Downtown Bro Date Ideas

Can we just all agree that downtown Winnipeg is just about the best place to hang out and relax for an afternoon? You have the Jets in winter and the Goldeyes in summer, The Forks all year with the most amazing atmosphere and shops to grab things you won’t find anywhere else, and in the downtown you’ll find some of the best restaurants in the world waiting to feed you.

Have you met my new friend Jordan Cieciwa? He’s the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s new Ambassador of Health and Happiness. Myself, Jordan, and his friend and camera guy Jaremy Ediger headed out for an afternoon and evening of entertainment downtown recently.

Jordan works with NOTT Autocorp when he’s driving around downtown making his wellness videos, so we saw an opportunity to have a little fun in his car, and test Jaremy’s photo skills.

First we checked out The Forks. Jordan is guilty heading to The Forks only when they have events going on. Immediately I saw my chance to convert yet another Winnipegger into a “True Forks Believer”. You have to go people watch and check out the stores that have amazing artwork, unique clothing, and just about everything else including bicycles that scream “Winnipeg”.  It also gave Jaremy a chance to take a couple cool photos.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

Even though I could walk and shop at The Forks forever, we had places to be and a fancy car to drive, so we zoomed off in style to our next stop, food at “La Roca“.

We found a pretty solid place to hang out with friends at La Roca. I’m not going to lie to you, the best part of La Roca is the amount of cheese in their quesadillas; well, that and the amount of people in the place having a great time. We were heading to the Goldeyes game next, and we weren’t the only ones there getting ready for the Goldeyes to be champs again. Lots of people in the place were gearing up for a good time downtown, and as always with La Roca, the atmosphere was electric.

We finished our food paid our tab and chalked another win up for La Roca. From there, things got real.

Real rainy that is.

We headed over to Shaw Park where we got the terrible news, game cancelled due to rain.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

For those of you who don’t know, the Goldeyes just won their second title in two years and their third since 2012. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are the American Association Champs back to back, 2016 and 2017!

This team is a well oiled machine: they play with pride, and they play to win. There are a ton of cities in the states that know about Winnipeg because our baseball team crushes them each and every year, but who’s counting right? We were! Huge congrats to the Goldeyes. Even though you didn’t entertain us this night, you came through in the end. History was written, and the events leading up to the win were so “storybook” that even Sports Illustrated took note. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are famous!

However for our day downtown, we now had a bit of a gap.

As it turns out, Jaremy is full of fun facts about Downtown Winnipeg so he took us to some of his favourite spots to share some local history. As a guy that loves the music and entertainment scene, Jaremy has walked most of the downtown to see a ton of local bands and he blew our minds with a couple facts.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

There was a team decision made that we are going to start a regular trivia segment on Instagram. The downtown is simply the coolest, and it should be celebrated.  So, speaking of celebrations, we want to see where you party… specifically where you partied to celebrate the Winnipeg Goldeyes winning the second title in two years. The best celebration selfie wins $100 at La Roca. I believe everyone needs to get down there to try their amazing food! Enter to win now by sharing your selfie on Facebook (find the post and share your photo in the comments), Twitter on Instagram by September 30th at 4pm. Tag me @downtownpeggy to enter!

See you downtown,

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Mother’s Day 2017: Meet You Downtown

This weekend is Mother’s Day and there are wonderful ways to celebrate the moms in your life at one of these events happening around downtown Winnipeg.

The Return of Evelyn Hart in Vespers

Internationally-acclaimed Canadian ballet icon Evelyn Hart joins the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in the world premiere of James Kudelka’s Vespers, a new ballet choreographed to Claudio Monteverdi’s ‘Vespers, 1610’.

Vespers means “evening prayer” and has stood the test of time for over four hundred years- a true testament to the music’s remarkable power. Vespers combines dramatic atmospheres with creative classical ballet technique, contemporary styles and perspectives on relationships, nature and the spiritual world.

Claudio Monteverdi’s stunning score is performed by a live choir accompanied by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Vespers is alive with vibrant character, colour and texture with all the richness of a renaissance painting. This emotionally powerful ballet features iconic ballerina Evelyn Hart in a role created especially for her.

I recently had the opportunity to see this wonderful show and was thrilled to see the iconic Evelyn Hart make her return to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for this world premiere. This show will leave you in awe and will even provide you with a little bit of laughter!

