Manitoba: Winnipeg Update


Winnipeg is a fascinating and cosmopolitan city. If you haven’t visited Winnipeg for awhile, you will be delighted as I am by the changes there.

Winnipeg is home to 70 per cent of Manitoba’s population and is a center of art, culture and history in western Canada. 762,000 people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds call Winnipeg home, which has led to a multitude of flavors, languages and experiences.

Start your trip with a visit to The Manitoba Museum. Nine permanent galleries tell the story of Manitoba. The Planetarium offers a variety of shows. Last month when I visited with other travel industry folks, we were among the first to experience the Planetarium’s new digital projection technology. This new system dramatically enhances the visitor experience using two wide-angle video projectors to cover the entire dome with a single seamless video image. Viewers can leave Earth and fly out through the cosmos! We saw the stunning presentation: “Ancient Skies, Ancient Mysteries.”

If you are part of a group, you may have the opportunity as we did to attend an after-hours reception at the Museum. It’s fun to wander through the exhibits and enjoy refreshments with Museum guides pointing out highlights. The Nonsuch Gallery is a unique exhibit that features a replica of the 17th century merchant ship by the same name. The name Nonsuch means “unequaled.”

The Nonsuch was the first Hudson Bay Company ship to sail into Hudson Bay. The gallery was built around this ship and its setting is the waterfront of 17th century England.

An absolute highlight of my tour was unexpected: the Manitoba Legislative Building. This is really a detective story! Let me start at the beginning. Frank Albo is a visiting lecturer at the University of Winnipeg and a specialist in ancient religions and western esotericism. His research concerns the influence of Freemasonry in public architecture from the 18th century to the present. Are you with me?

Albo has studied the Manitoba Legislative and unearthed the architectural and symbolic secrets of the structure. The results were published in a 15-part series in the “Winnipeg Press,” and the newspaper subsequently published a reader-friendly book called “The Hermetic Code.”

Headlines read: University of Winnipeg Grad Uncovers Winnipeg’s Own Da Vinci Code.” The Manitoba Premiere has been referring to Albo as Canada’s Dan Brown.

Albo compares the structure to Solomon’s Temple with bison as guardians of the temple. He explains why there is a sphinx on the roof and who the Golden Boy on top of dome is. Hint: one name is Hermes!

Numerology plays a role with the numbers 5, 13 and 21 among those featured in the design.

The guide tells us, “the legislature was meant to be a temple of morality, a building that would remind people of the noble aims of society.”

Architects for the building, who won a competition to earn the job, were Frank Worthington Simon and Henry Boddington III. The four people on the selection committee were all Master Masons. Constructed in the early 20th century, the building is a neo-classical design in limestone sited on 30 acres of parkland on the north bank of the Assiniboine River.

I really could go on and on about this fascinating structure and story, but instead I urge listeners to visit Winnipeg and take the Hermetic Code Tour of the Manitoba Legislative Building.

A very exciting building under construction in the center of Winnipeg is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. It is the first Canadian national museum constructed outside of the nation’s capital, Ottawa. Designed by architect New Mexico architect Antoine Predock , the Museum will explore the journey of human rights from around the world, both social and political human rights movements. I can’t wait for this museum to open.

Winnipeg offers so much: contact your travel professional for details.


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