We don’t disappear in the winter!


and The interlake is alive with outdoor activity in the winter!

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Hecla Island offers up plenty of cross country ski trails. Gail McDonald

walk, clean the driveway or the fight the daily traffic to work!


How about not doing that this March? How about you leave the city and the traffic behind

and you take a drive north of Winnipeg to the Interlake region. Pick any highway heading north of the Perim- eter. Go see what is happening in the small towns and communities that make the Interlake a vibrant, active place to live, work and play. On any weekend, and most evenings during the win- ter you will find families at the local arena, playing and watching hockey, figure skating or perhaps at a family skate night where all ages gather and visit while they get some exercise. Late evening rentals for the older guys that still get out to practice and play keep the lights on until well after midnight some days. Check out the local curling rink, as many of these

offer lessons for youth, and sometimes for adults that have never curled. Most offer “stick curling” now with the aging population as it is easier on those joints with less risk of falling as some of us might do! It’s a great participation sport as well as friendly rivalry between teams. You may find some evening fitness classes, some

crafts activities or even planning meetings for upcom- ing festivals and events. You would actually be sur- prised by the activity that happens out in the country in the winter season. For many farm families, this sea- son is an opportunity to see their neighbours, to take part in sporting activities and, of course, to discuss the weather. This is the time you could learn and experi- ence many things in rural Manitoba that you may have never known about or you may have forgotten over the years. Take a drive north on Highway 8 to Gimli on March 2nd & 3rd for one of the largest winter festivals in the

March 2019

here is something about freshly fallen snow that gives a sense of peace and calmness to our lives… that is, until you need to shovel the side-

Warming up with bannock and tea. Photo by SHL Pho- tography.

Interlake. It’s Gimli Ice Fest, with activities suited for entire families. From ice car racing to motorbike racing and young kids on sleds moving across those ice tracks at great speeds, to kissing a frozen fish and then giving it a toss to gain the win. How about learning to ice fish, watch kids play hockey on the marina ice at the harbour in Gimli? The Vikings even come to play and fight that week-

end, setting up an indoor village at the New Iceland Heritage Museum. There is tea and bannock served by the Riverton Friendship Centre, art displays in nearby Gimli Art Club and room to stay at the beauti- ful Lakeview Gimli Resort. Of course you can’t miss out on shopping at Tergesen’s for that unique, seldom found item you just “have to have”! Of course you could try your hand at ice fishing, as

many avid fishers enjoy all winter long, but if you’ve never tried it and wish to give Icebound Excursions a call they will take you out- it’s a superb, relaxing way to give it a try! Should none of this suit you, go northwest for some of the best snowmobiling you will find within a two to three hour drive. Up in the Grahamdale/Moosehorn/ Steep Rock area on Highway 6, you will find snow- mobile trails in excellent condition, well maintained and groomed, with cabins and rest stops among trails that are well treed. See: snoman-map-central-full.jpg for an interactive map of these trails. Or perhaps a quieter time, to snowshoe or cross country ski–how about a weekend getaway to Hecla Provincial Park and Lakeview Hecla Resort. With in- door pools, sauna, hot pools, water slides and more this is truly a winter paradise retreat for families or couples. You never need to be bored in the winter, you just

need to look a little more, search out some of these tre- mendous winter activities and remember… Interlake people don’t hide in the wintertime, they just change their pace, matching the season, so it’s a great time to visit and explore…and find a slower pace of your own. Gail McDonald is Interlake tourism manager.

at The Vic

Centre of Excellence for Mental Health

Victoria General Hospital



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