The Santa Claus parade is this Saturday, Nov. 15! It’s a tradition and it’s become one of my favourite events of the year because so many families come downtown and it brings lights and joy and excitement for the holiday season!
Speaking of excitement, I heard this year fireworks and pyrotechnics with be happening along the parade route instead of afterwards at The Forks – so plan accordingly!
And I know it’s getting really chilly outside – I even saw a few flurries of snow over the weekend…so in order to make one family’s Santa Claus parade experience a little warmer and a little brighter, I thought I’d give away some VIP seats and all kinds of treats, with help from my friends at Portage Place!
I want to hear about your favourite downtown holiday activity – so comment below, and you and your family will be entered to win my VIP Santa Claus experience!
You have the next few days to let me know. The contest closes at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14 and the winner will be announced shortly after.
Pre-parade activities get underway at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15. Parade begins at 5 p.m. For more info visit winnipegsantaparade.com
I was walking down Portage Avenue this morning and I saw some people in some really wacky outfits - capes , fur, wigs in every colour…
I wondered what was going on, and then I remembered.
And I don’t even have a costume! But it’s not too late. I’ll just leave it in the hands of the extremely capable staff at Harlequin Costume & Dance. They have a huge selection of dance shoes, bodysuits and accessories, but more than that they have excellent, authentic costumes for rent and pieces for purchase.
I’m going to head there (375 Hargrave St.) right after work and see what I can find, and I might just see if Shoe Net (420 Portage Ave.) has any great shoes or accessories to make my outfit that much better.
And since I’ll be all dressed up downtown, I think I’ll see what’s going on at the RBC Convention Centre for Central Canada Comic Con – it’s happening tonight – October 21 – November 2!
The WAG Gallery Ball is only one day away and I’ve just finalized my outfit – cutting it close, I know!
Thanks for helping me decide on my dress – I love it! But this is a black-tie affair and accessories are a must.
So I just got back from the WAG’s Gallery Shop and wow, have they got a great selection of jewelry! I love that so many of their pieces are created by local and Canadian artists.
The people at the Gallery Shop were a big help. I brought along some pictures of my dress and together we came up with some wonderful possibilities.
In the end, this is what I chose:
I just couldn’t wait till tomorrow for the big reveal – I’m too excited!
And the WAG Gallery shop sells wonderful items along with jewelry too! Beautiful pottery, glass, wall art, Inuit art, books and gift ideas – and we all know the holiday gift-giving season is coming!
Check out the shop inside the WAG, 300 Memorial Blvd.:
Tuesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Can I let you in on a little secret? Want to know one of my favorite parts about the Gallery Ball? Well outside of all the wonderful glitz and glamour of the evening (and not to mention the fact that we’re supporting kids programming at the WAG!) the Gallery Ball is home to Winnipeg’s most FABULOUS auction.
You like fashion? Well look no further than the Gravely Garment bag from Candie & Dolls or the men’s Tonino Lamborghini Watch from Peter Pauls Autobroker, power watches don’t come any more epic than this.
Maybe you’re looking for a little vacay instead? I know I’ve been eyeing up both the seven night all-inclusive Sunwing Airlines getaway for two to Royal Hicacos in Varadero, Cuba and the ultra-chic Art & Architecture Excursion to the City of Angels, Los Angeles.
And the art, oh my, we can’t forget about all of the absolutely incredible one-of-a-kind art that we’ll have up for auction! I am absolutely in love with these pieces from Megan Vun Wong and Marcel Dzama!
Ladies and Gents, these are literally just a tiny sampling of the beautiful items that we have up for auction at the upcoming Gallery Ball! Click the below link to check out the rest of the items that we’ll have up for auction, you’ll be glad you did. Gallery Ball 2014 Auction
Now that I’ve picked out my dress, I’ve just got to decide what to bid on! See you at the Ball!
The Velvet Glove. Even the name sounds fancy – and maybe a bit traditional and old-school, right?
That’s what makes what’s going on in there right now so interesting – there’s change. Potentially big change! And based on what I tasted the other night, I like it.
I was lucky enough to be one of the first Winnipeggers to taste the creations of a chef that’s just come to town – Eraj. He’s the new master of the Velvet Glove’s kitchen, just moved here from the Hilton’s restaurant in Toronto. And his first order of business was to reinvent the menu. Top to bottom, breakfast, lunch and dinner – nothing’s escaping his review. (if you love it and you’re hyperventilating, relax – favourites will still have a home, although they may get a fresh twist)
They’ve done some reinventing outside of the kitchen as well – if you’ve been to the Velvet Glove before, the first difference you’ll notice is that it feels lighter, brighter, and airier. They’ve kept the warm wood panels around the room, but have swapped out the chairs for waaaay more modern low armchairs in pale fabrics and upholstered the booths in creamy white leather.
We started with an amuse bouche served on a granite slab, of pickled eggplant, artichoke, and bites of crisp little spheres with piping hot mushroom and cheese inside.
Eraj called the next course a bit of ‘Manitoba on a plate’ – a fresh take on salad, arranged like a constellation there were heirloom tomatoes, asparagus seared with a blowtorch, puffed grains to add some crunch, and addictive little dots of goat cheese mousse. Before eating it, it was bathed in a basil cucumber water – it almost turned my salad into a fun little soup!
