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.

dog's purpose

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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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

 

 

The Ice Castles Are Here!

I don’t know about you, but ever since I heard that they were being built at Parks Canada Place on the Forks Historic Site, I’ve been excited to see the Ice Castles! Any trip to the Forks for the past month has involved me walking or biking past the fenced-off area, watching the castles grow as if by magic.

Finally, after much anticipation, the Ice Castles will open to the public on Friday, January 5th, and I got to have a sneak preview last night, along with my media, travel and tourism pals!

First off, let me say that it was a brisk -35°C with the wind-chill. I bundled up with thermal layers, massive cozy scarf, my favourite Hudson’s Bay toque, alpaca wool socks and some warm boots.  The “floor” of the Ice Castles is made of layers of ice and ice chips – which is much like walking on coarse gravel – so good, flat-soled boots are recommended.

Just approaching the Ice Castles at night is breath-taking.  I hadn’t even walked up to the entrance and was already snapping pictures of the towering ice walls, glowing with colour-changing LED lights.

As I entered, I was greeted by a couple of popular enchanted Ice Princesses.  The Ice Princesses will be greeting guests on Saturdays and Sundays between 1 to 4pm, weather permitting.

The most beautiful and adorable Polar Bears and Polar Bear cubs, painted by our own amazing Kal Barteski, are dotted  throughout the Castle walls and corridors.

 

There’s something so wonderful about watching a fire dancer with a backdrop of ice!  The fire twirler last night was as funny as he was talented, keeping up a running banter as he twirled, getting the audience involved in his act. On Friday and Saturday evenings, from 7 to 10pm, there will be fire performances.

What would an Ice Castle be without ice slides?  Young and old(er) alike will delight in whooshing though the icy chutes on magic carpets. So FUN!

My favourite feature was the colour-changing ice fountain.  I was mesmerized as the water danced and changed colours from dark red, to purple to pale blue, accompanied by music.

I had the chance to talk to Blake, who is the Site Manager of the Ice Castles. It’s really an amazing process where icicles are made and then hand-placed in location. The icicles are then sprayed with water to make the ice-walls and other structures grow.  The ice artists were able to start on building the structure at the beginning of December, working daily to grow icicles and create the astounding Narnia-esque structures.

Probably what I loved the most about the Ice Castles was how beautifully they frame two of Downtown Winnipeg’s iconic structures, the Esplanade Riel bridge and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.  Both lovely in their own right, they made a glorious backdrop to photos taken from within the Castles.

The Ice Castles will open officially on Friday, January 5,  from 4 to 9pm.  They will be open during the day on Saturdays from 12:00 to 10:30pm and Sundays from 12 to 8pm. They’re also open weekday evenings on Monday and Wednesday through Thursday from 4 – 9pm.  They will be closed on Tuesdays.  For more information, and to purchase your tickets, check out their website: www.icecastles.com/winnipeg/

Until next time,

DT-Peggy-Signature-2017

 

My Top 6 Things To Do In Downtown Winnipeg This Winter – Plus 1 Bonus!

If the sudden* arrival of the white-stuff has you blue, here are my top 6 things to do in Downtown Winnipeg this Winter.

* How can it be sudden when this is Winnipeg? I’m sure you know what I mean…I’m never *quite* ready…

Indoor Downtown Winnipeg Farmers’ Markets

The Downtown Winnipeg Farmers’ Market goes inside at Cityplace from the beginning of October to the end of May!  Find your favourite bakers, makers and growers pretty much every second Thursday throughout the fall, winter and early spring months.

Visiting the Farmers’ Market is a great lunch-time activity to get you moving out of the office, even if you negate the fitness gains of a brisk walk through the walkways by buying a dozen cinnamon buns.  I don’t judge!

Winter Downtown Farmer’s Market Dates indoors at Cityplace: November 23rd, December 7th & 21st, January 18th, February 1st & 15th, March 1st, 15th & 29th, April 12th & 26th, May 10th & 24th

Spa Break

If the winter weather is getting you down, a spa treatment is always a sure-fire pick-me-up! Whether you’re looking for a quick pedi during your lunch break or a full-spa treatment, Downtown Winnipeg has many great options!

The Magic Room is my go-to for an on the go pedicure. They have a half-hour express pedicure that fits perfectly in my lunch hour.  A quick stop at their neighbour Second Cup for a peppermint hot chocolate and I’m back to the office with time to spare!

