Free Downtown Entertainment This Summer

While the whiteout parties are behind us, there’s no shortage of excuses to head downtown in droves for free entertainment this summer.

Tune in

Throughout June and July, every Thursday comes alive with members of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) serenading people in the streets through their lunch hours.

Edmonton Street (between Graham Avenue and Portage Avenue) will see duets or solo acts from the WSO perform each week. Concert pianists, violinists, horn players and vocalists will carry tunes throughout the noon hour.

On Tuesdays, Cityplace draws its own crowd for a lunchtime concert series out on its second-floor terrace off the food court. Catch live Manitoban acts throughout the summer months until August’s end.

Not to be outdone, Portage Place stages its own Indigenous Concert Series on the last Fridays of June, July and August.

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Sweat it out

If it’s a workout you’d rather fit in, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Fitness in the Park is kicking off another summer jam-packed with opportunities to work up a sweat.

Every Monday to Friday, from now until August’s end, green spaces throughout the downtown will host free fitness classes suited to all types of participants.

Memorial Park, Millennium Library Park and Upper Fort Garry will see Pilates enthusiasts, Zumba lovers, boot camp devotees and yogis unite for a free sweat.

The rotating roster at each location helps you mix up your routine if you’d like to attend multiple classes – visit Millennium Library Park for yoga on Mondays and Fridays, Memorial Park for Zumba on Mondays and Fridays, Millennium Library Park for Zumba on Wednesdays and Pilates on Thursdays, and Upper Fort Garry for boot camp Tuesdays and Thursdays.

(Dates are weather permitting – be sure check the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ social media channels @downtownwpgbiz to be notified in case of any changes!)

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Shop ‘til you drop

Finally, shopping for fresh produce during your workday is made easier through the popular Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Farmers’ Market, serving up fresh local fruits and veggies, baked goods, preserves, meats and cheese, crafts and many other handmade gems looking for a home.

Everything from locally made bitters and spirits, gluten-free perogies and fresh lemonade can be squeezed out of this hyperlocal festivity. Located behind Manitoba Hydro Place and along Edmonton Street, the market is always received with much fanfare (not unlike our beloved Jets making playoffs). Find the Market running 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday from June through September.

Stay tuned for more on special Night Markets (new this year) to take place the last Friday of each month this summer from 4 to 11 p.m. outside Manitoba Hydro Place.

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For more information on upcoming downtown summer events, visit downtownwinnipegbiz.com/events.

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UnCommon Pours V02 | Presented by The Common at The Forks Market

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“Eat what you like and drink what you like and you will be happy.” – Veronique Rivest. These words rang especially true through the Commons yesterday. Everyone who came to enjoy the Common’s new summer wine list was especially impressed with the presentation and experience.

We were first served Vaporetto Prosecco from Italy which was a simple and pleasing wine, but it had more depth than the average, with hints of citrus, apple, and floral elements.  This wine was served with delicious Provenzal Fries provided by Empanadas & Co. by Simon’s cuisine.

Next, we were served a Jamaican Beef Patty provided by Bindy’s Carribean Delight with False Bay Rose from South Africa. Veronique explained that this wine paired well with fried or saltier foods, which was definitely the case. The wine broke up the thickness of the Beef Patty, and was more refreshing than tangy.

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Just when I thought my taste buds could not get any happier, they brought out the Tomato Citrus Salad from corto. Fresh tomatoes served with cream cheese and lots of flavour tasted exquisite, especially when combined with the Yealands Sauvignon Blanc wine from New Zealand.

Lastly, we were able to try a lovely Cabernet Sauvignon originating from Chile. Paired with a Blueberry Yum Yum mini burger from Nuburger. The Cabernet Sauvignon gave off hints of black cherries along with earthiness going well with blueberry jam and thick cream cheese presented in the burger. A rich taste was definitely required!

Veronique’s approach was very kind and laid back, but the event at the Forks was lavish. Her taste towards wine was casual and delightful! Her choices in the win that we drank at The Common reflected that. I encourage you to join the next Uncommon Pours Tour!

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Timon’s UP!

Today’s Guest Blog is from Michelle Boulet, Director of Timon of Athens, and the Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Ruins.

