Winnipeg 150: A celebration of 11 sister cities

Winnipeg has over 10 ‘sister cities’ it’s connected to across the globe, and all of them were on display at The Forks Sunday as part of the city’s 150th anniversary celebration.

A sister city relationship is an agreement between two different municipalities that aims to promote a cultural and commercial connection.

Winnipeg is tied to 11 different towns in total – Lviv, Ukraine; Beersheba, Israel; Chengdu, China; Jinju, South Korea; Kuopio, Finland; Manila, Philippines; Reykjavik, Iceland; Taichung, Taiwan; Setagaya, Japan; San Nicolás de los Garza, Mexico; and Minneapolis, Minn.

“Minneapolis is a sister city – we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary with them,” said Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham. “We’re into 40-plus years with some of our other cities as well.

“It’s just an opportunity to foster collaboration, partnership, economic opportunities, cultural understanding, and just to really build relationships across cultures around the world.”

Last fall, Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyy was invited to Winnipeg in honour of the twin towns’ 35th anniversary.

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“We really wanted to reaffirm Winnipeg’s support of Lviv during this very difficult time as they face the ongoing war with Russia,” Gillingham said.

Visitors at the event were able to learn about the other intercontinental connections Winnipeg has made over the years, while also enjoying free food and activities.

“Great little event here … just how Winnipeg connects with all these different cities around the world,” said Joel Edye-Rowntree.

When asked whether Winnipeg could see another sister city in the future, Gillingham said it’s possible, but not a priority.

“What I’m focused on right now is really making sure that we’re strengthening the relationships we have with our current 11 sister cities,” he said.

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