People of Influence
Trudy Schroeder


This year, the City of Winnipeg is celebrating its 150th year of existence as a municipality. Groups of people lived and traveled through the area for many years before its official incorporation as a city with a population of 1,869 people. Although the actual incorporation took place late in 1873, the city’s 100th anniversary was celebrated in 1974, and its 150th anniversary will be celebrated in 2024.

Winnipeg has a population that has long been noted for the quality and quantity of singers and singing groups produced in the city. From the chants and songs of the Indigenous peoples to the incredible mix of genres and styles of music produced in Winnipeg today, we are people who tell our stories in song.

In recognition of this singing history, there will be a special emphasis on singing and songs of Winnipeg in the coming year. You will hear more about the celebration as the year progresses, but I can give you a few ideas of the kinds of things you can look forward to experiencing in the coming months.

The logo for City of Song celebration

The celebration of Winnipeg as a City of Song will include a number of elements that one would expect in this city of choirs, folk singers, country bands, hip hop, rock, opera singers, and jazz ensembles of every type. There will be concerts with the special designation of the City of Song sprinkled throughout the year, with a large number of the events taking place in the fall of 2024. You will have the opportunity to hear choirs from many cultural backgrounds and styles, from classical to contemporary and pop music. You will see operas and hear serious recitals and musicals of every type, from MTC’s opening musical featuring the music of Carole King to Rainbow Stage’s summer offerings.

There will also be musical interventions that all Winnipeggers will be able to join. A plan is afoot to host a series of pub singing events in pubs and coffee shops around the city throughout the year. You can join up for an evening and learn a few songs, drink a beer or two, and make a few new friends along the way. There will be opportunities to learn Canadian classics, folk songs, opera choruses, madrigals, motets, rounds, great pop tunes, and Christmas Carols. All of these will be open to singers of every level of experience.

There will also be an element of surprise in some of the singing events, which will be called “Random Acts of Singing”. On these occasions, people who are gathered for another type of event will find themselves engaged in learning and singing a tune as a random act of celebration of our great city.

We look forward to letting people know about the program for the year and the plans for your involvement. From children to old folks, let your song ring out in 2024. We all need to sing, and this is the year to prove to yourself that you can be part of the celebrations. Activities will be coordinated by the Winnipeg Arts Council, so if you want more information, that is the place to call for details.

Enjoy this year of singing and celebration.

Trudy Schroeder provides project planning and management services to the community through Arts and Heritage Solutions.

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