Shakespeare in the Ruins is celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year, and while the venue for their plays is the Trappist Monastery Provincial Heritage Park, their administrative office are in Portage Place (along with our mutual friends, Prairie Theatre Exchange)

At Shakespeare in the Ruins (SIR) we believe that the immutable truths of our shared humanity revealed through Shakespeare’s writing remain relevant and transformative to today’s audience.  We seek to pair the questions and problems raised by Shakespeare’s work with the compelling questions being asked in our culture today.  We consciously illuminate our times through the magnifying and magnificent lens of Shakespeare’s art.

In 2015, our mainstage spring production was Antony & Cleopatra.  We set this timeless loves story against the backdrop of pre-confederation Manitoba.  We could not have found a better vehicle to generate dialogue about Indigenous issues.  Here, the effects of colonialism are still felt on a day to day basis.  The show resonated powerfully.

Jump ahead to the spring of 2016 and we produced Richard III featuring SIR Artistic Associate Debbie Patterson in the title role. We knew SIR stood poised to make history by casting a woman with impaired mobility due to multiple sclerosis as Richard III.  And indeed, we received international press.   But it was Deb’s artistic journey and the joy of embracing inclusivity that made the mounting of this production so memorable.

Which bring us to 2018, SIR’s 25th Anniversary and to Timon of Athens.   One of Shakespeare’s least known works, the compelling tale of a wealthy man whose privilege prevented him from learning the true value of money. Despite dire warnings he is unable to see which of his friends are false.  This underrated drama is seldom produced.  But it is perfect for us, being a timely exploration of elite privilege and the hard fall that follows the loss of public stature.  Do you think a play about personal judgement and power might have something to say to us in 2018?

In a year which saw the toppling of many a male public figure and the surge of the female voice, we have opted to tell the story using an all-female cast.

And what do we hope to achieve?  Well for all of the young people who will see the show, we hope that for the girls they see themselves reflected on stage.  And the boys we hope we are on the cusp of a world that will never be the same.  Not just changed, but changed utterly….made better.   For in making more space for women, and for those whose voices are marginalized, that is the path to a better world.

The outdoor performances will be set in the early 1980’s, a time when the art scene was gaudy, colorful, and rife with controversy. The show will feature live music and more than a casual nod to that exhilarating period where the rich blindly gave money to artists, “high”art and “street” art were in fierce competition and feminism often took the form of women adopting an androgynous, boyish form.

While the title isn’t Shakespeare’s best known work, an SIR supporter recently quipped, “I’m so excited for this one. It’s Beckett before Beckett was Beckett.”

 

Michelle Boulet

Director of Timon of Athens | Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Ruins

 

Timon of Athens runs May 30-June 23, 2018 at the Trappist Monastery Provincial Heritage Park.

Call 204-942-5483 for tickets or visit www.shakespeareintheruins.com

The Family Mental Wellness Festival – Saturday, May 19, 2018

Guest blog post by: Angela Taylor of Inspire Community Outreach Inc.

The Family Mental Wellness Festival (#FMWFestival)has been dreaming up big things to help celebrate Winnipeg’s diverse and amazing community.

For those of you who are not from Winnipeg and surrounding area or even those hiding from all things festival, the #FMWFestival could be one of the most anticipated FREE events of the year!

More than just the usual food and entertainment, #FMWFestival features a Mental Health Resource Fair, where local charities participate at no cost, to celebrate their work. There’s also an outdoor market with nearly 50 vendors, where we’ll be selling our recently published book, All Kinds of Minds. Profits made from sales are sending free books all through Canada.

There’s a wide variety of entertainment, from performances by Big Daddy Tazz, renowned hoop dancer, Shanley Spence, Winnipeg Youth Chorus, Zumba, Yoga, Exhale dance studio, and Sweet Alibi.

Our partners Aulneau Renewal Centre and Canadian Mental Health Association of MB, are supporting the celebration along with Tiny Treehugger by their sponsorship of the Tot Tent. Shea Tree will have a Wellness Oasis for rest and relaxation.

There’s also a Workboots safety tent, Brio Insurance and Sunova Credit Union sponsored Art Tent with Kindness Rocks to hide and seek all day and the Macaroni Winnipeg East craft area.  We will also have Heather’s Pretty Parties with face painting and princesses, Costume Alliance superheroes and movie characters, a Magician, Balloon animals, Therapy dogs, and Dance Party fundraiser with DJ Wanda.

