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August 25, 2015

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Hey! Did you go to Interstellar Rodeo a few weekends ago at The Forks?

What an awesome time. How great that we could come together as a community, in the heart of our city – where two rivers meet – and where people have been meeting for most of history, to share in the amazing music created by top musicians.

I thought it was a great fest. The music was fantastic – now I can say I’ve been serenaded by the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Dwight Yoakam and Vance Joy.

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The crowd was a pleasant size and it was really enjoyable to have the option of wine paired with each act.

And I enjoyed being able to walk home at the end of the night!

It’s events like this that make our downtown and public spaces like The Forks even more welcoming, vibrant, and exciting to go to.

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I’m excited to hear that downtown will be the home of a whole bunch of new events in the coming months. It makes sense – downtown is where it’s at! I’ve been saying this for years.

But truly, we have it all – several transit hubs, green space, restaurants and some of the largest event spaces in the city – heck, the new RBC Convention centre is going to be the biggest space of its kind between Toronto and Vancouver. And it’s central to everyone, no matter where you live in the city!

Events I’m looking forward to finding downtown in the coming months include:

Snowflake: Snowflake is a winter urban wellness retreat that will nourish and inspire in the cold prairie winter. The event offers participants rejuvenation, inspiration, and connection to their community through an offering of wellness workshops and inspiring activities to choose from. Yoga with renowned teachers from across the country, creative workshops, inspired speakeasy session, outdoor adventures, live music and entertainment, vendor village.

Wall-to-Wall II: Wall-to-Wall is a mural and culture festival that sees the creation of indoor and outdoor murals. Each new work of art is celebrated with unique events. Wall-to-Wall II will expand beyond West Broadway, the birthplace of the festival, to Downtown, with an exterior mural launched at Fools & Horses Coffee Co.

Downtown ARTery: Downtown ARTery will transform the entire stretch of Graham Ave. from the WAG to 201 Portage into a corridor of light and art. It will dramatically change both the distribution of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg activities and Winnipeggers’ experience of this underutilized area, while highlighting a variety of local artists and performers. Also, there’s A Moveable Feast bike tour on the September 26 – the night of Nuit Blanche. Participants will get to check out the Artery before getting VIP access to the WAG on this popular night! Info/tickets available here.

2K Dangle: A fun run for hockey fans of all ages and skill levels will see participants run and stickhandle a ball for 2 kilometers starting at Memorial Park then ending at Manitoba’s Legislative Building.

Spaceland: A one-day block party inspired by SXSW, Spaceland will take over an urban dead zone and fill it with music and people, facilitating a collective reimagining of public space. Food trucks, a small beer garden, eight of the city’s hottest up-and-coming bands and two national headliners, and creative placemaking, will make Spaceland an exciting new addition to the city’s musical landscape.

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For more events coming to your downtown, click here!

Date night made easy: downtown movies return!

July 17, 2015

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I think it’s safe to say that summer has officially arrived! Winnipeg’s weather was hot, hot, hot this past week, and if you were like me, you were taking full advantage of outdoor experiences – whether it was at the Fringe Festival or at your favourite patio downtown!

Thanks to our pals at the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, our summer fun doesn’t have to end just yet! In August, 10 movie screenings will animate outdoor public spaces – the challenge is how we’ll be able to fit it all in!

Here’s the movie line-up!

Downtown Drive-in (Graham Ave. & Carlton St.) on Saturdays

  • August 1: Back to the Future 2
  • August 8: Wall-E
  • August 15: Inception
  • August 22: Guardians of the Galaxy
  • August 29: Jurassic World
  • Free for people arriving on bikes, transit or foot, or $10 to reserve a space for your car

Movies on Memorial (Memorial Park) on Tuesdays

  • August 4: Pitch Perfect 2
  • August 11: Jaws
  • August 18: Furious 7
  • August 25: The Avengers

And get this, there’s a third location in Chinatown! At the end of August, as part of the Chinatown Street Festival, you’ll get a chance to watch Rush Hour 3!

More details at www.downtownwinnipegbiz.com.

Which movies are you most excited to see? Comment below with the hashtag #finditdowntown.

Grazing in the Outfield

July 16, 2015

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I have to say, one of my very favourite parts of summer is picnics.

It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant – brown bag lunch on a park bench or under a shady tree…or you could go all out with the perfect baguette, maybe some fancy cheeses and a bit of bubbly…

However you picnic, there’s something special about enjoying a meal under the open sky.

