Winnipeg, how do I love thee?

I had an interesting experience at work recently when our promo guy Justin asked me to go into one of our radio studios, sit down in front of the microphone, and talk about why I love Winnipeg. Why do I love Winnipeg? I thought. The question seemed sort of ludicrous.

The answer will come, just don't take it for granted

I had an interesting experience at work recently when our promo guy Justin asked me to go into one of our radio studios, sit down in front of the microphone, and talk about why I love Winnipeg.

"What do you mean," I said, "do you have a script for me to read?"

"Nope" he replied, "I just want you to talk."

This might sound ridiculous because I host a radio show every morning for three hours a day but I was a little caught off guard.

"What do you want me to say?" I asked Justin.

"I have no idea," he said, "just pretend someone has asked you why you love Winnipeg, and answer them."

I was not in a hurry to do this right away.  

I actually put it off for most of my shift and then finally, intrigued by my assignment, I went into the small, dark, newsbooth known as 'EDIT ONE',  put on my headphones and hit record on the computer program. 

The light from the screen screamed at me as the cursor blankly moved across an empty space that was supposed to be filling with the visual waves of my voice …only I wasn't saying anything.

I was just sitting there, thinking.

Question seemed sort of ludicrous

To better understand why this would feel daunting I should explain that my day basically operates in 15-minute intervals. Generally speaking, every 15 minutes I will have a deadline to meet in one way or another.  

CBC Information Radio host Marcy Markusa found her love for Winnipeg once she stopped taking it for granted. (CBC)

During the first four hours of my day that window shrinks even more to about five minutes or less. That is because when the morning show is on there are interviews, tweets, Facebook posts and phone calls coming in just about as fast as I can speak.

Sitting in the quiet studio without a person or a piece of paper in front of me felt almost luxurious, and sort of stressful.

I turned the recorder off for a moment.  

Why do I love Winnipeg? I thought. The question seemed sort of ludicrous. 

I turned the recorder on.

"I love Winnipeg. I was born here,"  I said. 

I turned the recorder off. 

"That is so stupid", I thought, "who cares where you were born," I said to myself. 

I turned the recorder on.

"Winnipeg is the best city in the world," I said.

I turned the recorder off. 

"That doesn't sound disingenuous," I thought sarcastically.

Motivated by metaphor

Frustrated, I began to wish that Justin had asked me to talk about why I would love to go to France one day or why I love pasta. Anything except why I love Winnipeg.

So I began to think about why it was so difficult to talk about the place where I have spent most of my life, where I met my husband, where I make my living, where I spend time with my friends and family.

And then it hit me: I take Winnipeg for granted. 
Marcy describes her husband, seen here with their dog, as loyal, trustworthy, and stubborn as an ox. He's also the person she loves most, and one of the people she realizes she takes for granted. (Marcy Markusa/CBC)

"Hmm," I thought, "who are the people that I take for granted?" 

Perhaps it will come as no surprise that the first person that came to mind is the person that I love the most: my husband.

He is loyal, trustworthy and stubborn as an ox. He pushes me to my limits and I challenge him at every turn.

We have grown together. I honestly love him for many of the same reasons that he frustrates me to bits.  

I celebrate his victories because I know where he started from, and what a privilege it has been to have a front-row seat to watch him change and be his biggest fan.

He is the best husband in the world  for me. 

Motivated by by metaphor I thought I would try my assignment again, so I turned the recorder back on.

"I love Winnipeg," I said, "because everyone in Canada counts us out, so when we achieve something in the city, we can secretly smile about it.

"It is a place that's just big enough that the world takes notice when we grow, but small enough that an individual can actually make a difference when they choose to get involved. The city has a lot of problems but a load of character and we aren't afraid to talk about our issues.

"Unlike my fantasy about visiting France, which is easy to love,  it is not always easy to love Winnipeg. Sometimes I am frustrated that the pace of improvement in the downtown isn't quicker and I feel that we deserve some more big city amenities.

"But I am loyal to Winnipeg so I will keep pushing for more without leaving. That's a common attitude here. People here have stuck it out through cold winters and empty storefronts and they take personal pride when things go our way.

"You can have a life here that involves more than a long commute and the the idea of "work-life" balance can be more than a notion in Winnipeg. It is not a sexy slogan but this is a good place to make friends and have a family.

"It is the best city in the world … for me."

I turned the recorder off for good.

How did I do? What's your answer?

Do you love Winnipeg?

Tweet me @cbcmarcy, I would love to hear why.

About the Author

Marcy Markusa

Host, Information Radio

Marcy Markusa hosts Information Radio on CBC Radio One 89.3 FM / 990 AM in Winnipeg. Born and raised in the Manitoba capital, Marcy is passionate about the future of our community and loves how it's growing in both confidence and prosperity. She thrives on getting honest and straight-forward answers for listeners and infuses the show with her energetic warmth and sense of humour.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.