Food trucks: Poutine King, Deeks Dog House, GG’s Gelati.

Register to WIN one of nearly 300 prizes by clicking here: https://goo.gl/forms/kvITuPAEZF9ht4mm1

All money raised supports youth and families with unique challenges like ADHD, anxiety and neurological and trauma related differences.

The Family Mental Wellness Festival is sure not to disappoint!

Learn more about Inspire Community Outreach at www.Inspirecommunityoutreach.ca or reach us at info@inspirecommunityoutreach.ca

The Family Mental Wellness Festival runs from 11am to 6pm on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at The Forks.

6 Ways to Not Let Spring Break Slip By

Nothing says spring better than school being out! And when there’s reason to celebrate, downtown shows up.

Just in time for Spring Break, plenty of arts and community organizations (the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ included!) are ramping up their programming to welcome parents and their children during their time off.

Here are just a few of the amazing offerings for parents and kids alike.

Spring Break Art Camp at The WAG (300 Memorial Boulevard)

From Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., kids can take in a full day of camp with various art themes, play games, and of course, see the incredible art on display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

While Monday’s clay day is sold out, Tuesday is open for kids to try their hand with a paint brush; Wednesday will welcome students on break to design their own super hero; and on Thursday, kids will discover the uses for unconventional materials in their masterpieces.

Visit here for more information on the WAG’s art camp.

Tetris, Manitoba Theatre for Young People (2 Forks Market Road)

Why not take this opportunity to introduce your kids to a live theatre experience, if you haven’t already? Watch as these flexible performers weave together in unexpected ways, and treat your kids to a full sensory experience for their first play. The show runs about 45 minutes, and is ideal for ages 5 to 12. Visit the MTYP’s box office page for showtimes and to buy tickets.

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Video Games Live, Centennial Concert Hall (555 Main St.)

Just when you thought you’d never get your kid to sit still for a symphony, the Video Games Live show immerses the audience in a gaming-like experience, with dazzling video on screen, live action, lighting and special effects. This interactive multimedia experience showcases music from some of the most popular video games of all time, created and produced by veteran video game composer Tommy Tallarico. A treat for symphony lovers and gamers alike!

Video Games Live plays Monday, March 26. Visit the Centennial Concert Hall’s page for tickets and more info.

A Dog’s Purpose, The Globe Theatre in Portage Place (393 Portage Avenue, 3rd Floor)

Brought to you by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, this free event invites you to take in a family-favourite in this downtown relic.

Opening its doors at 5 p.m. for the special event, make sure to scoop up treats from your favourite Portage Place vendors before showtime. Plus, it pays to come early, as the first 100 people will also receive a special loot bag!

Showtime starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28. Click here to see all event details.

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Along with regular programming and activities, the Children’s Museum and Manitoba Museum kick into another gear for Spring Break.

Help to build a life-size cardboard castle at the Children’s Museum, or hunt for all things small during the Manitoba Museum’s Science of the Small-themed scavenger hunt.

Have an amazing Spring Break!

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Four Ways to Test Your Luck of the Irish This Weekend

There has to be a reason for all this early snow melt – it must be the luck of the Irish!

With St. Patrick’s Day on its way with warmer weather, this weekend is shaping up for some seriously shamrock-infused good times.

Downtown never disappoints in the Guinness or whiskey department, and this St. Patrick’s Day is no exception, with special events happening all throughout my favourite neighbourhood.

  1. The People’s St. Paddy’s Fun Run-Walk (The Forks Freight House, 1 Forks Market Rd)

If you haven’t already signed up for a 5-km or 5-mile run, head to The Forks early to cheer on the individuals, couples and family teams participating in the St. Patrick’s Day Running Room race.

Most noteworthy are the extravagant green costumes donned by runners, and the good-natured vibe of the race where prizes are simply awarded for the best costumes and highest volume of donations.

After the race, grab breakfast at the Original Pancake House or Danny’s All Day Breakfast while you wait for it to be appropriate to grab a pint at The Common (or until it opens at 11:30!).

