Articles,  Winnipeg

Famous people who were born or raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Famous people with a connection to Winnipeg

Many world-famous people were born or raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

You may have heard that Paula Abdul and Justin Bieber spent time in Winnipeg as kids, but they did not go to school here or live here for extended periods.

You also probably heard of several of the amazing people listed below depending on your hobbies and interests.

They should inspire Winnipeggers to reach for the stars because anything is possible.

Here are just a few of the most famous, noteworthy, and important people with a connection to Winnipeg that make us proud:

  • cancer fund-raising marathoner and Canadian hero Terry Fox,
  • Metis political leader and hero Louis Riel,
  • politician and father of Canadian Medicare Tommy Douglas,
  • business mogul and driving force behind the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Izzy Asper,
  • the bear that was the inspiration for Disney’s beloved Winnie the Pooh,
  • the man who named and designed Bugs Bunny, Charles Thorson,
  • actors Adam Beach, Len Cariou, Mimi Kuzyk, Anna Paquin and Nia Vardalos,
  • real life spy and James Bond inspiration Sir William Stephenson,
  • 2019 Nobel Prize winning physicist P. J. E. (James) Peebles,
  • musicians Neil Young, Tom Jackson, William Prince, Fresh IE, Faouzia, and Chantal Kreviazuk,
  • Irvine Robbins, founder of Baskin-Robbins,
  • Paul Faraci, creator of the Pizza Pop,
  • founders of the Harlequin Romance publishing empire, Richard and Mary Bonnycastle,
  • Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman of the Guess Who,
  • Brad Roberts of the Crash Test Dummies,
  • newscasters Ashleigh Banfield and Dawna Friesen,
  • children’s entertainers Fred Penner and Al Simmons,
  • writers David Bergen, Miriam Toews, Gabrielle Roy, Margaret Laurence, and Carol Shields,
  • award-winning filmmakers Richard Condie, Danishka Esterhazy, and Guy Maddin,
  • animator & Genie award winner Cordell Barker,
  • “Let’s Make a Deal” game show host Monty Hall,
  • TV producer (Till Debt Do U$ Part & Baroness Von Sketch) Jamie Brown,
  • escape artist Dean Gunnarson,
  • magicians Doug Henning and Darcy Oake,
  • comedian David Steinberg,
  • Olympians Cindy Klassen and Clara Hughes,
  • wrestlers Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, and Rowdy Roddy Piper,
  • Canadian Football League superstar Andrew Harris, and
  • current professional NHL hockey players Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Ryan Reaves, Travis Zajac, Mark Stone, Max Domi, and Alexander Steen.

     * This list is subjective and is not meant to be complete. There are thousands of other outstanding Winnipeggers that have made their mark on the world and are not on this list. There are many other important and famous people that were born or raised elsewhere in Manitoba that were intentionally left off this list.

     ** Please comment below with any other people you feel should have been on the list. 


Happy Travels,

Kevin & Tina

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  • Julius the Jules

    Nice to meet you again, Mr. Kev! I liked this read, however I have only heard of 5 or so on this list. Keep in mind that stars in Canada may not have as much coverage here in the U.S. as they have in Canada. Our government is known for overinflated, propagandistic, egotistical and megalomanic bullshit by making U.S. citizens think the rest of the world worships us as if our stars are more important to the world than any other. I'm sure stars here in the U.S. don't have that much reach in Canada do they? I'm only curious and am asking for your honest opinion.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post! I never would've known some of the great and honorable people without your list. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving! 😀

  • Retirestyle Travel

    Thanks for reading this article.

    I wondered how many of these names would be recognized by someone from the USA. I thought it would be between 5 and 10.

    American stars are huge in Canada. We are basically the 53rd state, especially when it comes to TV, movies and music. Watching the American Music Awards last week showed how Canadian stars like Drake, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, & Shawn Mendez have crossed-over into the USA.

    Happy US Thanksgiving to you, my friend.

  • Sara

    Wow, It's a great and huge list of celebrities. Justin Bieber has lived in your town for sometime; it's really interesting fact to know. Yeah, and you are right; many great celebrities' belonged to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. You have every right to be proud of your home town. I enjoyed reading the post as those famous people are in all hall of fame , like from athletes to wrestlers, physicist, inventors. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of the world.

  • Retirestyle Travel

    Justin Bieber's father lived here and he visited his father and was seen around town and at hockey games, but Justin Bieber really lived with his Mom in Ontario and went to school there.
    We are proud of the many famous people from Winnipeg.
    Is anyone famous from your hometown?

  • Rebekah Charles

    This is a huge list of celebrities that I didn't even know thay were born in Canada. So awesome. I love researching and reading where celebrities come from and what they did before their career started.

  • Britt K

    Oh wow, I knew a few of the names on the list came from Winnipeg, but I had NO IDEA that there were so many well-known names that came from that area of the country. I always find it interesting to look at where people were born and raised, and whether or not it had an impact on who they are as people. After all, the values you were raised with often carry through to the rest of your life, right?

    • Kevin Strong

      We also find it fascinating. So many internationally famous comedians and musicians are from Canada, but its nice to know which famous people and celebrities have a connection to my hometown, Winnipeg. We have some good strong community values here

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