Published On: Mon, Mar 26th, 2018

24 Gay Hours in Winnipeg

Winnipeg is a delightful city and a surprisingly queer-friendly destination that’s not on the radar of many Americans.

But what if an LGBTQ traveler had a single day to sample its pleasures? What would be at the top of the list? Matt Schaubroeck, Corporate Communications Specialist for Tourism Winnipeg, gave us some pointers.

“There’s always so much to do in Winnipeg—we’re a four-season city filled with attractions, restaurants and entertainment that’s sure to have something for everyone to enjoy,” said Schaubroeck. “I’d recommend starting at The Forks, where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet. You’ll find one of Winnipeg’s best tourist attractions there, featuring bike rentals in the summer or skate rentals in the winter. You can take the river trail (when it’s cold, one of the world’s longest winter skating trails) throughout the heart of the city including our French district, St. Boniface and our architecturally stunning Exchange District.”

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The city doesn’t have one specific “gayborhood,” as queer residents and businesses are somewhat uniformly spread out among the larger city.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is a Winnipeg highlight and an absolute must-see. CMHR is the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights, aiming to deliver an immersive, interactive and memorable experience for visitors of every background, age, and level of ability.

The Forks also offers a unique dining experience, from an international fast-casual scene to upscale dining with some of the city’s hottest chefs.

“If there’s still time, you will absolutely want to make a stop at Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature, a Scandinavian-style spa filled with saunas, thermal pools, and other body treatments,” said Schaubroeck. “I personally recommend Thermëa in the winter, when you can take in a prairie starlit night sky from an outdoor hot tub.”

If you happen to be in town in late spring, Pride Winnipeg is always a highlight of the year to celebrate diversity. In 2018 the festival’s will celebrate 31 years, with festivities running from May 25 to June 3. The annual parade will take place through Winnipeg’s downtown, with tens of thousands of celebrants heading from the Manitoba Legislature to a celebration at The Forks.

Later in 2018, the Reel Pride Film Festival will run from October 8-14, where local and global queer artists in film are celebrated. The Festival provides a safe space to discuss LGBTQ-specific community issues.

Schaubroeck also noted that the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is currently showcasing the world’s largest gallery of contemporary Indigenous art in its Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit, which is pushing boundaries on topics like reconciliation and cultural acceptance.

“In the summer, the WAG will be bringing in a new exhibit featuring French Impressionism, featuring works of Cézanne, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Matisse and more—you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled into Paris’s Musée d’Orsay.”

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