Red River Mutual

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–50-degree-Celsius temperature
+ 1 broken camera body
+ 2 Valentine’s Day hot chocolates
+ skating on the world’s longest natural skating trail
= 1 incredibly fun project that couldn’t more accurately represent a real Winnipeg winter.

That and much more sums up our project with our friends at Red River Mutual Trail this past February.

The Red River Mutual Trail holds a very special place in many Manitobans’ hearts; it’s where we’ve fallen one too many times as children…or in our case as adults. It’s also what many of us think of when we are sweltering in our classic +30 summers wishing for a little snow.

Whether you love Winnipeg winters or not, the Red River Mutual Trail is a city staple, and one that has convinced many “indoor people” to get outside in the winter.


The Trail means something different to every Winnipegger you ask. The Red River Mutual team reached out to TrendSET because they wanted to create a video telling just that story: what the Trail means to the communities it runs through. On an especially cold February day, we laced up our skates and began interviewing the people of Winnipeg to find out what it is about the Red River Mutual Trail that matters most to them.

The shoot day saw a couple of hiccups as we had to reschedule the Community Day event twice due to extreme cold weather warnings (-45 or colder). Once we committed to a “warmer” day, our cameras had a bit of difficulty storing the footage onto the near frozen SD cards. Aside from camera issues, there weren’t as many skaters on the ice as we would have hoped, due to the week of cold weather prior to Community Day. This required us to head back out on the ice on a much nicer day to capture the footage of families on the ice.

You can spend all day and night planning “the perfect shoot,” although very rarely does a shoot day go exactly as planned. This is honestly one of our favorite aspects of filmmaking, as often these moments of “disaster” bring out some of the best ideas and shots we’ve ever taken. It forces the team to think in a unique way and problem solve on our feet (or skates). This is especially the case whenever planning a shoot that is dependent on the weather  Mother Nature has a habit of acting out on most outdoor shoot days.


As you can probably imagine, we heard just about every reason for people to love the trail. One that really stuck out to us was the woman who explained that she uses the trail as a means of transportation to and from work. It was faster for her to skate than it was to take transit. The cold weather never stopped her, it just made her “skate faster,” she said.

The Red River Mutual Trail is the host location for many exciting winter activities such as the Raw Almond dining experience, a concert played entirely with instruments made of ice, and the Warming Hut design competition that sees architects from around the world creating some of the most unique structures along the river.

The Red River Mutual Trail is much more than just a frozen river in the middle of Winnipeg. It can provide transportation, art, joy, and so much more to the people of Winnipeg and we can’t wait to get back on it, after we enjoy some of the summer, that is.