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Great Winnipeg Bear Hunt returns for seconds

Organizer Sheilah Lee Restall said she started the Great Winnipeg Bear Hunt to bring joy to parents and children alike during the pandemic.

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Sheilah Lee Restall knows how tough the last year has been on everyone, including parents and young children, so she came up with a plan to make it a little more ‘bearable.’

For the second consecutive year, Restall is organizing the Great Winnipeg Bear Hunt, which promises to spice up those neighbourhood walks, she said. All it takes to participate is placing a stuffed bear in your window and letting Restall know so she can add you to her map.

Organizer Sheilah Lee Restall said she started the Great Winnipeg Bear Hunt to bring joy to parents and children alike during the pandemic.

PHOTO BY TONY ZERUCHA

Organizer Sheilah Lee Restall said she started the Great Winnipeg Bear Hunt to bring joy to parents and children alike during the pandemic.

Restall said she remembers reading an article last year about another community that did something similar, so she decided to try it out in Garden City. The mother of children aged two and four was looking for a way to inject some excitement into her walks with the little ones.

“When you’re a parent of young kids in a pandemic, all you can do is go on walks,” Restall said. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful for them to have something to look forward to on the walks?”

Pretty much everybody has a teddy bear, and Restall admits to having her fair share. A few of them are in her window, thanks to the help of her four-year-old.

After her success last year, Restall worried people would grow bored with the idea but there was no chance of that. She sent out a poll in March and the results were resoundingly in favour of a sequel. Early indications are the 2021 Great Winnipeg Bear Hunt could be even more popular than the original, when 700 people officially registered and many more took part.

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“I spammed every single Facebook community page I could think of,” Restall said with a laugh.

“A lot of people were really into bringing it back.”

To enter the contest on Facebook, visit the Great Winning Bear Hunt Facebook page, ‘like’ the giveaway announcement post, comment on it and ‘like’ the page.

You can also enter on the Instagram page. Spread the word by using the hashtag #wpgbearhunt. A lucky pair of people who add their homes to the map will win $50 gift certificates to the restaurant of their choice, courtesy of Tractus Projects. Two additional people who post their photos will be entered to win additional certificates.

“We wanted to continue in the theme of supporting local during the pandemic,” Restall said.

“Whoever wins can pick whichever restaurant they wish and I will deliver the certificates.”

To add your home to the map, private message Restall on social media. She will place the closest intersection on her map so little bear hunters still have to do some sleuthing.

“They have lots of fun, and so do the adults,” Restall said. “That’s why I’m doing this, to bring joy and a sense of community.”

Tony Zerucha

Tony Zerucha
Community correspondent – East Kildonan

Tony Zerucha is a community correspondent for East Kildonan. Email him at tzerucha@gmail.com

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