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  #1  
Old Posted May 14, 2013, 1:54 PM
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Life in a Small, Prairie Town

Beausejour, Manitoba, is a typical small town on the Canadian prairies. It has 3,100 residents, a disproportionate number of which are incredibly tall, impossibly good-looking people of Ukrainian and other eastern European backgrounds.

It has an overabundance of churches and tends to vote for Conservatives but it's one of those rare and special places where people have a more libertarian outlook on life and don't go out of their way to let you know what they think of who you are and how you choose to live. It's one of those places where you really do get what you give.

It's a place where people live well and surprisingly creatively. People who can't do something artistic - be it painting, playing a musical instrument, whatever - are few and far between.

All in all, my time there was fantastically enjoyable. It was like living in another world - but I loved it precisely because it was so different.

Glassblowing demo at a local Old Age Home:



A woman and her, I kid you not, guard donkeys:



High school graduation:







A summer festival:



The Shades of the Past car show:



An alphabet garden at the local Primary/Elementary school:



A new piece of equipment for the playground:



The local theatre company's production:



Harvest time:





Inside one of the many churches:



The town Christmas tree:



The community pool:



The mother of a depressed young man who had taken his own life, celebrating the successful organization of the first fundraiser walk in his memory:



The local golf course.



The public Daylily Gardens:



Cheerleaders:



Figure skaters:



Traditional, Ukrainian dancing:



Moto-Cross racing (also used for snowmobile racing and a rodeo):



The rodeo:



(Yes, it's really called the BJ Motel):



Snowmobile races:





Ice storm:





Rainbow.



Rainstorm moving in:



The local Brokenhead River:



The best sunset I've yet seen in my life...









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Last edited by SignalHillHiker; May 14, 2013 at 2:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 14, 2013, 2:09 PM
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nice photos, signalhillhiker. that all feels very far away right now, and in a vaguely unpleasant way. when you're in canada, even in montreal or toronto, you know you can hop in a car and go to a place like that pretty quickly. frisch weht der wind der heimat zu etc.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 14, 2013, 2:30 PM
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Slight existential discomfort is the worst.
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Old Posted May 14, 2013, 2:30 PM
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I love some parts of small town life, but I can't do it for more than a few weeks.

Looks like you had a beautiful stay there
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Old Posted May 14, 2013, 3:10 PM
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I really did.

Looking back it's one of the few places that satisfied my homesickness with as much contentment as curiosity. And life there includes a whole region, from Winnipeg to Lac du Bonnet. You just naturally end up throughout that entire area if you live anywhere within it.

Of course, homesickness isn't really the right term. It was more of a distraction, like being very hungry. No matter where I was, or I what I was doing, this sense that I belonged somewhere else just kept coming to mind. I ended up wishing every day away the way you might wish the last 10 minutes of this meeting would end so you can go get lunch already.

Beausejour held that at bay quite well, probably because it was so different visually.
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Old Posted May 14, 2013, 3:38 PM
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A few more pictures...

Taking a Porsche out for a spin:



Grand Beach (coincidentally the same name as the community where our summer cottage in Newfoundland was):





Every. Single. Friday evening. At least until I moved into the city.







Loved this:



Out at a friend's farm:



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Old Posted May 14, 2013, 4:33 PM
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It's interesting how people in those towns are probably so much happier with their lives than we are in the big hectic cities. There's something to be said for simplicity.

At the same time, I know I can't live without my korean taco trucks and fair trade coffee/produce kthxbai.
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Old Posted May 14, 2013, 5:04 PM
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Simplicity is great.

But it's also, in some ways, a mirage. There are so many factors that go into creating an atmosphere like the one in this town.

I think simple people have generally happier lives - but that doesn't correspond with the rural/urban divide as much as people on either side like to think.

There are towns this size all but destroyed by meth.

There are towns this size in my own province where just about everyone under the age of 65 has moved away.

There are large cities like Montreal that don't feel transient at all - but rather settled. They're growing, of course, but there's a contented core as well.

There are cities in my own province that do not have the amenities or recreational/cultural programs this town of 3,100 has.

There are all sorts of socio-economic factors that come into play. Beausejour has been really lucky that all of these factors have come together in its favour.

It's even close enough to large city to have some subdivisions with commuters popping up, allowing young families in the town to stay but work and spend their free time in the capital.
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Old Posted May 14, 2013, 6:21 PM
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There's a province over there of which the name ALWAYS runs away from me. Wait...

Saskatchewan.

That name is a blessing to them. I consider the fact that I'm unable to put it anywhere in my vicious brain is definitely a good sign to them.
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Old Posted May 14, 2013, 10:25 PM
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Thanks for the tour!
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  #11  
Old Posted May 15, 2013, 11:11 AM
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It looks like small town America, except they all have health insurance. And they look like theyre in much better shape than their American counterparts.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 16, 2013, 1:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
It looks like small town America, except they all have health insurance. And they look like theyre in much better shape than their American counterparts.
That's because it is small town America, just the Canadian part.
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Old Posted May 16, 2013, 2:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
That's because it is small town America, just the Canadian part.
That's why it's SMALL TOWN CANADA.

Last I checked, Canada was still its own country.
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  #14  
Old Posted May 16, 2013, 3:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
It looks like small town America, except they all have health insurance. And they look like theyre in much better shape than their American counterparts.
These two things are probably related.
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Old Posted May 16, 2013, 9:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamaican-Phoenix View Post
That's why it's SMALL TOWN CANADA.

Last I checked, Canada was still its own country.
I think the point is that Canadians are Americans too, just in the broader more inclusive North American context. Canada is the kinder, gentler, slightly more socialist version of our southern neighbours. We are what the US might have been if they hadn't rebelled against the mother country.
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Old Posted May 17, 2013, 2:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
I think the point is that Canadians are Americans too, just in the broader more inclusive North American context. Canada is the kinder, gentler, slightly more socialist version of our southern neighbours. We are what the US might have been if they hadn't rebelled against the mother country.
So in other words, it's Minnesota with a monarchy.
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Old Posted May 17, 2013, 3:22 AM
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God Save duh Dairy Queen.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 18, 2013, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by montréaliste View Post
God Save duh Dairy Queen.
post WIN

oh and nice photos of a town I had never heard of before this thread.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 19, 2013, 7:10 AM
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great photos and thread. threads like these are why i love SSP; this one feels like a national geographic article

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  #20  
Old Posted May 20, 2013, 7:26 PM
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Great thread.

I wish there were a lot more posts like this of small towns around the world.
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