Selkirk, Manitoba

Selkirk, Manitoba
City of Selkirk
Nickname(s): Catfish Capital of the World
City of Selkirk is located in Manitoba
City of Selkirk
Location of Selkirk in Manitoba
Coordinates: 50°08′37″N 96°53′02″W / 50.14361°N 96.88389°W / 50.14361; -96.88389Coordinates: 50°08′37″N 96°53′02″W / 50.14361°N 96.88389°W / 50.14361; -96.88389
Country  Canada
Province  Manitoba
Region Interlake
Established June 5, 1882
 – City Mayor Larry Johansson
 – Governing Body Selkirk City Council
 – MP James Bezan
 – MLA Gregory Dewar
 – Land 24.71 km2 (9.884 sq mi)
Elevation 225 m (738 ft)
Population (2006 Census[1])
 – Total 9,515
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
 – Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
Postal code R1A
Area code(s) 204
NTS Map 062I02
Website [1]

Selkirk is a city in the western Canadian province of Manitoba, located about 22 km northeast of the provincial capital Winnipeg on the Red River, near (50°08′37″N 96°53′02″W / 50.14361°N 96.88389°W / 50.14361; -96.88389) . As of the 2006 census, Selkirk had a population of 9,515.

The mainstays of the local economy are tourism, a local steel mill, and a major mental health facility. A vertical lift bridge over the Red River connects Selkirk with the smaller town of East Selkirk. The city is connected to Winnipeg via Highway 9 and is served by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Like all places in Manitoba, Selkirk has telephone Area code 204, and the city has the postal code prefix R1A. The city mostly borders the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews, except to the east, where it borders the Rural Municipality of St. Clements across the Red River.

The city was named in honour of Scotsman Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, who obtained the grant to first establish a colony in the Red River area.



Landing of the Selkirk Settlers, Red River, 1812

The present-day city is near the center of the 160,000 square mile (530,000 km2) area purchased by the Earl of Selkirk from the Hudson's Bay Company.[2] The first settlers of the Red River Colony arrived in 1813. Although the settlers negotiated a treaty with the Salteaux Indians of the area, the commercial rivalry between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company gave rise to violent confrontations between the settlers and the trading companies. In recognition of the Earl's importance in bringing settlers to the region, the town was named Selkirk and incorporated in 1882.

Economy and tourism

The Keenora Museum

The Selkirk Mental Health Centre, the largest mental health facility in the province,[3] is a major employer in the city. The Centre's surroundings are a park-like campus on the outskirts of the city.

Gerdau, owned by Gerdau S.A. of Porto Alegre, Brazil, operates a steel minimill in Selkirk. This steel mill ( known locally as MRM or "The Manitoba Rolling Mills") is also a major employer.

Chuck The Channel Cat

Selkirk is advertised as the Catfish Capital of the World, due to the large amounts of catfish in the nearby Red River. This nickname was part of an advertising campaign to entice American anglers, who travel to Manitoba to fish for trophy-sized catfish. Selkirk is also home to Chuck the Channel Cat, a fiberglass representation of a catfish that measures 25 feet (7.6 m) long. The name Chuck was chosen to honour local sport fisherman Chuck Norquay, who drowned while doing what he loved best — fishing in the Red River. After Chuck was built in 1986, the town council decided to place Chuck in front of Smitty's Restaurant on Main Street.

The Marine Museum of Manitoba, a collection of historical marine artifacts of Lake Winnipeg and the Red River area, is located in Selkirk. Selkirk is also the site of a Canadian Coast Guard base.

The Selkirk Fair and Rodeo is held annually to celebrate the area's agricultural history. It celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2008.[4]

Selkirk has three community newspapers: The Selkirk Enterprise, The Selkirk Record, and The Selkirk Journal.

External videos
Amphibious icebreaker in Selkirk
Greg Selinger about 3rd icebreaker

Amphibex excavator icebreakers were at work breaking up ice flows on the Red River in 2009.[5] Ice breakers and backhoes were to be strategically placed along the Red River Floodway, which might have needed to be opened before the ice was fully melted. Officials examined past ice jams and provided contingency plans if the Floodway jammed upstream of bridges or on tight corners.[6]


Selkirk is home to the Selkirk Steelers ice hockey team who play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. They play at the Selkirk Recreation Complex. Selkirk is also home to the Selkirk Fishermen Junior B hockey team who play in the Keystone Junior Hockey League. The Selkirk Rivermen Hockey Club plays in the SIHL.

A major sporting event Selkirk hosted was the 2007 Women's World Ice Hockey Championships (as co-host with Manitoba's provincial capital, Winnipeg). Canada defeated the rival United States team 5–1 on April 10 in the MTS Centre of Winnipeg. In 2009, Selkirk played host to the 2009 Telus Cup with the Winnipeg Thrashers as the host team. The winners were the Notre Dame Hounds who shut out the Calgary Buffaloes 4–0.

Selkirk is also home to the independent Steeltown Pro Wrestling promotion.


Selkirk had a population of 9,515 people in 2006, which was a decrease of 2.4% from the 2001 census count. The median household income in 2005 for Selkirk was $42,502, which is below the Manitoba provincial average of $47,875.[7]

See also







External links

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