6 Things You Need To Know About Chain For Change!

They’re one of Narcity’s 40 Things You Gotta Do This February 2018 in Winnipeg , and with February a week away, I know you’re wondering…what is Chain For Change all about?

Well, pals, I got you covered!  I caught up with Karly Tardiff, the amazing and dynamic moving force behind Chain for Change to find out the 6 Things You Need To Know About Chain for Change!

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Karly Tardiff, director for Chain For Change, is photographed at The Forks skating rink Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Tardiff is hoping to to get 400 ice skaters out February 4th to break a world record and to fundraise for CancerCare Manitoba.

1. Why organize a World Record Attempt?

It’s kind of a funny story! Originally I am from Ontario and moved to Winnipeg just over a year ago. One of the first things I had to do was find a job but also resolved to train for my first full marathon and look for volunteer opportunities. I ended up coming across a blog detailing a man’s quest to becoming the ‘top 1%’ of people in the world, which apparently involves running a full marathon on every continent and breaking a World Record. Of course I was curious as to what record(s) he might have accomplished and found that they all involved some sort of ‘chain’; longest chain of people floating down the river in inner tubes, longest chain of people doing yoga simultaneously… which got me to thinking about ‘chain’ records we could break in Winnipeg. Naturally, the longest chain of ice skaters came to mind, especially since we have one of the longest ice trails in the world. The current record for this is 370 people and I KNOW Winnipeg can smash this. It just seemed logical that if we gather this many people together, we should fundraise for a great cause and Chain for Change was born!

2. What’s involved with planning a World Record Attempt?

Participants!!! Like I mentioned, 370 is the current record so 371 skaters need to REGISTER to join us at The Forks at 1:00pm on February 4, which also happens to be World Cancer Day! Guinness is VERY strict with documentation which is why we are really stressing the registration aspect. Participants will line up in a ‘conga-line’ formation the skating trail at The Forks and skate 400 meters in an unbroken line. We only have 3 attempts! The line will be monitored by volunteer ‘stewards’ who will keep track of a specified 50 participants to ensure the line remains intact throughout the attempt. Volunteer ‘witnesses’ will sign off on the steward ‘statements’ (the steward will have to fill out a document stating participants remain joined through the duration of the attempt) and the number of participants registered/counted on the event day. We will also need to submit photographic and video evidence, witness and steward statements, certification of the distance verified by a qualified surveyor and a detailed report on the attempt!

We looked into having a Guinness judge on site to verify the attempt in real-time but this costs $10,000 and we certainly did not want to take any funds away from our cause, CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

3. What made you decide to partner with CancerCare Manitoba Foundation to fund-raise as a part of Chain For Change?

We decided to support CancerCare Manitoba Foundation because, unfortunately, everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. CancerCare has been so good to so many people and families we know personally and knowing all funds stay within Manitoba is so important because we are certain all dollars raised will go straight to those who need it most.

4. How can I sign up?

To register, please visit www.ChainForChangeWPG.com

Follow us on instagram @ChainForChangeWPG and Twitter @Chain4ChangeWPG to stay in the loop leading up to the day!

We will be having an ‘event-day kit pickup’ on February 3 that will also include a MASSIVE draw that my only be entered if you pick up your kit the day before the event, you won’t want to miss out!

5. What if you don`t know how to skate, but would like to help out?

If you cannot skate but want to be a part of Chain for Change, please email ChainForChangeWPG@gmail.com

We are looking for ‘event-day coordinators’ who can help our committee with logistics on the ‘kit pickup’ day, February 3, and the day of Chain for Change, February 4.

Donating to our cause through www.ChainForChangeWPG.com is always an option,too, and greatly appreciated!

6. What’s one more thing that you’d like us to know about Chain for Change?

Please pre-register! It would be heartbreaking if our record wasn’t verified due to documentation error. There is also a 12 year old minimum age for registration as well as participants being able to confidentially ice skate. This is to ensure participants are physically able to hold on in the line without struggle for safety.

After registration, we would really appreciate if participants were able to help us in reaching our fundraising goal of $20,000.

Thank you so much for chatting with me about Chain for Change, Karly!

There you have it, folks!  Let’s all get out there and support Chain for Change in their World Record Attempt and their fundraising efforts!

Chain for Change takes place at 1:00pm on Sunday, February 4th, at The Forks.

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,

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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!

Downtown Winnipeg Tours – Not Just for Summer!

For those of you who follow me on social media, especially on Instagram where I do Instagram-stories, you’ve probably seen that I do lots of fun tours of Downtown Winnipeg.  Usually at this time of year, we’re wrapping up our Downtown Winnipeg Tour season…but not this year!  I will be offering tours year-round and in fact have just launched a couple of new winter-only tours!

