MTS Centre Opens with Manitoba Music

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The busy Portage Avenue construction spot that Winnipeggers have been walking past for over a year has officially become the new, highly-anticipated, state-of-the-art arena. The MTS Centre housed a sell-out crowd of 12,000 for its premier event on November 16 featuring some of the best in hometown talent.

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra backed some of the most recognizable Manitoba artists, including Burton Cummings and his Guess Who partner Randy Bachman, who performed together on one song at the end of the evening. Also taking the stage were pop starlet Chantal Kreviazuk, Lynn Lake-born rocker Tom Cochrane, and rising country stars Doc Walker. Famed children's entertainer Fred Penner and Winnipeg actor Adam Beach - best known for his turn in Nicholas Cage movie Windtalkers - hosted the all-Manitoba lineup.

The MTS Centre, boasting new technology and unobstructed sightlines, is expected to help Winnipeg attract even more high profile musical acts and events. The opening gala proved that the Centre was more than able to house such events, with even some of the most cynical onlookers calling the venue "stunning."

In April, the Centre will host the 2005 Juno Awards.

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