A new song about Winnipeg features a local musician crooning its highs and lows, in the spirit of love for her city.
Heidi Korte is a singer-songwriter, a musical instructor, and the musical director at Manitoba Theatre for Young People's theatre school. On Friday's, you can find her driving to the Interlake to work with young Christian singers and worship leaders.
With so many things on-the-go for Korte, it's not too much of a surprise to hear that her latest video was put together over the course of only a few weeks, though you would never be able to tell while watching.
The video, says Korte, originated with the Aubrey Logan song L.A., in which Logan sings about a number qualities that define the city of Los Angeles where she lives. When the musician put out a call for covers of her song online, Korte says she jumped at the chance, but something about doing a cover felt off.
"I just couldn't put myself in the story," explained Korte. "L.A. is just so different than Winnipeg."
Then inspiration struck.
"I was just singing it on the way to church and all of a sudden these alternate lyrics started coming into my head... I have to confess that during the sermon that Sunday, I might have been writing these lyrics."
Korte says the lyrics were quite close to Logan's, with slight alterations, making them much more fitting for our cold-yet-friendly city.
For example, Logan's line "I have a tan in January" turned into "I still tan in January" with Korte. Another lyric, "Winnipeg... where the borscht is cheap and the parking is expensive" mirrored Logan's words, "L.A... where the talk is cheap and the sunshine is expensive."
"As more of them came, I just started to get more and more excited about it because I could see it unfolding in my head," Korte smiled.
Collaborating with co-writers Dane Bjornson, Jon Loeppky, and Shannon Schultz, Korte and her team curated the lyrics heard in her L.A. parody, Winnipeg. The entire project took place over only a matter of weeks. "It was super rushed," Korte chuckled, partially owing to Korte's desire to release the song due to one of her lyrics in particular.
"Because of the Stanley Cup, I just felt like [the lyric], 'well, I hope they win the Stanley' needed to come out now."
In the video, viewers catch a glimpse of some of Winnipeg's attractions, including The Forks, Alycia's Restaurant, and some shots from the rooftop of Provencher Community Church. Characteristics and idiosyncrasies of the city referenced throughout the piece paid homage to the true beauty of the city, including mention of the cold climate, expensive parking, rush hour traffic stretching from Portage and Main until Bishop Grandin, and friendly strangers.
What didn't make it into the song? "I couldn't work in Slurpees or mosquitos," Korte explained. "They were suggested quite a few times and it just didn't feel right."
Also, geese. Despite their repeated presence in Korte's video.
While her video song parody may not have a specific spiritual point, the joy that permeated the process of creating and performing the parody is one that Korte says brought the project real meaning beyond simple adoration of her city.
"Besides God's faithfulness, I actually love His creativity," shared Korte. "I love the thought that every time I create something or get an idea I'm reflecting his character, even in a silly way."