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Where to Go Winnipeg

Here & Now: What To Do In Winnipeg in July and August

Our picks for must-see and do activities during your stay.

Credit Joey Senft

Credit Joey Senft

Folk Fun


July 6-9 – The revered Winnipeg Folk Festival gives the stage to local and big‑name talent (pictured). Camp out for the whole weekend or escape for a day and see shows by Feist, City and Colour, Barenaked Ladies, and Foy Vance. Eat, drink, shop and dance to live music at nine stages throughout the park. Free shuttle buses depart every 30 minutes from the bus stop at 389 Balmoral Ave, downtown Winnipeg. Birds Hill Provincial Park, visit winnipegfolkfestival.ca for tickets.

Fringe interest


July 19-30 – The 30th annual Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival takes over the Exchange District for two and a half weeks. The celebration of independent theatre boasts more than 180 creative and boundary-pushing shows from across Canada and the world. Old Market Square is the festival’s main gathering spot with live music and local vendors selling food and drinks. Tickets available at the door or with a 7 or 14-show pass. Various venues. 204‑943‑7464 or winnipegfringe.com for full schedule.

Movies on the beach

July 26-30 – Travel North of the city and join thousands of people at the 18th annual Gimli Film Festival. More than 100 dramas, documentaries and short films are screened at indoor venues or on the beach at sunset. See popular movies like American Graffiti and Footloose. Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to movie start time. Rush seating. Various locations. Tickets and festival passes available in advance at gimlifilm.com or at the door.

Go for gold

July 28-Aug 13 Get into the fast paced action this summer and watch young athletes compete for gold in 16 different sports at Canada Games. During the Games, The Forks will act as a central hub showcasing Canadian talent every night with headliners such as Ontario’s Kardinal Offishall, Quebec’s Coeur de Pirate, and Manitoba’s Sierra Noble. Various venues. For tickets and info visit 2017canadagames.ca


Cross the globe


Aug 6-19 Travel the world—no passports required—at Folklorama, the world’s largest and longest running multicultural festival. Enjoy entertainment, such as the flaming limbo at the Caribbean pavilion, and traditional meals, like perfectly pinched perogies and scratch made kolbassa at the Ukrainian show. With 41 pavilions to explore, take a VIP Tour to bypass line-ups and visit multiple pavilions in one night for the ultimate world tour. For information, visit folklorama.ca or call 204‑982‑6210.

My my, how can i resist you?


Aug 10-31 Watch as sunny and funny Mamma Mia! unfolds on a Greek island paradise. The jukebox musical tells the story of a mother, a daughter and three possible dads, all set to the tunes of ABBA. Rainbow Stage, Canada’s largest and longest‑running outdoor theatre tucked away in Kildonan Park is the setting for this hilarious musical show. 2021 Main St. For tickets, call 204‑989‑0888 or visit rainbowstage.ca

My kind of rodeo

Aug 18-20 Music festival Interstellar Rodeo pairs artists such as Beck and Father John Misty with gourmet beer and wine for a full VIP experience. Don’t miss the local food trucks on site. This outdoor celebration takes over The Forks, with weekend and single day attendees free to wander Winnipeg’s meeting place. The Forks, 1 Forks Market Rd. Visit interstellarrodeo.com for tickets and info.

Lots of laughs

Aug 24-27 The 3rd annual Oddblock Comedy Festival returns to South Osborne featuring more than 50 comedians. Catch acts from The Late Late Show writer Eliza Skinner and returning festival favourite Matt Braunger (pictured). Venue-hopping attendees can grab a bite from nearby restaurants and food trucks or relax at streetside beer gardens. Join in the fun during the free open mic nights on Friday and Saturday, 8 pm-12 am. Various locations. 204‑478‑7275 or oddblock.ca for tickets.

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Top 5 Homegrown Stocking Stuffers

Photo by Ian McCausland

Photo by Ian McCausland

Give Christmas morning some Manitoba flavour and flair with these locally made products.   

