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A stroll for photographers (and aspiring photographers, architecture lovers…)

August 26, 2014
New date (due to rain, boo) September 7th!

New date (due to rain, boo) September 7th!

The third annual Don’s Photo Walk got rained out last weekend, but it’s still on! New date – September 7!

It’s no big secret (partly thanks to Instagram) that Winnipeg’s downtown is filled with some amazing architecture . Modern buildings, modernist buildings, turn-of-the-century landmarks…they all get captured every day on camera phones and look amazing.

In a couple of weeks, Don’s Photo has your chance to step it up and see what those photos look like when you graduate from a camera phone! They’re inviting any Winnipeggers that’s interested to bring their camera – whether it’s a point and shoot, that DSLR you bought but need practice with (although hey, experts also welcome!)  – and take a guided tour of downtown capturing photos along the way.

They’ve also got their first theme this year – and it’s COLOUR! I’ve taken a sneak peek at the route, and there are colourful buildings, parkades, murals, gardens, and more to make for a bright finish to the summer.

More details:

  • Admission is totally free, just bring your own camera.
  • Participants please meet at the Don’s Photo location at 410 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg MB for 12:00pm
  • Dress for the weather and don’t forget to put on a comfortable pair of walking shoes!
  • Facebook event is here – RSVP to make sure you get updates in case rain happens again :/

A Wicked Night Downtown

August 14, 2014

Wicked anniversary logo smaller BORDER 2PX (2)The last time Wicked was in town was in 2011 – and we all packed the concert hall to see Elphaba & Glinda sings their lungs out!

So I’m super jazzed to be offering another chance for you to have a Wicked Night Downtown for their big return next week!

The show:

So much happened before Dorothy dropped in.

Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the land of Oz. One – born with emerald green skin – is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for “the most complete – and completely satisfying – musical in a long time” (USA Today).

 

The prize:

Tickets to opening night? Of course! But to have an night out, you’re going to need a bit more. A fancy dinner would hit the spot, right? So I’m going to set you up with dinner at the Fairmont’s Velvet Glove. And that’s an extra-big deal right now – because they’ve just hired a new Executive Chef!  Eraj Jayawickreme is coming to us from Toronto after working with Hilton, holds his Red Seal and is currently working towards Chef De Cuisine. If you’re the lucky winner, you not only get to be among the first Winnipeggers to taste his fab food, you get to meet and greet with Eraj!

 

To enter, tell me the comments below: Elphaba is also known as the Wicked Witch of the ______.

Winner will be drawn August 19th!

 

If you want to purchase your own tickets, the show is on from August 20 – 30 at the Centennial Concert Hall, and you can buy them on the Broadway Across Canada website here!

I’m going back to biking

July 29, 2014

http://bikewinnipeg.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Broadway_Art_Bike_Rack-640x425.jpg

I used to cycle every day to work, and then when we had a rainy spring, I started to slack a bit. I mean a lot. I got a stack of bus tickets and spent my commute in the cozy confines of the bus with my phone on playing Candy Crush, or even driving to work some days. But now that’s it’s gorgeously sunny out again, I really don’t have any excuse…and then two things happened the other day to get me off my couch.

One, I got to chatting with the super-fit @MsBehavior and @lindsayhamel on twitter about starting up a bike commuter school for people who want to try cycling downtown. (FYI, those two can get you excited about ANYTHING fitness related!) And two, someone sent me this video.

They reminded me of just how freeing commuting on a bike here can be. No, the bike lanes in Winnipeg aren’t perfect yet, and I make sure to wear a helmet – BUT I can change my plans or my route at the drop of a hat, and that’s pretty liberating. Answered one more email and stayed at the office too late? No worries, my bike didn’t leave without me, and I don’t have to refill the parking on the bike rack. York closed because of the RBC Convention Centre construction? Hop off my bike on the corner and walk along the sidewalk – maybe 30 seconds lost. Want to make a TGIF stop with a friend? Easy to make a detour. So as of yesterday, I’m back to biking.

Any fellow cycling commuters out there? Why do you ride to work? (or home, or out for fun?) And if you haven’t tried it yet, would you come out to bike commuter school?

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?

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