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The Prairies

Explore and learn more about the Prairies without even leaving home. These non-fiction books are full of photography, history, and facts about Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and give an insightful look at the fascinating world just outside your door.


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A Celebration of Prairie Birds

- Wayne Lynch

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I became enchanted by the prairie grasslands more than 40 years ago, and have been bewitched by birds even longer. This book combines both of these personal passions. But it is more than just a book about the birds of the prairies; it is a celebration of the beauty and biology of the natural world. Originally, native prairie grasslands occupied the entire central core of North America, roughly 138 million hectares (340 million acres). This vast expanse of grass and sky stretched for over 2000 kilometres (1200 mi) from the aspen parklands of western Canada south to Texas, and from the jagged summits of the Rocky Mountains to the eastern hardwood forests. Today, more than 80 percent of the continent's grasslands are no more than a memory, and native prairie continues to disappear at a rate of 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) a year -- victims of urban sprawl and humanity's insatiable appetite for cropland. It is no surprise that grassland birds are declining more rapidly than any other avian community in North America. The best way to preserve these last remnants of prairie grasslands and their wildlife is to understand what we will lose if we do nothing to protect them. The habitat that most people associate with the prairies is the rolling grassy plains. Yet the prairie grasslands is a wonderful and surprising mosaic of many habitats. It includes wetlands, such as sloughs and marshes, rimmed with waving stands of cattails, as well as lazy, winding rivers, and large alkaline lakes. It also contains rolling dunescapes, sculpted badlands of multi-colored sandstone, and inviting wooded river valleys and coulees where you can retreat from the light and glare of the open skies. Together, these different wild habitats combine to make the prairie grasslands, and the birds that fill its skies, a natural sanctuary to soothe the psyche, challenge the mind, and rekindle the spirit. Grassland birds live complex and intriguing lives and in A Celebration of Prairie Birds I share with you the many fascinating details that make these creatures so interesting and satisfying to watch.

Treasures of Winnipegs Historic Exchange

- George J Mitchell

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A breathtaking full-colour photography book celebrating the architectural splendour and cultural heritage of Winnipeg's famed Exchange District, a National Historic Site and one of the city's most vibrant artistic, commercial, and tourist hubs. The Exchange District is the architectural jewel of Winnipeg's downtown core, a thirty-block area featuring 150 remarkably preserved heritage buildings dating back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These iconic buildings are among the best examples in North America of several turn-of-the-century architectural styles, including Romanesque, Italianate, Beaux-Arts, and Chicago School. From its origins in the 1880s as a commercial and industrial gateway to the Canadian West to its current revitalization, the Exchange exemplifies the spirit of a modern city embracing its past while creating a bright and dynamic future.

Treasures of Winnipeg's Historical Exchange is a sumptuous visual feast for residents and visitors. With stunning photography highlighting the impressive scale and intricate detail of the Exchange's imposing banks, sprawling warehouses, and commercial towers, this book will amaze and delight anyone interested in Winnipeg's history and architecture. In addition, the book captures the renewed energy, creativity, hospitality, and entrepreneurial spirit that have invigorated the Exchange in recent years, making it one of Canada's most vibrant up-and-coming neighbourhoods.

The Lesser Known

- Darren Bernhardt

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Manitoba's history is one of being carved. Ice sculpted the land before nomadic first people pressed trails across it. Southern First Nations dug into the earth to grow corn and potatoes while those in the north mined it for quartz used in arrowheads. Fur traders arrived, expanding on Indigenous trading networks and shaping new ones. Then came settlers who chiselled the terrain with villages, towns and cities. But there is failure and suffering etched into the history, too. In Winnipeg, slums emerged as the city's population boomed. There were more workers than jobs and the pay was paltry. Immigrants and First Nations were treated as second-class, shunted to the fringes. Rebellions and strikes, political scandals and natural disasters occured as the people molded Manitoba. That past has been thoroughly chronicled, yet within it are lesser-known stories of people, places and events. In The Lesser Known, Darren Bernhardt shares odd tales lost in time, such as The Tin Can Cathedral, the first independent Ukrainian church in North America; the jail cell hidden beneath a Winnipeg theatre; the bear pit of Confusion Corner; gardening competitions between fur trading forts and more. Once deemed important enough to be documented, these stories are now buried. It's time to carve away at them once again.

