Polar bears and a skytrain: kids reinvent downtown Winnipeg with Minecraft

What does the next generation want to see change in downtown Winnipeg? That’s what the organizers behind Minecraft lounges in Winnipeg would like to know.

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ hosts Minecraft lounge for Winnipeg children

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ hosts Minecraft lounge

6 years ago
Duration 1:04
This week Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is asking kids of all ages to show, using the video game Minecraft, how they would transform downtown Winnipeg to better fit their lives. 1:04

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is hoping a series of Minecraft lounges will help shed light on how the next generation of Winnipeggers would change the downtown core to make it better.

Kids of all ages are invited to leave their mark on a future Winnipeg using the Microsoft video game, which allows players to dig (mine) and build (craft) buildings using natural resources (called blocks) to create everything from simple structures or to entire cities.

Hazel Borys, CEO of PlaceMakers and strategic plan consultant with Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, says Minecraft can give the planners a sense of how children use and want to use downtown Winnipeg.
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is hosting a series of Minecraft lounges to see how kids would change the downtown to make it better. (CBC)

The BIZ is committed to taking downtown Winnipeg from "good to great" and is currently completing its new strategic plan, Borys says, a process the organization undertakes every three years.

"We have to nurture [our communities]," she said. "It's almost an exercise of citizenship."

One of the ideas children generated includes a skytrain and polar bears, an idea Borys advised against because the large Arctic marine mammals tend to crash the system.

So far about 12 children have taken part in the Minecraft lounge, Borys said, adding more will be held on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, July 27 (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) at the northeast corner of MTS Centre by the ticket booth.
  • Thursday, July 28 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 6 (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) at the University of Winnipeg.