Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of the province of Manitoba in Canada. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America and is 110 kilometres (68 mi) from the U.S. border. It is also the place of the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.
The city is named after the nearby Lake Winnipeg; the name comes from the Western Cree words for muddy water. The region was a trading centre for aboriginal peoples long before the arrival of Europeans. French traders built the first fort on the site in 1738. A settlement was later founded by the Selkirk settlers of the Red River Colony in 1812, the nucleus of which was incorporated as the City of Winnipeg in 1873. As of 2011, Winnipeg is the seventh most populated municipality in Canada. Being located very far inland, the local climate is extremely seasonal even by Canadian standards with average January lows of around −21 °C (−6 °F) and average July highs of 26 °C (79 °F).
Known as the "Gateway to the West", Winnipeg is a railway and transportation hub with a diversified economy. This multicultural city hosts numerous annual festivals, including the Festival du Voyageur, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Jazz Winnipeg Festival, the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, and Folklorama. Winnipeg was the first Canadian host of the Pan American Games. It is home to several professional sports franchises, including the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Canadian football), the Winnipeg Jets (ice hockey), Manitoba Moose (ice hockey) and the Winnipeg Goldeyes (baseball).