There's a new Winnipeg sign at The Forks (and people have mixed feelings)

If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, we seem to have a whole lotta love for cities to the East.

Following in the footsteps of several major centres in Ontario, Winnipeg has just installed one of those giant, 3-D, illuminated, block-lettered city signs you’ve probably seen on Instagram.

Toronto has one.

Ottawa has one.

Even Hamilton has one in the works.

And now, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Canada Summer Games, Winnipeg has gotten in on the fun.

Located just to the left of the Festival Stage at The Forks, the 2.5-metre-high sign was unveiled on July 27 and will be lit for the first time on Saturday, July 29. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights serves as a beautiful backdrop and will demand plenty of photo ops.

But so far, the reviews for what planners are calling our latest legacy landmark are mixed.

Some, like Mayor Brian Bowman, are huge fans.

And some may already see it as a good luck charm of sorts. Hours after Dayna Spiring (CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg) got a sneak peek of the sign and tweeted that the “W” was for the Bombers, the team pulled off an improbable comeback win at IG Field.

But others, such as CBC’s Bartley Kives, wonder if the sign is unique enough to reflect our city’s thriving arts and architecture communities.

“There’s no question Winnipeg has the design capacity to dream up something a little more creative than generic Winnipeg lettering,” he wrote in a recent article, “or at least create something vaguely evocative of the city’s history, culture and geography.”

More recently, he even took a friendly jab at the sign with the help of Photoshop.

Is the sign unoriginal? Definitely. Unnecessary? Maybe. But for better or worse, it’s here to stay and it’s ours to embrace.

Let a new selfie era in Winnipeg begin 📷

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