Vespers runs May 10-14. For show times and ticket information, please see the RWB box office and website.

 

Picasso in Canada

Opening this weekend–get ready for Manitoba’s first major showcase of work by Pablo Picasso in over 40 years. This summer, the WAG presents Picasso in Canada and Picasso: Man and Beast, two exhibitions highlighting the many sides of Picasso, who remains one of the greatest artists of all time.

As part of the WAG’s Canada 150 celebrations, Picasso in Canada brings together 35 artworks by the artist, including paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints, and ceramic works. Drawn from art museums across Canada and private collections, the exhibition spans five decades of Picasso’s artistic production, offering a range of well-known themes and images, including intimate portraits of five of Picasso’s lovers. Among these pieces is Seated Woman, arguably the most renowned painting by Picasso in a Canada.

For show details and tour information, please visit picasso.wag.ca.

Meet You At The Library For A Movie

On Sunday, May 14, at the Millennium Library treat yourself and mom to this much talked about film based on Rosalie Ham’s bestselling novel of the same name. The Dressmaker is the story of femme fatale Tilly Dunnage who returns to her small hometown in the country to right the wrongs of the past. A stylish drama with comic undertones about love, revenge and haute couture. 119 min. Rated PG. Showtime is 2:00PM – 4:00PM.

BONUS IDEAS:

If you and mom are working on your FitBit competitive levels, consider lacing up those walking shoes and taking in The Loop as presented by Tourism Winnipeg. This fantastic tour takes you through Winnipeg’s best and most iconic spots and at your own pace. Download the map here, plan your noshing spots, and get out and enjoy this beautiful city with mom on her special day.

Artisan Craft Sale at the Marlborough Hotel

Sure you’re invited to brunch but then stay and shop at one of Canada’s historic landmarks in the heart of city.

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Spring Break Downtown: Highlights and Must-Dos

As the clock strikes 3:30 today, could you hear the cheering of voices from the children all around Winnipeg?

Spring Break is up next week, and there is no shortage of fun and amusement available throughout downtown Winnipeg.

Here’s our list of must-do events during Spring Break:

FESTIVAL OF FOOLS

Festival of Fools is free family event held at The Forks during spring break week. This 7-day free family festival features jugglers, clowns, acrobats, swinging trapeze and circus workshops and tons of hilarious shows! In addition to funding support from The Forks and the Winnipeg Arts Council, the WICF solicits donations at the event to both present the best in family entertainment and to keep the festival affordable for everyone! Did we mention it’s FREE?! And with The Common now at The Forks, it’s easy to make a day of it. Food options for even the most picky eater and of course, flights of craft beer for the adults.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Saturday, March 25 to Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bring your family and join us in special activities taking place throughout spring break! Spring break programming starts Saturday, March 25 and ends Sunday, April 2, 2017. All activities and special events are included in the cost of admission.

Special offer: Kids 12 and under get in free from March 25 – April 2, 2017.

More information available on CMHR website.

 

MANITOBA MUSEUM

March 25 – April 2 • Open daily 10 am – 5 pm
Meet you at the museum for a week of fun activities in the newly renovated and expanded Alloway Hall and the debut of a brand new Planetarium show.

  • Portraits of the North: Drawings by Gerald KuehlGet inspiration from Portraits of the North exhibit and experiment with different drawing techniques at our portrait station.
  • Crafts and hands-on activities – Create and decorate a miniature birch bark paper basket and decorate it with your own designs or create a Red River friendship bracelet.
  • Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre – Get up close to the live animal displays (Mon, Wed & Fri 1:00 – 4:00 pm)
  • Take the 10 Things Challenge – Try and do all 10 activities at the Museum before the end of Spring Break including boarding the Nonsuch, exploring the Dino Dig and building a race car.
  • Meet BMO the Bear (Tue & Thurs at 1:30 & 3:30)

Towne Theatre

After visiting downtown shops and restaurants, how about taking in a movie? Beauty and the Beast and other exciting movie experiences are waiting for you and your family at The Towne. Check showtimes here.

 

Millennium Library

Reading with Raptors

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 2:00PM – 2:45PM

Registration is required for this event.

