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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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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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.

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.

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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