Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canwest fades from city skyline

Shaw renames skyscraper, baseball park

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Canwest Global Communications is two steps closer to vanishing forever from Winnipeg's skyline.

The now-defunct media company's sign and logo were removed Monday afternoon from atop the city's tallest skyscraper. Formerly known as Canwest Place, the 32-storey building will now be known as 201 Portage.

"Canwest went into receivership and Shaw (Communications) took over. We're taking the name off the building and we're planning what's going to happen next," said Courtney Hutchison, leasing and marketing co-ordinator at Creswin Properties, which owns the building. She said it's not known at this time whether Shaw's name will one day grace the tallest structure between Calgary and Toronto.

But that's not all. The Winnipeg Goldeyes have just put out their 2011 schedule and their home games will no longer be played on the field known as Canwest Park. Instead, the park will be renamed "Shaw Park."

Mayor Sam Katz, who is also the majority owner of the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball club, said the building's marquee will be changed prior to opening day. "It's not that complicated. Shaw purchased the assets of Canwest and the name to the park was one of the assets. That's it, there ain't no more," he said.

Katz said the team has been a partner with Shaw, which broadcasts the team's games in the local television market, for many years. Paul Robertson, president of Shaw Media, also confirmed the move.

"We purchased the naming rights as part of the transaction (for Canwest's broadcasting assets last year) and we had planned to rename the ballpark under the Shaw banner. We're looking forward to being associated with the Goldeyes, which has a fabulous association with the local community. We know how important the ballpark is for Winnipeg and we wanted to ensure it's preserved in a positive way. It's exciting for us," he said.

The name of the company founded by the late Izzy Asper isn't long for the Canwest Performing Arts Centre at The Forks, either. Denise Lysak, general manager of the Manitoba Theatre for Young People, said she is in discussions with Shaw about a rebranding, too.

"Much like the ballpark is working through the details, so are we. Our board of directors will work with representatives from Shaw to rename our building here, as well. I don't have a name change to make public right now," she said.

Only the Canwest Centre for Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg remains. A spokesman could not be reached to discuss any changes.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 11, 2011 B1

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