In 2004, the city of Winnipeg declared a small section of land in the heart of downtown an historic site. It was the place where the historically significant trading post, and centre of power for the Hudson's Bay Co, known as Upper Fort Garry once stood. It also happened to be the place where Louis Riel took his stand in the the fight for proper consideration of the Metis people, in the annexing of Rupertsland (and subsequently the Red River Valley) by the Canadian republic.
With the demolition of a gas station on the site in 2006 and a curling rink in 2010, the site was finally cleared for the development of a Provincial Park. The Upper Fort Garry Heritage Park.
The Friends of Upper Fort Garry hired Manlab Resources Inc. in 2009 to help them develop a proposal for park visitors that had to consider current smartphone technologies and a rebuilt 400' portion of the original fort wall, where they imagined some form of interactive multimedia should be included. They also wanted an analogue solution for the wall that would help communicate the historic significance of the park and the fort that once stood there.
Over the course of the project Manlab (now Pattern Interactive) has developed a series of assets for the Upper Fort Garry Heritage Park, including a newly designed website, and an app that will include park navigation tools and audio tours. there are future plans for micro-controlled soundscapes and augmented reality within the park as well, but the crown jewel of the park will be the 400' LED screen running the length of a layered Corten™ steel wall, depicting a timeline of the history of Manitoba.
The park's development is still ongoing but an official public opening of the park is scheduled for Summer 2015.
Friends of Upper Fort Garry; Garry Hilderman, Jerry Gray and Gerald Friesen.
Manlab Resources Inc.; Dan Choy, John Jameson, and Oliver Oike.
Pattern Interactive; Jeremy Choy and Brent Cross.
Hilderman Thomas Frank Cram - Landscape Architects: Glen Manning, Constantina Douvris, Mark Bauche.
Cohlmeyer Architecture: Steve Cohlmeyer, David Weber.