  1. Shannon’s Irish Pub & Eatery (175 Carlton St.)

Heading to the “Official House of Jameson on the Prairies” on St. Patrick’s Day just feels right. Here, you’ll find the most time-honoured St. Patrick’s Day entertainment featuring traditional dancers, live music, plenty of pub fare (including fish and chips on special!), frosty pints of Guinness, and of course, Irish whiskey.

  1. Patrick’s Day Beer Bash & Dance Party, Club 200 (190 Garry St)

For a raucous evening, stay out into the wee hours at Club 200’s dance party hosted by Anita Stallion with DJ Wizzard. You can usually count on the renowned LGBTTQ* club for a packed dance floor, but for St. Paddy’s Day, you can even expect cheap green beers for a fun-filled evening (on special for just $4!).

  1. Shark Club (2nd floor, 233 Hargrave St)

While it doesn’t land on game day, Shark Club is gearing up to do St. Patrick’s Day justice as though Laine was from the motherland (I mean, with that gingery beard, he nearly passes).

All the Irish classics are on special – from $4 Jameson shots to $5 pickleback shots – which are really just whiskey shots chased with pickle juice for those of us less practiced.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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10 Reasons to Hit Up the Winnipeg Tattoo Show this Weekend!

The Winnipeg Tattoo Show is this week!  Opening at 1pm on Friday, February 23rd and running through to 6pm on Sunday February 25th, there’s a jam-packed schedule of Tattoo and Tattoo-related awesomeness coming your way.

Here are my top 10 reasons to hit up the Winnipeg Tattoo Show this weekend!

1.  Watch Live Tattooing and Tattoo Competitions

This one’s a no-brainer – there is a great selection of the best of Winnipeg’s Tattoo Artists at the show this weekend!  You can check out their work beforehand and even book yourself in for a tattoo during the show, if the artist you choose has availability.

There are different Tattoo Competitions each day – Friday is Neo-Traditional and Horror, for example  – and there are daily Tattoo of the Day awards culminating in a Tattoo of the Show award on Sunday.

If you’re a fan of the show Ink Masters, there are four of the show’s stars at the show this weekend – Big Ceeze from Anaheim, California, Babiery from New York, NY, Erik Campbell from Grand Junction, Colorado and Jhon, also from New York, NY.  Even if you haven’t been able to book an appointment with your favourite Tattoo Artist, this is a pretty amazing way to see them work live!

2. Catch Some Great Live Music

There’s a great selection of local musical talent to take in during the show, in addition to tattoo artist talent. Friday evening sees local band “Lowdown and the Dirty Rotten” play two sets – the first from 5 to 6pm and the second from 9 to 9:45.  Describing their style as rebel country/hillbilly, they’re definitely a band you need to catch!

The other two bands to watch this weekend, The Honour  and The Paul Stanleys will be playing as a part of the F#ck Cancer Fundraiser (Reason #3, below!).

3. Have Fun and Support a Great Cause at the F#ck Cancer Fundraiser for CancerCare Manitoba

$15 will get you in to the F#ck Cancer fundraiser social, from 9pm Saturday evening to 2am Sunday morning, with all proceeds going to CancerCare Manitoba.  There will be live bands (The Honour and The Paul Stanleys, mentioned above), a silent auction, prizes, dancing, and what Manitoba social isn’t complete with the traditional late lunch!  Get your tickets online or at the CancerCare Manitoba Booth on Friday or Saturday.

4. Watch Burlesque Performers

Come and watch M Funk Dance Productions perform burlesque-inspired routines at 4:30pm on Saturday and at 1:30pm on Sunday.

5. Crush on a Drag Queen, at the Drag Queen Show

Experience the most fabulousness that the Prairie Provinces have to offer!  On both Friday (from 7-7:30pm) and Saturday (from 6 to 6:30pm) Jenny Talia (in photo above, from Regina, SK), Victoria Lush (Winnipeg), Lita Takeela (Winnipeg), Satina Loren (Winnipeg) and Tyra Boinks (Winnipeg) will strut their stuff and entertain audiences !

