WINNIPEG'S CULTURE CRAZE: FEATURING ARTURO ORELLANA

By Ashley Tokaruk 

| fōmō |
noun
a state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out.

There is nothing worse than the mentally consuming sense of panic that rushes over you when you find out your friends are having a good time without you, or that a cool event took place and you missed it. If fomo is an illness, Arturo Orellana has created the cure.


  Photographed by Pablo Riquelme

Photographed by Pablo Riquelme

It’s a free app called Culture Card, which was inspired by a project he worked on in his hometown of Madrid, Spain. Arturo came to Winnipeg as an international student years ago, but fell in love with the multiculturalism of the city and the woman who is now his wife before going back home to Spain.

“It was something I created for the government of Madrid in collaboration with the tourism office,” Arturo says, “It was a project to make sure we give the best experience to international students while they were in Madrid.”

Madrid is considered one of the top places to live in the world, so Arturo knew when he was coming to Winnipeg and starting this social project he had to go all in. “I wanted to build my life here, so I had a really open mentality’, Arturo says “And I see Winnipeg as a new emerging city in Canada.” Now, he is undeniably one of the cities biggest influencers in the arts and culture scene.   

The app launched in March and already has over 8,000 downloads and won the award for Best Marketing Campaign Under $2500 at the 2017 Tourism Winnipeg Awards of Distinction. Arturo invented Culture Card to help Winnipeggers explore their hometown like tourists, and to highlight all of the multiculturalism the city has to offer. Downloading the app and signing up will ensure you always know what’s happening in Winnipeg. “Every week we update an event list so you don’t have to go to 50 different websites to find out,” says Arturo.

  Photos: JJ Gill

Photos: JJ Gill

Culture Card not only promotes events taking place in Winnipeg, like Folklorama and the Winnipeg Theatre Fringe Festival, but they also collaborate with other organizations to host unique, exciting events too. They’ve hosted events like The Winnipeg New Music Festival and Symphony Fantastique with The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. These events showcased hundreds of artists, performers, and musicians. Looking for something to do this summer? Check out Culture Card’s The HUB Rooftop parties on top of The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre downtown for things like fashion shows, live art, and dancing. Downloading the app and signing up also provides ‘VIP benefits’ to those who register. These benefits include discounted pricing to events, restaurants, and businesses that people might not have heard of or been inclined to check out otherwise.

  Photo: JJ Gill

Photo: JJ Gill

“Some people need a push in order to explore,” says Arturo, “I might say to you lets go see the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and you are going to say ‘No, that’s for a more mature crowd’ but if you have a 25% discount it might be the push you need to go out and experience that for the first time.” Some of the businesses providing VIP pricing are Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boon Burger, Thermëa, Rainbow Stage, Winnipeg Goldeyes, and so many more. “If you are part of our movement we are going to take care of you” says Arturo, “And our way to take care of you is to make sure you’re treated like a VIP.”

“We want to make sure we showcase multiculturalism in Winnipeg on a daily basis and organize the coolest events in the city,” says Arturo, “Basically what we are doing is creating a movement that is helping people enjoy their life in Winnipeg to the fullest.” So download the Culture Card app, stay in the loop, and have no mo’ fomo.

CULTURECARD.CA