Celebrating National Coffee Day

Let’s have a quick discussion about coffee. Actually let’s have a really long, drawn out discussion about. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who walks the streets of downtown and realizes we have a lot of amazing, world class coffee places.

Just today, I drove for five minutes and passed by four amazing spots, Second Cup, Fools and Horses, Thom Bargen, and The Fyxx. It’s a long story, but I was touring the downtown in this cute BMW convertible from NOTT Autocorp as they are really supporting a push to explore the downtown. It hit me as I was deciding to grab a little “pick me up” that there’s a lot of options of a caffeine fix downtown!

I’ve come to the conclusion that our growth in coffee houses, breweries, and our outstanding restaurants is what’s leading the way for Winnipeg to get all sorts of international attention. For me, the thing that puts a place over the top is if the coffee tastes good black. I’m also a fan of great art on the wall, a cute corner to sit in, and the ability to people watch as I sit and write my blogs and tweet about life downtown.

You’ll typically find me on a Monday afternoon at Fools and Horses on Broadway sitting on the patio in summer. As the season changes I’ll move inside and enjoy an Americano while sitting in the back of the coffee house.

Wednesday I frequent the Second Cup on Graham. I love that it is a locally owned franchise and all the flavoured coffees are delicious. It’s a great place to meet outside the office as the place is massive, and it’s perfect for brainstorming and coming up with strategies to improve business. It’s been a hot spot for me to come up with blog collaborations.

On Saturday morning, there are few places that I love as much as Thom Bargen. You can sit back, relax and reflect on a great week. The coffee tastes great black and you can sit in the corner on their long bench and read a book, surf online, or simply pull out your laptop and write.

Every single coffee house in this city has amazing home baked options for snacks. I won’t even begin to list off the things I love at each place. If you need a doughnut, piece of cake, a muffin, toast or anything delicious you can find both your snack and a place to sit, any day of the week.

So I’m curious Winnipeg, where do you go?

Let’s take this conversation to social media, tag @downtownpeggy and tell me where you go, and why it’s special. I’m looking for surprises! We have Stella’s at Plug In, Fools and Horses at The Forks, Starbucks, Tim Hortons and so much more. I’ve even had a great cup of coffee at the Hotel Fort Garry. So let’s chat about your spot! You know I love spreading the word about the great places in downtown Winnipeg.

Surprise me with your favourite downtown coffee shop, or tell me why you love the spots I’ve mentioned and you may just win a gift card from your favourite spot!

See you downtown,

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Downtown Bro Date Ideas

Can we just all agree that downtown Winnipeg is just about the best place to hang out and relax for an afternoon? You have the Jets in winter and the Goldeyes in summer, The Forks all year with the most amazing atmosphere and shops to grab things you won’t find anywhere else, and in the downtown you’ll find some of the best restaurants in the world waiting to feed you.

Have you met my new friend Jordan Cieciwa? He’s the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s new Ambassador of Health and Happiness. Myself, Jordan, and his friend and camera guy Jaremy Ediger headed out for an afternoon and evening of entertainment downtown recently.

Jordan works with NOTT Autocorp when he’s driving around downtown making his wellness videos, so we saw an opportunity to have a little fun in his car, and test Jaremy’s photo skills.

First we checked out The Forks. Jordan is guilty heading to The Forks only when they have events going on. Immediately I saw my chance to convert yet another Winnipegger into a “True Forks Believer”. You have to go people watch and check out the stores that have amazing artwork, unique clothing, and just about everything else including bicycles that scream “Winnipeg”.  It also gave Jaremy a chance to take a couple cool photos.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

Even though I could walk and shop at The Forks forever, we had places to be and a fancy car to drive, so we zoomed off in style to our next stop, food at “La Roca“.

We found a pretty solid place to hang out with friends at La Roca. I’m not going to lie to you, the best part of La Roca is the amount of cheese in their quesadillas; well, that and the amount of people in the place having a great time. We were heading to the Goldeyes game next, and we weren’t the only ones there getting ready for the Goldeyes to be champs again. Lots of people in the place were gearing up for a good time downtown, and as always with La Roca, the atmosphere was electric.

We finished our food paid our tab and chalked another win up for La Roca. From there, things got real.

Real rainy that is.

We headed over to Shaw Park where we got the terrible news, game cancelled due to rain.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

For those of you who don’t know, the Goldeyes just won their second title in two years and their third since 2012. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are the American Association Champs back to back, 2016 and 2017!

This team is a well oiled machine: they play with pride, and they play to win. There are a ton of cities in the states that know about Winnipeg because our baseball team crushes them each and every year, but who’s counting right? We were! Huge congrats to the Goldeyes. Even though you didn’t entertain us this night, you came through in the end. History was written, and the events leading up to the win were so “storybook” that even Sports Illustrated took note. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are famous!