A well-stocked pantry isn’t complete without sweet saskatoon jam from Tall Grass Prairie Bakery, made with local fruit. 859 Westminster Ave, 204‑783‑5097; The Forks Market, main floor, 204‑957‑5097, tallgrassbakery.ca

Lennard Taylor‘s leather card sleeve wallets are proof that good things come in small packages. The compact design makes paying with plastic a breeze. 223 McDermot Ave, 204-791-4547, lennardtaylor.com

Margot + Maude is a go-to for bold statement accessories. Handcrafted bracelets by Sarah Cameron Jewelry are made with 14k gold and raw quartz, for a feminine yet edgy touch. 80 Academy Rd, 204-272-9140, margotandmaude.com

Located in the city’s Exchange District, A Pinch of Creativity is a haven for local artisans. Support local this winter in stylish, hand knitted infinity scarves by Sly Scarves. 96 McDermot Ave, apinchofcreativity.com

Take home a piece of Canada’s ancestry at Cree-ations. The shop carries beautiful First Nations clothing and accessories like cozy mittens decorated with traditional beadwork. 1346 Main St, 204‑219‑7428, facebook

Where To Shop in Osborne Village

Stantt dress shirts courtesy of Style Bar

Stantt dress shirts courtesy of Style Bar

Trendy shops, a vibrant restaurant scene and an eclectic crowd make this neighbourhood the height of hip.

Start at Oxfords Aveda Salon & Lifestyle Boutique for products to tame tresses, like soy protein-infused potions that help thicken hair.

A short walk north leads to Eyes In The Village for slick specs with hand made Raen frames.

Head to The Canister for a plethora of flavoured coffee beans, loose leaf teas, and sweet mugs.

Across the street, fashionistas flock to tharNzie for vintage-look necklaces made from old watch pieces by local brand Blue Pendulum.

On River Ave, Style Bar is stocked with sophisticated garb like knitted sweater vests and custom sized Stantt dress shirts.

More Winnipeg Shopping Stories:

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Hot Dining: Crowd Pleasing

Photo by Ian McCausland

Photo by Ian McCausland

The RBC Convention Centre relies on organized efficiency. With a recent expansion having almost doubled the building in size, the food service team behind the scenes is busier than ever. For Executive Chef Quentin Harty, this means menu prep, purchasing, building relationships with suppliers, quality control, meeting with clients, and managing 85-90 staff. With hundreds, even thousands, of plates leaving the kitchen under his supervision, Harty must be sure his crack team is operating at full capacity. The seasoned chef enjoys the impact of cooking for a crowd: “whatever you can serve one person, you can deliver to hundreds.” 375 York Ave, 204‑956‑1720, wcc.mb.ca

Hot Shopping: Now Open

Photo courtesy of Grace & Co. Ltd

Photo courtesy of Grace & Co. Ltd

Academy Road’s newest addition Grace & Co. Ltd. is a gifter’s paradise. Floor-to-ceiling windows, fresh flowers and gleaming glass make a bright and airy space for owner Dorota Vannan’s carefully curated selection of home, décor, and bath and beauty products. Peruse shelves stocked with rustic-meets-modern wares, like unique tear-away place papers, artisan-crafted bowls, plates and mugs and the shop’s signature creamy milk lotion and soap. 556 Academy Rd, graceandcompanyltd.com

Top 5 Saucy Secrets

Photo by Ian McCausland

Photo by Ian McCausland

Anyone who’s been guarding a family bolognese recipe will tell you that a pinch of the right secret herb or spice takes a good dish to transcendent heights. These spots have some tricks up their sleeves when it comes to the perfect condiment.

Breakfast, brunch, and lunch at Clementine are divine, with inspired ingredients elevating morning fare. The fried beets, accompanied by jewel yellow, turmeric-heavy curry aioli are a must-have side dish. 123 Princess St, 204‑942‑9497, clementinewinnipeg.com

Beef may be 529 Wellington‘s bread and butter, but the pan seared black cod (pictured) is one of the best fish dishes in town thanks to chef Fraser McCleod’s sweet and briny mirin butter sauce. 529 Wellington Cres, 204‑487‑8325, 529wellington.ca

The silky, slowly simmered bolognese at Italian eatery Cibo gets its rich, savoury depth from veal stock. 339 Waterfront Dr, 204‑594‑0339, cibowaterfrontcafe.com