Spas in Downtown Winnipeg:  Ten Spa (Hotel Fort Garry), Riverstone Spa (Inn at the Forks), The Loft (also has a bar!), The Magic Room, Blacksmith Parlour (for the fellas!)

Fat Bike Rental

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a total fat bike junky!  I rented a fat bike a few times in February of this year and have been waiting all year for the snow to fly so that I could get out and play on one again!  Sick I know!

That being said – this is an amazingly fun way to kill a few hours, feel super energized and as a bonus you’ll have earned the amazing pizza that you’ll “need” to eat afterwards from Red Ember Pizza at the Common!

Rent a fat bike from White Pines, in the Johnston Terminal at the Forks – rentals start at $15 for an hours,  $25 for a half day (5 hours), $45 for a day (24 hours) – there are also special weekend and week-long rates.

Or…you know…buy one from White Pine Bicycle Co. or Mountain Equipment Co-Op!

Winter Downtown Winnipeg Tours

 I know we usually associate summer with the Downtown Winnipeg Tours – I’m looking at you, Patio Crawl Participants – but as of November 2017, I will be doing the Downtown Winnipeg Tours throughout the year.  I have also created two new Winter-Only tours – check them out on my previous blog post, here. Spoiler alert – one MAY involve fat bikes!

Book a Downtown Winnipeg Tour – www.downtownwinnipegtours.com

Dinner (or cocktails!) with a View

If you love the lights of Downtown Winnipeg this time of year, this one’s for you!  Let the earlier sunset work to your advantage and book yourself a table at Prairie360, at Fort Garry Place or Resto12, in the Radisson Hotel!  Both of these venues offer great food, innovative cocktail menus, superior wine lists and unparalleled views of Winnipeg!

Prairie360, of course, has a revolving view of Winnipeg and you can see as far as the horizon in all directions.  One of the waiters there told me that the restaurant does a full rotation in about 70 minutes – so plenty of time to take in the gorgeous lights while you tuck in to your choice of locally sourced mains!  If you’re really just looking to have a great cocktail, or two…or three, visit the Sky Lounge after 6pm on Fridays and Saturdays for a fab non-revolving view and some of the best cocktails to be found Downtown.

Resto 12, located on the 12th floor of the Radisson Hotel, has a premium spot on Portage Avenue and you get an amazing view of all of the lights at the heart of our Downtown.  They have a fab menu which includes local items and make a beautiful Caesar!  They also have a cozy lounge area if appetizers and cocktails are your jam!

A Night at the Theatre  

Prairie Theatre Exchange (PTE) is located on the third floor of Portage Place Mall and has just kicked off it’s 2017/2018 season.  Ubuntu (The Cape Town Project) is a very moving and uplifting play about connection, heritage and identity and is really a do-not-miss.

Ubuntu at the Prairie Theatre Exchange runs until November 26th, 2017

Salt-Water Moon is their next offering, which runs from January 25th to February 11th, 2018

Bonus!!!

Ice Castles are Coming to the Forks this Winter!

I’m so excited to see this!  Expected to open at the Forks in late December, these ice castles are made by “growing” icicles that end up growing together to create beautiful and eerie structures that look like all of your Narnia-dreams!

To keep up to date on when they will be opening, they have a Facebook Page and will sell tickets through their website.

Stay tuned for my December Festive Activities List!

Gripped by “Gracie” – Opening Night at Prairie Theatre Exchange

When I received the email invitation to the Opening Night Performance of Prairie Theatre Exchange (PTE)’s “Gracie”, a play written by Joan MacLeod, I was immediately intrigued by the description –

“Gracie’s world is full of faith and family, but as a fifteen-year-old girl brought into a polygamous community as a small child, she feels increasing pressure to conform.  Will she dare to take the leap and step into the outside world?”

Hold on a second…polygamous?

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who is intrigued by the lives lived in communities who have separated themselves from main-stream society, due to faith and a desire to avoid the consumerist and sin-riddled masses.  (*waves at fans of the TLC “reality show” “Breaking Amish” and Discovery’s “Amish Mafia”*) There is something about being a fly on the wall of these sorts of communities that is very compelling.  Through the play we get a very interesting view, indeed.

The titular character, Gracie, arrives at a polygamist colony in B.C. at the age of eight, along with her older sisters and a brother.  They are all a part of a package for the male community leader, which includes taking Gracie’s mother as his eighteenth wife.

