A man with a passion for winter says he’s seen a change in his fellow Winnipeggers over the past two seasons.
Chris Beauvilain, the creator of Frosty Face Manitoba — a social media account that collects photos of locals experiencing the outdoors in less-than-ideal temperatures — said the community seems to have embraced winter more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think in the last decade or so, there’s really been a change, but in just the last two years, it’s been quite something,” Beauvilain told 680 CJOB.
“Last year, everyone was at home … no one had anywhere to go, so everyone just stepped out the front door. I’ve never seen the city like this before. I started going to different areas of town, and there were builds and skating rinks and people out everywhere.
“I think people really feel in love with the province and winter and where we are, and it’s happened again this year. It’s been quite magical this year.”
Although Beauvilain describes Frosty Face as a light-hearted photo project, celebrating the joy of winter — rather than complaining about it — has been a boon for people’s mental health, he said.
Including his own.
“This has been a long time coming through Frosty Face…. It’s been really transformative.
“When I see snow, I no longer grumble at the snow. When I see -20 C, I don’t think, ‘Oh, I need to hunker down,’ I get excited because I know our rivers are freezing and skating trails are being created.
“I see winter as this huge opportunity to explore our city, and it’s a very unique thing. I would say people all over the world have seen a palm tree, but very few, statistically, have thrown a snowball.”
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