Winnipeg Art Council commissioned a Culture Plan in 2010, and invited me to speak at the annual Mayor’s Luncheon for the Arts in 2011. I’d been in Winnipeg for little more than half a year, and focussed on the unique features of the city that had impressed me as a newcomer. After some research at the Municipal Archives, I discovered the origins of Winnipeg’s ‘Emerald Carpet’ – the Elms and old trees that carpetted the central part of its old residential districts: the citizens of Winnipeg has voted to hand the boulevards to the Parks department, and plant trees. Over two years, the council minutes record that street after street had been planted by the residents. I took this long-term investment in the city’s future as a metaphor for investment in the creative talents of its people.