Winter Fun Downtown

There is never any shortage of winter fun in our downtown. For all ages, there is always a way to take in the fun of the chilly days and nights and enjoy Winnipeg winters at their best.

Here are a few events taking place this weekend downtown:

Million Dollar Quartet

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Wonderful Wedding Show Comes to RBC Convention Centre

The proposal. The ring. The planning. When a wedding is in your immediate future everything becomes research—your last hotel stay, every other wedding you attend, every cupcake, donut, or pie, and even dress shopping becomes a second job.

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The Wonderful Wedding Show takes place January 21 and 22 at the RBC Convention Centre. This annual event is the largest single source of information available about Winnipeg wedding services, featuring the city’s leading wedding professionals. With over 300 displays and 130,000 square feet of the latest must-have wedding fashions and trends, wedding products and services, and much more, every couple can explore the ways to make their wedding dream come true. One lucky couple will even win a DREAM WEDDING!

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Make a day of the Wonderful Wedding Show. Start by meeting up with your bridal party at a downtown restaurant or coffee shop to plan your route throughout the show over brunch or appetizers. When you enter the RBC Convention Centre be sure to get your copy of V.I.B Weddings Magazine, a magazine for the Very Important Bride!  V.I.B. Weddings features local content and real weddings highlighting products and services from Wonderful Wedding Show vendors that will inspire couples with ideas and has a special Show Guide section with Exhibitor Listing, floor plan and editorial about the show.

Downtown Winnipeg is a regular spotlight in local urban weddings. Whether downtown Winnipeg is the backdrop for wedding photos, or where the wedding reception is held, to where couples book their honeymoon suites in one of many iconic hotels, there are so many wonderful spots, corners, and signature spaces that hold special memories for Winnipeg couples. Take advantage of our fantastic downtown scenery and architecture to make your wedding memories uniquely Winnipeg. Tag us in your Wonderful Wedding Show photos on Insta and Twitter with #finditdowntown and enjoy planning your special day!

Top left, clockwise: Photo credit @blackandgoldphoto; Inspiration Gallery 2016 winning table by Just In Couture Designer Planning & Luxury Décor, photo credit Wonderful Wedding Show; Bottom left: Wedding planning by Like A Star Weddings, photo credit @nghiatranphotography. All photos used with permission.

Don’t miss out on these key daily features:

Brides’ Lounge with performances by Danny Kramer Dance Band at 1:30 & 3:30pm daily

Eph Apparel Grooms’ Lounge – Grooms-to-be can even enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Sports Prize Package

Inspiration Gallery – 2,500 sq ft of inspiration!

Fashion Show – 12:30 & 4:30pm daily

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Purchase tickets in advance to be entered for a chance to win a FREE vacation courtesy of LA Travel Group, Air Canada Vacation, and Palace Resorts. Trip value up to $6,000. Includes flights, transfers, hotel, & taxes. Click here for more prize details

Tickets available at http://wonderfulweddingshow.com/tickets/

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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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Downtown Winnipeg Highlights from 2016

2016 was a fantastic year for downtown Winnipeg. Reduced crime, increased cleanliness, and added community support have continued to shape the downtown into a great place to play, shop, and live. Here are ten highlights from 2016 to celebrate as the year comes to a close.

 

  1. Sizzling Summer Events

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The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ hosted 230 events between June and October, attracting over 50,000 visitors to the downtown! From Zumba to movie screenings, festivals to concerts, there was truly something for everyone.

 

  1. Times Square Expert Takes On Portage and Main

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This February, president and CEO of Times Square Alliance Tim Tompkins came to the Fairmont Winnipeg to discuss opening Portage and Main to pedestrians. Tompkins played a huge role in turning Times Square into the tourist destination that it is today, and his perspective on Portage and Main provided a proven vision for the future of this iconic intersection.

 

  1. Police Unveil New Downtown Safety Strategy

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In mid-December, Winnipeg Police Service announced a new strategy to patrol the downtown. With a combination of modern technology and “walking the beat,” the new strategy will increase the presence of officers and foster a heightened sense of community. We look forward to seeing it in action.

 

  1. Manyfest Continues to Grow and Impress

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Seventy thousand people enjoyed the sixth annual Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Manyfest from September 9 to 11. The event celebrates arts, entertainment, community, and healthy living. The Food Truck Wars, presented by ROYALE Tiger Towel, was a particularly tasty highlight again.

 

  1. Canada Day Living Flag Still the Biggest

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Over 3,158 people gathered at Shaw Park on Canada Day to create a living flag, and we’re proud to say it was the biggest in the country! Shout-out to all the participants who made this event one for the record books.

 

  1. Pop-Up at Portage and Main

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From June to September, all four corners of Portage and Main hosted pop-up events on the last Friday of the month. Pedestrians experienced an exciting variety of events and entertainment in Canada’s famous intersection.