The butter chicken sauce at East India Company is good enough to eat by the cup—luckily, bottles of the rich, tomato-based curry are available for purchase for home cooks. 349 York Ave, 204‑947‑3097, eastindiaco.com

Golden, buttery hollandaise sauce is a brunch essential, and Stella’s version, packed with strands of dill and ladled over lox eggs bennie on rosemary scones, is the stuff of all-day love affairs. 166 Osborne St, 204-453‑8562; Plug In Gallery, 460 Portage Ave, 204‑772‑1556; Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain, 340 Provencher Blvd, 204‑477‑8393; Kenaston Village Mall, 1895 Grant Ave, 204-488‑7810; 116 Sherbrook St, 204-477‑5556; James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, 2nd floor, 204-779-1415; 1463 Pembina Hwy, 204‑275‑2001, stellas.ca

Artist Spotlight: Larry Rich

Ancient Animal by Larry Rich

Ancient Animal by Larry Rich

Larry Rich fell in love with art the day he stepped foot in his University graphic design class. After realizing he lacked the patience for the technical aspects of design, he began exploring analog mediums like painting on canvas and live model drawing.

More than 20 years later, Rich’s work has been displayed all over the world, from Calgary to Italy. Known for his vibrant and textured paintings of Manitoba landscapes, Rich uses his surroundings for inspiration. Growing up as a city boy, captivated by different angles of the cityscape, led to his fascination with the spaces around us. From his current home just outside Winnipeg, he enjoys the closeness to nature that allows him to envision his next painting.

Each piece begins with one cohesive idea, but Rich allows creative spontaneity to take over. His textured, contemporary style of prairie abstracts is made by applying layers of acrylic paint with palette knives, brushes, spatulas and sponges. The result is a surface that is built up to create a three-dimensional effect. “I look at painting as a building process, as opposed to a painting process,” he says.

His goal for each piece is to convey mood by capturing ambient light. Techniques like gold leafing are used to produce an ethereal glow.

Rich’s background as a musician also informs his art. He approaches these two creative endeavours in much the same way, by using layers—whether of brush strokes or sound—to create a vibrancy that captivates his audience.

Larry Rich’s work can be viewed at Birchwood Art Gallery, 1068 Pembina Hwy, 204‑888‑5840 or 1‑800‑822‑5840

Hot Dining: Now Open

Photo courtesy of Khao House

Photo courtesy of Khao House

New charming West Broadway spot Khao House is making waves with crave-able Laotian comfort foods, like steamed buns, fried chicken and naem khao (pictured). 126 Sherbrook St, 204‑783‑3642, khaohouse.com.

Gourmet burger joint Nuburger, a local favourite for creative toppings and healthy ingredients, is joining the ranks of stellar dining options at The Forks Market, with a shortened menu of signatures. The Forks Market, 1 Forks Market Rd, theforks.ca

Newly renovated and revamped, Carne Italian Chophouse delivers impressive eats in a slick downtown atmosphere. Chef Michael Dacquisto’s menu incorporates classic Italian dishes from grilled octopus to veal marsala, along with a collection of creative sides. 295 York Ave, 204‑896‑7275, 295york.ca

Hoppy Holidays

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

By Joelle Kidd

Craft pints are trending, and a new wave of creative brewers have Winnipeg beer lovers rejoicing. For those with visions of ales and hefeweizen dancing in their heads, these four breweries give local flavour to Christmas festivities.

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

Barnhammer Brewing Co

595 Wall St, barnhammerbrewing.ca

Sip on site: Wed-Thu 3 pm-9 pm, Fri-Sat 12 pm-9 pm, Sun 1 pm-6 pm

BYOB: Barnhammer beers are available on tap at several local restaurants and pubs including Barley Brothers, Blind Tiger, The Common at The Forks, Cornerstone, Yellow Dog Tavern, and Peg Beer Co. Growler filling stations are listed on barnhammerbrewing.ca.

Despite being one of the city’s newest brews, Barnhammer’s geometric logo has already popped up on taps across the city. The brewery itself, housed in a stylish industrial space in the West End of the city, opened Winnipeg’s first taproom in July of this year.

