Did you know that Manitoba holds several “World’s capital …” titles?

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There is more to Manitoba than meets the eye! From its diverse natural resources to its marvelous wildlife, there are so many riches to be proud of in our province.

Here are some of Manitoba’s official and unofficial “World’s Capital …” titles that will make you proud:

  1. Thompson: “Wolf Capital of the World”

    The City of Thompson, the “Hub of the North,” is also the unofficial “Wolf Capital of the World.” With its boreal forests and tundra landscapes, Thompson provides the ideal environment for nature lovers to appreciate these regal predators. Canada is home to about 50,000 grey wolves, around 10% of which may be found in Manitoba. Thompson, which has a population of around 13,000, is located 739 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

  2. Churchill: “Polar Bear Capital of the World”

    From July to September, polar bears migrate to Churchill, earning for it the name “polar bear capital of the world.” The most popular time to see the bears has since shifted (due to global warming). More tours are now done from the middle of October to the end of November. Special tundra vehicles can carry visitors safely into the path of migrating bears. Aside from polar bears, visitors may also see beluga whales in the Churchill River estuary. Churchill is one thousand kilometres north of Winnipeg. There are no roads going there! You can reach this remote town on the shores of the Hudson Bay only by plane or train.

  3. Arden: “Prairie Crocus Capital of the World”

    This charming town in the heart of the prairies is renowned for its beautiful display of vibrant purple crocus flowers each spring. As the first wildflower to bloom after long Manitoban winters, the prairie crocus is a symbol of resilience and endurance. It’s our province’s official flower. Each year, Arden celebrates this floral marvel with the Prairie Crocus Festival. It is usually held on the first Saturday of May. A major part of the festival is a photo contest where the best prairie crocus shot wins a prize. Arden is located 6 km north of the Yellowhead Highway, about 160 km northwest of Winnipeg.

  4. Altona: “Sunflower Capital of the World”

    This town in southern Manitoba hosts the Sunflower Festival every July. They celebrate this cheerful flower with various events, including a pageant where the winner gets a trip to Australia. Altona’s sister city is Emerald, Queensland, Australia which also holds a Sunflower Festival. Altona is 100 km south-west of Winnipeg. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a photo with the world’s largest painting on an easel, a replica of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” created by local artist Cameron Cross.

  5. Selkirk: “Catfish Capital of the World”

    Selkirk, Manitoba is where you will experience record-size catches from the portion of the Red River that passes by the city of Selkirk. While you’re there, you can also visit the Marine Museum of Manitoba and Red River Lighthouse.

    The city celebrates its world title with “Chuck the Channel Cat,” a 33-foot high fiberglass statue. This roadside attraction was named in memory of local sport fisherman Chuck Norquay, who drowned while fishing. Selkirk is 42 kilometres away from Winnipeg. That’s a quick 37 minute drive!

Sources: Get to know Manitoba’s “unofficial” capitals (and few that we definitely just made up), Breanne Sewards, Travel Manitoba; and Why Thompson, Manitoba is the Wolf Capital of the World, Nick Walker, Canadian Geographic. Accessed September 20, 2023.

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