 

Tours that will run year-round include:

 

Tap In Tour (beer tour) – $40.00

Four restaurant stops with participants receiving a beer and appetizers at each stop along the way. Next tour – Friday, November 3rd!

 

 

 

Winnipeg Wine Tour – $85.00

Three restaurant stops with two wine samples and food pairings at each stop (total of six glasses of wine!) Next tour – Friday, November 23rd!

 

 

 

Breakfast Club – $40.00

Whether you’re a brain, an athlete, a basket-case or a princess, join us as we hit up three to four of downtown Winnipeg’s best breakfast spots for the most important meal of the day! Next tour – Sunday, November 26th!

 

 

NEW FOR WINTER 2017/2018

Cocktail Crawl – $40.00

Four restaurant stops with participants receiving a cocktail and appetizers at each stop.  This is the winter version of my popular Patio Crawl (shown left) – we’ll use the Winnipeg Walkways to walk from restaurant to restaurant without going outside at all! First tour – Friday, November 10th!

Bikes & Brunch – $40.00

The winter version of our Moveable Feast Bike tour – there is an option to either bring your own winterized/fat bike or to rent one for an additional $20 through us.  We will bike to three to four breakfast/brunch spots.  If you’ve ever been looking for an excuse to get on a fat bike, this is IT!

First tour – Sunday, December 2nd!

 

I’d love to see you and your friends out at some of my tours!  To book any of the tours, please visit www.downtownwinnipegtours.com.

 

Thick Cut Bacon And An Epic Concert – That’s Downtown Living

If you are into delicious food, a brand new restaurant just opened up at 285 Portage called Tipsy Cow. I’m not telling you that you have to eat there, but I’m telling every person I meet how amazing the Thick Cut Candied Bacon is. It’s where I fueled up before Interstellar Rodeo, and I’m trying to figure out if I can somehow eat there twice a day for the rest of my life. Pro tip, try combining Little Brown Jug 1919, TC Candy Bacon, and the Winnipeg Burger; that’s the good life and you can only find it downtown.

When you walk into Tipsy Cow you know it’s going to be good. There’s a bar in the front ready to get you started with a local drink, or you can get seated right away and get some amazing starters for you and your group/date. Tipsy Cow is a simple place to get a good burger, and a beer and then get on to an amazing venue downtown.

I personally went from a burger to watching Beck rock the house at the Forks. This is an artist I’ve been waiting to see since 1997 and he lit up the stage and the crowd. Even the hipsters said he was cool and couldn’t help but dance a little as this master of the stage entertained a full house.

The Forks is always an option for entertainment. If you missed Interstellar Rodeo this year, make sure you plan to be there next year. Also, add The Forks to your favourites list and follow them on Instagram and TwitterThe Forks always has something going on in their events section. 

Add Tipsy Cow to your Winnipeg “must eat” list, perfect before a game at MTS, a concert, or just because your working downtown and working makes you hungry. I’m certain this restaurant will make your day complete; they have beer and bacon, the rest is a bonus.

SHARE this post on Facebook or Twitter and you will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to Tipsy Cow (enter by August 27 to be entered to win).

See you downtown,

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Peggy’s Squad Contest Winners

I had such an amazing time on the Breakfast Club Tour with my Peggy’s Squad Contest Winners!

We had the opportunity to visit three incredible downtown restaurants, including Prairie 360, Blaze Restaurant at the Delta Winnipeg Hotel, and Café Bella. Each stop provided us with a delicious breakfast/brunch feature, which we all really enjoyed.

We also discovered and learned more about downtown Winnipeg’s history at Upper Fort Garry!

Breakfast Club Tour 2

Be sure to watch out for the  next Peggy’s Squad contest coming soon!

See you downtown,

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Home Dreams: Winnipeg Renovation Show Runs January 13-15

If you are attending the Winnipeg Renovation Show this weekend at the RBC Convention Centre, you’ve already thought about all the things you would like to change, tweak, and move around in your home. Have you taken a look downtown for shops and suppliers that could make your dream home come true? Lucky for you, downtown Winnipeg can offer some great retailers and businesses focused on ways to take your space from drab to fab.

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  1. Colour Us Excited

Picking the colour for a room can help set the tone for the space. Will you go bold or keep it traditional? Whatever you’re thinking for your reno or refresh, visit Western Paint for the latest on trends and colours. They now offer a decor centre carrying modern flooring options; wallcovering, wall murals and decals; and a variety of hardware – over and above their expansive line of Benjamin Moore paints and stroke-of-genius staff.

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Have a piece of furniture that you want to refinish? Maybe a treasured piece that needs to be brought up to date? Western Paint now houses a spray booth which means anyone can easily refinish a beloved piece of furniture using just about any colour under the sun – and it can even save you money on costly kitchen cabinet upgrades. The solid lacquer job can refurbish dated cabinets, doors, chairs or tables with a clean, custom finish.

