Local News Briefs

Manitoba makes name at Vancouver 2010

During the Olympic season this year, Canadians have a unique opportunity to use Vancouver as a stage for not only promoting British Columbia, but tourism across the rest of the provinces as well. Manitoba has taken advantage of this and has already been recognized by the Vancouver 2010 Committee by being awarded a Sustainability Star for highlighting sustainability in action.

The award is for CentrePlace Manitoba, a pavilion located in downtown Vancouver. Its outer walls are made of a recyclable translucent material, with the floors made of Manitoba elm.

Manitoba Day at the games is Thursday, Feb. 25 and will be marked by performances by local artists including Burton Cummings, Inward Eye and Grand Analog. The lounges in athletes’ village will be filled with made-in-Manitoba films, and cultural music will be played at the day’s sporting venues.

“The games provide us with a unique opportunity to showcase our province’s Aboriginal and francophone cultures, and green technology,” said Aboriginal and Northern Affairs minister Eric Robinson in a press release.

Winnipeg homes slightly less affordable

Winnipeg is known for its affordable housing rates and living costs, but according to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy’s (FCPP) annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Winnipeg, along with the rest of Canada, has a slightly less affordable market than in recent years.

The FCPP compiles the survey by creating an affordability index based on the median cost of houses compared to the median income in that area. On their scale, Winnipeg has moved from a 3.0, or affordable, last year – to a 3.3, or moderately unaffordable, in 2009. Recent years have shown that this trend looks to continue into the future.

City gets new tools to fight ice jams

After ice jams in 2009 caused severe flooding, the City of Winnipeg has acquired new methods of predicting and breaking jams with a new $1 million budget for ice-cutting and ice-breaking programs. On top of that, two new Bobcat remote ice-cutting machines have been purchased and improvements have been made to the three existing machines to improve speed and efficiency.

“For the first time, we will be combining ground-penetrating radar and satellite imagery to help start developing a model to predict where and when ice jams are likely to occur,” said Christine Melnick, water stewardship minister, in a release.

The ice-cutting will start this year on the Red River near Netley Creek.

Wild warming huts invade The Forks

To liven up the skate down the Red River this winter, local artists and architects have designed five unique warming huts along the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail. According to CBC News, one hut will be entirely made of pop cans, another will resemble a crumpled piece of aluminum foil, and yet another is an orange orb.

It’s all part of the Exposition on Ice, part of Manitoba’s Homecoming 2010, meant to display art and architecture in unexpected places.

“In the same way we feel cold and warmth, these huts are meant to evoke feelings and create dialogue,” said one of the organizers, Peter Hargraves of Sputnik Architecture.

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