Winnipeg Invasion

Terrible, but true, I arrived in a city I’d never been before but didn’t venture beyond the airport or my hotel room. Because my First Air flight from Churchill was delayed two hours, I didn’t sleep till around two in the morning, so gave a tour of the city a miss.

Besides the 103rd Gray Cup festival was about to begin. I may have lived in Canada for two decades, but North American sports were beyond me. I’d rather watch field hockey any day.

Winnipeg’s flat prairie landscape

Still, despite catching a flight out of the city that afternoon, I couldn’t completely evade the event. While I waited in the lobby after checking out, lapping up the internet because it had been unreliable in Churchill, a flurry began.

It was as if the -10 snowflakes outside sailed into the lobby. Silver suitcases, silver jackets. They had to be the Gray Cup cheer leader squad all with two suitcases a piece for a five day visit.

This was my only taste of an event that had the country reeling.