The Ultimate Manitoba Stay-at-Home Poll: what's the "most Manitoban"?

Posted March 20, 2020 | Author Kit Muir

Amid the isolating and stressful times of COVID-19, we've seen so many Manitobans support each other and come together, via the internet. Now we want you to come together (in a virtual way) over something a little silly (and we hope, fun!) – a poll to find the "most Manitoban thing." We’ve gathered 32 very Manitoban “things” and are pitting them against each other to see what comes out on top. The best part? It’s up to you to decide who wins!

Stay home and play along in our Instagram stories from March 30 to April 3, 2020 to cast your vote in The Ultimate Manitoba Stay-at-Home Poll. You'll have from 10 a.m. until 7 a.m. the following morning to cast your vote in each round. We'll announce the winner on Saturday April 4.

So stay tuned, get ready to vote, and let's meet our competitors:

Yum for your tum

Honey dill

You won’t find this sweet and dilly dipping sauce anywhere else except here in Manitoba, but is its exclusivity enough to represent our province?


These bite-sized sweet treats are a staple at Manitoba gatherings (and are great to eat when self-isolating!) Others may refer to these baked goods as “squares”, but Manitobans prefer the word “dainties” because, well, it sounds nicer.


Whether you call it walleye or pickerel, it’s delicious to eat and a common fish to catch when you’re casting your line in Manitoba.

Farmer sausage

A culinary tradition of the Manitoba Mennonite. These cold smoked, uncooked sausages are made of three simple ingredients: ground pork, salt and pepper. A common sidekick on a plate of perogies.

Fat Boy

A burger that’s loaded with all that is good…i.e. chili, mustard, mayo, shredded lettuce and a dill pickle. You may get some funny looks if you try ordering this burger out-of-province.


AKA a jelly filled doughnut.

Shmoo torte

A tasty torte, made with layers of sponge or angel cake, whipped cream, caramel and pecans. While shmoo torte is now a dessert recognized across Canada, legend has it that it was created in Winnipeg by a mother celebrating her son's bar mitzvah.

Goog from BDI

This crazy creation is a legendary ice cream confection that can only be found at BDI (Bridge Drive In). It’s a thick blueberry milkshake layered with a hot fudge sundae, bananas and whipped cream, and it’s oh-so decadent.

Chicken Chef

Once it's healthy to leave the house again, you could embark on a cross-Manitoba road trip and only ever eat at Chicken Chef. This Manitoban chain restaurant boasts 34 locations from Thompson to Altona.

Salisbury House

Started in 1931, Salisbury House is still an establishment in Winnipeg, serving up its signature “nip”, a smaller version of a hamburger. Will this historic restaurant “nip” the competition in the bud?

Our true nature

Beluga whales

These gentle whales fill the Churchill River by the thousands in summer, but are these aquatic creatures too friendly to take out the competition?

Polar Bears

Churchill, Manitoba is one of the best places in the world to see these great white bears. Will the lords of the arctic be able to claw their way to the top this week?


The bison is our provincial mammal and an iconic symbol of Manitoba. They’re big, fluffy and able to jump surprisingly high (almost 2 metres!) Can they leap to the top of the rankings?

Great grey owl

Manitoba’s provincial bird is the largest owl in North America. ‘Great’ is in its name but will it be the greatest this week?

Northern lights

Churchill, Manitoba is one of the best places in the world to see this incredible natural phenomenon. A mix of science and art, the northern lights can’t be beat, or can they?

Prairie skies

Whether it’s a clear blue sky on a chilly winter day or a bright sky filled with fluffy clouds in the summer, Manitoba’s prairie skies are awe-inspiring, even if you're only able to watch them from your window.

We do what?


Not a strictly Manitoban sport, but our province is home to over 120 curling clubs and boasts the largest curling rock in the world in Arborg.

Ice fishing

This winter activity is one of the few that lures Manitobans out onto the frozen lakes in the dead of winter. Villages of ice fishing shacks pops up on bodies of water around the province as soon as the ice is thick enough.


Invented in Manitoba, this sport combines curling and crokinole into one awesome winter activity. It has now started to pop up in cities across the Canadian prairies.


A cult winter sport almost exclusively played in Winnipeg with thousands of players in dozens of leagues across the city. Spongee is similar in concept to ice hockey, but players wear soft-soled shoes and the puck is made with a soft sponge material (hence the name).


A sport invented by residents of Gimli in which teams compete against each other to knock a beer bottle off a post with a Frisbee. Will this sport have the power to knock over its competitors?

Meat shoulder

A gag pulled at a social (definition below) where a prankster stealthily places a piece of deli meat (from the late lunch) onto the shoulder of an unsuspecting victim. The objective is to not get caught and to see how long the victim parades around the dance floor before noticing or being informed. Also known as salami shoulder.

All together now (but, not right now)


Put simply: a fundraising party! Highlights of these only-in-Manitoba bashes are: dancing to “Love Shack”, chugging a Labatt beer, entering a silent auction to win a BBQ or wine fridge, and “late lunch” snacks such as cheddar cheese cubes and rye bread sandwiches. Though we aren't heading out to socials any time soon, these will always be part our quirky provincial identity.

Whiteout party

When legions of Winnipeg Jets fans don white (be it a simple jersey or a head-to-toe crazy costume) and converge on downtown Winnipeg’s streets or at Bell MTS Place to support their hometown hockey team during NHL playoffs.

Fall supper

Food-based gatherings held in community halls and church basements across the province from September to November. The meals served at these suppers often feature meatballs, mashed potatoes, various salads and pie for dessert

Festival du Voyageur

The largest winter festival in Western Canada. It celebrates winter and French-Canadian heritage through music, cultural activities and a whole lot of poutine.


The largest and longest running multi-cultural festival in the world. Folklorama features 44 cultural pavilions that showcase Manitoba’s diverse community.

Winnipeg Folk Festival

One of the world’s largest folk festivals. Birds Hill Park becomes the third largest city in Manitoba when the festival site and campgrounds fill with festival-goers.

Odds and ends

Garbage mitts

A must-have during a Manitoba winter. There are no better hand coverings than these when scraping your car’s windshield on a dark winter morning.

Manitoba mascara

When hot breath and body heat mix with icy cold temps causing frost to form on your eyelashes. It’s most likely to happen when the thermometer plummets below -30 degrees and to folks who commute outdoors to work, or partake in outdoor recreational activities.

The floodway

A.K.A. Duff’s Ditch. A giant channel dug along the east side of Winnipeg that serves as a diversion for rising waters of the mighty Red River during the spring melt.

Golden Boy

This gilded statue has been standing tall and proud atop Manitoba’s legislative building since 1919. And as the old fiddle song goes: He’s the symbol of success, at the gateway to the west, and he’s our legendary pride and joy.

Now that you’ve seen our lineup, cast your vote in The Ultimate Manitoba Stay-at-Home Poll through our Instagram stories (@TravelManitoba) and help us find the “most Manitoban thing.” Thanks for participating in our stay-at-home poll, and thanks for staying home!

About The Author

Hi! I'm Kit, a Franco-Manitobaine from the Interlake and a champion of the phrase "there's no place like home." If you see me out exploring the province, say hi! Or reach out at

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