A welcoming room with beer hall-style communal tables, the taproom offers the brewery’s 6 signature beers and 2 experimental flavours, including winter favourites like “Grandpa’s Sweater”—a rich, velvety oatmeal stout—and “Coffee Black”, a strong and malty rye pale ale cut with cold brew coffee from local roaster Dogwood Coffee Co.

Half Pints Brewing Company

550 Roseberry St, 204-832-PINT (7468), halfpintsbrewing.com

Sip on Site: Brewery tours offered most Saturdays. Call for details.

BYOB: Half Pints beer is available at all Winnipeg Liquor Mart locations and on tap at numerous local restaurants and pubs.

A decade ago, Half Pints ushered in the craft beer movement in Winnipeg. The independently-owned brewery has gained national recognition and won multiple awards.

Four flagship beers are offered year round: the biting Little Scrapper IPA, malty and floral St James Pale Ale, nutty Bulldog Amber Ale, and a coffee-infused Stir Stick Stout. The brewery also makes regular forays into seasonal specialties, so look out for offerings like Encyclopedia Brown, a hoppy and malty brown ale set to be on tap at restaurants and Liquor Mart growler bars in November.

Photo courtesy of Peg Beer Co

Photo courtesy of Peg Beer Co

Torque Brewing

830 King Edward St, 204-941-1723, torquebrewing.beer

Sip on Site: At time of print, Torque plans to have a taproom open in early November. Call for details.

BYOB: Find Torque products at all Winnipeg Liquor Mart locations and on tap at Yellow Dog Tavern, The King’s Head PubBarley Brothers, The Grove, and Peg Beer Co.

Torque has been sending out beer since late August of this year, to a warm welcome: the brewery is on track to exceed a goal of putting out 1 million L of beer in its first year, recently purchasing 5 additional brewing tanks to keep up with demand.

A range of four tried-and-true brews please beer drinkers of all stripes: a dark stout with hints of roasted coffee, chocolate, and malts, an aromatic and hoppy IPA, a coriander- and citrus-scented Belgian wheat beer, and a Munich style lager. Construction of a taproom is underway at the brewery, with plans to be open early November for hop heads to try before they buy and sample special seasonal brews. Select styles of beer like Barleywine, Russian Imperial Stouts, and sour beers will be available only at the brewery.

Peg Beer Co

125 Pacific Ave, 204-416-2337, pegbeer.com

Sip on Site: Sun-Thu 11 am-11 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-12 am

BYOB: Peg Beer Co’s brews can be found on tap at Liquor Mart growler bars (call for availability).

Winnipeg’s first brewpub matches craft beer with a rustic menu focused on regional ingredients. Housed inside a former warehouse/skatepark in the east Exchange District, the rustic-industrial space boasts a brewery in the back and tables in the front, where beer connoisseurs can snack on anything from tart house made pickles to full Sunday-dinner style roast chicken or ham.

Four signature beers are now on tap, including a drinkable session ale, a hearty stout, a red ale brewed with rye, and an IPA. Rotating specialty beers branch out from the basics with more complex flavour. Berliner Weisse, a sour white beer, and Saison, a fruity, bottle conditioned variety, are in the works, both having gained growing popularity with beer enthusiasts. For those wanting a peek behind the scenes, the brewery is open for free tours every Monday at 7 pm and 8 pm.

Winnipeg’s Drummer Boy

Sean Quigley has turned his viral internet success into an opportunity to change the world and explore his passion, one song at a time.

Photo courtesy Sean Quigley

Photo courtesy Sean Quigley

By Joelle Kidd

When asked, “why The Little Drummer Boy?”, a grin creeps over Sean Quigley’s face.

“Do you want the cheesy answer—or the real answer?”

The question, of course, refers to Quigley’s video of the same name, which as racked up almost 3.3 million views to date on YouTube. In it, the then 16-year-old, clad in shorts, a toque, and Hudson’s Bay Canada mittens, carries a drum through snowcapped scenes of a Winnipeg winter while an updated version of the carol—complete with buzzy guitar and a drum solo—plays. The video has resonated with a huge number of people, winning internet fame, and has had long lasting impact on many fans.