6. Cheer on the Pinups in the Very First Peg City Pinup Competition

Hosted by the lovely and delightful Evie Assault (pictured on the poster to the right) and happening throughout Friday and Saturday, follow Peg City Pinup Contestants as they compete in Formal Wear, Swimwear and at a Talent Show. They are all vying to win the title of the very first Ms. Peg City Pinup, with a fab prize package that includes photo shoots with Pinup Photographer, Dano Tanaka, outfits from the prettiest pinup boutique, The Foxy Shoppe, along with a sash and crown.  The winner will be announced between 5:15 and 5:45pm on Saturday evening.

7. Support the Great Vendors

There’s a vendor area showcasing pinup and lifestyle clothing, artwork including pin-striping and graffiti styles, baking, cosmetics, you name it really!  The list of vendors can be found here.

8. Come Play at Kids’ Corner

Bring the family – kids 12 and under are FREE!  There’s an entire section dedicated to kids where they can colour, get “tattooed” (temporary tattoos by The Sparkle Girls and The Wow Factor), and play games.  Everybody’s favourite magical sisters, Anna and Elsa, will be in attendance on Saturday, between 2 and 4pm.

9. Marvel at Local Performers

Local contortionist and antipodist (juggling using her feet!), Samantha Halas  will be performing throughout the weekend, as will Brett Hogan , who can do everything from fire-breathing to acrobatics!

10. Drool over the Motorcycles and Hotrods

I don’t know about you, but it just seems to me that tattoos and speed go together!  Walk through and oggle the hotrods and motorcycles area of the Winnipeg Tattoo Show.

The Winnipeg Tattoo Show starts at 1pm on Friday, February 23rd and runs through to 6pm on Sunday February 25th.

Until next time, friends and followers,

Valentine’s Day Ideas You Can Find Downtown

Love is always in the air downtown, it’s truly a romantic destination. You’ve got the obvious wins with amazing restaurants, luxurious hotels, world class spas and shopping that rivals anything you can find in any city.

I’m going to do you a favour and narrow it down a little with “Valentine’s Day ideas you can find downtown”.

Let’s start with entertainment.

  • Winnipeg Art Gallery has a “Maker” series class on. Create your own succulent garden. Go home with something cool that you created, and make a lasting memory. http://wag.ca/visit/events/diy/display,event/1059/makerlab-terrariums
  • Royal Winnipeg Ballet will be showcasing some of their up and coming talent and choreography. Be in the know on this world class dancing troupe. http://www.rwb.org/whats-on/show/firststeps
  • The Jets have home games on the 13th and the 16th. It’s not on the 14th, but if you are a sport loving couple, this is a pretty awesome answer.

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Food? We have got you covered downtown!

  • East India Company will never ever let you down. It’s delicious and a staple in the downtown of Winnipeg. Their buffet has butter chicken, nothing says love like butter chicken.
  • The Merchant Kitchen also can feed you right. They’ve got a fantastic menu, and if I may be so bold, try out their fried chicken, it is sure to light your passion.
  • Earl’s Main Street location doesn’t get enough love. They will consistently feed you well, give you some of the best wine on the market, and ensure you have a great start or end to your evening. Always a fan favourite.
  • Affinity Vegetarian Garden is always an amazing option. The food is absolutely delicious, and as the name suggests, vegetarian friendly. This is one of those can’t miss restaurants that sets Winnipeg apart.

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If you want a simple night of dinner and an activity, we have got you covered. Of course, there is the next level of romance and that’s a staycation. Yes, we have you covered there as well in downtown Winnipeg.

  • Fort Gary Hotel and Ten Spa are regularly offering amazing packages. Add to that a morning at Yoga Public and you could be on the path to a fantastic Valentine’s Day.
  • Inn At The Forks and Riverstone Spa pair together beautifully. You can spend the day at the Forks eating and shopping and then pass the evening away at the spa. If that doesn’t set up the most magical night, well, I don’t know what would.

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You really can’t go wrong downtown in Winnipeg. Of course, you can make at simple as a couple drinks at Brown’s Social House, The Pint, Rudy’s Eat and Drink or La Roca. Mix that with a walk at the Forks, and dinner at any one of the other amazing restaurants downtown and you’ve got the perfect night in the Peg. Love is always in the air, you just have to go see for yourself.

Did we mention the coffee shops? No, no we didn’t. We’ve got those as well.

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11 Fun Things to Experience at Rendez Vous On Ice!

