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Discovery of the Day: The Vinyl Vault

July 24, 2014

Just when I think I’ve explored all the hidden gems around me, I find a new one. Yesterday I discovered the Vinyl Vault for the first time, and I can’t believe I’ve never been there before. It turns out that the basement of the Power Building at 428 Portage holds the city’s largest used record collection – and the Vinyl Vault sale is your chance to rummage through it!

It’s run by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, but the music spans all genres. I saw rock, jazz, country, Broadway, even kids’ music there – and all the records are priced at $2!

To find the Vault, you go to 428 Portage – a very ordinary-looking office building across from Portage Place -  and you’ll see a little stand-up sign outside advertising it. Go in and take the elevator down to the basement, and as soon as it opens you’ll see a rack of records and a table where a lovely gentleman will take your payment when you’re done. But where you really want to go is to the right just past his table. That’s the Vault – walls of floor-to-ceiling records carefully sorted by genre for your browsing pleasure! If you’re a vinyl fan, it’s way too easy to lose track of time – I spent most of my lunch hour there before I even realized it.

The Vault only opens once a month – it’s open right now 10 – 3 and will be again tomorrow, and then it shuts down again until September. Dates for the rest of the year/next year are: September 27, October 25, November 29, January 31, February 28, March 28, April 25, May 30, June 27

Happy hunting!

 

Downtown is getting a drive in!!!

July 23, 2014

I love the movies in Memorial Park – but this is a whole extra layer of cool to add to a free movie downtown.

Obviously, this is not the actual drive-in. Ours will have tall buildings around it. And also colour.

Obviously, this is not the actual drive-in. Ours will have tall buildings around it. And also colour.

The big, boring surface parking lot behind the MTS Centre – and in the middle of SHED – is going to become an urban drive-in for 4 Saturdays next month, where you can drive, bus, bike, or walk in. Until it becomes the So/Po Square development that’s planned, THAT’S a use for a surface lot I can get on board with.

The movie lineup looks pretty sweet too – the theme is movies with great villains.

  • August 9 – The Dark Knight Rises (Heath Ledger as the Joker = amazing)
  • August 16 – Zoolander (with Will Ferrell as Mugatu)
  • August 23 – The Avengers (Tom Hiddleston as Loki….might be my fave villain of the past few years)
  • August 30 - Either The Matrix (Agent Smith) or Terminator 2: Judgment Day (the crazy-melting-metal guy) – you get to vote!

 

Other important details:

Movies start at sundown, the parking lot opens at 7:30PM.

If you want to vote or book a spot for your car (which is HIGHLY recommended) – go to shedwinnipeg.com or downtownwinnipegbiz.com . Walking/biking/taking the bus/unicycling in is all free (just bring your own chair) and it’s $10 per car to reserve a spot.

If you want free movies in the park, there’s also more info on this year’s Movies on Memorial lineup at downtownwinnipegbiz.com

The Urban Bakery version 3.0* – they’ve got a new location!

July 21, 2014

The Urban Bakery might be the only shop in Winnipeg that’s put their front entrance in the back alley.

The Urban Bakery (aka TUB) is a streetwear clothing boutique – brands include Raised By Wolves, Publish, and Stussy – that’s had a location right on Portage Avenue for almost 10 years. But last February when their lease was up, they decided to pack up shop and move around the corner to Graham, and they did an amazing job renovating their new shop!

First, the entrance: There’s a small entrance on Graham too, but the big storefront leads off the back alley behind them – it’s an idea that they came across in Gastown in Vancouver and decided to try out here! Apparently they’ve been getting lots of traffic and compliments on it too – maybe it’ll inspire some other creative entryways downtown!

Inside, their front counter is a stunning slab of wood they’ve suspended from the ceiling in a seriously impressive DIY project. There’s great clothing, hats, and accessories to pick from – including some great tank tops I’ve got my eye on after this weekend’s crazy heat – but to me, the real showpiece is the shoe wall. Floor-to-ceiling wood, with rows and rows of covet-worthy shoes.

If you want to see more of them, check them out on instagram here or go see them in person!

(FYI – two of the owners of TUB also own Union Sound Hall – so you can sometimes buy tickets for shows there as well!)

