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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.

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


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

stars on ice_supertramp_jbennett

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!

Summer Concerts at Bell MTS Place

You know when you wake up in the morning and a song comes on that just gets you pumped for the day ahead? Well that happened to me this morning! Admittedly, “Work” by Rihanna is not always my go-to song, but when it’s the alarm clock stirring me from sleep I find it just it’s the thing to really get me going.

Luckily for all us RiRi fans out there, Rihanna will be rocking out downtown next Monday at Bell MTS Place And I for one could not be more excited! Best of all, Rihanna’s just the start of a great summer line-up at Bell MTS Place! Get ready downtown, because the summer IS coming, and it’s going to rock!

Rihanna – April 18


We’re only days away from Rihanna’s concert at Bell MTS Place. Always out-going, you can be sure she’ll put on a great show with special guest Travis Scott. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you better get on it. You can buy them online here.

The Who – May 4

This concert will be a night to remember as the band celebrates their 50th anniversary. Because this is a re-scheduled show, tickets that were originally purchased for the October tour date at Bell MTS Place will be honoured. For those of you who still need tickets, you better get them before they’re all gone.

Hedley – May 7


You can check out well-known Canadian pop-rock group, Hedley, at Bell MTS Place this summer. Joined by 2 other Canadian pop singers, Carly Rae Jepson and Francesco Yates, this will for sure be an energetic and fun concert to attend. Get your tickets while you still can!

Selena Gomez – May 20

She’s made a huge name for herself in the world of pop music these past few years, and I’ll bet she puts on a great show. Joined by special guest, Tyler Shaw, you’re going to want to catch this show at Bell MTS Place if you’re a fan of pop music. Click here before it’s too late.

James Taylor – June 3

With decades of music to play, James Taylor’s concert will be one to remember. In addition to the classics, he’ll also be playing music off his new album, which has been receiving a lot of praise since its release. He’ll light up Bell MTS Place so be sure to get your tickets.

Meat Loaf – June 9

If you only know Meat Loaf for his Bat out of Hell album, you’re going to want to go to this concert to discover how much more of him there is to see. His acting background is sure to come out for an extremely entertaining night at Bell MTS Place. You better get your tickets while you can.

Justin Bieber – June 11


Never has any artist made a bigger comeback than The Biebs! I don’t think you can call yourself a Canadian, or even a Winnipegger, if you don’t know who Justin Bieber is. Unfortunately, this concert is already sold out, so probably the only way for you to get tickets is to win them on the radio.

City and Colour – June 14

Singer, songwriter, performer – is there anything Dallas Green can’t do? I don’t think so! In support of his latest album, this concert is a great option for those of you looking for a chill, laid-back night. Make sure to get your tickets.

Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas – August 29

What do you get when you pair up two unbelievably dynamic singers and performers? An amazing, ear-busting concert that’s what! This is a can’t-miss for all you pop fans out there, myself included. Grab your girls and your tickets for a girl’s night you won’t forget!

That’s it for now! Other concerts may still be announced for this summer, so make sure you stay up-to-date by subscribing to my blog! You’re not going to want to miss out on the concert of the summer!

Will you be my Valentine?

It’s that time of year again, and even though I’m still searching for my special someone I can still have a little (or a lot of) Valentine’s Day fun downtown.

Dinner & a Movie

What better way to jump-start your inner romantic than watch everyone’s favourite Canadian couple fall in love.

The Notebook

That’s right. The MET will be showing The Notebook on Wednesday, February 10 from 5-9:30pm, so gather your girls for some pre-Galentine’s Day fun. Tickets are $35 and include dinner, popcorn, and all the Ryan Gosling you can handle. And if you’re looking for another timeless love story, The MET is playing Casablanca on Sunday, February 14 from 5-9:30pm.

