Sunday, December 19, 2010

A love letter TO WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Free Press

From the Winnipeg Free Press's Sunday Paper - On7:

A love letter TO WINNNIPEG

My Dearest Winnipeg:
It is with sadness in my heart and a small lump in my throat that I must say that I will be leaving you tomorrow.
How is it that in such a short time, you have made me fall in love with you? That's just unfair on so many levels. It's going to break my heart, but I must go home.
I expected to curse the cold away and stay within the warmth and safety of my hotel room during my stay. But no, your people drew me out into the streets to show me everything that you're about -- the myths, half-truths and histories of a city that survives temperatures I feel are incapable for sustaining human life! Still your city lives... still breathes... and has warmed the heart of this Southern girl.
Your music brought me here and that I will take with me, to comfort me back home and keep you close to my heart. But it was the entire city that blanketed me, protected me and showed me a hell of a good time.
Winnipeg, you are about your people -- humble, creative and loving folk, who welcomed this stranger in as if she always belonged here. Never before have I made so many dear, dear friends in such a short time with such little effort.
Remember, my dear, to give yourself credit where it is due. You are the lively, worthy heartbeat of the entire country. I sometimes think you forget that. I want you to trust me in knowing you deserve this and wear it as your badge of honour.
I will always remember you and all you have given me in six short days.
In the coldest city in which I have ever laid foot, I found the warmest hearts.
Yours, sincerely yours,
Ms. Andy Gish
The Yum Yum Tree
Andy Gish is a singer/songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia who braved a Winnipeg winter to see her favourite band, the Weakerthans, play a series of shows and meet the city they call home. She writes about her adventures in a blog called Winnipeg Wanderings.
Do you have a favourite place in the city. Email your story to
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 19, 2010 A12


  1. Andy - A sincere thank you for coming to Winnipeg and your writings.
    As a 58 year old life-long Winnipegger, I think that often we are guilty of needlessly beating ourselves up.
    It takes someone from somewhere else like yourself to remind us what a great city we live in.
    Have a safe trip back home tomorrow and come back soon. :)

  2. +1 to the other "anonymous"

    I've noticed that visitors from the US or Europe usually have great things to say about Winnipeg. They don't have the pre-conceived notions about the city formed by exposure to the Toronto-centric Canadian media, which tends to denigrate us as an oversized hick town. Some ex-Winnipeggers with loud mouths who left for greener or warmer pastures unfortunately contribute to the perception problem.

    Anyway, I am glad to hear you had such a great and probably life-changing visit to Winnipeg and hope you return soon. Maybe you can see it in summer, is like a different city then!

  3. You've warmed the cockles of this old Winnipeggers heart. I'm delighted you enjoyed yourself so.

    You're a terrific writer. I'd say nursing's gain is journalism's loss.....

  4. Thanks guys! I will miss this city. But the drop is temperature is making it a little easier to leave tomorrow!

  5. Glad you liked the place and had a great trip. You should try to find (on-line?) the television series "Less Than Kind". Season 1 was on CITY TV and season 2 was on HBO Canada. (Season 3 is in production as I write this.) It started off a bit slowly but has become a very funny and heartwarming show that does a great job of explaining just how strange this place can be. "One Great City" is the theme song for the show so that might be an incentive to track it down.

  6. Ah, wow. Yes! Thanks for the tip. I will be trying to track that down. I'd love to see it.

    I can not believe how much Winnipeg won me over. I think that if I come across a Winnipegger here in Atlanta, I might just go up to them and hug them just for the hell of it. Of course, they are gonna think I am a freak, but who cares.