- Things To Do
- Places To Go
- Where To Stay
- Trip Essentials
Posted December 31, 2016 | Author Travel Manitoba
Have you heard ? The biggest blockbuster of 2017 is going to be Canada’s 150th birthday! Join us this year in celebrating Canada’s big 1-5-0 all year long. Explore something new. Do something you’ve never done before. Make it an action packed adventure, a sweeping epic or a heartfelt romance with your province in 2017–and to get you started, we’ve paired your favourite movie genre with 150 amazing things to do in Manitoba. Make this your year to get in on the action, the history, and the beauty that is this place where Canada’s heart beats.
Header image by Wander the Map
The Narcisse Snake Dens are actually on Planet Earth! And you can go see them! Manitoba has some of the coolest wildlife activities in the world. Want to kayak with beluga whales? We have that. How about a bison safari? Oh yeah, we have that too. You can hike for days in the Canadian Shield or come face-to-face with a polar bear. Pack a bag, grab some friends and go exploring.
Enjoy the view of Tulabi Falls on the beach, canoeing, fishing or exploring many crystal clear lakes in the area. This natural park has two relaxing canoe routes.
Get up-close with bison at FortWhyte Alive this year. These prairie giants are massive and provide a special Manitoba experience. Get your camera ready for a bison selfie!
Take a look back into the island’s past on this trail. The second ice house displays tools the settlers on Hecla Island used on a daily basis.
The self-guiding trail to the caves gives a gorgeous view of Clearwater Lake. The water is as transparent as a swimming pool and always tempting for a dip in the summer.
Looking for a little more of a challenge? The Hunt Lake Trail is 13 km of steep trails with a dazzling view as a reward.
After a day of exploring the wildlife in the park, come back to a charming A-frame cabin equipped with three beds, a deck and a wood stove. Experience the benefits of camping without the hassle of packing and unpacking the tent.
Sinkholes and caves aren’t the only thing to see at Little Limestone Provincial Park. This marl lake changes colour with the heat of the sun.
Kwasitchewan Falls is the highest waterfall in Manitoba. This hike is not for the unprepared. It is a difficult, rugged trail, but has many fulfilling rewards.
The limestone cliffs in Steep Rock provide dazzling scenery. The rock formations, created by years of erosion, are one of the most photographed places in Manitoba.
Originally established to help aid Manitoba’s goose populations, this Wildlife Management Area has become an ideal place to bird watch. With numerous wetlands in the area, this is hot spot for waterfowl.
The Warming Huts come from an architecture competition on ice every year. The winning huts are displayed on the Red River Mutual Trail.
Watch the tires spin at Red River Co-op Speedway – the largest oval track in central Canada.
Notre-Dames-de –Lourdes has a European style stemming from French and Swiss immigrants who first inhabited the town. The French Bee Farm is home to 600 operational beehives.
The Swinging Bridge is Canada’s longest historic suspension bridge at 184 metres. You will know you are close when you see peacocks roaming the area.
Caddy Lake is surrounded with mature trees and it is not uncommon to see wildlife on any canoe trip. Caddy Lake connects to North Cross Lake and South Cross Lake through granite tunnels and offers both short and weekend canoeing options.
The Spirit Sands is one of Manitoba’s most unusual trails. Manitoba’s only sand dunes lead to the Devil’s PunchBowl – a pool of blue/green water surrounded by greenery.
Join one of Manitoba’s popular ice fishing derbies for a day filled with fun, fishing, friends and food. Largest catch wins!
Manitoba is the best place to see the emergence of 150,000 red-sided garter snakes for mating and feeding rituals. You are more than welcome to pick them up, but be gentle!
Warning: the snakes use poop as self defense.
Band birds at Oak Hammock Marsh to help researchers learn about wild birds. Feel like Snow White as you release the banded song bird back into the wild.
Catch brown trout, rainbow trout, splake, tiger trout, brook trout and basically a lot of trout in Manitoba’s Parkland region.
The Manitoba Dragon Boat Festival paddles for children living with cancer in Manitoba. Teams of 22 row their way to the finish line on the Red River.
The Brokenhead Wetland complex is 1240 hectares of lush green space has and it home to 23 species of provincially rare and uncommon plants, including ten carnivorous, insect-eating, plants.