However for our day downtown, we now had a bit of a gap.

As it turns out, Jaremy is full of fun facts about Downtown Winnipeg so he took us to some of his favourite spots to share some local history. As a guy that loves the music and entertainment scene, Jaremy has walked most of the downtown to see a ton of local bands and he blew our minds with a couple facts.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

There was a team decision made that we are going to start a regular trivia segment on Instagram. The downtown is simply the coolest, and it should be celebrated.  So, speaking of celebrations, we want to see where you party… specifically where you partied to celebrate the Winnipeg Goldeyes winning the second title in two years. The best celebration selfie wins $100 at La Roca. I believe everyone needs to get down there to try their amazing food! Enter to win now by sharing your selfie on Facebook (find the post and share your photo in the comments), Twitter on Instagram by September 30th at 4pm. Tag me @downtownpeggy to enter!

See you downtown,

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Bring Your Furry Friends out to the Ball Game!

The Winnipeg Goldeyes and the Winnipeg Veterinary Care Group are proud to present the third annual “Bark in the Park” night at Shaw Park this Saturday, June 17th as the Goldeyes take on the St. Paul Saints at 6:00 p.m.

Bark in the Park is a special dog-friendly baseball game where fans are invited to bring their dogs to watch a Goldeyes game. This year’s game is taking things to the next level with expanded ballpark seating, plus an official Guinness World Records™ title attempt for Most Dogs Attending a Sport Event! The current world record is 1,222 dogs achieved by the Chicago White Sox in 2016.

This year’s “Bark in the Park” game will feature a special pre-game Pooch Parade, where fans and their pooches get to parade around the field before the game. There will also be a number of other fun things to do including the Pooch Smooch Cam, 7th Inning Fetch and entertainment by X-Treme Dogs.

Fans and their four-legged friends will enter Shaw Park through a special gate reserved just for them and can enjoy a designated “Puppy Potty” with real-grass sod and “Puppy Pools” for pooches to dip their paws by the registration tent.

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Tickets for “Bark in the Park” are on sale now! Each ticket includes admission for one person and one dog, plus a complimentary “treat bag” (while supplies last). A portion of ticket sales will also be donated to the Winnipeg Humane Society.

To purchase tickets in advance, visit ticketmaster.ca or the Shaw Park box office.

Come join in on this exciting event that celebrates the pets we love and help break a Guinness world record!

CONTEST ALERT! I have 2 pairs of “Bark in the Park” tickets to giveaway! Share this blog post and you will be entered to a pair of tickets (2 people and 2 pups).

See you downtown,

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Introducing Peggy’s Squad Contests!

Many of you know that I love contests and contests are even better when you can enjoy prizes with some of your favourite people. Peggy’s Squad Contests are just that! Enjoy a day or evening doing some of my favourite things downtown and invite your squad to come along.

Here’s how the contests work:

  • Every time you see the image below on my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you’ll know that there’s a new Peggy’s Squad contest.

Peggy's Squad Contest Alert (3)

  • Follow the instructions provided in the post and you will automatically be entered to win an amazing experience including yourself and 3-10 of your friends (number of friends depend on the contest).

Stay tuned for my first ever Peggy’s Squad contest on Monday, April 24th. Hint: It involves amazing food!

See you downtown,

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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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Downtown Holiday Shopping for Kids

Spend the day downtown, and you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to find amazing gifts for your kids! Here are some of our favourite spots to look out for.

 

Kite and Kaboodle

Start your day at The Forks! Get some breakfast and head over to Kite and Kaboodle, which has an impressive selection of books, toys, kites, and games. The store is bursting with over 25,000 items, and 5,000 are added each year.

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The staff at Kite and Kaboodle attend trade shows and constantly search for new products, so you get to choose from the best.

 

Pylon

While you’re at The Forks, pop in to Pylon. If you lose to your kids on every pop-culture quiz imaginable, you’ll want to see their selection.

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With Superman socks, Sonic the Hedgehog toques, Doctor Who figurines, and thousands more, this is your one-stop pop-culture shop!

 

Living in the moment: Experience art and culture downtown

One way to give a gift that lasts all year is to gift a family membership so you can experience your favourite places over and over again and get exclusive invites and sneak peeks to upcoming events. Another way is to gift tickets to show or special presentation from one of the many iconic cultural and arts organizations within downtown Winnipeg.

If you’re looking for a family membership, have a look at the Manitoba Museum or the Manitoba Children’s Museum.

If you’re interested in taking in a play or art display with the family, how about Manitoba Theatre for Young People, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the Centennial Concert Hall, or any of the programming events put on by the Winnipeg Art Gallery or the Winnipeg Railway Museum at the Forks.

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Books and more!

Downtown Winnipeg has plenty of stores for the bookworms in your family.

