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This article was published 15/9/2010 (4023 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The curtain goes up Sunday on a new film about Winnipeg's streetcar and public transportation history.
The showing of Backtracks: The Story of Winnipeg's Streetcars coincides with the 55th anniversary of the last running of streetcars in the city. They were yanked in favour of trolley and diesel buses.
A preview of the film is on posted on YouTube.
Co-organizer Steven Stothers said admission to the 30-minute documentary, produced by Edgeland Films, is 10 cents, the price of a ticket to ride a streetcar in their heyday.
"When was the last time you saw a film for 10 cents?" Stothers said Wednesday. "Never."
Three showings will be held at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Cinematheque at 100 Arthur St. It will also be broadcast on MTS TV Winnipeg on Demand starting next month.
Stothers said the event is geared for viewers to donate either money or their time to help restore Streetcar 356, the last remaining wooden streetcar. The goal is to put it on public display so Winnipeggers can see history up close.
"We want people to see how important this project is," Stothers said.
Streetcar 356 was built in 1909 and was in operation until 1955.
When the streetcar era ended 55 years ago, the city sold most streetcars' metal parts for scrap.
People bought the wooden bodies and turned them into summer cabins, chicken coops or grain bins. Streetcar 356 was sold for $100 and later found in a farmer's field in Manitoba in 1980.
The project has already got a $35,000 provincial grant as well as some money from the Winnipeg Foundation.
Backtracks producer and co-director Jeff McKay said the documentary was made to show Winnipeggers a piece of the city's history few know about.
"It's a great story," he said of the streetcar era. "No one has ever done it."
McKay's father Bill, now 92, was involved in preserving Winnipeg's heritage when he was younger and passed that love to him, he said.
McKay said the city's streetcars parallel the "rise and fall of the city's glory days."
"This was a vibrant place. People were always on the streets. The streetcar was part of that."
The advent of the electric streetcar also led to the creation of what later became Manitoba Hydro and the growth of the city, he said.
"It's the seed... all of these things grew out of," McKay said. "What I want to do is give people something to think about. I want to tell them where we came from and how we got here."