1. West End Dumplings
2. Hopeless Wanderer / SCREAMING IN ALL CAPS / Winnipeg Love Hate/ Witchpolice (tie)
Christian Cassidy was born and raised in Winnipeg and remembers his curiosity about the city started young.
“With my mom downtown, I’d be looking up rather than looking in front of me. Looking up at the tops of the buildings and all of the interesting crevices and lions and things like that sticking out from them,” he says. “It was almost an architectural interest, but I (also) wanted to know, who worked there? Who built it?”
For eight years, Cassidy has been chronicling Winnipeg building histories on his blog, West End Dumplings. He’s got three more history blogs to boot, writes freelance columns for the Winnipeg Free Press and produces a weekly radio show version of West End Dumplings on UMFM on Sunday evenings.
It seems appropriate The Uniter would reach him as he’s scavenging through the Manitoba Archives researching a history article about an obscure sports team. But Cassidy says mosts of his work is easily done online these days.
“Generally, 95 per cent of my work is done from home. Over the last few years, so many archives and university collections and newspapers and things like that have gone online. You can really do a lot of that research... usually 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. is my prime blogging slot,” he says.
Cassidy says he’s always been a bit of a research fiend, so when blogging became popular in the early 2000s, it provided an outlet for him to share his many findings.
“It’s great to research things for yourself, but it’s nicer when you can share the stories with people,” he says. “Sometimes when you do something very niche-y, like local history, you don’t always get a sense of how many people follow it or appreciate it… I love doing it – I would do it anyways – but it’s great to know other people are reading it and enjoying it.”