In Roman mythology, Cupid is a mostly minor character. His arrows get the main plot moving, but he’s not the protagonist.
So for Valentine’s Day (sure, it’s named after a Christian martyr, but the chubby little archer is far and away its main icon), we’ll take our cues from Cupid.
Here are a few things that we’re in love with. And then we’ll get out of the way:
• Immigration — As revealed again in the annual Economic Development survey results, Brandon’s booming, thanks to international newcomers. Also booming is our culture and our business climate. The current challenge is our bursting-at-the-seams schools, but let’s not forget that all those kids are going to be looking for jobs in about a decade. This boom is just getting started. We love it.
• Charity — Statistics Canada says that more Manitobans gave to charity in 2011 (the most-recent year available) than ever before. And people who gave, gave more. The average Manitoban who gave to charity doled out $370 — much, much more than the average Canadian, who only coughed up $260. Get out there and give some more. We love it.
• Blood — If you can’t give money (or even if you can) why not roll up your sleeve and see what else you can donate. The Brandon Sun is proud to be a Partner For Life with Canadian Blood Services and on this heart-related holiday we encourage you to head down to The Town Centre to open up a vein. Give blood, get a doughnut. We love it.
• Downtown — As charter members of the Brandon downtown (we were here in 1882, before the city even was), we think that a strong and vibrant central core is vital to our city’s health. We’re excited by Renaissance Brandon’s new focus on refurbishing apartments downtown, which will help our housing crunch as well as our Hub. More people living upstairs will naturally help out the great local businesses downstairs. We love it.
• Extra days off — We’re looking forward to Louis Riel Day. It was a stroke of government genius (don’t hear that very often) to give Manitobans an extra long weekend and even more so to schedule it for February. We know that many businesses grumbled about the forced closures, believing it hurts the economy, but we don’t end the year with any extra money in our wallets, so it all gets spent somewhere. It’s an extra bonus that we have a very Manitoban day, with an emphasis on our history, rather than the bland Family Day some of our provincial neighbours celebrate. We love it.
• Cakes — Yesterday morning, in conjuction with Star-FM, we auctioned off some wonderfully decorated cakes to raise money for Samaritan House. All told, your bids brought in more than $2,300. That’s fantastic. We love it. Care to share?
• Cinnamon hearts — Also gummy hearts, jujube hearts and candy hearts of all description. Especially the ones with messages on them. Sweet candy. We love it.
• Significant others — A boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, civil union, spouse or partner? Many names, but it all comes down to someone being there through thick and thin. You know who you are. We love you.
• Families — Whether parents or kids, cousins, uncles or aunts, nieces or nephews, grandparents and grandkids all up and down the generations, the saying goes that you can’t choose your family. And why would you? How else would you gather such a crazy, lovable group together? We love them.
• Friends — OK, you can pick your friends. And most of us pick pretty well. Back in elementary school, we dropped off Valentines at everyone’s desk. When did it turn into just one card for just one person? You’re all special. We love ya.
•Trying, trying again — No casino, no Canada Games, no WestJet. Well, not yet. That’s quite a few blows in the last few months, but no one’s given up yet. We love it.
• Brandon — The Chamber of Commerce’s corny-but-cute “We ♥ Brandon” may have mostly run its course, but the sentiment lives on. This is a great town. We love it.
• Positivity — This space is often set aside for critiques and kvetching. It’s nice to be nice. We love it.
Happy Valentine’s Day.