Flin Flon may be “Canada’s capital of quick,” but it’s also “the coolest small town in Canada.”
That’s according to an article in the fall issue of CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) Manitoba Magazine.
“Many things set
Flin Flon apart from other northern towns: Jagged rocky outcroppings; a world-class choir; flies the size of birds,” writes journalist Karen Burshtein. “And, as many a Flin Flonner likes to brag, it’s the only city in the world named after a character from a dime-store science-fiction novel.”
Burshtein titled her two-page feature “Falling for Flin Flon,” and it’s clear that she did just that while visiting the community to tour the sights and chat with locals. The subheading of the article: “Manitoba mining town or Canada’s capital of quirk?”
Burshtein describes a hiking trip in Flin Flon with the Winnipeg-based Prairie Pathfinders that allowed her to discover “so much more about this quirky mining outpost that I returned home firmly believing Flin Flon is the coolest small town in Canada.”
Of Flin Flon’s geography, she observes: “It’s a city of incredible but challenging landscapes.” She notes that locals “lovingly” refer to the Hudbay smoke stack as simply “The Stack,” but she deems the retired industrial chimney a “decidedly unglamorous landmark.”
Another Flin Flon landmark, above-ground sewer boxes that double as sidewalks, garners this observation from Burshtein: “The handsome raised walkway resembles a modernist architecture feature – at first glance, you’d never guess the ‘dirty’ secret it hides.”
No article on Flin Flon would be complete without reference to hockey and the Whitney Forum. Burshtein’s piece includes a photo of Gerry Hart and Bobby Clarke, as drawn by a mural artist at the Whitney. At least 17 NHL players have come out of the community, she notes, including the “Toothless Wonder” Clarke.
Burshtein further taps into “nostalgia-filled stories of local residents,” of “summers around lakes and winters lit by the northern lights.”
The energetic Crystal Kolt, a driving force behind the Flin Flon Community Choir, is interviewed, describing her idyllic walk to work: “I stroll past a babbling brook, through a forest, up a cliff and past the lake. In the fall, I can even pick up blueberries along the way.”
Kolt also mentions the choir: “Because we’re a mining community, we have a lot of educated and skilled people here. So when we’re mounting a play, we have a professional lift-rigger from the mine to help with sets. The choir, which has performed at Carnegie Hall, also belts out ‘O Canada’ at local hockey games. We’re truly a one-stop shop in Flin Flon.”
CAA Manitoba Magazine, formerly known as Going Places magazine, is distributed to CAA members.