At the time, Quigley had not the faintest idea that his project would be so successful. “To be honest, I chose the song because of the Boney M Christmas album,” he says. “I just wanted to put my own spin on it.”

Armed with nothing but a borrowed video camera and a school computer covertly loaned by one of his High School teachers, the teenager set out to make a music video. The original plan was to shoot indoors, which turned up too dark on camera. Then, the morning of the planned shoot, Sean awoke to a dazzling snowfall. “I just knew, we can’t miss this,” he says. He and his sister formed a makeshift film crew, loading his drums into the back of her car and driving to his favourite spots around the city.

“I think people relate to its authenticity,” he says. The video was made on a whim, with DIY spirit, at next to no cost, by a young musician. For Quigley, the video’s story is one of searching and finding—a version of his own personal journey. “At the time, I felt like I didn’t have anything to offer the world except music,” he remembers. At the end of the video, the lone drummer stands, overlooking the city, playing his snare drum, his voice finally heard.

In the five years since The Little Drummer Boy was originally posted, Quigley has come a long way. The burst of success that followed his viral video sensation originally took him to Los Angeles, where he ended up on the edge of a quarter million dollar record contract.

But this record deal required compromising the authenticity that had won him fans in the first place. “I couldn’t do it—it didn’t feel right,” he says. “So I walked away.”

Quigley has never regretted turning down the offer. Instead, he has found purpose and the freedom to express himself here in his hometown of Winnipeg.

Online success opened the door to promoting charitable organizations. In one instance, he was offered a partnership deal with Hudsons Bay Company, after they saw the iconic Canada mittens featured in the Little Drummer Boy video. Like the rest of the video shoot, the mittens were chosen for practical reasons—Sean’s hands were cold and he grabbed some mitts out of the car. But he used his newfound clout to collect mittens for Winnipeg’s homeless, and held a special concert with proceeds going to local shelter Siloam Mission.

He has also worked with World Vision, and while travelling with the organization met fellow Winnipegger Karli Gerbrandt, who was working at a non-profit in Cambodia. The two musicians and world travellers reconnected when they returned home to Winnipeg, got married, and began playing music together.

Under the name Bold As Lions, the duo released a full studio album in 2014 called The Hope Movement, a collection of crisp harmonies, earworm hooks, and poignant lyrics. Another album is in the works to be released this year.

For this couple-turned-band, roots in this city go deep. “There’s something special about Winnipeg,” Sean says. “I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world, but I never feel there’s anything I can’t do right here.”

Find concert schedule and music online at boldaslions.ca.

See the video that started it all:

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Hot Art: Shifting Perspective

Photo by Leah Snyder Courtesy Plug in ICA

Ode To Miss Eagle Testickle by Ursula Johnson (photo by Leah Snyder)

To Jan 1

Group exhibition Superimposition: Sculpture and Image at Plug In ICA features artists Nadia Belerique, Valerie Blass, Ursula Johnson, Kelly Lycan, Ursula Mayer, Kristin Nelson, Dominique Rey and Andrea Roberts. The exhibit includes a variety of mixed media pieces exploring superimposition—a technique usually unique to image—in three dimensional space. The collection, which draws inspiration from fashion, film, architecture, and performance, incorporates bright colours, text and texture to create sculptural works that play with the conventions of graphic design. Unit 1-460 Portage Ave, 204‑942‑1043, plugin.org

Hot Dining: Flipping Burgers

Photo by Ian McCausland

Photo by Ian McCausland

The team behind slick spot Nuburger has given fast food a gourmet makeover, with dressed-up beef, chicken, bison, and veggie patties boasting wild toppings like house made boursin cheese and blueberry barbeque sauce. Committing to local sourcing, choosing to make everything in house, and ensuring all napkins and take out containers are compostable has set this burger joint apart. By working towards a greener, healthier, tastier world, Nuburger proves that the humble hamburger just might be the ultimate superfood. 472 Stradbrook Ave, 204-888-1001; 1-1650 Kenaston Blvd, 204‑615-2009, ilovenuburger.com