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

 

FLASH Fest #finditdowntown

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In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an awesome photography festival in Winnipeg and it’s happening right now!

The Flash Photographic Festival 2015 is on, and we’re lucky enough to feast our eyes on the fantastic photographic skill that’s bursting out of this city!

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Gage3-e1442706919150There’s a handful of excellent downtown exhibits (and a bunch more in the Exchange District!) that you MUST check out before they’re gone – and on the plus side, they’re in some of the hippest and most delicious downtown digs to boot.

Also, don’t forget to check out the #finditdowntown exhibit, compiled by a bunch of talented photographers, and showcased at Portage Place, in a storefront near the fountain (and Staples). You’ll find our downtown is pretty photogenic, and you might just want to follow @finditdowntown on Instagram to grab a peek at what else is out there and catch the wrap-up party at Fools & Horses Coffee Co. on November 7!

Fools & Horses Coffee Co. | 379 Broadway
Colin Grover & Jacqueline Young

Little Maria’s Porchetta & Meatballs | 77 Edmonton St
Dave McKnight

Grolle Fine Art Studio | Fort Garry Place, 81 Garry St.
Mike Gransmaison

Nick’s on Broadway | 287 Broadway
Jason Cottes & Mike Sudoma

cityplace | 333 St. Mary Ave.
Patrick McNeill

Portage Place | 393 Portage Ave.
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ #finditdowntown group show

 

Rudy’s Eat & Drink | 375 Graham Ave.
Talia Ricci & Gage Fletcher

The Planit Restaurant & Lounge | 285 Portage Ave.
Sonja Strauss

Winnipeg Art Gallery, fourth floor | 300 Memorial Blvd.
FLASH group show

 

 

 

Hello Hera!

Never mind your cute baby pics and super awkward high school yearbook photos. How’s this for a #FlashbackFriday – the Winnipeg Art Gallery they’re flashing back to the 7th Century BC – 2nd Century AD with the Olympus exhibit and it opens this Sunday!

Featuring over 160 ancient Greek and Roman marble and bronze statues, terracotta vases and pieces of jewellery on loan to us from the Collection of Classical Antiquities of the National Museums in Berlin, this exhibit only stops in only two North American destinations (we’re one of them – pretty special!).

Come face-to-face with 12 amazing Olympians including Zeus, Venus, Athena, Hera and more.

Interested? Take this quiz and let me know which Olympian you are for your chance to win a pair of passes to the exhibit! And as always, remember to #Finditdowntown when you post photos of your visit!

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I got Hera:

Pros: She’s beautiful, the daughter of two important Titans: Kronos and Rhea, the protector of marriage, women, motherhood and childbirth

Cons: Married her brother (Zeus), has an argumentative streak, very jealous of her husband’s lovers (seems reasonable to me…)

 

Contest closes Friday, May 1 at 2PM.

For hours, ticket prices, etc. click here.

The Lucid Dream

Lucid Dream

Ok, I need your help.

I’m going to a really cool party this Saturday, and I need help deciding what to wear! (Yes, again.)

This year, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Art and Soul fundraiser theme is The Lucid Dream – a style that incorporates what Salvador Dali was best known for: surrealist art.

The evening sounds amazing: the Gallery will be outfitted in several different dreamscapes and we’ll be dancing to the beats of Attica Riots, DJ Hunnicut, DJ Co-op, DJ Mamacutsworth and Ashy+Zuky of Jams, and there’s even going to be an Absinthe bar – where things could get quite surreal with a bit of the green elixir!

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is an amazing downtown Winnipeg institution – they have beautiful galleries, feature the largest collection of Inuit art in the world, and they bring in really cool exhibits – like Dali Up Close, so I’m thrilled to support – but I’m nervous to be surrounded by a bunch of creative arty-types in genius costumes, so I want to make sure mine is on point!!!

So. Help me out here, friends. What’s the most lucid-dreamy, surrealist costume you can think of? Shoot me some ideas in the comments section below, or tweet me an example pic on Twitter (@downtownpeggy) and follow and tag @WAGArtandSoul while you’re there. And while you’re brainstorming on my behalf, also be thinking about what you’d wear – because I’ll be making a random draw for two VIP tickets to The Lucid Dream at 3pm on Thursday.

I’m all ears!

…hm, maybe there’s an idea…

Time to accessorize!

The WAG Gallery Ball is only one day away and I’ve just finalized my outfit – cutting it close, I know!

Thanks for helping me decide on my dress – I love it! But this is a black-tie affair and accessories are a must.

So I just got back from the WAG’s Gallery Shop and wow, have they got a great selection of jewelry! I love that so many of their pieces are created by local and Canadian artists.

Deciding was tricky – there were so many beautiful and completely unique pieces by artists like David Rice, Brook Drabot, Lily Rosenberg and Elizabeth Garvin Design – to name just a few.

The people at the Gallery Shop were a big help. I brought along some pictures of my dress and together we came up with some wonderful possibilities.

In the end, this is what I chose:

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This natural ruby pepplest bracelet by Joan Hamilton, a jeweller from Caledon, Ontario, and these banana fibre light earrings from Winnipeg’s very own dconstruct.

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I just couldn’t wait till tomorrow for the big reveal – I’m too excited!

And the WAG Gallery shop sells wonderful items along with jewelry too! Beautiful pottery, glass, wall art, Inuit art, books and gift ideas – and we all know the holiday gift-giving season is coming!

Check out the shop inside the WAG, 300 Memorial Blvd.:

Tuesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Friday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Closed Mondays

Art for All

We’ve got new pieces of public art! And can I just say, let’s keep it up!

I think there are a lot of things that make urban living great – the people, the restaurants, the buildings, the shopping 😉 But I think beautiful streets get taken up another level when you make art a part of them.

I got to go to New York a while ago and I ran into their famous “love” sculpture – it stopped me right in my tracks and made me smile – I think that’s what public art should do! Make you stop, smile, maybe think, strike a pose, and just pause from your busy walk down the sidewalk to appreciate something unique and beautiful. So I’m glad we seem to have a mini-trend of public art going up lately!

Outside the Richardson building there are a couple of beautiful pieces already, and “North Watch” went up this spring. Just last month the Millennium Library Park opened and debuted “Emptyful,” that super-modern looking giant beaker. If you haven’t seen it at night, trust me, you need to stop by – it glows in an incredibly cool way. (Also, the mist it creates blows over you and cools you when it’s a super-hot day like today. Genius!!!)

And today, we got the maybe the most fun of all – giant marbles along Portage Avenue! I saw the opening today, and I started feeling like a little kid again looking around me. There were all kinds of little kids that saw them and begged mom and dad to stop and let them see them and play and pose for a picture – it was totally adorable.

Cute kids hugging the marble sculptures
Too cute!

Doesn’t it remind you of the way kids climbed all over Bears on Broadway?