Our first guest on the rebooted Speaker Interview Series is Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks, Winnipeg's meeting place at the junction of the Assiniboine and mighty Red rivers. Here's what Paul had to share about winter in Winnipeg:

1. How does your city or community celebrate and/or embrace the winter season?

Winnipeg has always been a winter city, but over the last 10 years, we have seen more people getting outside and utilizing the season for its potential. And I feel that The Forks has been at the heart of that shift. Our Red River Mutual Trail, the skating trail on the Red and Assiniboine rivers, has become a catalyst for innovative ideas like the Warming Huts: an Art + Architecture Competition on Ice; RAW Almond, a fine dining experience on ice; to fashion shows on ice, and sporting events on our frozen rivers.

2. If you could do one thing to improve winter life in your city or community, what would it be?

As leaders in winter cities, we need to understand that winter can be a positive thing– that it’s a part of what makes us unique, special, and exciting. That we can’t hide winter, but instead, we should put it on display. And when we do that, we will spark imagination and gain collective inspiration.

3.    What is your favourite childhood winter memory?

Growing up in Winnipeg, I spent endless hours playing ball hockey on the front street with the kids in our neighbourhood. Nothing could beat that, except for the two weeks we spent digging in snowbanks looking for the stolen gold Kenny Leishman, the Flying Bandit, had buried in a snowbank somewhere in town.

4. What is your favourite winter beverage?

Single-malt whiskey.

5. What is your favourite winter city destination and why?

It can’t get any better than Mount Shasta, California. Beautiful scenery, great weather, and it doesn’t matter what season it is, winter is just a short trek into the mountains.

6. How would you describe winter to someone who has never experienced it?

Relax, breathe, don’t panic- because even when your nostrils stick together, you will get through it. The season is really quite beautiful.

You can catch Paul's presentation during the Winter Business breakouts on Thursday, February 16 at Winter Cities Shake-Up 2017.