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Prominent Manitobans immortalized in chocolate

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/5/2016 (406 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

In celebration of Manitoba Day, Chocolatier Constance Popp has released a collection of 12 Manitoba Day Creations chocolates that each bear a symbol representing a prominent Manitoban, many of whom are members of the Order of Canada and/or the Order of Manitoba. Can you guess which symbol belongs to whom?

 

Tina Keeper - star-shaped medicine wheel

Tina Keeper - star-shaped medicine wheel

Tina Keeper

She was a star on the silver screen, and now her star has been immortalized in chocolate.

Tina Keeper, an actor, producer, former Member of Parliament and Cree advocate for suicide prevention and anti-violence efforts, hails from Norway House. Even if you didn't recognize the four directions of the medicine wheel on this sweet star-shaped design commemorating Keeper, you'd probably recognize her from her role as RCMP officer Michelle Kenidi on the CBC TV series North of 60, for which Keeper won a best actress Gemini Award in 1994. She served as a Liberal MP for Churchill from 2006 to 2008 and now works as a producer in the film and television industry. She was also the associate producer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's acclaimed production of Going Home Star.

 

Burton Cummings - moustache

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Burton Cummings - moustache

Burton Cummings

You could Guess Who this chocolate represents, right?

While cultivating his luxurious signature 'stache, Burton Cummings became one of Winnipeg's best-known and beloved rock musicians -- one who seemed destined to be honoured in confectionary form. That's probably what his song Sugartime Flashback Joys is really about.

 

Clara Hughes - wheel

Clara Hughes - wheel

Clara Hughes

When it comes to setting wheels in motion, both literally and figuratively, Clara Hughes is a pro.

The Winnipeg-born althete and mental-health advocate has earned six Olympic medals in both the Summer and Winter Games, is an 18-time national cycling champion and a Canada Sports Hall of Fame inductee. Hughes has become a national mental-health awareness spokesperson by speaking openly about depression and completing a 12,000-km, 110-day bike ride to spark a cross-Canada conversation about mental health. Oh, and last year, she published a memoir.

Think about all that while you're sitting there eating chocolate.

 

Loreena McKennitt - Harp

Loreena McKennitt - Harp

Loreena McKennitt

This Morden-born harpist, pianist, accordonist, soprano and composer is an award-winning musician known for her contributions to the Celtic and New Age genres. More than 14 million copies of Loreena McKennitt's records have been sold worldwide -- and, like the products of a true Manitoban, three of her album releases have "winter" in the title.

 

Nellie McClung -  Vote

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Nellie McClung - Vote

Nellie McClung

You know Nellie McClung as a tireless advocate for women's rights, one of the Famous Five who fought for the recognition of women as persons under Canadian law and was instrumental in securing women's right to vote in Manitoba -- the first Canadian province to allow it -- in 1916.

But did you know she was an established novelist first? One who, according to the Manitoba Historical Society, wrote about country life on the Prairies as "good brown bread" and lamented the "popcorn and chocolate" of city life to the east. Awkward...

 

Gabrielle Roy - Tin Flute

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Gabrielle Roy - Tin Flute

Gabrielle Roy

Along with Nellie McClung, Gabrielle Roy is still a contender to be a new face on Canadian currency, but she doesn't have to wait for a Bank of Canada decision to have her Tin Flute recognized this Manitoba Day.

The St. Boniface-born author grew up in poverty, became a teacher in Winnipeg and then continued her writing career in Quebec, going on to win several literary prizes, including the 1947 Governor General's Award for fiction for the English translation of her novel The Tin Flute.

 

Margaret Laurence  - Wing (Stone Angel)

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Margaret Laurence - Wing (Stone Angel)

Margaret Laurence

Neepawa-born author Margaret Laurence's novels and short stories are a cornerstone of Canadian literature, and in her most well-known work, the Stone Angel, Laurence captured the struggle of a 90-year-old woman returning to her hometown in Manitoba to reflect on the life she's lived. If you don't feel compelled to emotionally eat chocolate after reading it, you are made of stone.

 

Chief Peguis - Scroll

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Chief Peguis - Scroll

Chief Peguis

Chief Peguis signed the first treaty with Lord Selkirk in 1817, designating land along the Red River to the Selkirk settlers. This, after he repeatedly helped the settlers and saved them from starving to death. Now, if we can't recognize the importance of treaties in this most palatable, sugary form, when can we?

 

George Taylor Richardson - Sheath of Wheat

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

George Taylor Richardson - Sheath of Wheat

George T. Richardson

George Taylor Richardson, a man who led a successful grain empire that remains one of the largest privately-owned companies in Canada. George, the great-grandson of founder James Richardson of James Richardson and Sons Limited, died in 2014. As part of one of the richest families in the country, he gave back to the community through a great deal of philanthropy work and was a major supporter of the arts.

Just the kind of guy who would have appreciated the idea of painstakingly sketching tiny, edible sheafs of wheat on artisan chocolates.

 

Churchill - Polar Bear

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Churchill - Polar Bear

Churchill

Tourists from around the world flock to Churchill to see polar bears, earning the region the "Polar Bear Capital of the World" moniker and resulting in the misguided romaniticization of frigid winter temperatures by many a well-meaning southerner.

 

Golden Boy - Eternal Youth

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Golden Boy - Eternal Youth

Eternal Youth

In 1919, the Golden Boy statue was installed atop the Manitoba legislative building pointing north as a symbol of economic prosperity and eternal youth. In 2014, the term "YOLO" ("you only live once") was added to the Oxford Dictionary. The Golden Boy is still looking down on us.

 

Louis Riel - Infinity symbol

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Louis Riel - Infinity symbol

Louis Riel

Louis Riel, the founder of Manitoba, the spokesman for the Metis and the leader of the Red River and North-West rebellions, could only be represented by the Metis Nation's infinity symbol -- a symbol of joining cultures and of enduring strength.

A symbol of going on forever, much like any conversation about Riel with a Canadian-history buff.

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Updated on Friday, May 13, 2016 at 10:57 AM CDT: Corrects photo order.

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