The Prairie Garden

- TPG Publications Inc

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The 2021 edition of The Prairie Garden focuses on flowering shrubs and the queen of flowering shrubs, roses. Always popular topics in the past, they are definitely worth revisiting! The last time we focused on shrubs was in our 2009 edition, “Deciduous Shrubs” (still available in limited quantities). Since then, hundreds of exciting new flowering shrub cultivars have emerged, many of them well suited to prairie gardens. Our “Roses” edition of 2008 is now sold out, but readers keep asking us for information on that topic. And rightly so: since 2008, important new hardy roses such as the Canadian Artists and 49th Parallel series have come on the market. ​Plant developers in our region have played a major role in breeding, selecting, and trialling all kinds of hardy flowering shrubs for the prairie landscape, including roses. With Dr. Philip Ronald of Jeffries Nurseries as our guest editor, we take a fresh look at these useful and beautiful plants in our 2021 edition. As always, The Prairie Garden aims to be a guide for gardeners of all skill levels in the short-season gardening zones of Canada and the US. You’ll find over thirty articles on the theme and another dozen or so on general gardening topics, all contributed by experienced gardeners and experts. Guest editor Dr. Philip Ronald was raised in the Canadian prairies and educated in plant breeding and horticulture at the University of Manitoba and the University of Saskatchewan. He currently divides his time between teaching ornamental horticulture at the University of Manitoba, managing Riverbend Orchards, a 20-acre fruit farm, and providing support to the research and marketing programs at Jeffries Nurseries. He resides near Portage la Prairie with his wife Karen and their children.

Broken Ribs and Popcorn

- Geoff Kirbyson

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How the Winnipeg Jets became the best team in the NHL's most offensive era to not win the Stanley Cup Foreword by Tom McVie The Winnipeg Jets were decimated when the WHA merged with the NHL in the spring of 1979, losing most of the players who led them to the team's third AVCO Cup victory that spring -- Kent Nilsson, Terry Ruskowski, Rich Preston, Kim Clackson and Barry Long. They were only able to protect two skaters -- Morris Lukowich and Scott Campbell -- and a single goalie, Markus Mattsson. General manager John Ferguson used a patchwork of players for the first couple of years but after drafting Dave Babych No. 2 overall in 1980 and Dale Hawerchuk first overall the year after, he had the core around which he would build his team for the rest of the decade.

Praise for The Hot Line: How the Legendary Trio of Hull, Hedberg and Nilsson Transformed Hockey and Led the Winnipeg Jets to Greatness: "A book about (The Hot Line) was long overdue and Winnipeg journalist Geoff Kirbyson has risen to the challenge." -- Winnipeg Free Press "Winnipeg produces great lines. In literature Miriam Toews-David Bergen-Gabrielle Roy. In journalism: Carol Off-Jim Coleman-Marshall McLuhan. In music: Bif Naked-John K. Samson-Daniel Greaves. But the line of lines in Winnipeg belongs to hockey. Thank you Geoff Kirbyson for The Hot Line." -- Ron MacLean, Hockey Night in Canada

Saskatchewan Book (hc)

- George Webber , Lorna Crozier

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An evocative collection of contemporary photography that shines a light on the charm and disintegration of small towns in Saskatchewan. Captured over 30 years, the 200 images in this finely wrought exhibition document prairie landscapes and rural structures like no other in recent memory. With skill, sensitivity, and a renowned eye for detail, documentary photographer George Webber once again transports the viewer with his lens across time, geography, and history. Bright colours, sun-baked facades, endless horizons, and straight edges are all beautifully haunted by the shadow of time's inevitable decay and nature's slow embrace of abandoned human settlements. The varying shades of prairie-blue skies can hum with optimistic vibrancy, while fists of cloud can march toward an unknowable front. Saskatchewan Book shows us that small prairie towns remain beacons of affection and bastions of memory, all the while succumbing to the enigmatic fate that eventually enfolds all living things.

The Truth About The Barn

- David Elias

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The Truth About The Barn offers answers to important questions about how barns came into being, why they look the way they do, why they're worth reflecting on, and what possible future they may have. Chapters investigate the barn's place in culture and religion, art and literature. Psychological and philosophical implications are explored. Readers are treated to an occasional recollection of the author's own experiences with barns.