Grand Beach is made up of fine white sand and is the perfect destination for families, couples, or any solo sun worshipper.
Family-friendly activities should actually be fun for the whole family. Parents, we found the activities you will actually want to take your kids to. Don’t act like you don’t want to go to the LEGO exhibit at the Science Gallery or finally check out the CP Holiday Train you say you will see every year.
The 14th Annual Asham Stomperfest is held in Reedy Creek/Kinosota, featuring the World Jigging Competition.
Bring your dancing shoes and a donation to the CP Holiday Train. The train stops at several places across Manitoba and collects donations during the live shows.
Get creative at one of the many activities put on by organization across the province to encourage people to discover, play, create, learn and everything in between at Manitoba’s Culture Days.
Pop-up shops, Scattered Seeds, Signatures, Third and Bird, Lucky Girl pop-up and many more craft shows are home to beautiful designs, inventive solutions and delicious snacks from well-known entrepreneurs in Manitoba.
The kids aren’t going to want to leave the Planetarium shows and over 100 hands-on exhibits in the Science Gallery – including a massive LEGO exhibit. They might even learn something.
The Gateway to the Arctic holds an underwater viewing tunnel for visitors to see polar bears and seals swim and play up-close.
With almost 50,000 visitors, Comic Con has activities from Quidditch to Zombies to Star Trek. Come dressed as your favourite character to win the costume contest.
Lemurs and zebras and walaroos, oh my! The exotic animal ranch has animals from all over the world.
Spiders and snakes and slippery things too, these reptile gardens have something for you!
Stuffed bears need a check-up too! Assiniboine Park hosts over 30 tents with positive messages and fun activities about health and safety from Dr. Goodbear.
Aurora Farm focuses on having happy chickens, alpacas, horses, cats, goats, cows, dogs and a donkey. They encourage renewable energy, compost, creativity, and have workshops about natural living skills.
Live music, arts & crafts vendors, midway surprises, parade, fireworks, and a pancake breakfast are some of the things to look forward to on the charming boardwalk at Winnipeg Beach.
Surrounded by music and sparkling lights, the Waterfall of lights is the perfect place to embrace the holiday season with a free skate.
Find out if the exhibits really come to life at night! MuZZZeum sleepovers are a kids’ dream come true. Run around the dark with flashlights, watch movies in the Planetarium and snack on pizza.
Join the largest outdoor curling bonspiel in Canada on the Red River Mutual Trail. This non-for-profit event benefits the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Celebrate the Francophone community by joining the frog hunt, watching the Canadian National Frog Jumping Championship, enjoying live music and delicious food!
FidoFest is a day of indoor and outdoor family fun. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, get a photo with your pooch and check out the live music, pop-up shops and more. It’s fun for dog lovers of all ages and in support of K9 Advocates Manitoba.
We know you watch something like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Somm, or Chef’s Table and think “wow, I seriously want to have something that delicious right now,” because we do too. But guess what? You can! Manitoba is home to loads of established chefs, fantastic restaurants and lively food festivals.
Dine at one of the world’s longest tables at TableFor1200More. Winnipeg chefs prepare a locally grown, organic meal for guests. This event showcases architecture, design and culinary arts in one of Winnipeg’s beautiful urban spaces that remains a surprise until the day of the event.
Sample delicious Bothwell Cheese varieties expertly paired with wine from Banville & Jones Wine Co..
Explore the architecture in the Exchange District while sampling some of Winnipeg’s best locally-sourced and innovative dishes.
Get a taste of Canadian flavours at Manitou’s Honey Garlic and Maple Syrup Festival. Live music, crafts shows, cooking demos, Soap Box Derby, beverage gardens, and of course food samples and a gourmet buffet are some of the things to look forward to this year.
If you like a little mystery with your meal, the Winnipeg Supper Club offers a surprise four-course meal paired with wine in an unknown location. An announcement over social media gives diners an opportunity to purchase tickets, only knowing the local chef for the evening. Hours before the event guests are emailed the location and time.
Meet the farmers and learn exactly where your food comes from while you dine in a beautifully decorated barn. Local chef Ben Kramer uses locally sourced foods to cook a delicious multi-course meal. Grazing in the Field is also offered in September.
