This year marks the 150th anniversary of Manitoba's entrance into confederation. The year is being recognized by celebrations and initiatives across the province, including the introduction of an epic contest that rewards you for visiting amazing places around Manitoba.
To get started, download the app to your phone. Inside, you'll find 150 locations for you to visit across the province. For every location you visit you get a certain number of entries to win prizes. The harder the destination it is to get to, the more entries you'll get. Those are marked in the green circle on each location. There are also challenges you can complete (click on the little trophy icon in the bottom right corner to see them) that will earn you badges. You could win monthly and grand prizes – including a trip to Churchill to see the polar bears.
Throughout the year, we'll be introducing you to some of the locations in the app. We started with the 'Achieve the Impossible' challenge, and then took you on a quest to 'Ruin your day'. Next we explore the world of mysteries and curiosities throughout the province with the Oddities challenge.
Manitoba Legislative Building - 1 entry
It might seem odd that Manitoba's seat of government has a place on this list, but buried into its walls are secrets you'll have to see to believe. Join in on a Hermetic Code Tour with historian and code detective Dr. Frank Albo. Learn all about how this building is actually a reconstruction of King Soloman's temple bearing the hallmarks of Freemasonry, all hidden in plain sight. Why is Medusa's head peering down over the main stair case and how does the Fibonacci sequence make itself known throughout the building's architecture? Be prepared for a few gasps of amazement during this groundbreaking experience.
Witch's Hut - 1 entry
Live all your fairy tale dreams (or nightmares) at the Witch's Hut located inside Winnipeg's Kildonan Park. Built in 1970, this whimsical wood and stone structure is a must for anyone who lives for folktales. Based on the classic Hansel and Gretel, the house features handcrafted woodwork painted in bright colours on the outside, while inside you'll find Hansel and Gretel and the witch herself. You may or may not want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind as you make your way here.
Pilehenge - 5 entries
This abandoned site is what's left of a building that was never to be. As you approach these tall concrete spires jutting from the ground, you'll no doubt feel the similarities of the more famous Stonehenge after which this site was cheekily named. While, we're not sure there have been any mystical experiences here, it's still a sight to behold. Installed in the 1960s, the most widely accepted theory is they were the beginnings of a cement-manufacturing plant. But really, no one is exactly sure.
Narcisse Snake Dens - 5 entries
What's weirder than dens full of thousands of writhing red-sided garter snakes? Pretty much nothing, that's what. The Narcisse Snake Dens are a true ecological phenomenon that sees the largest concentration of snakes in the world come together twice a year. In spring, the snakes begin to emerge from their winter dens to begin their mating ritual. The slithery creatures reach their peak, usually around Mother's Day weekend in mid-May. The other time to witness them is in the fall before they head back into their dens for the cold weather. Visitors are encouraged to get interactive--so pick one up (gently) and get friendly, if you dare.
Magnet Hill - 5 entries
Next time you find yourself in the Swan Valley, be sure to take you and your vehicle to Magnet Hill. Head out on Provincial Road no 487 and look for the signs--here there is a dip in the road. Once there--place your car at the bottom of the dip and put it in neutral and it will seem like your car is being dragged back uphill. Magic? Actually, it's just a clever optical illusion that makes it seem like like you're going uphill in reverse--but be prepared to be fooled.
Sam Waller Museum - 25 entries
Head north to The Pas and the Sam Waller Museum that documents the history of the area, but is also home to a treasure trove of the strange and the curious. Fleas dressed in wedding garb? They've got it. A two-head calf? Yup, that too. A squirrel toasting to your health? Sure, why not. Opened in 1958, Sam Waller himself used his personal collection of artifacts to create the town attraction.
Churchill Rocket Range - 25 entries
Churchill's remoteness makes it a logical place for the strange and unusual. Only accessible by plane and train, the tiny town is most famous for its polar bear and beluga inhabitants, but while up there, a few man made sites are worth a visit. The Churchill Rocket Range is a now defunct research station that was originally established at the northern base for the US rocket program in 1957. Its well preserved buildings could easily be part of a Jetson's movie, standing as a testament to what humanity thought the 'future' would look like one day. Due to Churchill's strategic location near the magnetic pole and it being an area of frequent northern lights activity, the facility was actively maintained first by American agencies and then by Canada. For many years, it acted as Canada's premier upper atmosphere research centre.
While this location isn't on the Manitoba 150 app, the Mile5 mural by Jason Botkin is a must-see if you find yourself in Churchill, Manitoba. Located at the old radar station that was used in the 1960's, the mural was part of a project called Sea Walls.