On Thursday, July 23, the Winnipeg Goldeyes, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba and renowned Winnipeg chef Ben Kramer present Grazing in the Outfield – a unique downtown dining experience in support of the Goldeyes’ Field of Dreams charity.

Ben will be cooking up his own personal take on ballpark favourites, and guests will be seated – you guessed it – right in the outfield at Shaw Park.

Sound like something you’d like to attend?

Tickets are available by phone (204-982-2273). But if you’d like to try your hand at winning a pair, why not leave a comment letting me know what your favourite #finditdowntown picnic spot is? Do you bring your lunch to a park? Do you pick up some take out, unfold your best picnic blanket? Let’s hear about it!

Also, if you’re looking for a more standard baseball experience, Goldeyes game tickets and mini-packs are available here.

Contest winner will be contacted Monday, July 20 after 3PM.

Wine: #finditdowntown

July 8, 2015

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Friends, I am here today to discuss one of my very favourite things: wine.

I heard that the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ was running these tours all summer long – there’s a bunch – a Patio Crawl, Tap In beer tour, a breakfast tour, and A Moveable Feast – the one everyone loves where you get to bike around all night and sample food from a bunch of the best restaurants in the city… but when I heard about Winnipeg Wine, I dropped everything I was doing and signed myself up!

WineJune265WineJune264WineJune266It was awesome! We stopped at four amazing restaurants and in between, Susan, our tour guide shared a bunch of very cool downtown facts and stories with us – some of them I didn’t even know!

There were all kinds of people on the tour – singles, like me (thought I might meet the love of my life, didn’t, but you never know!), BFFs, couples and a few small groups celebrating some very important birthdays!

We started at Smith at the Inn at The Forks, sauntered over to Blaze Restaurant & Lounge at the Delta Winnipeg (where we tasted these amazing bison perogies and little mini apple pies!), headed over to The Merchant Kitchen at the brand new Alt Hotel (where they demonstrated how to uncork a champagne bottle with a SWORD!!! And sample some of the very tasty Latin street food-inspired cuisine), and ended up at The Velvet Glove inside The Fairmont Winnipeg to end off the night with a very beautifully plated app-sized “surf & turf” – seared bison and seared tuna!

And the very best part? We got to try TWO wines at each of the stops! So after eight glasses, I can see why folks opted for the overnight stay at the hotel! (Luckily I live downtown, so I just walked home!)

So here we are now – me recommending this tour to you! You can get tickets here!

PS I’ve already purchased tickets for Tap In and Patio Crawl next – 4 drinks and 4 app samples for $30?! Can’t beat it! But you sure can #finditdowntown!!!

 

Have you taken any of these tours?! Which one do you want to try?

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Oh Canada, we’re ready to celebrate!

June 29, 2015
Winnipeggers participate in the 2014 living flag at the Forks

Winnipeggers participate in the 2014 Living Flag at The Forks

From far and wide, but especially downtown Winnipeg, we’re excited and ready to celebrate your birthday, Canada!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a pretty full day of festivities planned for July 1!

First-thing in the morning I’m meeting up with the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ crew and over 2,500 Winnipeggers at Shaw Park (home of the Winnipeg Goldeyes!) to participate in the Canada Day Living Flag event! Winnipeg has been successful for three years in a row in assembling the largest Living Flag in all of Canada, but last year we were beat out by Calgary. Come out at 9:00 AM to get a free red or white t-shirt (while supplies last) and get in on the largest Living Flag in Canada as we reclaim our title this year (the 50th anniversary of our maple leaf flag!), plus entertainment by the Dirty Catfish Brass Band and fun for all!

Bonus: there’s a Goldeyes game later on in the day – grab tickets while you’re at the park (or buy them here)!

Next I plan on hopping next door to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights – there’s going to be all kinds of family activities and guided tours throughout the day.

After that, I think it’ll be time for some refreshments – AKA time to hit up the Earls on Main block party for music, dancing and some festive drinks in the sunshine. Cheers to that!

Speaking of music and dancing, next up I plan on zipping over to The Forks – what better spot to be than the city’s most historical meeting place to celebrate our glorious and free country!

From 5PM onwards, there will be music and entertainment on the Festival Stage including Slow Leaves, Attica Riots and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, as well as live music Under the Canopy and indoors on the Market Stage too. Additional perks: lemonade, mini donuts, and 11PM fireworks!

 

What are you planning to do for Canada Day? Let’s hear it!

Don’t forget Dad!

June 18, 2015

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Public Service Announcement: Dads are the best! And it’s Father’s Day on Sunday!

