WINNIPEG – Children from an isolated reserve show their community in a new light, a mother gives thousands of people a new perspective on parenthood and a romantic husband’s anniversary surprise goes viral.
We take a look at a few of the most popular feel-good Manitoba stories of 2014.
Remote First Nation’s kids create haunting version of Cup Song
Two 15-year-olds from the isolated Berens River First Nation took a popular upbeat song and created a video that shows their community in a new light.
The traditional song combined with a game played with cups was recreated online numerous times, but the Berens River Cup Song video went viral quickly because of its haunting images of the community.
Many young people leave Berens River First Nation because they feel there are not enough opportunities to succeed in life.
The positive video finishes with students smiling and creating the beat with cups in a school gymnasium and the message “it sure would be prettier with you.”
Manitoban actress turned L.A. mom hits big time on YouTube
Winnipeg-born author Johanna Stein strapped a GoPro to her head and gave thousands of people around the world a new perspective on parenthood.
“Momhead” was supposed to be just a fun video Stein made with a friend using her young daughter’s voice to promote her parenting book How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane.
The video went viral after it was picked up by news sites and gained millions of views.
The Winnipegger, who ran to L.A. to make it big, has since done many interviews with the likes of CNN. Her book has been optioned by Will Arnett’s company Electric Avenue and a pilot for a CBS sitcom is in the works.
Winnipeg romantic’s antics catch Ashton Kutcher’s eye
Romantic Winnipegger Derrick Paulson set the standards high for men after he posted a video on YouTube of an anniversary surprise that shocked his wife.
The video caught the eye of actor Ashton Kutcher, who posted it on his Facebook page with the comment “This guy is a boss.”
Kutcher’s 18-million followers saw the post and the video took off from there, getting millions of hits.
The video has since been featured in stories across the globe.
WATCH: Derrick Paulson talks about the response to his viral YouTube videos.
Manitoba magician wows judges on Britain’s Got Talent
A professional illusionist from Winnipeg went to Britain and performed magic tricks that impressed people around the world.
In his audition for the TV show Britain’s Got Talent, Darcy Oake magically created several doves out of thin air and then made a female assistant appear.
Popular judge Simon Cowell said Oake was the best magician in the show’s eight seasons.
The 26-year-old went on to place fifth in the show and landed many interviews and television appearances after.
Winnipeg woman close to racing NASCAR
Amber Balcaen was the only Canadian to be invited to the 2014 NASCAR diversity tryout in Virginia.
Twenty drivers were chosen from hundreds across North America to test their skills on the world stage, with a chance to join Rev Racing’s team on one of NASCAR’s lower circuits.
If she earns a spot on the team, Balcaen will start racing full-time in North Carolina in a NASCAR-sanctioned series in January.
Polar bears swim at new Winnipeg zoo exhibit
The first tour of Winnipeg’s Journey to Churchill exhibit excited hundreds of Manitobans as polar bears swam around in Arctic-like conditions.
Assiniboine Park Zoo visitors lined up for hours to experience the one-of-a-kind display.
It includes a sea ice exhibit with window views of the polar bear enclosure, a tunnel that runs under them and a replica of Churchill’s Hudson Bay coast.
Winnipeg super fan inducted into Hall of Fame
A 56-year-old retired railway worker from Winnipeg was honoured for being one of the biggest fans in the NFL.
Syd Davy has risen to fame as the Minnesota Vikings’ biggest fan since he got decked out in the purple and gold at a game in 1993.
His outfit and flex received a such a positive response from fans that the image was featured on billboards, tickets and even video games.