Top 5 Entertainment Stories of the Year on

Top 5 Entertainment Stories of the Year on

By Vincent Lee (@vinceleewpg)

Thousands of people celebrate at The Forks on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 to mark the NHL's return to Winnipeg. (SAMANTA KATZ / CHRISD.CA FILE)

We’ve compiled our top five entertainment stories of 2011. There’s no surprise on what the top story of the year was, both news-wise and from an entertainment standpoint. But in between, there were a few other gems, including a stellar concert put on by U2 at Canad Inns Stadium, to 16,000 youth being inspired as part of ‘We Day.’

5) 38th Annual Winnipeg Folk Festival

  • The highlights of the five-day festival included big acts like country rockers Blue Rodeo, Tegan and Sara, and a tear-jerking performance by k.d. Lang singing ‘Hallelujah’. After Lang’s performance, Twitter was a flutter with positive tweets and praise for the ‘phenomenal’ performance.

4) ‘We’ Day

  • ‘We Day’ saw about 16,000 students from across Manitoba take part in this international event at MTS Centre. Headed by ‘Free the Children’ co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger, the festivities’ intent was to inspire youth towards making a difference in the world. Guest speakers included former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, former Prime Minister Paul Martin. Musicians that played during the event included Down With Webster, Hedley, Shawn Desman and Sierra Noble.

3) U2 360° Tour Concert

  • Earlier this year, we saw Bono, The Edge, and the rest of U2 play Winnipeg, helping to set a new attendance record at the sold-out Canad Inns Stadium with over 50,000+ in attendance. It seemed like a majority of Winnipeggers were at this concert, and the Irish rockers did not disappoint.

2) Maria Aragon

  • This year, a 10-year-old girl from Winnipeg caught the eye of Lady Gaga on YouTube, and became a sensation on the Internet. Maria Aragon posted a video cover of ‘Born this Way’ that now has 45,108,486 views to date and counting.
  • Honourable mention to 16-year-old Sean Quigley, who did a YouTube video of himself playing and singing a cover of the Christmas tune ‘Little Drummer Boy.’ He, too, caught attention of the national media. The cover is now up to 1,692,348 views.

1) Return of Winnipeg Jets

  • The return of the NHL to Winnipeg marked a defining moment in this city’s history. It is still premature to speculate the significance of the acquisition of the Atlanta Thrashers by Mark Chipman and David Thomson and what it means to history. Every aspect of this story made headlines, it didn’t matter what it was about regarding the Jets, because it would be a top story. Whether it be the challenge put out by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to sell out MTS Centre with the ‘Drive to 13,000’ season ticket drive (that Winnipeggers ended up snatching up in 17 minutes), the announcement of the team name and with first round draft pick Mark Scheifele, the NHL Kickoff Party, the inaugural game against the Montreal Canadiens, the merchandise, commemorative coins, the license plates, the game against Phoenix Coyotes, the return of Teemu Selanne — all was part of this whirlwind-like celebration.
  • One thing is for certain, this city has embraced the team with fierce passion, making the Winnipeg Jets the top entertainment story for 2011.