Drops of Winnipeg: Interview with Curtis Newton
Winnipeg is a unique and compelling venue to host your next meeting or convention. To help showcase just some of what our city offers, we teamed up with local singer-songwriter extraordinaire Curtis Newton. Curtis provided some background for his music video, and how his love of Winnipeg helped shape his songwriting experience.
Before reading on, watch the Drops of Winnipeg video, written and performed by Curtis:
What was your inspiration for the Drops of Winnipeg song?
I live in the Exchange District, a block away from Old Market Square – basically in the heart of one of the city’s most historic and culture-filled neighbourhoods. The first lyric in the song, “There she stood in Old Market Square” was basically me looking out my window. That’s actually where the first scenes in the video are filmed – it was a great set for the video, but even better to experience in person. From there, I sort of visualized a virtual tour around Winnipeg and put that to lyric and melody.
What’s the message you want the video viewer to come away with?
I want people to know that Winnipeg is rich with culture. It offers many year round activities and wonderful feature attractions. Lots of them are featured in this video, but there are so many others that aren’t included. It would be a very long song if I tried to include them all!
The video highlights a lot of Winnipeg landmarks – do you have any favourites?
I’m a huge fan of The Forks Market and surrounding area. It’s got so many things to explore, it always feels like there’s something new going on. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, The Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge, The Plaza Skate Park (the largest urban skate plaza in Canada – Tony Hawk once skated there!), the historic VIA Rail Station building, Shaw Park baseball diamond and so much more. It’s really grown into a unique hub within our city.
As a local yourself, what’s your idea of an authentic Winnipeg experience?
That’s a tough question – I don’t think there’s a single experience that can fully explain Winnipeg. If you’re looking for an authentic experience, you could find that at the Festival du Voyageur, a Jets hockey game or attend a wedding social, they’re all unique to Winnipeg. A wedding social is a fundraising party, usually held at a community centre with a specific menu (rye bread, cheese, cold cuts and pickles) and lots of dancing.
If you’re looking for true authenticity or a genuine experience and understanding of our heritage as a city, I’d probably look towards our Indigenous and Métis culture. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights offers The Indigenous Perspectives Gallery, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery features one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary Inuit art. Whether it’s history or hockey, authenticity can be found in either.
If a visitor is in town for only a few days, where should they go?
It all depends on the type of experience a visitor to Winnipeg is wanting to have. One who is looking for an adventure in nature should check out FortWhyte Alive. If a relaxing day at an outdoor spa is on their menu, then Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature is a must do. Personally, I’d take a guest to Winnipeg out to The Forks, a Jets game and cap the night off with a cocktail in the Exchange District. Cheers!!
For more details about Winnipeg landmarks featured in the Drops of Winnipeg video or more generally, check our list of off-site meeting venues. If you want to hear more of Curtis’s music around Winnipeg’s meeting and convention venues, check out his previous work with Tourism Winnipeg.