Exchange on world radar
Organization heaps praise on 'urban oasis'
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/07/2009 (5052 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg’s Exchange District has received a prestigious nod from an international organization.
The Washington-based International Downtown Association has named the Exchange District its downtown of the month and is calling it an "urban prairie oasis."
"We are really pleased with it," Exchange District BIZ executive director Mal Anderson said.
"This comes from a worldwide, international downtown association. The downtown before us was Cape Town… it’s quite prestigious. It gets the membership to see you."
The IDA was founded in 1954. It has more than 650 member organizations throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
On the IDA website, the Exchange District is described as "one of North America’s most colourful and cosmopolitan neighbourhoods, offering Winnipeg’s finest cultural, dining and retail amenities.
"The 30-block district showcases North America’s most extensive collection of turn-of-the-20th-century architecture and is home to the city’s unrivalled arts community."
The website also mentions the festivals held in the area, including the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Winnipeg Jazz Festival, and the Soca Reggae Festival.
Rowena Gono, a spokeswoman for the IDA, said its recognition program has been in place for several years.
"We look for a downtown with exciting things going on," Gono said.
"People notice it because we are constantly in communication with our members. People see it when they come to our site for research. People may think ‘Oh, I’ve never thought of Winnipeg before, but look what’s going on there.’
"It’s definitely a plus. It helps."
Anderson said the Exchange BIZ is looking to use the designation as a springboard at a future IDA conference to encourage members to visit Winnipeg.
"We feel we can use this to our advantage," he said.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.