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Manitoba - Canada
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Manitoba is a province of Canada, with a population of 1,196,291 (2008). It was officially recognized by the Federal Government in 1870 as separate from the Northwest Territories, and became the first province created from the territories. It is the easternmost of the three Prairie Provinces. Louis Riel named the new Province "Manitoba," which is etymologically related to the native word "manitou," meaning spirit. Manitoba, in the Red River area, contained the first western colony and settlement area of Canada. Manitoba is the only Canadian Province with an Arctic deep water sea port, at Churchill, along Hudson Bay. Manitoba's northern sea port is the only link along the shortest shipping route between Canada and Asia. Its capital and largest city is Winnipeg, with a population of 633,451. Other important cities are Brandon, Thompson, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach, Selkirk, and Winkler.

Manitoba is located at the longitudinal centre of Canada, although it is considered to be part of Western Canada. It borders Saskatchewan to the west, Ontario to the east, Nunavut and Hudson Bay to the north, and the U.S. states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south. The province has a lengthy coastline along Hudson Bay and contains the tenth-largest fresh-water lake in the world, Lake Winnipeg, along with two other large lakes: Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipegosis. Manitoba's lakes cover approximately 14.5% or 94,241 km² of its surface area. Lake Winnipeg is the largest lake within the borders of southern Canada, and the east side has some of the last remote and intact watersheds left in the world. The large rivers that flow into the east side of Lake Winnipeg's basin are pristine, with no major developments along them. The most southern herd of woodland caribou in Canada are along the east side of Lake Winnipeg. Many uninhabited islands can be found along the eastern shore of this lake. There are thousands of lakes across the province. Important watercourses include the Red, Assiniboine, Nelson, Winnipeg, Hayes, Whiteshell and Churchill Rivers.

Transportation and warehousing contributes approximately $2.2 billion to Manitoba’s GDP. Total employment in the industry is estimated at 34,500.[26] Manitoba has a rail, air, road and marine component to its transportation industry. The Trans-Canada Highway built between 1950 and 1971 crosses the province from east to west. Trucks haul 95% of all land freight in Manitoba, and trucking companies account for 80% of Manitoba's merchandise trade to the United States. Five of Canada's twenty-five largest employers in for-hire trucking are headquartered in Manitoba, and three of Canada's 10 largest employers in the for-hire trucking industry are headquartered in Winnipeg. $1.18 billion of Manitoba's GDP directly or indirectly comes from trucking. Around 5% or 33,000 people work in the trucking industry. Domestic and international bus service from the Winnipeg Bus Terminal is offered by Greyhound Canada and Jefferson Lines. Manitoba has two Class I railways. They are CN and Canadian Pacific Railway. Winnipeg is centrally located on the main lines of both of these continental carriers, and both companies maintain large intermodal terminals in the city. CN and CP operate a combined 2,439 kilometres of track within Manitoba. Via Rail Canada offers transcontenial and northern Manitoba passenger service from Winnipeg's Union Station. The first railway through Manitoba was the CP Railway, and the tracks were diverted south to make Winnipeg as the capital and centre, and not Selkirk, which is located further north.

Manitoba has many festivals and events year round. Every year on the last weekend of August, Morden holds the Corn and Apple Festival, where those who attend can enjoy free corn and apple cider. During the weekend of the festival, the town closes off the downtown from vehicles and transforms Stephen Street into festival grounds. It is the largest festival in the Pembina Valley. Portage la Prairie hosts a Potato Festival each summer. Neepawa celebrates its Lily Festival in the third weekend of July. Dauphin presents National Ukrainian Festival the first weekend of August. Winnipeg is home to several large festivals. Folklorama is the largest multicultural festival in the world. Close to half a million visitors and 20,000 volunteers participate, celebrating the song, dance, food and drink of many nations of the world. The Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is North America's second largest Fringe Festival, held every July. The Winnipeg Folk Festival in the third weekend of July draws tens of thousands from all over Canada and the U.S. During a 10 day period in February of each year, le Festival du Voyageur is held in the Saint-Boniface district of Winnipeg. It is Western Canada's largest winter festival and celebrates the 18th and 19th century fur trade and the voyageurs who participated in it.
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