 

  1. #finditdowntown

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In May, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ won Marketing Campaign of the Year (over $2,500) at the Winnipeg Tourism Awards of Distinction. Our social media platforms are doing better than ever at informing followers, capturing moments, and celebrating all that downtown Winnipeg has to offer.

 

  1. Host it Downtown

 

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s “Host It Downtown” program aims to increase the number of events downtown. It was founded in 2015, and in 2016, we attracted new and existing events like the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival, SpaceLand, and Peg City St. Patrick’s Day Parade to our downtown. Perhaps we could host your next event?

 

  1. CHAT Program Better than Ever

 

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Community Homeless Assistance Team (CHAT) received increased support this year, with an annual investment of $120,000 from Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries and $150,000 from the City of Winnipeg.

 

The CHAT program provides support to downtown Winnipeg’s vulnerable populations, including homeless people and/or people struggling with addictions or mental health issues.

 

  1. True North Square announced

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In February, True North unveiled plans for True North Square, a $400 million development featuring businesses, hospitality and entertainment, residential space, outdoor rinks, and more.

 

Construction is already underway, and the end product will show again how much our downtown has to offer those who want to live, work, and play in this bustling area that continues to grow with opportunity.

Experience Downtown Winnipeg this Holiday Season

The holidays are always an exciting time for downtown Winnipeg. If you’re trying to find something to bring on the holiday cheer, you can #finditdowntown! There is something for everyone during the festive season.

 

  1. Nonsuch Hold Tours

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The holidays have arrived in Manitoba Museum’s Nonsuch Gallery, but the 17th century hasn’t left! The entire gallery has been authentically decorated, transporting you to 1668 England.

Treat yourself to the sights, sounds, and stories of the past. Listen to traditional folk groups, hear old Christmas stories, and take the rare opportunity to tour the Nonsuch’s cargo hold.

 

  1. Parkade Ball Hockey

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It’s not winter without hockey! Every Tuesday from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the top of the plaza parkade at The Forks turns into a ball hockey rink. It’s the perfect opportunity if you’re sick of passing cars constantly ruining your street hockey games.

 

  1. The Jungle Book

Calling all Disney lovers! Five actors play 21 characters in the Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s adaptation of The Jungle Book. The story focuses on Mowgli a lost child who is adopted by animals in the Indian jungle. If your family enjoyed the live action movie earlier this year, you will love this chance to get up close to the magic of this treasured story.

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It runs December 8 to December 30. Get your tickets before they sell out!

 

  1. Holiday Farmers’ Market

From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on December 15, Manitoba Hydro Place transforms into a vibrant farmers’ market. Whether you’re looking for fresh fruit and vegetables, organic hair products, or glass jewellery, you’ll surely find what you’re looking for.

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  1. It’s a Wonderful Life at The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre

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Enjoy a classic Christmas movie at an iconic Winnipeg venue. On December 18, The MET is showing It’s a Wonderful Life, the film about a guardian angel showing a suicidal man what would happen had he not existed. Tickets include popcorn and The MET’s delicious buffet.

 

  1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

You’ve probably seen the movie. But have you seen it with a live orchestra? On December 11, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performs along with the 80s classic, which focuses on a child’s relationship with an alien who is trying to get home.

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  1. Nutcracker

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker is back! Experience the treasured Christmas tradition with RWB’s world-renowned dancers. With the addition of new characters, the show is fresher than ever, and includes some famous Winnipeggers in walk-on roles. You’ll be hearing those Sugar Plum Fairies dancing in no time. Don’t miss it! On from December 22 to December 30.

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Everybody loves an After Party

Anyone reading my blogs knows that yours truly LOVES a good party. Whether it’s drinks on a patio, sunsets high up on a rooftop, or dancing all night at one of my fave downtown bars—let’s just say I like to make the most of my non-nine-to-five hours.

And for me, I’m never quite ready to go when the party ends, the musicians sing their last song, the bar makes last call and queues Patio Lanterns. Lucky for me—there’s a little wonderful thing called the After Party!

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Photo: theforkswinnipeg.blogspot.ca

After Interstellar

Next weekend, Interstellar Rodeo is coming to Winnipeg and hosting a weekend-long event at The Forks. There’s a whole big impressive line-up of artists and musicians like Wilco, Serena Ryder, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nights Sweats, The Strumbellas, and k.d. lang (HALLELUJAH!)—just to name a few.

And guess what.. there’s an after party! After Interstellar is the place to be for your post-festival celebrations on Saturday August 13 from 10pm to 2am. The after party will take place at the new Forks Market Food Hall with an evening full of wine tasting, food pairings and great music. Winnipeg Wine Cru will be hosting the event, and Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is creating fancy wine pairings with each artist.