If you, like me, have gotten caught up in all of the summer/FIFA/patio fun recently, it may have accidentally slipped your mind to pick up a present for your pop. Luckily I have a few connections and I can help you #Finditdowntown for dad, just in time for Father’s Day!

If your dad likes steak: The Keg (115 Garry St.) would be a great option. Take him for dinner – they’re offering a steak & shrimp combo for $35, they take reservations and they’re open at 3PM.

If your dad likes beer: Get him on a Tap In beer tour! Put on by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, there’s a bunch throughout the summer – and it’s great value: 4 restaurants, 4 beers, 4 samples of appetizers all for $30 – and you get to check out a few great new watering holes in the downtown! Next tour: June 25.

If your dad likes cigars: Take a peek around Thomas Hinds Tobacconists – 185 Carlton St. – if you don’t know what you’re looking for, the friendly staff will certainly give you a hand.

If your dad likes a fine scotch: Remember there’s a Liquor Mart inside cityplace – perfect for a grab-and-go gift.

If your dad likes coffee: At Fools & Horses Coffee Co. – Broadway at Edmonton St. they carry Pilot Coffee beans and the accessories he’ll need to brew the perfect cup.

If your dad likes a good tie or pocket square: Try EPH Apparel – 291 Garry St. – they’ll hook him up with a custom tailored suit to go with it!

 

Other ideas? Let me know what you find downtown for dad!

#Finditdowntown for FIFA!

June 8, 2015

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Soccer fans, Winnipeggers, restaurant goers and people who love vacations: this is for you.

As we all know, Winnipeg is playing host to the biggest soccer tournament Canada has ever hosted – FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015!

Now, sports are not totally my thing – I love a good Jets game (and Jet dog) or Goldeyes game (Goldie is very handsome, plus who doesn’t love those refreshing lemonades you get at Shaw Park?), but this FIFA thing is bringing people from all over the world to our city – all the hotels are sold out(!!!) and there’s definitely a huge buzz of excitement all over town – can you feel it?!

Even I can’t help but fangirl a little when I spot the teams meandering the streets of downtown, and it’s exciting to see groups of fans loading onto buses all dressed up in their teams colours and flags. Welcome to Winnipeg!

But getting back to the point here.

We want to give you tickets for two to an Air Canada travel destination!!!

Check out this following list of restaurants, their special FIFA deals, and most importantly, go visit and enter to win!

Nick’s on Broadway – 287 Broadway
The Rachel is new just in time for FIFA! Try this hottie (it’s a hot sandwich) featuring pastrami, Swiss cheese and coleslaw, served Panini-style.

Shannon’s Irish Pub – 175 Carlton St.
Lunch specials range from $6.99 – $9.99. Every day 4-7pm wings are 55 cents. Weekends and Thursdays… Select Import draft specials $6 & $8. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays – live music featuring local singer-songwriters and bands. ALL IN SUNDAYS a  live, unmiked Celtic jam from 6-9pm.

Hy’s Steakhouse – 1 Lombard Pl.
Happy hour menu from 3 – 6PM includes appetizers (jumbo prawns, onion rings, meatballs, fresh oysters) from $2.50 – $4, and drink specials including Sleeman’s Honey Brown Lager, Hy’s select red and white wine, Ceasars and champagne cocktails for $5.

Boston Pizza cityplace – 333 St. Mary Ave.
Drop by for happy hour between 3 – 6PM everyday and a free bus ride to the first 48 customers who are off to the game (with purchase of a meal), and a bunch of great contests and giveaways throughout the games!

Totally Confused Café – 2nd floor, 294 Portage Ave.
Get a free can drink or coffee or 30% off a smoothie with the purchase of any sandwich.

The Fyxx – 310 Broadway
Stop in for 10% off your purchase!

Carbone Coal Fired Pizza – 260 St. Mary Ave.
My personal fave – drink your way to free pizza! Any amount you spend on draft beer during happy hour gets taken off your pizza bill. Challenge accepted.

Waves Restaurant & Lounge – 330 Kennedy St.
Have you tried this Indian buffet? It’s all the curries you’ve ever dreamed of. Lunch buffet is offered Monday-Friday, 11AM – 3PM, and dinner is offered Monday – Saturday from 5PM – 9PM. Both are $12.99 and include naan bread and fountain drinks.

 

Air Canada contest details available here.

 

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And don’t for get to make use of the Free-fa Downtown Circulator!

On FIFA game nights in Winnipeg, hop on the Free-Fa (for free) and hop off close to downtown hotspots.

More info here.

 

 

 

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