To get our palates fresh and ready for more tasting, there was something Eraj introduced what he called ‘bubble tea from grown-ups’ – little beads of ‘caviar’ made from cassis with lemon with pinot grigio poured over it and
A much more solid and traditional entree – ribeye so tender I didn’t need a steak knife for it, with a sweet lavender honey sauce, smoked butter and truffle oil with mixed veggies and potatoes.
When dessert came out, he asked us to listen to it – as weird as it felt, we put our ears up to our dishes and heard the snap and crackle of maybe the last thing I expected to find at the Velvet Glove – pop rocks! They were crushed and sprinkled over a dish that was a play on peanut butter and jelly – a flourless chocolate brownie with peanut butter sauce, blueberry confit and drunken cherries. It was so rich I almost had trouble finishing it – but somehow managed to make it through. The things I do for material. :)
There are a lot of new things planned for the restaurant – when he sat down with us after the meal, you could tell Eraj was excited about the possibilities – he was already talking pop-up dining, reinventing old favourite for the menu, starting a fantastic brunch, and maybe even changing the name!
I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!
So Manyfest – and Food Truck Wars! – start tomorrow! I’ve been doing my advance research and looked at the trucks lined up for tomorrow – it starts at 11AM, so that’s my lunch plan made – and I’ve realized I need to stop eating from now until I get there tomorrow, because I’m going to need the extra stomach room. There are a mind-boggling 25 food trucks setting up on Memorial Blvd to participate this year. I didn’t actually realize we HAD that many in the city – that’s more than twice as many as last year! It got so popular last year the lineups got crazy massive – so doubling the trucks should speed it up a whole lot! (plus it looks like you don’t need tickets this year – just walk up and pay at the truck)
Returning from last year for a second shot at the title:
- Barbie & Gabi’s Specialteez
- BBK Barbecue
- Habanero Sombrero
- Healthy Eats
- Lovey’s BBQ & Smokehouse
- The Poutine King
- Vilai’s Spice Box (winner of Judges’ Choice: Best Presentation)
- Stuff It Foods (Winner of the coveted People’s Choice!)
- Tot Wheels
- Pimp My Rice (winner of Judges’ Choice: Best Bang for your Buck)
And below – 15 trucks that are ALL new to Food Truck Wars this year! Some of these are old faves around the city – hello, Red Ember and your epic wood-fired pizza – and some I’ve never tried before! Up South BBQ, which I’m assuming is southern food? Waki Temaki, a sushi food truck – awesome and MAYBE a little crazy-sounding, but in a good way. And Simba Safari Grill…I’ve definitely never tried an African food truck before!
Behold the full list of newcomers that will be at Food Truck Wars starting tomorrow at 11:
- A Little Pizza Heaven
- Burgers R’ Us
- Falafel Queen
- Fired Up
- Grass Fed Grill
- Iggy’s Family Doener
- The Red Ember
- Simba Safari Grill
- Up South BBQ
- Island Fusion
- Little Bones
- Waki Temaki
- The Roadrunner Grill
- The Walleye Wagon
Graham’s a street that sometimes gets overlooked – it’s not as prominent as Portage, not as big and full of food trucks as Broadway, and because a lot of it is designed for transit and bikes, not that many of us drive down it every day. But over the last little while, I’ve seen it changing piece by piece around Kennedy – and it’s gradually transforming into one of my favourite little blocks downtown! If you’ve never explored it, go check it out on your lunch hour – it’s worth checking out these spots that are new to the block.
Seeing the downtown grow doesn’t always mean massive exciting skyscrapers – although I love seeing those go up too! It’s the building of these little intimate neighbourhoods too, places that draw people to walk around that make the sidewalks fill up with people, and I think their successes are worth celebrating.
There are murals tucked in between the buildings, including a cute mural tucked away beside Second Cup with adorable helicopter bees (I really don’t know what else to call them). It’s also the street when the incomparable Kal Barteski installed her Love Every Body interactive artwork – I went down to take a selfie, and you should too!
There’s an amazing farmers market:
The Downtown Farmers’ Market started here last year. The plaza behind Manitoba Hydro Places is already a great place to sit for lunch when it’s sunny, but when the Thursday market comes out, it’s packed with people like looking for an excuse to leave the office for lunch and buy fresh-baked cookies!
Constantly changing menus at Sana SoupHouse:
They’ve been there less than a year and already I’m not sure what I’d do without their soup of the day list when it’s a rainy day and I need a cozy lunch. Plus, how many places in the city actually have soups like Chilled Strawberry, West African Peanut, and Pumpkin Apple Spice?
Rare finds at Bison Books:
This used & rare book shop relocated here a few years ago, and I never get tired of visiting it to see what literary oddities they’ve dug up. My favourite recent find, courtesy of their Facebook page: Elvis’ Favourite Recipes.
A new shop has popped up:
Pop-up events and pop-ups shops are all over the downtown this year, and I can’t get enough of it! The latest – Chook, at the corner of Graham & Vaughn, which has clothing, skateboards, and comes complete with a skateboard ramp inside! It wasn’t open when I was there, so I shamelessly peered in the windows to take pics.
The Urban Bakery is back home on Graham:
After nearly 10 years on Portage Ave, the Urban Bakery renovated a space on Graham and added a ton of creative touches, from a shoe wall to a handcrafted wood slab checkout counter, to an entrance that leads off the back alley!
It’s coffee heaven:
Alright, these aren’t new, but they’re essential! There are no fewer than 3 coffee places within this block: Starbucks, Second Cup, and the independent coffee house Twist Cafe. Second best of all, they all come with patio areas to sit and sip in the sun. Best of all – the Second Cup names their plants.