Free Downtown Entertainment This Summer

While the whiteout parties are behind us, there’s no shortage of excuses to head downtown in droves for free entertainment this summer.

Tune in

Throughout June and July, every Thursday comes alive with members of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) serenading people in the streets through their lunch hours.

Edmonton Street (between Graham Avenue and Portage Avenue) will see duets or solo acts from the WSO perform each week. Concert pianists, violinists, horn players and vocalists will carry tunes throughout the noon hour.

On Tuesdays, Cityplace draws its own crowd for a lunchtime concert series out on its second-floor terrace off the food court. Catch live Manitoban acts throughout the summer months until August’s end.

Not to be outdone, Portage Place stages its own Indigenous Concert Series on the last Fridays of June, July and August.

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Sweat it out

If it’s a workout you’d rather fit in, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Fitness in the Park is kicking off another summer jam-packed with opportunities to work up a sweat.

Every Monday to Friday, from now until August’s end, green spaces throughout the downtown will host free fitness classes suited to all types of participants.

Memorial Park, Millennium Library Park and Upper Fort Garry will see Pilates enthusiasts, Zumba lovers, boot camp devotees and yogis unite for a free sweat.

The rotating roster at each location helps you mix up your routine if you’d like to attend multiple classes – visit Millennium Library Park for yoga on Mondays and Fridays, Memorial Park for Zumba on Mondays and Fridays, Millennium Library Park for Zumba on Wednesdays and Pilates on Thursdays, and Upper Fort Garry for boot camp Tuesdays and Thursdays.

(Dates are weather permitting – be sure check the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ social media channels @downtownwpgbiz to be notified in case of any changes!)

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Shop ‘til you drop

Finally, shopping for fresh produce during your workday is made easier through the popular Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Farmers’ Market, serving up fresh local fruits and veggies, baked goods, preserves, meats and cheese, crafts and many other handmade gems looking for a home.

Everything from locally made bitters and spirits, gluten-free perogies and fresh lemonade can be squeezed out of this hyperlocal festivity. Located behind Manitoba Hydro Place and along Edmonton Street, the market is always received with much fanfare (not unlike our beloved Jets making playoffs). Find the Market running 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday from June through September.

Stay tuned for more on special Night Markets (new this year) to take place the last Friday of each month this summer from 4 to 11 p.m. outside Manitoba Hydro Place.

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For more information on upcoming downtown summer events, visit downtownwinnipegbiz.com/events.

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Top 5 must-haves for your next holiday party

It’s my favourite time of year, I think we’ve established that already. But just to remind everyone, I LOVE the holidays. I love getting creative with gift-giving (aka shopping!), indulging in all the delicious treats that seem to come with the season, and I especially love throwing a good holiday party for all my friends.

I know you’ll make great use of these five tips for your next holiday party!

1. Music to set the tone.

To get yourself in the mood, you have to put on some holiday tunes while you get ready. Personally, I like to check out the seasonal collection of CDs at the Millennium Library (2nd floor) for an eclectic mix.

Library music

2. A signature scent.

I love working a delectable signature scent into my ensemble – it’s an important accessory! Which is why I could only narrow it down to two favourites. Hermes Rouge ($134) and Des Merveilles Elixir ($145), both from Perfume Paradise. I suggest putting a little dab right behind each ear once you get out of the shower, and let the compliments about your subtle yet sophisticated choice wash over you all night.

Perfume

For your man, spritz him with Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce ($114) and thank me later.

Abercrombie

3. Chic table setting.

It’s coming together. It’s sounding good, you’re smelling fabulous, now it’s time to set the table. This one takes some thought. Will you have a theme? What’s the nature of the event? Classic and classy? Casual and friendly? Upscale cabin in the woods? Whatever you’re looking for, Glucksteinhome at Hudson’s Bay downtown has some beautiful tables set up for inspiration, and some even more beautiful sales. I’m a fan of the Alpine Cabin series – plaid tablecloth (regular 69.99) and napkins (19.99), now 40% off – you can dress them up or down.

Table

4. Make your own floral arrangement

Not a DIY-er, you say? Nonsense. I love leaving it to the experts too, but it feels good to make something beautiful for yourself (or someone special). Plus in this case, the experts at Freshcut Downtown will be guiding you along every step of the way.

What: Create a beautiful centrepiece to take home for the holidays!

When: December 16, 5:30 PM

Where: Freshcut Downtown (Portage Place)

Cost: $25 plus tax, portion of proceeds go to Change for the Better

Space is limited! Call 204-943-6514 to reserve your spot!

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5. Wine.

Need I say more? Fenton’s Wine Merchants at The Forks has you covered – even if the MLCC strikes this holiday season. I suggest anything red or white, sparkly or pink, frequent re-fills and a plan for a safe ride home.

Wine

Wish you had something special for your next holiday party? Snap a photo and put it on your #downtownwishlist by tweeting or Instagramming me (@downtownpeggy) or posting on my Facebook wall! Remember to use the hashtag #downtownwishlist. You have to #finditdowntown!

Happy holidays!