  1. Can You Hear Me Now?

The pursuit of sound and the crystal clear projection of that sound means multiple devices throughout our homes competing for speakers. American HiFi are your downtown experts for what your ears crave. From home theatre to audio to custom designing a system for your space, they have the answers and equipment for the discerning audiophile.

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  1. Kitchen Party

The heart of the home. It’s all about the kitchen. It’s where to sip that morning coffee or tea, daydream, cook dinners, make lunches, and plan dinner party menus. And sometimes it needs a refresh. You don’t have to break the bank but you do want to set out a plan to make your dream kitchen come true. Kitchen Designs on Cumberland will take your dated kitchen and create a fresh, warm space where you can create memories and recipes for years to come.

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Have fun at the show this weekend and let us know how our members can help with your next design dream! For more information on shopping downtown visit downtownwinnipegbiz.com.

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The Tours are back in town!

With the warm weather coming in full force, I’m finally starting to feel the winter chill in my bones fade away. What this means for us Winnipeggers: a whole season of great outdoor activities! This week I thought I’d share something I’m most excited to take part in this summer.

The Downtown Tours, hosted by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, are a super fun way to explore my favourite part of the city—downtown! This year there’s more restaurants, more dates, and more delicious tastes to discover!

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A Moveable Feast: BYOB: Bring Your Own Bike and cycle to various restaurants and coffee shops around downtown. Your $40 ticket price will get you coffee samplings and appetizers at five different restaurants in one night. New to the tours this year is The Planit, you can look forward to their board game nights on Wednesdays!

Tap In: If you like to end your day with a cold glass of beer, you’ll want to get in on this tour right away! For $30, you receive a different beer at each restaurant as well as appetizer samplings. Favourite tour stop Garbonzo’s Pizza Pub holds a trivia night every Wednesday if you’re looking to add a little competition to your after-work drinks.

Patio Crawl: Patio season is so short, which is why you need this tour. For $30, you get access to a plethora of patios plus one drink of your choosing and shared appetizers. The pizza at Carbone is so good, it’s life-changing! And I guarantee you’ll be doubling back for more zah this summer.

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Winnipeg Wine: This tour might be my favourite! At each stop, you’ll get to sample two different wines from the restaurant’s selection and try some small bites pairings. One of the stops is at The Loft Salon, so you may be able to get a little hairdo touch up while you enjoy your wine. Tickets start at $75 (for an individual) and for $285 you have the option of touring all four restaurants and spending a night’s stay for two at one of downtown’s luxury hotels.

The Breakfast Club: There’s no Molly Ringwald or Judd Nelson, but this tour is still one you won’t be forgetting any time soon! For $30, it’s the whole Sunday brunch experience plus a little added cardio as you walk from restaurant to restaurant trying different breakfast samplings at each stop. Whether you’re a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, or a criminal this is tour is a great stop!

Downtown Flashback: If you’re looking to get out of the office during your lunch break, this free tour is a great option to learn some interesting facts about our city’s architectural history. Tours start at 12pm at Air Canada Park and end around 12:45pm.

All of the tours (expect Downtown Flashback) can take up to 40 people, so get your group of friends together for a night, or morning, on the town. It’s always fun to find new places to eat, and these tours will let you to sample a variety of options so you know what to order next time! Book your tickets today–I know I will!

Guess who’s going to live Sky high?

SkyCity Centre just opened its sales centre on Garry St., and I couldn’t help myself but stop in for a peek! As many of you know, I love to shop downtown – so naturally, I left the sales centre with a 1 bedroom, 651 sq. ft. unit – oops!16964-FOR-SKY-Floorplan-Inserts_GARRY-(1)

The space has a 50 sq. ft. balcony, too – can’t wait to relax on one of my Eames chairs and take in the gorgeous view of downtown’s emerging skyline. What really sold me was the extensive list of amenities; there are 30,000 sq. ft. of them, all available exclusively to residents. The 8th floor features a gym, stretching room, hot tubs, a dog run and more. There’s2015September15__DIL0480
a movie theatre, huge lounge area and private dining room for dinner parties on the 45th floor. As the highest building in Winnipeg, this will be an amazing place to watch fireworks on Canada Day!

SkyCity Centre Winnipeg will be located at 245 Graham Ave. between Garry Street and Fort Street, just one block north of the new MTS Centre (home of the Winnipeg Jets), and flanked by a transit only street to the west. This iconic building will have a striking design created by award-winning Kirkor Architects and will become the postcard shot for downtown Winnipeg. The typical suites range from 529 sf to 1,003 sf, with larger combination suites available up to 1,600 sf. Units are now on sale and start from the $190s.

I’d love for you to be my neighbour! Visit skycitywinnipeg.ca for more information and to view the floorplans, standard suite features, artist’s renderings of common amenities and much more!2015September15__DIL0020

I’m going back to biking

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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?