Scary & Sentimental

Who says Valentine’s Day has to be sweet? Check out the St. Valentine’s Horror Con, February 13 and 14 at the RBC Convention Centre. There will be horror-related comics, costumes, and collectibles and of course a few horror film screenings to keep you scarred and cuddled around your sweetheart. Tickets start at just $10.

Love & Live Theatre

Impress your friends—or your fella—with your love affair with the theatre! The Things We Do For Love takes the stage at the Royal MTC’s Tom Hendry Warehouse Theatre from now until February 20. Tickets start at $22.

feast with goddessesDine like a Goddess

Is there anything more romantic than Aphrodite, the God of love herself? If you haven’t had a chance to check out the WAG’s Olympus: The Greco-Roman Collections of Berlin exhibit yet, why not attend their Special Edition Valentine’s Day Feast with Gods & Goddesses. Tickets are $80 for Members, $85 for Non-members and include a three-course exhibition-inspired dinner and a visit to the exhibit.


Have you heard that the Fairmont Winnipeg’s VG Restaurant has been named one of the most romantic restaurants in Canada? If you haven’t already made your reservation for their Aphrodisiac Valentine’s Day Dinner, get on it! Tickets start at $80 per person and after the news of their lovebird location, I wouldn’t wait too long to get yours.

All’s fair in Love & Hockey

Valentine’s Day is about sharing the love. Catch a Manitoba Moose game at the MTS Centre at 2pm on February 14 and a portion of each ticket sold in P2 or P3 will be donated to KidSport Manitoba. Tickets start $17, and who doesn’t feel good about helping kids play!

Fresh air & Free!

Like any proud Winnipegger, I love a good discount. And after a long work week indoors, I NEED to get outside. Valentine’s Day at The Forks is my perfect solution. Whether you’re drinking hot chocolate, or checking out the warming huts, is there anything more romantic than skating hand-and-hand down the Red River Mutual Trail?

Get your girls. Grab your guy. Get out there. And remember love, you can #finditdowntown.

Hello hockey!! (Help!)


Maybe you’ve already noticed, but for the sake of clarity, I’ll say so myself: I’m not a very sporty gal.

I was the kid who would sneak out of gym class to go shopping downtown. I’d choose pumps over pumping any day. I’m much more interested in restaurant reviews than sports stats. And…I’m almost sorry to say that I’ve only set foot in our very own MTS Centre for concerts and things other than hockey.

But it’s all about to change.

It’s been declared the Year of Sport in Manitoba (aside from the usual suspects, we’re hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup of Soccer AND the Grey Cup!) and I’m kicking it off (puns always intended!) the best way I know how.

Tomorrow our hometown boys play against Ottawa and I am very excited to finally have the chance to cheer them on!


Here’s my tentative agenda for the evening. Please let me know if I’m on the right track:

1. Head to the Jets Gear Store at 300 Portage Ave. on my lunch break to pick up something thematically appropriate to wear to the game, so everyone knows who I’m cheering for.

2. Dash to the Yellow Dog Tavern at 386 Donald (hop, skip & jump away from MTS Centre) right after work to grab a spot because I hear it fills up VERY quickly on hockey nights!

3. Have a bite to eat, perhaps my favourite grilled cheese sandwich in the city (the rosemary adds a little something extra special), but really anything on this not-your-average pub-grub menu will satisfy!

4. Instagram (#finditdowntown)

5. Wash it down with a local beer – they’ve got the standard line-up of Half Pints on tap, and they’ve also always got first dibs on any of the exclusive, limited time Half Pints kegs (think Pistachio Mustachio for Movember, etc.)

6. Scoot over to the MTS Centre, find my seats, shout “Go Jets GO!” as many times as possible, perhaps grab a Jets Dog as a snack (I hear they are epic), cheer some more, and hope they win!

7. Instagram (#GoJetsGo, #finditdowntown)

8. Take the skywalk to Shark Club or Boston Pizza or The Pint for a post-game drink.


Sound about right to you? What does your typical game night look like? Which are your favourite pre- and post-game hang outs? What are your favourite snacks at the game?

