Article by Anna Wright, Canadian Sun writer.
Manitou is one of the longest established communities on The Great Canadian Grid. It encompasses six connected regions and is hosted and run by Winter Silversmith. Winter describes the community, “The Regional Municipality of Manitou, founded in 1801, is a six region community with a well balanced mix of residential dwellings and a commercial district. The community features several public greenspaces, a modern harbour and several historical sites. The town is owned by Manitou Tourism, a division of Silversmith Estates, and the CAO is Winter Silversmith. “
The regions are named Manitou, Massey, Midland, Meaford, Minesing and Muskoka and the community has it's own tourist website.
When you wander through the pathways, streets and sidewalks of Manitou you get a real feeling of past meets present. Winter does a great job of blending old world and modern architecture in his virtual homeland that he shares with GCG residents who need one too. I was struck by the feeling of being in a European town but it also has the distinct flavour of many long established real life Canadian towns, in particular Ontario and Eastern Canada. Part of the Canadian feel is the park like nature of the design. Winter shared his experience with region design from Second Life and how what he enjoyed creating there has carried over into GCG.
“The first land I owned in SL I turned into a park, and later became the region manager, so I like parks.”
The Manitou regions are all inviting, walkable and ambient. The community works together to maintain a certain feeling to the build that Winter has set a tone for. For example, the lighting is very intentional so that residents and visitors can enjoy the space in day and night cycle environment settings.
Manitou offers residential and commercial space to GCG residents who need homes and shops free of charge. The community upholds specific guidelines to keep it themed, friendly and safe. The people who live there want the continued experience of that small town feel they've grown to love. Winter's goal is for residents to feel at home and also entertained and his methods are not without humour. Look for a kitchy tourist attraction in your wanderings that is literally a giant roll of duct tape and two cans of WD 40. That kind of thing has small town Canadiana fun written all over it. It's like the giant Easter egg in Vegreville, Alberta. There is an optional role play aspect to living in Manitou and Winter creates local news stories about places and people in his town that residents can take in and add to the realism. He's dreamed up a fantastic history for Manitou that dates back to the 1400s.
The role play news stories as well as non role play related stories about the regions and GCG in general are posted in the long running Corran Journal. The Corran Journal is the oldest independent publication in The Great Canadian Grid. It's website can be found here.
Manitou also hosts a memorial park available to any GCG resident who wishes for a place to honour a loved one who has passed, avatar, human or animal. Adjacent are public monuments and memorials to Canadians who haven fallen in the service of working for the greater good of humanity such as police and firefighters. The monuments are simple tasteful remembrances that cross all worlds and connect us in compassion.
Winter states that he still plans for more growth within the project as time goes on. The regions are lovely to just stroll through. There are places to take in local recreation such as the charming and slightly haunting Wretched Raven pub. The market is ongoing and there are offerings such as concerts every so often. It's worth joining the group for notices to stay apprised of those events and connected to Manitou as it grows with the Great Canadian Grid. This is a community and encompassing space with a lot of infrastructure, intention and heart.
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We are a roleplay publication featuring activities in the Manitou, GCG regions and beyond.
Donations to Fundraisers 2017:
Hendrix tribute concert
Terry Fox Foundation MC$2,500 (plus MC$2,500 Manitou Tourism)
Rush tribute concert for Kidney foundation, MC$2,500 (plus MC$2,500 Manitou Tourism)
Kevin M. Klerks, Editor
(aka Winter Silversmith)