Whose House? Dr. Trimbee’s House

When Dr. Annette Trimbee became the seventh president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg in 2014, it represented a major life change. Trimbee, born and raised in Winnipeg, had spent the last several decades in Edmonton, where she worked as a civil servant in the Government of Alberta. After living in the same house for 25 years, finding the right Winnipeg neighbourhood was a bit of a Goldilocks-and-the-Three Bears situation.

“I wasn’t sure what community my husband would like,” Trimbee says. “We experimented. First we rented a house in St. Vital. That was too far of a drive. Then I rented a condo across the street from the university. That was too close. I’d show up at 7:30 every morning wondering where everybody was.”

Eventually, Trimbee arrived at her current home in Charleswood, which she says is a perfect blend of location and access to nature, with nearby trails and green space aplenty.

“It feels like I’m at the lake,” Trimbee says of the home. “We never had a cabin or cottage, but, my dad worked for the railway, and, growing up, he’d always take us to the lake on days off. There’s a pool next door, where we hear the local teenagers partying. There’s even a little boy sleeping in a tent in the next house.”

1) Screening room

“This is why the house works for my husband, too. You’ve got to realize, he gave up his job to  move here. This is a giant projector screen with great sound. My grandniece watched Harry Potter in here and was doing cartwheels through the whole movie.”

2) Open concept kitchen and living room

“I like entertaining large groups of people, but I’m not a formal dining room person. I’ve had 35 people comfortably in this space. I like to have a few people from the university, my brothers and my cousins over, so it’s a really weird, less formal mix.”

3) Brian Jungen print

“When I was Deputy Minister of Service Alberta, we had a fundraiser. Everyone who participated got a print from Jungen. Each of these drawings is a prototype for some future art piece.”

4) Family artworks

“My oldest sister did these, a spitting image of my little sister. My youngest sister did the sketch of my mom and aunt. On the right is a self-portrait my daughter did in Grade 9. You have to be a mama and daughter to know how she captured what she didn’t and did like about herself.”

5) Lion sculpture

“My daughter made this in Grade 9. I love the detail of the hair.”

6) Three-paned window

“The first thing I do in the morning is look through these windows. The trees are far away, but it looks like they’re right on top of us. It makes me feel great every day. I wouldn’t have known how important the green space was to me if I hadn’t had the experience of living across from the university.”

Published in Volume 72, Number 1 of The Uniter (September 7, 2017)

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