Hit the sweet spot at Jenna Rae Cakes boutique bakery. This local, self-taught cake designer and her twin sister have been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer cake and many more. You will understand why after you try one of her amazing cookie sandwiches, brownies, or really anything on the menu!
This internationally known chocolate shop offers over 70 packaged and loose chocolates.
A trip to Victoria Beach isn’t complete without a stop at Einfeld’s Bakery. The smell of the freshly-baked Irish bread will lure you in, but watch out for the cream-puffs.
If you are passing through West Hawk Lake plan a pit stop at the Nite Hawk Cafe – the absolute best homemade burgers, wraps, and fries you will ever have!
Not only is this chocolate made from bean to bar in the shop, it’s organic, fair trade and delicious! There is no better place in Winnipeg to cure your chocolate cravings.
Can you handle the Widowmaker wings? The hottest wings in the province! If you can’t, they still have 65 other flavours to try like Balsamic Vinegar and Herb, Beer Cheese and Butter Chicken.
Pineridge Hollow rests on six-acres of gardens, ponds, and flowers for you to explore year-round. The restaurant offers delicious home-cooked meals, and the gift shop will leave you wanting to redesign your own home with their beautiful, high-quality products.
Enoteca offers an inventive dining experience. The tapas-style menu gives you a chance to try everything, and trust me — you will want to try everything.
This is your chance to sample over 240 beers in one location. Flatlander’s Beer Festival is in support of True North Youth Foundation. Do it for the kids!
Nothing tastes as good as freshly picked berries in the summer. Cherries, saskatoon berries, strawberries, currants, raspberries, gooseberries, plums, apples, and haskap can all be found fresh in Manitoba. Check out any of our 37 U-Pick fruit farms!
The Wines of Canada is this year’s theme for the Winnipeg Wine Festival. Cheers to Canada’s 150th birthday!
Take a walking tour of Winnipeg’s downtown area and sample beers and apps from four restaurants.
The only river pop-up restaurant in the world! Winnipeg chefs create delicious meals on the river at the heart of our city — The Forks. Come experience the deep freeze the way we do. With friends, food, and drinks!
Experience the northern lights in the most amazing way. A 300-year-old stone fort just outside Churchill hosts a pop-up restaurant serving a world-class meal crafted by one of Canada’s top chefs.
Wake up with a walking tour and four different breakfast samples in Winnipeg’s downtown area.
Sip your way through a few of Winnipeg’s patios. Enjoy friends and apps on one of Winnipeg’s walking food tours.
The newly renovated Lakehouse Ice Cream Shop has a charming rustic log cabin feel, and of course, a lot of choices for ice cream lovers! The hot fudge sundae is a must.
Food truck wars, beer gardens, live music, markets, a movie in the park and MANY more activities.
Half restaurant half butcher shop, Boucheé Boucher is the perfect spot to grab a drink and beef carpaccio, talk to the butcher about how to prepare lamb shanks, and load up your picnic basket.
Known as the “BDI” to locals, it is one of the best date and family spots from March to October. Enjoy 11 flavours of soft-serve ice cream, sundaes and classic creations alongside the Red River.
Manitoba has a vibrant past. It was the final resting place for Bruce the mosasaur, a meeting place for fur trade, home to hockey greats and even has stories of hidden codes in our Legislature Building. Get out and marvel at the stories of Manitoba’s history.
Meet Bruce, a 43-foot Tylosaurs and his 30-foot pal, Suzy. They offer guided museum tours and fossil dig adventure tours during the summer for a chance to unearth 80-million year old aquasaur fossils!
Dedicated to celebration, evolution and the future of human rights, this museum is a must-see in Winnipeg. Not only will the displays inspire you, but they reside inside a beautiful, inclusive, structure designed by a world-renowned architect.
Heritage Winnipeg organizes many events throughout the year to educate people on the history of beautiful, local buildings. Doors Open Winnipeg is a free tour of the city’s best hidden gems and interesting stories.
A serpent-like sea monster has allegedly been roaming Lake Manitoba since 1908. It is said to be between 12 – 50 feet long, but nobody has managed to snap a photo…
Employees and guests have reported seeing an apparition of a crying woman and blood trickling down the walls in room 202. Rumour states the woman hanged herself after hearing of her husband’s death .