The play charts Gracie’s arrival in this new colony from a similar colony in the United States.  We see the colony, and Gracie’s family, through her eyes as she adjusts and integrates into the closed colony of arranged marriages for young girls and forced labour for young boys.

We watch Gracie, masterfully portrayed by Samantha Hill, a Winnipegger who now calls New York her home, grow up and struggle to fit into a world where women are considered of marriageable-age at fifteen.  Given how different and comparatively closed her world-view is, Gracie is a very relatable character.  We were all fifteen and struggled to fit in, even if Gracie’s struggles overall are quite different and shocking.

As a one-person play, Samantha Hill carries the unfolding of Gracie’s world and experiences with believable aplomb.  Gracie is feisty and funny and has decided opinions of her own. As an audience, we like and root for Gracie from the beginning of the play to the very end, as she embarks on a new life.

The set, designed by Gemini Award winning Brian Perchaluk, is minimalist and used to great effect to help Samantha tell Gracie’s story.

 

Coming in at around 90 minutes from start to finish, there is no intermission.  As someone who rarely ever stays in one place for long, I was gripped by Gracie’s story all the way through!

“Gracie” runs at Winnipeg’s Prairie Theatre Exchange until October 29th.

All photos are Samantha Hill in GRACIE by Joan MacLeod at Prairie Theatre Exchange. Photos by Leif Norman.

Top Highlights of the 12th Annual Manito Ahbee Festival

The 12th annual Manito Ahbee Festival presented by Casinos of Winnipeg was once again a successful celebration of Indigenous music, arts and culture. This year the Festival reached new and exciting milestones that included the Kick Off & Lighting of the Sacred Fire, the Indigenous Music Conference, MTS Youth Education Day, the Indigenous Music Awards and the International Pow Wow.

Here are the top highlights of the 12th Annual Manito Ahbee Festival:

MTS Youth Education Day

A thousand students from across the city filled the University of Winnipeg RecPlex for MTS Youth Education Day where they learned about the Seven Sacred Teachings (love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility and truth) and Indigenous tradition, culture and art.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Sudoma
The Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Northern Cree

At the Indigenous Music Awards Show, twenty awards were given to the top indigenous talent in categories ranging from rock to traditional Pow Wow and included the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Northern Cree.

The Northern Cree singers are one of the most respected and influential groups on the Pow Wow trail and have won hundreds of championship signing titles from every major Pow-Wow including the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Julyamsh Pow Wow in Post Falls, Idaho.

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Photo Courtesy of Mike Sudoma
Chante Speidel Crowned as New Miss Manito Ahbee Youth Ambassador

The title of Miss Manito Ahbee Youth Ambassador honours the memory of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls and every four years an Indigenous woman, who was taken much too soon, is honoured by the Manito Ahbee Festival

This year the Festival crowned Chante Mikwan Caroline Speidel from Saptoweyak Cree Nation Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as the new Miss Manito Ahbee Youth Ambassador.

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Photo courtesy of Jen Doerksen
Honouring the Founder & Visionary of the Manito Ahbee Festival

The Pow Wow community honoured the founder and visionary of the Manito Ahbee Festival, Lisa Meeches, who is also set to receive the Order of Manitoba on July 13, with a dance, offering her healing, support and well wishes.

The Order of Manitoba honours any current or former longtime resident of Manitoba who has demonstrated a high level of individual excellence and achievement.

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Photo Courtesy of  Buio Assis
First Place Art Challenge Winner

The Art Challenge was an exciting competition where artists painted live before an audience during the International Pow Wow. The competition consisted of two rounds of 20 painters where each participant was given 30 minutes to produce a painting.

Patrick Ross took home first place in the Art Challenge competition for his incredible painting of Indigenous art.

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Photo courtesy of Jen Doerksen

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the Manito Ahbee Festival this year, don’t worry, the Festival will be back next year from May 16 – 20, 2018!

See you downtown,

DT-Peggy-Signature-2017

Behind the Scenes of The Birds and the Bees

Get ready to laugh out loud at The Birds and the Bees, a hilarious new comedy at the Prairie Theatre Exchange! Playwright, Mark Crawford, tells a story we can all relate to, of love, chance encounters and fresh starts. The play which is closing the Prairie Theatre Exchange’s season is set on a bee farm owned by the character Gail.