Fill me in, friends – I’m a rookie!



How cute is that face? Seriously? I’m way past my kid years, but when I see Toothless from the movie How to Train Your Dragon, I can’t  help it – a big mushy “Awwwwww….” comes out. It’s like a reflex!

Clearly I’m not the only one, cause the movie’s been so popular that they’ve made it into a live travelling show! The How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular is coming downtown starting the day after tomorrow to the MTS Centre. And one of my lucky readers gets 4 tickets to the Saturday show! Just tell me one thing: I wanna see dragons! That’s it – send it in the comments, post it on Facebook, tweet me – you can enter once each way!

Dinos at the Manitoba Museum, dragons at the MTS Centre – is it just me, or is downtown kid heaven right now?

WE day!

Did you notice something a little different around the MTS Centre when you went to work today? Did it seem a little more crowded than usual for first thing in the morning? I have to admit, my first thought was that Justin Bieber made a surprise return 🙂 But then I remembered it’s something much much cooler – WE Day! More than 18,000 students are flooding into the MTS Centre to get inspired to take action on global and local issues. They get to hear from speakers like Free the Children founders Marc and Craig Kielburger, and Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet Union leader (how wild is it to have him in downtown?). I love seeing young people get inspired to take action and make their city and their world better – so when we pass all the students there today, let’s give them a big “way to go!”

If you want to watch it live (I know I will) there’s video coverage on the Free Press site right here!


Totally Titanic

After much anticipation, the city’s newest big exhibit opened last night. Hot on the heels of the successful Bodies show, the former A&B sound building on Portage Avenue is now home to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.

I still can’t believe what an amazing job the MTS Centre has done with this space–and this new show is no exception.

It starts with the feeling that you’re underwater. Blue lighting and dim corners show off how the wreckage of the Titanic was collected. Did you know there are more astronauts in the world than people who have been down to see the sunken ship?

You’re also handed your “ticket” when you start the tour with your passenger name and information on it. I was Mrs. Claus Peter Hansen (Jennie L. Howard) for my voyage. I was 45 years old, hailed from Racine, Wisconsin and told my brother before I left that I didn’t expect I’d return alive. Creepy.

The exhibit then runs through the ship’s construction and its first day at sea. You learn about all the details through a hand held device that guides you through an audio tour. It was kind of fun to note how many people said the ship was unsinkable and still a little shocking to realize they were so sure of this, they didn’t have enough lifeboats for everyone aboard.

You’re also given the option to have your photo taken and superimposed on the background of the grand staircase. You remember the one from the movie right? When Leonardo is looking all handsome in his tux? (Yah, just admit that you do.)

After that you’re treated to all kind of artifacts that were found with the ship–from dishes and chamber pots to suitcases, money and even an a jacket. I loved seeing all the kitchen and dining pieces, particularly a set of perfectly-preserved gratin dishes that were found sitting in the sand at the bottom of the ocean in a perfect row of dominoes.

They also had a re-creation of a first class cabin–that was my favourite part. It was so pretty and luxurious–I definitely could see myself in there. (Unfortunately Mrs. Hansen was in steerage according to her ticket.)

There is also a re-creation of what third class was like as well. It was so life-like with the sound of the humming engine that would have been constant background noise for those at the bottom of the ship.

Through there you’re taken into the boiler room and introduced to the men that kept the ship moving. After that, the events of the disaster start to unfold. There’s even a real iceberg that you can touch (and it’s made of actual ice).

The exhibit concludes with an ode to the lives lost on the ship and a neat little interlude that talks about what was happening in Winnipeg at the time. (There’s a whole exhibit on Manitoba’s connection to Titanic at the Manitoba Museum that I’m hoping to check out next week.)

Always a sucker for shopping, there’s also a gift shop where you can buy dishes with the White Star Lines crest on them, as well as re-creations of other various artifacts. I particularly loved the White Star Lines blankets!

Titanic runs until June and tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.