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Located on the main floor at cityplace, Coles features a wide selection of new books and gifts. If your kids are Harry Potter fanatics, get them Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay. If they love hockey, pick up 99: Stories of the Game by Wayne Gretzky.

 

If you’re looking for quality, pre-owned books, check out Book Fair Winnipeg. This Portage Avenue bookstore has books and comics that you may not find at Coles.

 

If you’re looking for even rarer books, head over to Bison Books on Graham Avenue. They have 20,000 used, old, and out-of-print books that you won’t find anywhere else.

Yoga, please.

What’s the expression we all toss around in the late days of December? New Year, New You? I ended 2015 full of promise that I would dedicate 2016 to healthy eating, regular exercise, and of course giving back a little to our great city.

But January was cold, and so was most of February. And my motivation waned. You know what they say about old habits, they die hard. John McClane hard.

Now it’s nearly March, so it’s time I get back on track. My first step: getting involved with the awesome event I heard about called Power of Movement. It’s Canada’s largest annual yoga fundraiser in support of The Arthritis Research Foundation, and it’s happening Sunday, March 6 at the Fort Garry Hotel.

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Power of Movement 2015 –  Photo credit: powerofmovement.ca

The day starts at 9am and features three 30-minute yoga sessions with three local yoga legends: Alessandra Conicella (Raw Yoga), Regan Tataryn (Yoga North), and Samantha Squire (Yoga Public). The good vibes will continue to flow throughout the day with local vendors on site and accessible to the public, and the first 100 event registrants will go home with a bag of goodies filled with gifts, coupons and snacks (my inner eight-year-old loves any party with a goodie bag)!

You can register for Power of Movement on their website for $20 and there are some pretty sweet prizes for the fundraisers:

  • For every $100 raised in the month of February, your name will be entered into a draw to win one $500 travel voucher with VIA Rail!
  • All participants who fundraise $100+ will receive a cinch bag on event day
  • All participants who fundraise $250-$499 will receive a $20 HBC Gift card
  • All participants who fundraise $500-$999 will receive a $40 HBC Gift card
  • All participants who fundraise $1000+ will receive a $75 HBC Gift card

If you don’t already have your yoga gear and mat, you can try Moksha Yoga at 2 Donald Street, or Harlequin Costume & Dance at 375 Hargrave St.

And because March 6 is a little ways away, and I wanted to start my #MotivationMonday off strong, here’s a few exercises you can do whether you’re living with or without Arthritis.

Happy reading, happy exercising, and see you soon on the yoga mat!

Party like a Goddess

Shouldn’t all weekends be three days long? I certainly think so! Crawling out of bed this morning was particularly painful and my full inbox has me already day dreaming about next weekend.

Like always, I have the inside scoop on the best upcoming events. Today’s feature: the Art & Soul: Clash of the Titans party at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Saturday, February 20 at 8pm. It’s going to be AMAZING.

My insiders tell me that there will be three floors of fist-pumping dancing action with performances by The Lytics, MEMETIC DJs, DJ Co-op and DJ Hunnicutt. The Aveda Institute Winnipeg will have an onsite beauty bar and will be giving free makeovers all night long. Albert Street Cocktail will be serving up delicious mythical creature-inspired cocktails. Best of all—it’s a costume party!

Peggy as MedusaWhich favourite mythical creature are you going to dress up as? Sweet and beautiful goddess of love Aphrodite? Strong Athena, goddess of wisdom and war? Personally, I think I make a pretty fierce Medusa.

Whoever you choose be, you’re going to need a costume.

And what’s a Greek party without a toga?! Mitchell Fabrics on 637 Main Street is your go-to-place for all your ancient linen needs, and clearance cloth prices start as low as 99 cents per metre.

I found some amazing local jewellery at the Downtown Farmers’ Market last week that fits perfectly with my goddess gear. It’s a Cree-owned company called Boreal Workshop and they create all their handmade jewellery right here in Manitoba.

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If you’re in a pinch, I find Ardene at Portage Place is perfect as a one-stop-shop for all your accessories for any party. I found a pair of gladiator sandals (3 for $10), some golden necklaces (4 for $10), and a flowy peasant top ($10)—I love a good bargain!

Peggy's art and soul costume

Tickets for the event start at $55 and for an additional donation you can get some pretty sweet perks. For an added $10 donation, you will receive a laurel wreath to complement your costume. An added $25 donation gets you access to the exclusive VIP lounge in The Bacchus Room. And either donation will get you entered to win a night’s stay at the Mere Hotel, dinner for two a Cibo, and two tickets to see Rhianna, April 18 at the MTS Centre.

For more info and to get your tickets, check out wag.ca.

As for me, time to get back to the work day and start tackling all these emails!

Downtown is getting a drive in!!!

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

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

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

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

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

 

Other important details:

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

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

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