Hého, my Downtown Winnipeg Friends!  It’s almost that time of year where we all embrace our francophone heritage, no matter how deeply hidden it may be!  If you’re wondering how Downtown Winnipeg celebrates Festival du Voyageur with our St. Boniface Neighbours, look no further than Rendez Vous on Ice!

Rendez Vous on Ice has been held for the past five years and is a licenced outdoor beer garden/trading post on the Red River Mutual Trail that takes place during the first four days of Festival du Voyageur.

Here are 11 fun things you can experience at Rendez Vous on Ice this year!

1. Food/Bevies

One of the top things that Winnipeg is known for, other than then our chilly winters, is our great foodie scene!  Rendez Vous on Ice has partnered with Evolve Specialty Catering to provide a great menu of Francophone faves!

They kick things off with Breakfast on Friday, February 16th from 7am to 10pm.  Grab a Breakfast Burrito or an Apple Butter Trail Tail on your skate commute to work, along with free hot chocolate!  On Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and Monday afternoons and evenings, enjoy traditional treats like Smoked Meat on Bannock, Poutine, Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins, Tourtiere, Pea Soup with Bannock, Mac N’ Cheese Bites or Baked Beans with Bannock.  There are also fun deserts like a S’mores Brownie in a Cup, Maple Taffy, Apple Butter Trail Tails and bevvies available too!  All food ranges in price from $4 to $8 – super reasonable, if you ask me!

2. Winter Sport Demos

If you’re like me and figure that if you can’t beat winter, you may as well enjoy it, Rendez Vous on Ice has a number of fun winter sport demos for you to try!  On the morning of Friday, February 16th, from 7am to 10pm, you’ll be able to try out Fat Biking, Snow Shoeing and even Cross Country Skiing!  I’ve heard that there’ll even be a Fat Tire Bike Loop Trail for people to try out!

3. Yoga

Looking for a little Zen after a hectic week? Look no further – at 7am and  5pm on Friday, you’ll be able to participate in Yoga on Ice with Ashley Bourgeois from Wild Path.

4. Rugby

If Zen really isn’t your thing and you need more of an adrenaline rush, pop in on Saturday from 12pm to 4pm, to watch the coldest rugby tournament on the planet and the only one of its kind to be played completely on frozen river ice!  Cheer on the Winnipeg Wasps Rugby Club Snow 7s while they play!

5. Ice Carving Demos

On Friday, February 16th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm there will be half hour Ice Carving Demos where you can watch master ice carvers demonstrating their skills on blocks of ice that have been harvested from the Red River.  The carvings will be on display all weekend, but this is your chance to see the chain saws and chisels in action!

6. Pride Parade and after Party

At 3:00pm on Saturday, grab your rainbow flags and lace up your skates to join the Voyageur Pride Skate!  Fièrte du Voyageur is a Winter Celebration for Winnipeg’s LGBTTQ community that is open to everyone.  From 5:00pm to 8:00pm Room Service Winnipeg has lined up a great night of entertainment featuring local DJS and more!

 7. Fashion on Ice

On Sunday, February 18th, from 5pm to 5:30-pm, join in on this stylish celebration of Winnipeg, winter and fashion!  Fashion on Ice showcases local fashion and accessory designers and retailers with this year’s #WoodFashion theme sure to be a hip hit!  In its fifth year, Fashion on Ice proves that winters in Winnipeg can be fashionable!

8. Live Music and DJs

Throughout the four days that Rendez Vous on Ice is open, they will host a number of live musicians and local DJS.  Here are a few of the acts to catch – Spence Tradition, Justin Lacroix, Pierre Freynet, Sol James and Moonfruits, as well as a host of DJs like, DJ Breeze, DJ Ketchup Chips, Rhayne Vermette, MonsieurIceberg aka Damien Ferland, DJ Beekeeni, Tony Neu, DJ Kasm, DJ Cedrik le Fantastik, and more!

9. Fire Dancing and Glow Hooping

Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30, watch Karrie of Kurrent Motion as she entertains the crowds with fire dancing and Glow Hooping.  Knowing Karrie, I’m sure that anybody who is interested will be able to join in a Hoop Jam!

