am I
Read the afternoon paper
To see where the world was at

It's a long and kind of gentle lazy day
I like it like that
It's a quiet, welcome, lively
Sort of leisurely past the evening
It's after nine
Go slowly walking up and down
The main street with a special girl
Things are fine

Now it's time to go home
Tomorrow's another day
Another moody Manitoba morning
And we like it that way
Another moody Manitoba morning
(come on now)

Moody Manitoba morning (5x)
And we like it that way



A Timeline

10,000-13,000 years before present: Nomadic hunters enter Manitoba from the southwest. Developing grasslands in the south provide abundant hunting territory while Lake Agassiz covers much of the province's remaining land.

4,000-5,000 years before present: Hunters populate the Canadian Shield in the eastern and northern part of the province after Glacial Lake Agassiz recedes, leaving behind lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba.

1610: Henry Hudson sails the Discovery into Hudson Bay.

1612: First Europeans set foot in Manitoba when Thomas Button winters two ships at Port Nelson, near the mouths of the Nelson and Hayes Rivers.

1619: Danish explorer Jens Munck enters Churchill Harbour in the Unicorn and builds a temporary house on shore.

1668: In search of new sources of fur, Radisson and Groseilliers sail for Hudson Bay in the Nonsuch.

1670: England's King Charles II creates Rupert's Land and grants a charter to the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC).

1684: York Factory is founded as the HBC's main trading post on the Hudson Bay Coast.

1691: HBC employee Henry Kelsey explores Northern Manitoba from Hudson Bay to the Saskatchewan River, near The Pas. He is the first European to see and describe the buffalo.

1738: Quebec-born explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de la Vérendrye, builds Fort Rouge at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.

1754: Anthony Henday sets out to explore the interior of the province in an expedition funded by the HBC in response to concerns that La Vérendrye is funneling the fur trade to his forts.

1731-1771: The British build Fort Prince of Wales at the mouth of the Churchill River.

1779: The North West Fur Company is established in Montreal.

1783: After Fort Prince of Wales is temporarily captured and then badly damaged by the French in 1782, the HBC constructs Fort Churchill. The fort is in continuous use by the company until 1933.

1793: Cuthbert Grant Senior founds a trading post for the North West Company on the Assiniboine River three miles above the Souris River mouth. Meanwhile, the HBC penetrates as far south as the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, founding Brandon House on the Assiniboine three miles above the North West Company's post.

1809: The North West Company builds Fort Gibraltar at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.

1811: Lord Selkirk purchases Assiniboia from the HBC and establishes an agricultural settlement. Hundreds of people from England, Scotland and Ireland begin settling in the Red River Valley area.

1814: Miles Macdonnell issues the "Pemmican Proclamation," which prohibits the export of food from the Selkirk Settlement.

1816: Governor Robert Semple and 19 colonists are killed in a battle with the Métis at Seven Oaks during a dispute over changing lifestyles along the Red River.

1821: The HBC and the North West Company amalgamate.

1822: Fort Gibraltar is renamed Fort Garry, in honour of Nicholas Garry, the HBC deputy governor who supervised the amalgamation.

1826: The greatest recorded flood in the history of Manitoba almost destroys the Selkirk settlement.

1829: Two Métis sisters, Angelique and Marguerite Nolan, begin teaching at the first school for girls in western Canada.

1834: The HBC repurchases Assiniboia from the Selkirk estate.

1846: British troops are stationed in the colony.

1847: The results of Métis trader Pierre Sayer's trial for illegally trafficking in furs are ambiguous, and ultimately allow for free trade in furs, challenging the HBC's monopoly.

1859: The Anson Northup becomes the first steamboat on the Red River.

lord Selkirk and the Red River Colony

Thomas Douglas, the Fifth Earl of Selkirk, was the very definition of tenacity. Born in Scotland in 1771 to an aristocratic family, he was never expected to inherit his family's title or money. But by 1799, after the death of his older brothers, he had both.

Philanthropic in nature, Selkirk used his newfound wealth to purchase land and settle poor Scottish farmers in Ireland, Prince Edward Island, Upper Canada and, later, at Red River, a part of Rupert's Land. It was while visiting the Scottish Highlands during his law school days that he first became concerned for the plight of "crofters" or landless peasants.

When the British government refused to grant him lands to continue his resettlement plans (because Rupert's Land belonged to the Hudson's Bay Company) Selkirk started purchasing shares in the corporation.

In 1808, Selkirk and his family effectively gained control of the HBC. Three years later, the company granted him 116,000 square miles to found an agricultural settlement at Red River. Led by Governor Miles Macdonnell, the first party of 128 settlers arrived at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers in 1812.

