Most cities have neighbourhoods with distinct identities and reputations, for better and for worse. In Winnipeg, the North End has a reputation as the “rough” part of the city. However, among those who call the North End home, not everyone agrees that this reputation is deserved.
Local author and historian Russ Gourluck recorded over 60 audio interviews with current and former residents of Winnipeg’s North End while doing research for his book The Mosaic Village: An Illustrated History of Winnipeg’s North End. In the interviews residents spoke candidly about their memories of growing up in the neighborhood, school experiences, and their favorite places to hang out, shop or work. They also discussed the North End’s reputation and how it has changed over time. Some of the interviewees have since become prominent Winnipeg personalities in their own rights.
After the publication of Mosaic Village, Mr. Gourluck generously donated copies of these interviews to the Winnipeg Public Library in the hopes that they would be made accessible to the public. The library has just launched a new section on its website: Voices of the North End, where the complete series of interviews will be made freely available for everyone to listen to. Eight interviews are currently available with the remaining interviews to be released over the coming months. The first batch is comprised of interviews with notable Winnipeg personalities, including two candidates from the recent mayoral race.
As a teaser for coming attractions, take a listen to some excerpts from interviews that will be posted to the Voices of the North End webpage in the near future: