“What’s a Beaver Tail?”
All eyes looked to me for the answer. We stood beside a huge ice sculpture; it was one of many at the Festival du Voyageur, a ten-day celebration of Canada’s fur-trading past and of Winnipeg’s French community. I had gone almost every year as a child, but this was the first time I’d been in Winnipeg in February for a long time. The temperature registered a frigid -31 degrees Celsius, and that was without windchill. My hometown is infamous for being one of the coldest cities in the world, often challenging its residents with a solid few weeks of -40 and below every January and February. We are hearty folk, us Winnipeggers, and we’re damn proud of it. There’s something about the cold that invigorates us, that makes us push out our chests and breathe in deep, as if to prove that we can take it.