*Correction thanks to @EricaGlasier – this used to say 2.0, but apparently this is actually the 3rd location for Urban Bakery! They were on Graham first, THEN they moved to Portage, now back to Graham. It’s the ciiiiiiiiircle of liiiiiiiiife…..

 

403 Graham Avenue

Mon, Tues, Wed 11 – 7pm
Th & Fri 11 – 9pm
Sat 11 – 7pm
Sun 12 – 5pm

I’m going to the ball!

July 8, 2014

I’m so giddy I’m practically giggling – I’ve got an invite to an ACTUAL BALL.

For the next few months, I’m going to be the official blog correspondent for the Gallery Ball 2014. The Ball supports one of my very favourite places – and pieces of architecture – downtown, the WAG. They’re raising money so that kids have access to their youth outreach and education programs. So watch out here from now till October for special Gallery Ball posts – I’m going to have sneak previews and info on all their plans! Food, decor, outfits, you name it.

It’s going to take me a while to process that I’m going to this event – but there’s one very important question I have to settle first.

What on earth am I going to wear?

The Future of the Forks

July 8, 2014

I can’t really wrap my head around it, but not so very long ago, this was the Forks. Winnipeg only started redeveloping it in 1989(!)

Hard to imagine, right? It’s such an iconic piece of our city now, that when I think of it, all I see is this:

With one exception – the massive gravel parking lots, aka Parcel 4 and the Railside area. I know that they get filled up sometimes, when Canada Day and New Year’s Eve rolls around. But realistically, most of the time they’re a big fat eyesore next door to the best public space in the whole country. Kind of a shame. And finally, that looks like it might change! After the waterpark got a thumbs-down, The Forks has been leading a planning process to figure out what should go there, and a few days ago they revealed their preliminary concepts. Here’s what this parking lot could change into in a few short years….drumroll….

The whole area is beautifully green looking, but filled with projects designed to make sure it’s appealing & full of people. That includes high-rise residential, main floors that will encourage pedestrians like places to get food, retail shops, galleries, artisan or cultural spaces. There’s a terraced park and an urban plaza for the public. There will be an area reserved for a future cultural or community space, and in one of my favourite details, land will be reserved for public art. (and yes, there are going to be a couple of parkades)

It’s not 100% yet, but it looks like this plan has a lot of support. It got the thumbs-up from a civic committee yesterday, and personally, I’m pulling for it (that’s got to count for something, right?) You can check out more of the concepts at the their website here. It’s SUCH a dramatic change that it’s hard to even wrap your head around how quickly this could happen – but then again, if I’d seen the picture of the Forks in the 80′s, I don’t think I could have imagined what it would be today.

So tell me – what do you think of the plan for The Forks?

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

July 2, 2014

Flower crowns. Waterfall. Gardens. Custom teacups with custom cocktails inside. This is an awesome level of commitment to a party theme.

The theme is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the party is the first-ever fundraiser for local ladies’ leadership group Athena, who’s raising money for a scholarship fund. They’re planning to transform Manitoba Hydro Place gallery with its waterfall and the plaza with its gardens into a summer fairytale space.

Athena_MSND_Fundraiser_version2

Although I love doing things for good causes alone, it’s a nice  bonus when you get to attend a fabulous party to do it, no? Tickets are $30, and you can buy them on their website here!

For more of what to expect (including pics of the custom teacups!) they’ve got a facebook page here

 

 

The gods of Olympus are coming to the WAG

June 20, 2014
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I thought the Winnipeg Art Gallery had hit an incredible high point with 100 Masters last year. But they’re not coasting on that. Not at all.

As if bringing Salvador Dali works in this year wasn’t enough, they’re bringing in a huge new exhibit starting in April of next year. Olympus: The Greco-Roman Collections of Berlin.

More than 160 pieces of classical art are taking a special flight from Berlin so they can spend time with us here in Winnipeg. Marble and bronze statues, terra cotta vases, works of art that are 2,000 years old – pieces like this:

If you were ever a mythology buff, this is a must-see. You’ll have lots of time to check it out too – the exhibit is opening next year in April, and will run for a whole 10 months! More info about the exhibit – including some more gorgeous pics of the art that will be part of it – is here at wag.ca

Also – huge credit to the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers who were at the big announcement yesterday. They covered themselves totally in white paint to become living statues!

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