The Great Grey Owl, a rare species, is seen in Manitoba more than any place in Canada. It is number six on the list of fifty most-wanted birds on the continent
Unearth the secrets of architectural wonder in Manitoba’s Legislature Building. Decode the hieroglyphics, the presence of a sphinx, the freemasonic symbols, and the secrets hidden in plain sight.
Winnipeg is known for its ghost stories. Join the Winnipeg Ghost walk to learn where these tales come from and see the buildings that still seem to be haunted.
In a 100 year old house, enjoy tea, pastries and a tea cup reading during high tea.
Celebrate a day in the life of a pioneer with steam power, milling, horse shows, a petting zoo, concerts, food and threshing demonstrations.
See how the Mint creates Canada’s coins in its state-of-the-art facility and take a peek at the collector coins in the gift shop.
Selkirk homes and heritage sites are beautifully decorated for the Christmas season. Tour these properties and shop the fine art, crafts and artisans’ wares along the way.
Honour the athletes who have made their mark on Manitoba. See their story preserved in the Hall of Fame displays.
Tour 28 magnificent heritage sites. Discover what it was like in the days of fur trade and appreciate the comforts of modern life.
During low tide you can get close to the mysterious wreck. Nobody is quite sure how the MV Ithaca got there. Stories say a broken rudder or maybe a windy night carried it off course, but its permanent home is in Churchill.
Hop aboard Winnipeg’s only heritage-style vehicle to learn about Winnipeg’s history, districts and fun facts.
This is a jam-packed five days of Manitoba competitions. Try sleigh pulling, log throwing, pole climbing, fish frying, bannock making, rat skinning, fish filleting, tea boiling, and of course trap setting at Manitoba’s Trappers’ Festival.
Ride in the caboose of this vintage locomotive to four historic stations. Take the rail to the Prime Meridian Trail for a hike on a 10km heritage trail.
Walk Winnipeg’s downtown with a Viewmaster to see what the city used to look like. Learn the stories about how Winnipeg became what it is today.
Visit Manitoba’s first hydro-electric generating station, responsible for the rapid growth of Winnipeg. While you are there, hike the Pinawa self-guiding trail.
Not only are Manitoba’s artists talented and amazing, but we have incredible venues to back them up. You can find a live show going on every day of the week, but here are a few shows you can’t miss this year.
A free live-streaming concert series dedicated to elevating Winnipeg’s R&B, hip-hip and experimental emerging musicians. Stream WPG is focused on making live music available to everyone by hosting concerts in fully accessible and safe environments.
The Cube is a year-round interactive art fixture for many regular performances and annual festivals. Enjoy live music, theatre and movie screenings, in the Exchange District.
Taste the food, watch the dance, hear the music and learn about the culture of different countries at Folklorama. Pavilions are welcome to join the longest multicultural festival in the world.
Western Canada’s largest winter festival celebrates with music, dancing, food, snow sculptures and of course, Caribou – a wine and rye spirit.
This honky tonk is Canada’s longest running country music festival that has featured headliners including Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Johnny Reid and Doc Walker. Stay tuned for this year’s line-up.
Musical theatre is a staple at this open-air theatre. Reviving classic acts and bringing in new productions, Rainbow Stage is a staple for any theatre lover. This year Rainbow Stage is performing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, Little Shop of Horrors, and Mamma Mia!.
As one of Canada’s most innovative orchestras, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has shows playing year- round. This year, Papa Haydn, Angela Hewitt plays Ravel, and Beethoven Lives Upstairs are a few of the can’t miss performances.
The heart of our city – The Forks – hosts the only festival that pairs live music with wine.
This winter festival is a free chance to celebrate different cultures with food, music, dress and dancing.
The Hub invites people to join the cultural movement by attending full nights of art and experiences in different locations across the city.
Nine stages and unlimited amounts of fun and experiences sum up the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Shop, eat, explore, play games, play or listen to music, or find some interesting activities going on in the campground at this year’s Folk Fest.
Starting as a backwoods bush party, the Rainbow Trout Festival has morphed into a three-day indie music fest with food, friends, fishing and swimming. This festival steadily grows every year.