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Photo: theforkswinnipeg.blogspot.ca

Local artists Duotang (got to love that name) and DJ Co-op will be entertaining party-goers into the wee hours of the night—so best bring your dancing shoes!

General admission is $50, or $40 if you’re an Interstellar weekend pass holder or Grand Cru Member. You can also use the coupon code, 16170WWC, to get a 20% discount! And sorry kids, the event is 18+. Find out more about After Interstellar tickets at: interstellarrodeo.com/Winnipeg/tickets.

ManyFest After Hours

Still thirsty for more after parties? The Common inside The Forks Market will also be host to the official ManyFest after party on September 10, 2016. ManyFest is Downtown’s biggest street festival taking place September 9-11, with a weekend full of food trucks, live entertainment, local farmers’ and artisans’ market, and much, much, much, much more. Find out more at: manyfest.ca.

Stay cool Winnipeggers, and I’ll see you at the after party!

Mother’s Day gift guide

If you’ve dropped the ball on your Mother’s Day present, no worries! That’s why I’m here! I’ve made a little list of things you could pick up for mom!

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Citrus Kissed flowers from Freshcut Downtown

Flowers: A go-to gift that never fails – say ‘I love you’ with fresh, custom bouquets of your mom’s favourite flowers or choose from a variety of Mother’s Day bouquets at Freshcut Downtown.

Jewellery: Head down to The Forks Market for a variety of jewellery options for your mom – many of the stores have handmade and one-of-a-kind gifts as well.

Spa Day: Turn your Mother’s Day gift into a full-day experience and head to Ten Spa for a mother-daughter (or mother-son) day. Or give her a gift card and turn your gift into a day away for mom.

Athletics: If your mom likes to get outdoors and be active, you can’t go wrong with a gift from Mountain Equipment Co-op. They have a huge selection of outdoor sporting goods, so you can be sure you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Perfume: Switch up your Mother’s Day gift this year by giving your mom a new signature scent from Perfume Paradise. With lots of options to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your mom’s personality.

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Coal & Canary – The Cafe Collection candles

Sweets: Take your mom out for a sweet treat at Dessert Sinsations! Choose from a wide variety of menu options or get a gift card so your mom can sample more than one!

Candles: Coal & Canary candles are available at a variety of downtown stores and are the perfect gift for moms who love a good scent. Check out some of their new scents, Crème Brûlées & French Berets and Baguettes & Sunsets!

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but downtown has so much more to offer! Make sure you really take your time to look around and find the perfect gift!

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!

Make your business a Body Peace Zone

Diet is just a four-letter word, right? Lately, there’s been a huge surge in the body positivity movement, and I for one am all for it! As long as you’re taking care of yourself and you’re healthy, why should it matter what size you wear?

The Women’s Health Clinic has come up with a fun and easy initiative to support the body positivity movement by challenging businesses to become ‘Body Peace Zones’ for International No Diet Day on May 6.

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So, what does participating in this movement look like? The campaign breaks down to three easy features:

  1. Don’t talk about diets, weight or body size
  2. Be non-judgmental about the food choices or eating habits of others
  3. Accept and respect all body types, including your own

The Women’s Health Clinic believes that healthy communities foster healthy individuals. When I spoke with them about Body Peace, they said that negative body image impacts mental and physical health in a number of ways, such as anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

If your business wants to participate as a Body Peace Zone, all you need to do is put up the poster (which you can get here) in visible, high traffic areas and place the inspiring quotes on mirrors and stickers on the front door/window. Also, don’t forget to use #nodietday and tag @WHCwpg to let them know you’re taking part.

Family fun night

Attention child-rearing readers! There are a lot of family-friendly shows coming to Winnipeg in the next few weeks. So whether you have two kids, ten kids, or you’re a big kid—I thought I’d share them with you now so you have time to get your tickets!

Disney FANTASIA: Live in Concert – April 30

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This concert at the Centennial Concert Hall is going to be really cool. The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra is going to accompany two full-length Disney movies – the original FANTASIA and FANTASIA 2000 – while they play on the big screen. What a fun and engaging way to watch a movie! Plus tickets start as low as $25. What a deal!

Peter Pan – May 4-8

Everyone knows the story of the boy who didn’t want to grow up, but have you ever seen it acted out live in front of your eyes? You’re going to want to grab the family and head down to the Centennial Concert Hall for a night to remember. This show includes all your favourite characters from the story and is sure to be a real thrill.

Stars on Ice – May 11

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Join Canada’s best and most accomplished skaters for a night of amazing performances at the MTS Centre. This show is sure to be action packed with lots of jumps, spins and tricks from the stars. All kids who are interested in skating are sure to like this show, so make sure to get your tickets.

If these events don’t appeal to you, there are lots of other fun things to do with your kids downtown. Check out the calendar of events at the Children’s Museum or visit the Manitoba Museum and the CMHR – I’m sure you’ll have fun doing whatever you decide to do!