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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Delicious Honey, Coming Straight from your Neighbourhood

For centuries, honey has been known as “nature’s gold” for its great taste and amazing health benefits such as the prevention of heart disease, reducing throat irritation, and the healing of wounds. How amazing is that! Honey is definitely a favourite of mine and when I found out that we had hives here in downtown Winnipeg, I was super excited to find out more!

Chris Kirouac, the founder of Beeproject Apiaries, started his company as an experimental project, as the bee community and the ability to extract a pure and natural food from them, piqued his curiosity. He now refers to it as his out of control hobby!

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Chris initially started out with five hives and he and his wife now maintain over 140 in the Gimli/Winnipeg area, including some in our very own downtown. Last year, Beeproject produced Neighbourhood Honey by beehives kept on the Manitoba Hydro Place rooftop, where they fit perfectly with the sustainability mindset that the building was created with. While downtown, these bees discreetly pollinated local flowers in their search for local pollen and nectar.

One of the many great things about Beeproject is that they promote urban beekeeping and are committed to using sustainable methods by using organic techniques of hive management whenever possible.

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With its great taste and amazing health benefits, it is sad to see that the honey bee population is globally declining with over a third of the population disappearing over the last five years. What this means is that our agriculture is in serious danger. More than 130 fruits and vegetables that make up a nutritious diet, depend on the cross-pollination of honey bees.

Urban settings such as the rooftop of the Manitoba Hydro Place are ideal for honey bees, as they are shielded from the many bee-killing pesticides linked to industrial agriculture, while also gaining more days for pollinating due to warmth and wind protection.

The Urban Pollination Project, an initiative created by the Beeproject, is generating awareness about these issues and continues to promote urban beekeeping which is so great for these honey bees and our downtown! Find out more by visiting their website at http://www.beeproject.ca.

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WHERE TO FIND BEEPROJECT HONEY: Beeproject’s creamed honey can be purchased at a number of retailers throughout the city, while their Neighbourhood Honey can only be purchased directly through their website or exclusively through Parlour Coffee and Chew Restaurant.

We also have some exciting news to share! Beeproject will be opening a storefront in the Osborne area this Spring (launch is TBA). Be sure to check them out!

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FUN FACTS:

  • Neighbourhood honey which is produced in urban settings has subtle fruity and floral notes and both the flavour and colour changes throughout the season as the dominant type of flower changes.
  • Natural raw honey will crystallize over time and if you prefer your honey to be softer or liquid in consistency, simply warm your honey to the desired consistency. You can also enjoy it in the solid form with all its flavour and health benefits fully intact.
  • If stored appropriately (with the lid on and only clean cutlery used in the jars), it should last forever!
  • Honey is great to include in hot beverages like tea or coffee, on fresh baking or paired with soft/ fresh cheeses. Raw honey easily replaces refined sugar in many recipes.

Craving some honey yet? I have the perfect solution. Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag both @BeeProjectCa and @DowntownWpgBIZ. You will receive one free jar of Beeproject’s Neighbourhood Honey (produced on the rooftop of Manitoba Hydro Place) while supplies last!

See you downtown,

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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

 

 

 

The Planit – downtown’s newest hangout!

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There is so much going on downtown these days – I can hardly keep up! But as I was bustling down Portage Ave one noon-hour, I noticed a new business in a space that’s been empty for a while!

The Planit – at 285 Portage Ave. – is a very cool addition to the Portage strip. Owners Ashley and Sandra pride themselves on hosting guests in a safe, comfortable space and serving up fantastic, locally sourced food.

I tried a few apps when I was there – the elk flatbread pizza and stuffed jalapenos, which were both delicious, and I’m looking forward to going back to try a few of the sandwiches and entrees. And because they’re big on sourcing ingredients locally, the menu will change with the seasons.

Other cool things about this place: they’re super focused on the community through hosting events, fundraisers, bands, djs, poetry readings…you name it, staying open till 4 a.m. on weekends, offering up wall space to local artists to display and sell their wares, and they even have a program in place for people experiencing homelessness to grow the skills they need to transition into the workforce.

They’re hosting the Flash Photography Festival this month, so there’s your perfect excuse to pop by for lunch or when hunger hits after hours on the weekend!

Want to win a $50 gift cert to The Planit? Check out their menu and let me know in the comments what you’d order and you just might be the lucky winner!

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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