Owls and falcons will be swooping in to the library with staff from the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.  Staff will bring an owl or falcon and together we will read stories and learn interesting facts about these wondrous birds.  For children ages 6 years and older.  Younger siblings may attend if accompanied by an adult.

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No matter what you do this spring break have fun exploring and experiencing our downtown and all it has to offer your family!

 

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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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Downtown Holiday Shopping for Kids

Spend the day downtown, and you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to find amazing gifts for your kids! Here are some of our favourite spots to look out for.

 

Kite and Kaboodle

Start your day at The Forks! Get some breakfast and head over to Kite and Kaboodle, which has an impressive selection of books, toys, kites, and games. The store is bursting with over 25,000 items, and 5,000 are added each year.

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The staff at Kite and Kaboodle attend trade shows and constantly search for new products, so you get to choose from the best.

 

Pylon

While you’re at The Forks, pop in to Pylon. If you lose to your kids on every pop-culture quiz imaginable, you’ll want to see their selection.

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With Superman socks, Sonic the Hedgehog toques, Doctor Who figurines, and thousands more, this is your one-stop pop-culture shop!

 

Living in the moment: Experience art and culture downtown

One way to give a gift that lasts all year is to gift a family membership so you can experience your favourite places over and over again and get exclusive invites and sneak peeks to upcoming events. Another way is to gift tickets to show or special presentation from one of the many iconic cultural and arts organizations within downtown Winnipeg.

If you’re looking for a family membership, have a look at the Manitoba Museum or the Manitoba Children’s Museum.

If you’re interested in taking in a play or art display with the family, how about Manitoba Theatre for Young People, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the Centennial Concert Hall, or any of the programming events put on by the Winnipeg Art Gallery or the Winnipeg Railway Museum at the Forks.

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Books and more!

Downtown Winnipeg has plenty of stores for the bookworms in your family.

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Located on the main floor at cityplace, Coles features a wide selection of new books and gifts. If your kids are Harry Potter fanatics, get them Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay. If they love hockey, pick up 99: Stories of the Game by Wayne Gretzky.

 

If you’re looking for quality, pre-owned books, check out Book Fair Winnipeg. This Portage Avenue bookstore has books and comics that you may not find at Coles.

 

If you’re looking for even rarer books, head over to Bison Books on Graham Avenue. They have 20,000 used, old, and out-of-print books that you won’t find anywhere else.

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!

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.

The MOST ROMANTIC Dinner Date

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.

Just be awesome.

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Hey! Did you go to Interstellar Rodeo a few weekends ago at The Forks?

What an awesome time. How great that we could come together as a community, in the heart of our city – where two rivers meet – and where people have been meeting for most of history, to share in the amazing music created by top musicians.

I thought it was a great fest. The music was fantastic – now I can say I’ve been serenaded by the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Dwight Yoakam and Vance Joy.

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The crowd was a pleasant size and it was really enjoyable to have the option of wine paired with each act.

And I enjoyed being able to walk home at the end of the night!

It’s events like this that make our downtown and public spaces like The Forks even more welcoming, vibrant, and exciting to go to.

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I’m excited to hear that downtown will be the home of a whole bunch of new events in the coming months. It makes sense – downtown is where it’s at! I’ve been saying this for years.

But truly, we have it all – several transit hubs, green space, restaurants and some of the largest event spaces in the city – heck, the new RBC Convention centre is going to be the biggest space of its kind between Toronto and Vancouver. And it’s central to everyone, no matter where you live in the city!

Events I’m looking forward to finding downtown in the coming months include:

Snowflake: Snowflake is a winter urban wellness retreat that will nourish and inspire in the cold prairie winter. The event offers participants rejuvenation, inspiration, and connection to their community through an offering of wellness workshops and inspiring activities to choose from. Yoga with renowned teachers from across the country, creative workshops, inspired speakeasy session, outdoor adventures, live music and entertainment, vendor village.

Wall-to-Wall II: Wall-to-Wall is a mural and culture festival that sees the creation of indoor and outdoor murals. Each new work of art is celebrated with unique events. Wall-to-Wall II will expand beyond West Broadway, the birthplace of the festival, to Downtown, with an exterior mural launched at Fools & Horses Coffee Co.