Stages across the city host powerful jazz artists to enjoy over food and drinks at indoor and outdoor venues.
The most accomplished Indigenous musicians and artists come together to celebrate Canada’s largest celebration of National Aboriginal Day.
The Park Theatre hosts over 300 events per year. Theatre, film, music and various artist performances has earned the Park Theatre the Venue of the Year award in 2014.
Art and culture, music, movies, theatre and the great outdoors are good for the soul. These local options will leave you feeling inspired and refreshed.
The Exchange District celebrates the first Friday of every month by putting on art shows, displaying local products, drinking and drawing while dining, and putting together cool experiences for whoever wants to join.
Located in one of Winnipeg’s well-known parks, the Lyric Theatre shows movies, ballet, and music performances for all ages.
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is Canada’s longest running ballet company in North America, and known as Canada’s premiere ballet company. Love Lies Bleeding, Vespers, and Spotlight are some of the features performances in 2017.
Shakespeare in the Ruins performs in outdoor, non-traditional settings. Check out one of the shows at the Trappist Monastery Ruins.
Winnipeg has a fantastic art scene and a lot of talented individuals. Some of our favourite artist run galleries are: Aceartinc, Urban Shaman, NorVA Centre, Gimli Art Club and Pembina Hills Arts Council.
Grab some caffeine and explore a free all-night celebration of art in St. Boniface, downtown and the Exchange District.
One of the biggest gatherings of art lovers is Nuit de Art. Musicians, drinks, fireworks, light shows and every kind of artist you can imagine fills the area with beauty and fun.
The Icelandic Festival is a family-friendly event dedicated to promoting and sustaining Icelandic culture in Manitoba. With food, entertainment, activities, culture and celebration, this festival draws people from all over to join in the fun.
The sunset screenings are the main attraction at the Gimli Film Festival. Everyone is welcome to put down a beach towel or chair, grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy the show.
Cinematheque is an intimate theatre dedicated to only screening the best Canadian and world films. It also offers panel talks and artist discussions to satisfy the curious cinema minds.
Churchill is considered one of the top three places on the planet to view the Northern Lights. Luckily, Manitoba has some great spots to view the dancing lights throughout the province. Try Oak Hammock Marsh’s Northern Lights Astronomy Night.
Whether you want history, good eats, theatre, a nice walk, or a view of Winnipeg’s iconic bridge, St. Boniface is the place for you. Resto Gare, Chaise Cafe and Mon Ami Louis offer incredible dining experiences, Tourisme Riel Walking Tour tells stories of the area, and Fort Gibraltar gives you a chance to see the lives of voyageurs.
Winnipeg’s Pride Parade has turned into a 10-day festival in the heart of Winnipeg. Support LGBTTQ rights by dancing your heart out, laughing your butt off, and dressing in your best rainbow outfit.
The Winnipeg Comedy Festival is the highest rated comedy festival series on CBC Television, and you can see it live right here in Manitoba! Our good humour and friendly locals make Winnipeg the perfect place to host a comedy festival, eh!
Every year the Fringe Festival presents over 170 theatre companies from all over the world to put on experimental shows in Winnipeg.
You won’t want to leave the saunas, baths, and relaxation areas at Manitoba’s only Nordic spa experience. Add the restaurant and massage experience onto your day – you deserve it!
This urban retreat is inspiring wellness in the community this winter with yoga and meditation and inspiration at the Fort Garry Hotel.
This film festival is different because it strives to create an emotional impact on viewers about the environment. The films feature stories about our beautiful landscape and urge people to invest in our environment.
South Moon Studio and Falcon Trails Resort have a relaxing weekend yoga retreat with meditation, live music, organic meals, a sweat shop, and hot tubs. Go rejuvenate yourself!
Watch movies under the stars on the big screen at the Star Dust Drive In. Walk, drive or bike and join the community in watching some classic flicks.
It’s good to get out of your comfort zone once in a while. Try one of Manitoba’s adrenaline-filled activities to get your blood pumping!
Manitoba’s man vs. fish challenge will leave you questioning your strength after battling these slippery suckers.
Get the best view of Lake Winnipeg when you jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet!