Let’s set the scene: It’s nearly time for the last-ever annual Turkey Days Festival and the excitement in town is palpable. Sarah, a turkey farmer, has just left her husband and moved back home with her mother Gail who raises bees. Enter Ben, a 23-year-old virgin and an eager, athletic young grad student majoring in entomology, intent on studying the declines in the local bee population.

I recently got a behind the scenes look of the crew preparing to deliver this amazing show. When I first arrived I was introduced to the stage set up. The play is set on the top floor of Gail’s home where her daughter Sarah arrives after leaving her husband. Below is a miniature model of how the stage looks when you arrive.

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Birds and the Bees Stage Model

Set Designer Carole Klemm designed the set and gave the viewer the ability to really picture the events as if they were happening in real life. Below is the crew making a few final touches as they get ready for opening night.

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Crew making final touches to the stage design

The Birds and the Bees play wouldn’t be complete without an actual beekeeping suit! I got to take an up close look at the actual suit used in the play.

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Beekeeping Suit used in Birds and the Bees play

The all-local cast features some pretty remarkable actors including:

  • Mariam Bernstein as Gail
  • Tristan Carlucci as Ben
  • Robb Paterson as Earl and;
  • Paula Potosky as Sarah

The actors have rehearsed for countless hours, including some long twelve hour days, and are ready to give you a show that will definitely entertain you!

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Actors Tristan Carlucci and Mariam Bernstein – Photo Credit: Haanita Sevel
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Actors Robb Paterson & Paula Potosky, with stage management and director at tables – Photo Credit: Haanita Sevel

Robert Metcalfe, Artistic Director of Prairie Theatre Exchange says, While it’s obviously about “the birds and the bees and this thing called love”, I like the play because it’s set against the background of actual birds and bees (turkeys and bee colonies), and because it’s about several generations in the pursuit of love. People trying to negotiate their love life (and their sex life) are always hilarious because they’re always desperate to get it right – and there’s so much room for things to go oh-so-wrong!

The Birds and the Bees will be at the Prairie Theatre Exchange until April 16th and I want to send you and friend to check it out! Share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter and tag both @PrairieTheatre and @DowntownPeggy. You will be entered to win a pair of tickets to this hilarious show on Thursday, April 13th!

You can also visit their website at http://www.pte.mb.ca/ to learn more about their exciting new 2017-2018 season (their 45th!) and how to become a subscriber.

See you downtown,

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Verde Is My New Favourite Colour

You would have no idea that it was Winter outside after walking into Verde Plant Design. The bright, beautiful shop, located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg is green (verde) and full of life! Owner Dominika Drawta, is passionate about all things plants and is committed to sharing this passion with others through her workshops – floral arranging and plant design consultations.

Before becoming a permanent space on Graham Avenue, Verde was part of CentreVenture’s Pop-Up Shop Hop Program and was located on Main and Bannatyne. Its success in the program steered Dominika to start a shop of her very own and in June 2016, she did just that! Her designs can now be seen across the city in places such as Thom Bargen which is located just down the street, where she installed a gorgeous, Instagram-worthy living wall!

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Once inside the shop, you are surrounded by dazzling displays of succulents, tropicals, and air plants. It’s literally a breath of fresh air! Dominika and her staff are also very welcoming and ready to help with all of your plant needs.

Plants have an amazing ability to make any indoor environment, whether it be your home or office, feel fresh and can even help with your mood and concentration. I definitely felt that over the weekend when I visited the shop and joined in on a workshop!

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The Succulent Bubble Terrarium Workshop

The workshop started off at the back of the shop where everything was beautifully set up for participants to begin. Friends, family and strangers alike joined in on the fun and made THE best plant masterpieces.

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First, you pick a spot.

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Then, you grab soil with your bare hands and insert it in the bubble terrarium.

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Next, choose your succulents, stones and get ready decorate!

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Here’s what the Succulent Bubble Terrarium Workshop includes:

  • guided terrarium instruction
  • all supplies & materials (6″ hanging glass bubble, soil, tender succulents, decorative materials)
  • tea
  • care card
  • 15% off items in the shop

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As an alternative, you can also come into the shop at anytime to do a DIY terrarium or planter. They have all the materials you’ll need to create your special piece for your home or office.

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Verde is a one-of-a-kind shop and its uniqueness makes it an inspiring place that allows people to get creative with plants, while also providing an opportunity to learn more about them. Make sure you visit the next time you’re downtown!

For more information about workshops that Verde offers, visit their website at: http://www.verdeterrariums.com/workshops/.

See you downtown,

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