But success would prove elusive. From the start, the settlement was opposed by the North West Company (NWC) and its Métis traders who, not incorrectly, saw the initiative as an attempt to disrupt their trade in fur. Arriving just before winter, the settlers missed the planting season and had to depend on the very Métis they were alienating. In 1814, Macdonnell responded to the endemic shortage of food by issuing the Pemmican Proclamation forbidding the export of food from the entire area. The Métis, who survived by selling pemmican (a portable mixture of dried ground meat and fat) to NWC traders, retaliated by burning the settlement to the ground.

In response, Selkirk sent more settlers to Red River and appointed Robert Semple as governor. Reports that he planned to send 1,000 families to the region within 10 years only heightened tensions with the Métis. The situation exploded in 1816 at the Battle of Seven Oaks during which the Métis and their NWC partners killed Semple and nineteen of his men.

When Selkirk heard that the NWC had imprisoned several settlers at Fort William (now part of the Ontario city of Thunder Bay) he led a private army to occupy the fort and impound all the furs. He also arrested and charged several NWC officials with the deaths of the men at Seven Oaks. Selkirk's vigilante justice went awry, however, when the nine men drowned on the way to be tried in Montreal.

A warrant was issued for his arrest, but Selkirk refused to comply. Instead, he made a visit to Red River in 1817 and then took a circuitous route through the United States before finally arriving in Montreal to address the charges. Unable to clear his name, he returned to Britain in late 1818. By that time, he was already suffering from consumption. He died in Pau, France in 1820.

Selkirk's legacy did not die with him. Eventually, the Red River Settlement became the basis of an agrarian population that would attract further newcomers to the region. And because of the conflict he engendered, the Métis consolidated their identity during this period, eventually playing an instrumental role in the creation of Manitoba.

Selkirk's impact is immortalized in the province through the city of Selkirk, the Winnipeg neighbourhood of Point Douglas, and the city's renowned Selkirk Avenue. A statue of Lord Selkirk is located at the east entrance of the Manitoba Legislative Building.

1869: Louis Riel and his men seize Fort Garry and set up a provisional government.

1870: As a result of the provisional government's initiatives, Manitoba joins Confederation. Winnipeg becomes the capital of the new "Postage Stamp" province (1/18 its current size) and of the Northwest Territories.

Take 5


The Manitoba Museum, with its Planetarium and Science Centre, is the largest heritage attraction in the province. The museum combines natural and social history themes, and explores the history and environment of the entire province. Sharon Reilly, Curator of Social History, selected five artifacts from the Museum's Parklands/Mixed-Woods Gallery that are used to interpret the history of Manitoba immigration and settlement, and the province's social, political, and economic life.

1. Hand-knotted Caucasian Carpet, pre-1870. German -speaking Russian Mennonite immigrants to Manitoba gave this carpet to Canadian immigration agent Wilhelm Hespeler in thanks for facilitating their migration to Canada. Government officials, transportation agents and others played a role in the migration of thousands of newcomers to western Canada following Confederation. Traveling in Russia in 1871, Hespeler met Mennonites who wished to leave to find religious freedom, and he helped hundreds of these people to immigrate to Manitoba.

2. The Association of United Ukrainian Canadians (AUUC) Banner, early 20th century. This hand painted, silk banner is from the AUUC at the Ukrainian Labour Temple in north-end Winnipeg. The AUUC was one of many mutual aid societies that flourished in early Manitoba. With their secret rituals and elaborate regalia, these organizations served as the building blocks of a new society. They provided essential sick benefits and burial assistance to their members, and helped to preserve social and cultural traditions.

3. Birthing Mat, c.1921. This artifact was owned by a midwife in rural Manitoba and conjures up a vivid image of childbirth in isolated communities in early Manitoba. Used as an absorbent bed covering during childbirth, the mat was made from a stack of newspaper (in this case, the Free Press Prairie Farmer, dated June 22 and 29, 1921) encased within a hand -sewn cotton and cheesecloth cover. The fabric has been repaired all over, indicating that it was washed and re-used regularly.

4. Sugar Beet Knife, c. 1942. A Japanese-Canadian used this tool on a Manitoba farm during the Second World War. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Canadian government seized properties owned by Japanese-Canadians on the west coast and interned most families at isolated work camps in British Columbia. Some were sent to prairie sugar beet farms. Forced to live in appalling conditions, they struggled just to survive. In 1988, the Canadian government apologized for this injustice and announced a redress settlement.

5. Mary Maxim "Eagle" Sweater c. 1946-48. This sweater was hand-knit using an early pattern produced by Mary Maxim Limited in Sifton, Manitoba. The first woolen mills here were opened in the 1930s, and for many years wool-related industries brought prosperity to the town. The most successful of these was Mary Maxim. In 1954, the growing company moved to nearby Dauphin, and then opened facilities in Paris, Ontario and another in Port Huron, Michigan. The Dauphin office was closed in 1958.