Out of Old Manitoba Kitchens

- Christine Hanlon

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Out of Old Manitoba Kitchens tells the story of the province's early inhabitants through the foods they prepared. Feast on dozens of photographs, more than 80 recipes and countless recollections. Discover how Indigenous pemmican was the perfect recipe for propelling the fur trade, how Scottish bannock became a staple for the First Nations, and why a Manitoba social always ends with kielbasa. Tuck into tales of Franco-Manitoban tourtière, Icelandic vinarterta, and Mennonite rollkuchen. From the campfires of the Métis buffalo hunt and the outdoor kitchens of the early settlers, to the bread ovens of the Ukrainian immigrant and the dining halls of the Winnipeg General Strike, Manitobans of all stripes have contributed to a rich culinary heritage. They bring to the table a delectable spread of culturally diverse dishes, adapted to the local landscape and influenced by a determination to survive, and then thrive, on food from the forest, rivers, lakes, and prairie soil. The tastes and aromas of those early kitchens come to life on pages filled with memories, hand-written recipes, and colourful images from bygone days. Savour the stories, pictures, and flavours from Out of Old Manitoba Kitchens.

Freshwater Fishes of Manitoba

- Kenneth Stewart , Douglas Watkinson

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Winner of the Best Illustrated Book of the Year Award at the 2004 Manitoba Writing and Publishing Awards.

Winner of the 2004 Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher.

Clearly written and handsomely illustrated, this book is a comprehensive and definitive guide to all 95 of Manitoba's freshwater fish species. With its many lakes and rivers, Manitoba has Canada's third most diverse freshwater fish fauna, ranging from the sturgeon, goldeye, and catfish in the province's south, to Arctic char and Arctic grayling in the northern rivers that feed into Hudson Bay.

This book gives all readers an easy-to-use guide to the province's varied fish fauna. Detailed identification keys and over 150 colour photographs enable both amateurs and specialists to recognize any fish found in Manitoba's waters. Fish are grouped by order and family, and colour-coded for fast reference. Each fish is described in detail, including its physical characteristics, spawning and feeding habits, distribution, habitat, ecological role, and economic importance.

Prairie

- Candace Savage

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Praise for the previous edition of Prairie:
"Impelled with its sense of the miraculous in nature."
--Globe and Mail
Candace Savage's acclaimed and beautifully written guide to the ecology of the prairies, now revised and updated. This revised edition of Prairie features a new preface along with updated research on the effects of climate change on an increasingly vulnerable landscape. It also offers new information on: conservation of threatened species, including the black-tailed prairie dog and farmland birds; grassland loss and conservation; the health of rivers and the water table; the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on prairie wetlands; the benefits of regenerative agriculture  Illustrated with elegant black-and-white line drawings and maps, this award-winning tome continues to be a highly readable guide to understanding the ecology, geological history, biodiversity, and resilience of the prairies. Illustrated with elegant black-and-white line drawings and maps, this award-winning tome continues to be a highly readable guide to understanding the ecology, geological history, biodiversity, and resilience of the prairies.

Love This Saskatchewan

- John Perret

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Master Photographer John Perret Launches “Love This Saskatchewan”– a major retrospect of his finest photography of unique places and once in a lifetime chance happenings while on the land. 14 notable Saskatchewan writers, musicians and artists contribute their own visions and write personal remembrances of what Saskatchewan means to them. Perret’s photography takes you to all points rural and natural in the province, from woodlands to grasslands, boreal forests to sand dunes in the north. It touches the heartstrings of the past with mud filled trails glistening in sunset gold, to futuristic blue skies, as much as you can take in, then transform to sparkling indigo heavens painted with the northern lights. He shows us with over 100 photographs the remarkable space we live in and how it continues to be a catalyst for nurturing creativity, the love and respect we have of this land. Love This Saskatchewan, features chapter introductions by: Trevor Herriot, Arthur Slade, Brad Johner, Bill Waiser, Connie Kaldor, Brenda Baker, Monique Martin, Yann Martel, Ken Mitchell, Glen Sorestad, Lloyd Ratzlaff, Dorothy Knowles, Madeleine Dahlem, and Maria Campbell - all prominent Saskatchewan writers, artists, and musicians.