10. Wild Winter Canoe Race

Pre-register your team of 5 at www.wildwintercanoerace.com  and head down on Monday, Louis Riel Day, to take part in head-to-head heats on the four-lane, 200-metre, snow packed course as participants race canoes in snow for awesome prizes and bragging rights!

11. Come play on Ice with Peggy!

I’m definitely going to be checking out Rendez Vous on Ice throughout the first weekend of Festival du Voyageur!  In fact, Stefano Grande, the CEO (aka Quarterback) for the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and I have put together a super fun, fat bike tour that takes in all of the Warming Huts along the Red River Mutual Trail, stops for a warm up at Old Spaghetti Factory at Johnston Terminal and ultimately ends up at Rendez Vous on Ice for dinner and even a chance to take part in the Yoga on Ice!

There are only a very few spots –Click this link and select the February 16, 2018 date to register now for your chance to join us https://downtownwinnipegtours.com/tours/bikes-brunch/

All photos courtesy of Rendez-Vous On Ice, taken by Leif Norman

 

 

My Top 6 Poutine Picks for La Poutine Week

Just as we start saying ‘he ho!’ to the snow sculptures and all things Festival du Voyageur, the dreamers that co-founded Le Burger Week bring their latest celebration of comfort fare to our city. And it doesn’t get more Franco-Canadian than poutine! I’ve narrowed it down to my top 6 poutine picks, and I’m ready to tackle them all in the spirit of a hungry Voyageur. Winnipeg’s first La Poutine Week is on Feb. 1 -7.

  1. Pony Corral (444 St. Mary Ave.) – Montreal Smoked Meat Poutine

Offering different tasty creations literally sandwiched atop fries at each of its locations, Pony Corral is serving up a nod to poutine’s Quebecois roots at its downtown restaurant. And though Montreal smoked meat is somewhat of a classic poutine topping, Pony Corral isn’t stopping at the meat – placing the fully loaded sandwich, bread and all – atop a heap of fries (not even sparing the pickle topper!).

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  1. Tavern United (345 Graham Ave.) – Manitoba Sociable Poutine

There’s hardly a more relatable local tradition than popping into The Tavern before a Jets game, except for maybe one – the Manitoba social. Tavern United is playing on both these classic Manitoban experiences with its Manitoba Sociable Poutine. See whose weddings come to mind while savouring a poutine dripping with nostalgia. The Tavern combines its famous English cut “chips” with the traditional social fare of Old Dutch ripples, plus Danny’s pulled pork, bacon, and red onion smothered with cheddar cheese sauce, squeaky cheese curds and Royal whiskey sauce.

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  1. Rudy’s Eat & Drink (375 Graham Ave.) – The Dirty Donald

Savour the sophistication of Rudy’s The Dirty Donald, featuring heavenly duck confit mingled with Rudy’s crispy fries, a semi soft aged cheddar, a decadent roasted garlic sage jus – finished with sour cherry ketchup and crispy sage, sure to please even the most elevated of palates.

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  1. La Roca (155 Smith Ave.) – Papas Locas Poutine

Who doesn’t love a Mexican take on the traditional Canadian fare, and who better to nail this than downtown’s premium Mexican lounge? The Papas Locas has crispy fries served in a skillet, baked with homemade mac and cheese sauce, queso cheese, bell peppers, and more common burrito fillings like carnitas (pulled pork), green onions, corn and fresh sliced jalapenos with La Roca’s own pico de gallo.

La Roca

  1. Peg City Poutinerie (2nd floor, Cityplace) – Korean Steak Fajita Poutine

Maybe you’re already familiar with the Cityplace poutinerie’s charms, but its limited-edition Korean steak creation is sure to spice up your food court fiesta. Enjoy the usual suspects of Peg City’s perfected trio of fries, cheese curds and gravy – mixed with red and yellow peppers, caramelized onion and Korean steak drizzled with sesame seeds.

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  1. White Star Diner (258 Kennedy St.) – Shepherd’s Pie Poutine

Just when I thought the homey fare couldn’t get any better, White Star Diner merged a couple of this Canuck’s favourite meals. With its famous meat loaf and sweet green peas paired with the squeakiest cheese smothered with real beef gravy, White Star somehow made two familiar comfort foods better.

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Let me know what your favourite poutine is for La Poutine Week by tagging me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @downtownpeggy.

Happy poutine eating!

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