1871: The first session of the first Manitoba Legislature opens. The first public school opens in Winnipeg, and the first telegram is sent from Manitoba.

The Golden Boy

On November 1, 1919, a five-ton lad took his place atop the dome of the Manitoba Legislature, more than 76 m above the ground. It had been a long journey.

The 5.25-metre-tall figure was sculpted by Charles Gardet in Paris, France and cast in bronze in 1918 at the nearby Barbidienne foundry. Although the foundry was bombed during the First World War, the boy escaped unscathed and was whisked away to a wheat freighter. The Golden Boy then languished as the French government commandeered the ship to transport troops.

Packed in straw within the cargo hold, the golden statue became ballast as the ship continued its war service. Throughout the war, the boy was transported back and forth through the submarine infested waters of the Atlantic, the North Sea and the Mediterranean. Eventually the war ended and the figure disembarked, as planned, at a pier in Halifax. Loaded onto a flat car, The Golden Boy headed for his ultimate destination, finally arriving in Winnipeg in August 1919.

Since then, the Golden Boy has become one of Manitoba's best known symbols. Embodying the spirit of enterprise and eternal youth, he raises a torch in his right hand as a call to all those who join in moving the province forward. In fact, his stance is that of a runner. Poised on his left foot, the Golden Boy faces north, the source of minerals, fish, forests, furs and hydro-electric power on which Manitoba's future is built. In his left arm, he holds a sheaf of wheat, symbolizing the province's important agricultural heritage.

The boy wasn't always golden; he developed his characteristic aspect in the 1940s thanks to a coat of paint, and in 1951 donned a shining suit of 23 karat gold. The torch was illuminated in 1970 as part of Manitoba's Centennial Celebrations. In February 2002, the Golden Boy was taken down from his perch for repairs and re -gilding. He resumed his position in Winnipeg's skyline on September 5, 2002 when he was rededicated by Queen Elizabeth II during her Golden Jubilee tour of Canada.

1872: First number of the Manitoba Free Press appears.

1874: The first Mennonites arrive in Manitoba from Russia. Meanwhile, in Winnipeg's first civic election, only white men of means are allowed to vote. Voters have to be male, at least 21 years of age, British subjects by birth or naturalization, and own property valued at $100 or more, or pay at least $20 per year in rent.

1875: The first Icelandic settlers arrive.

1876: The Northwest Territories Act is passed, separating it from Manitoba. The first wheat is shipped out of Manitoba. The Indian Act is implemented in western Canada, creating the reservation system.

1877: The University of Manitoba receives its Charter. The first railway locomotive arrives in St. Boniface, and the first telephone is installed in Winnipeg.

1882: Manitoba's first electric light appears on Main Street in Winnipeg.

1883: Manitoba adopts Standard time.

1885: Louis Riel is executed at Regina.

1889: The first Winnipeg Bonspiel is held. This bonspiel becomes the leading curling event in Canada until the Brier begins in 1927.

1890: The dual system of French Catholic and English Protestant schools is abolished.

1892: The first two Ukrainians reach Winnipeg. Meanwhile, the city sees its first electric street cars.

Take 5


A member of the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame, investigative journalist Peter Warren was City Editor of the Winnipeg Tribune before jumping to radio where he hosted CJOB's "Action-Line" for 27 years. He then hosted the coast-to-coast program "Warren On The Weekend" for ten years on the Corus Radio Network from CKNW in Vancouver. He is now a freelance writer/broadcaster specializing in cold-case murder and wrongful-conviction cases. A lifelong journalist, Warren has worked around the world, in print and over the airwaves.

1. Joe Borowski versus Dr. Henry Morgentaler, re abortion. Both were in-studio, this was the ONLY program where I had to separate guests before they engaged in a physical free-for-all. I believe the Manitoba cabinet minister would have felled the doctor with one punch if I had allowed them to engage in fisticuffs.

2. Prime Minister Pierre-Elliot Trudeau. He made the comment: "Warren is worse than Question Period," after the program. He'd given me a withering look and a dry "none of your business" when I asked whether he and then-wife Margaret would soon be receiving a Baby-Bonus cheque.

3. Four escaped convicts gave themselves up on-the-air at different times. It amused me that police surrounding the radio station were unable to act until each of them had been given time to tell his story.


Excerpted from Manitoba Book of Everything by Christine Hanlon, Barbara Edie, Doreen Pendgracs. Copyright © 2011 MacIntyre Purcell Publishing Inc.. Excerpted by permission of MacIntyre Purcell Publishing Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Christine Hanlon is a freelance writer. She lives in Winnipeg.

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