I see it all too often when the North End is in the media: a video frame of a chain-link fence followed by a couple of police cars with lights flashing and maybe a shot of someone getting arrested, or police caution tape wrapped around some light poles.
For some, this is the only North End that they know of, the North End as portrayed through the media and social platforms. For the vast majority of us who live, work, and play here, however, this is not the North End that we know and love.
For many of us, the North End is a place that we hold fondly in our hearts; a place where we grew up, where we’ve worked the past 5, 10, 20 years, and where we love to be. It’s a place like no other with a sense of community and generosity that is unique.
That’s not to say that the North End is without its flaws. Like any other community, this neighbourhood sees its fair share of crime, poverty, and conflict. The problem is that these negatives are largely the only part of the North End that gets any attention by the media, and even when the heartwarming stories are reported on they’re almost always framed as positives in light of the current negatives: this community event happened in spite of recent shootings, this street festival is held as a response to recent tragedy, etc.
Recognizing that community pride is a large factor in the healthy development of babies, one of the goals of the Winnipeg Boldness Project is to create and publicize a strength-based narrative for the North End of Winnipeg; one that already exists in this community, but is often overlooked.
We plan on doing this primarily through video with an emphasis on interviews and storytelling. We know that every person has a story and every story contributes to a deeper understanding of the why and how of the world. We intend to document and share these stories because we believe that there is huge value in storytelling, and that the story of the North End is not one that is filled with sadness and despair, but rather resilience and a sense of community whose flame cannot be extinguished even by the strongest of winds and the largest of waves.