John Perret lives in Saskatoon and enjoys living in a city small enough that he can be out in the countryside in a matter of minutes, to view the horizon and open sky. He has had many passions in his life, but by far one of the greatest has been to travel the province and capture the beauty of the land through the lens of his camera. He has a Bachelors of Education from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters of Photographic Arts from the Professional Photographers of Canada. He has been the recipient of many awards and his photographs have traveled as far as China and Bogotá, Colombia. John has always had ties to the land and he co-owns a quarter section of natural grassland along the North Saskatchewan River. From trips to the north to summers on a farm near Lilac, from berry picking along the back roads to camping in the Nisbet forest, John has come to deeply love and appreciate Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan's Best Scenic Drives

- Robin Karpan , Arlene Karpan

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Saskatchewan is tailor-made for backroad exploring. We have more roads than any province in Canada--enough to circle the equator four times. Possibilities are mind-boggling, from drives through spectacular river valleys to sweeping natural grasslands, lake-studded boreal forest, wild badlands, some of Canada's largest sand dunes, breathtaking viewpoints, little-known hideaways, and historic treasures. Drive a third of the way across Saskatchewan entirely in the Qu'Appelle Valley. Take a little-known backroad through the Big Muddy Badlands. Wander through the Thickwood Hills to the other-worldly "Crooked Trees". Combine your drive with awesome hikes and nature walks to discover the best that Saskatchewan has to offer. Precise directions, GPS coordinates, and maps make it easy to discover these and many more Saskatchewan scenic wonders. Features 185 colour photos and 42 colour maps.

Photographer's Guide to Saskatchewan

- Robin Karpan , Arlene Karpan

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Saskatchewan is a photographer's dream, with ruggedly beautiful native prairie, some of Canada's baddest badlands, breathtaking wildlife spectacles, and legendary northern waterways brimming with jaw-dropping scenery. Saskatchewan is the sand dune capital of Canada - home to both the largest and second largest dune fields in the country. Our sunrises and sunsets are simply the most dazzling on the planet. Then there are those enchanting hidden gems that seem straight from the pages of a fantasy novel.

The Photographer's Guide to Saskatchewan focuses on nature, wildlife and awesome landscapes. Award-winning writers and photographers, Robin and Arlene Karpan, guide you to their favourite haunts throughout the province, from prominent national and provincial parks to little-known photogenic treasures. Supplemented by maps, GPS coordinates, and 250 stunning photographs, the 208-page book not only takes you to photogenic hot spots, but also reveals what you need to know to capture amazing images.

Saskatoon

- Amy Jo Ehman

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In 1899, Saskatoon was little more than a few wooden houses and false-fronted shops. There were no bridges, no railways, not even an elevator rising above the rooftops. There was no reason to think Saskatoon would be more successful in the long run than any other prairie town. Saskatoon not only survived, it thrived. Saskatoon tells the story of the dreams and determination of the people who built a dynamic City of Bridges on the South Saskatchewan.

Winnipeg Walks

- Wendy Wilson , Leone Banks

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A lot has changed in the fifteen years since the last edition of this award-winning bestseller, and in this newly revised 3rd edition, authors Wendy Wilson and Leone Banks have perfectly balanced the appeal of exploring older, established neighbourhoods with their tree-lined streets and interesting histories, while also highlighting some newer neighbourhoods with their dedicated trail systems and many points of interest.

This wonderful guide to walks around Winnipeg will astonish locals and visitors alike. Lavishly illustrated with beautiful colour photographs and clearly outlined trail maps, ‘Winnipeg Walks’ serves as both an enticement to explore the city on foot, and as a welcome reminder of the beauty and variety of Winnipeg’s many neighbourhoods.

A helpful index divides the city into quadrants, each offering a number of options for exploring on foot. The ‘West’ section, for example, proffers a gorgeous stroll through ‘Old Tuxedo’ including Assiniboine Park and along nearby side streets fronting some stately homes, while ‘Brookside Cemetery’ with its 285 acres of meandering paths and a park-like setting is a brilliant discovery and as the authors point out, “a fine place for a leisurely stroll”.

Thirty-six walks are featured in this volume; eight are brand-new. Each walk’s unique appeal is beautifully captured with rich detail about its history, terrain, and things to look for as you stroll the neighbourhood. Care has been taken to include walks throughout the city, ensuring that they are accessible to many fitness levels, and many can be explored at all times of year.

Our advice: Buy this book and take a hike!

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