The anthology’s title, Manitoba at Christmas, takes its inspiration from the iconic poem Winnipeg at Christmas by Rose Fyleman, who was a well-known children’s book author. While she was visiting Winnipeg in December of 1929, she went for a walk around the downtown area one day. This walk inspired her to write the poem, which was published in Punch magazine in January, 1930. It became a classic in the years that followed, with generations of schoolchildren memorizing and reciting the poem at school Christmas concerts.
Rose Fyleman was accompanied on her walk by Jean Macdonald, who recounted the tale to CBC Radio a few years ago, when she was in her nineties. You can listen to her fascinating story here.
Manitoba at Christmas will reprint the original published version of Winnipeg at Christmas, as well as Jean Macdonald’s story of how the poem came about.