Downtown ARTery: Downtown ARTery will transform the entire stretch of Graham Ave. from the WAG to 201 Portage into a corridor of light and art. It will dramatically change both the distribution of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg activities and Winnipeggers’ experience of this underutilized area, while highlighting a variety of local artists and performers. Also, there’s A Moveable Feast bike tour on the September 26 – the night of Nuit Blanche. Participants will get to check out the Artery before getting VIP access to the WAG on this popular night! Info/tickets available here.

2K Dangle: A fun run for hockey fans of all ages and skill levels will see participants run and stickhandle a ball for 2 kilometers starting at Memorial Park then ending at Manitoba’s Legislative Building.

Spaceland: A one-day block party inspired by SXSW, Spaceland will take over an urban dead zone and fill it with music and people, facilitating a collective reimagining of public space. Food trucks, a small beer garden, eight of the city’s hottest up-and-coming bands and two national headliners, and creative placemaking, will make Spaceland an exciting new addition to the city’s musical landscape.

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For more events coming to your downtown, click here!

#finditdowntown this NYE!

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Image c/o onlyinthepeg.com

 

I know there’s a certain handful of you who are slowly awakening from a turkey-coma and are suddenly scrambling to solidify plans for the most fun and glam way to ring in 2015. I have you covered – here are the top downtown NYE parties to choose from. I know I’ll be hoppin’!

RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg

Get Hollywood Glam at the RBC Convention Centre and dance the night away with Ron Paley’s Big Band after a red carpet reception and Oscar-worthy meal. Assorted ticket combinations available.

UNO 2015 at Carbone Coal Fired Pizza

Dress in black and gold and party in the new year with DJ MAV_ONE at this exclusive New Years celebration. Text 204-510-2365 for tickets.

Rock-in-2015 at the Radisson Hotel Downtown Winnipeg

Dress up and Get Down at the Radisson this NYE, with dinner and dancing to Ricki Redbone and the Flashbacks with Argentine tango between sets.

The Pyramid Cabaret

Groove to classic dance tracks mixed with contemporary electronic music mixed by Nathan Zahn, Joe Silva and Rick Logic. Get tickets at Soul Survivors, Ticketmaster, Into the Music, or the Pyramid Cabaret.

New Year’s Eve at the Met

Party from 9:30 pm – 3:00 am to the jams of Keisha Booker, DJ Spazz, and DJ Rahdil. Tickets available at Aldo Formal Wear, The Met, and Blacklist.

New Year’s Eve at The Forks

And for the family and all-ages, free favourite, why not ring in the new year at The Forks surrounded by activities, skating, arts and crafts, local talent in the Forks Market, and an amazing fireworks display at 8:00 pm.

Now quick – make your decision and go figure out what you’re going to wear!

And as always, stay warm, stay safe and have the best New Year’s possible! Cheers!

 

 

The Future of the Forks

I can’t really wrap my head around it, but not so very long ago, this was the Forks. Winnipeg only started redeveloping it in 1989(!)

Hard to imagine, right? It’s such an iconic piece of our city now, that when I think of it, all I see is this:

With one exception – the massive gravel parking lots, aka Parcel 4 and the Railside area. I know that they get filled up sometimes, when Canada Day and New Year’s Eve rolls around. But realistically, most of the time they’re a big fat eyesore next door to the best public space in the whole country. Kind of a shame. And finally, that looks like it might change! After the waterpark got a thumbs-down, The Forks has been leading a planning process to figure out what should go there, and a few days ago they revealed their preliminary concepts. Here’s what this parking lot could change into in a few short years….drumroll….

The whole area is beautifully green looking, but filled with projects designed to make sure it’s appealing & full of people. That includes high-rise residential, main floors that will encourage pedestrians like places to get food, retail shops, galleries, artisan or cultural spaces. There’s a terraced park and an urban plaza for the public. There will be an area reserved for a future cultural or community space, and in one of my favourite details, land will be reserved for public art. (and yes, there are going to be a couple of parkades)

It’s not 100% yet, but it looks like this plan has a lot of support. It got the thumbs-up from a civic committee yesterday, and personally, I’m pulling for it (that’s got to count for something, right?) You can check out more of the concepts at the their website here. It’s SUCH a dramatic change that it’s hard to even wrap your head around how quickly this could happen – but then again, if I’d seen the picture of the Forks in the 80’s, I don’t think I could have imagined what it would be today.

So tell me – what do you think of the plan for The Forks?