Harness the power of your pup while it pulls you on a kick sled or skis. Get some quality time with your mutt while keeping fit and having fun! Snow Motion is a winter dog club that organizes runs through Birds Hill Provincial Park, La Barriere Park and along the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
This might be the best way to experience true Manitoba pride. The MTS Centre rumbles with the “True North” call before the game even begins. Experience hockey the way Canadians do at a hockey game.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers put up a great fight for the Grey Cup every year at the Investors Group Field. Grab some friends, a brew and come check them out.
Splash and shoot down Pigeon River – Manitoba’s finest whitewater canoe route. Package this with a camping trip and delight in a week of thrills through the Canadian Shield.
The best way to start your summer break is at the Red River EX. Live music, petting zoos, shows, unreal food vendors and the world’s largest travelling midway comes for 10-days of fun.
Spirit Way is a walking and biking path with historical, industrial and artistic perspectives, and stunning viewpoints. Along the way you will find decorated, 7.5 foot tall wolf statues. Find them all across Manitoba and mark them down in GPS Wolf Passport.
Run 6KM through forests, swamps, hills, campgrounds and tackle over 18 obstacles in your way. The Mud Hero experience wouldn’t be complete without a Frog Spa mud facial before you leave.
Rejoice the end of winter and embrace to coming of spring with Color Me Rad 5K race. Every half mile volunteers blast you with rainbow slime, colourful gel and pretty powder to make this the brightest event it can be.
Learn to stand up surf at Sturgeon Falls. There are about six wave spots to choose from, depending on your skill level.
Find ice and harness up for some ice climbing in the Whiteshell. If you want to try it in the city first, the Alpine Club in St.Boniface transform a 20-metre tower into a frozen waterfall along the Red River.
Climb over gorgeous granite cliffs in Whiteshell Provincial Park for hundreds of rock climbing options inside the Canadian Shield.
Add kayaking with the canaries of the sea to your bucket list. These are sociable creatures in Manitoba’s Hudson Bay. Hop in a kayak and say hello to the belugas or grab your snorkel and dive in.
Whip down the hill on your snowboard, skis or a tub at Asessippi . The resort offers snow school for beginners or if you need a refresher before you hit the hill.
With cable wakeboarding, ziplining, climbing, paintball, beach volleyball, snow tubing and snowboarding, Adrenaline Adventures knows how to have fun!
The scenic and groomed trails are great for ATV riders. The All Terrain Vehicle Association of Manitoba is working toward a provincial wide trail system to help encourage new riders. Duck Mountain Provincial Park, Sandilands Provincial Forest, the Interlake Pioneer Trail and Seddons Corner just some of the great trails you should check out.
Hop in a tube and race the kids down the hill to the warm up shack for some hot chocolate and snacks.
Manitoba has many impressive snowmobile trails, but Spruce Woods Provincial Park has so many options with 9 different trails. If you are looking for a longer trek Turtle Mountain Provincial Park has 90 KM of trails and Paint Lake Provincial Park is one of our favourites for snowmobiling.
One of the most incredible adventures of your life starts in Churchill. Plan your trip right and you can see polar bears, beluga whales and the Northern Lights.
Zip into the Hy-Wire Zip-Line Adventures in Pembina Valley. Safely soar 150 feet over ravines and trees as you take in the breath taking view.
Saddle up for some good old-fashioned bull riding, tie down roping, steer, wrestling, bareback riding fun at the Morris Stampede.
Start in the tranquil waters through the Canadian Shield territory and move into over eighty sets of rapids after Artery Lake! You don’t need to be a pro to navigate through these waters, but an “experienced novice” would be essential.
I double dog dare ya! The Whiteshell has endless options for cliff jumping, being in the Canadian Shield. Be sure to know the area before you jump!
Manitoba is home to countless rolling mountain bike trails full of wildlife. One of the best spots is inside Turtle Mountain Provincial Park. Soothe your muscles with a dip in the lake after a long day of riding.
Challenge yourself to try a new sport, or cheer on one of the top Canadian teams.
Whether you celebrate at The Forks, Shaw Park, Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg Beach, your neighbour’s house, or at the cabin be sure to step outside for some fireworks and take a moment to appreciate all of the amazing things we have in our own backyard. Cheers, Canada. We’re looking forward to whatever is coming next.
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