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Winnipeg

Hitting The High Notes

70 years after its inception, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra continues to be the heart and soul of the city’s arts community.

Music is embedded in Winnipeg’s DNA. Our prairie town has always marched to a different drum, and we have plenty to show for it: the birthplace of musicians like Neil Young and Burton Cummings, Winnipeg also boasts world famous festivals, a lively music scene, some of the oldest and most esteemed arts institutions in the country.

Among these institutions: the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Celebrating its 70th season, the symphony is integral to the city’s cultural life, delighting more than 100,000 audience members each year with almost 300 concerts.

The WSO first opened its curtain in December 1948 to an audience of 3,000, and within six seasons had become one of the top four orchestras in Canada. It regularly tours throughout the country and has participated in hundreds of radio broadcasts, released numerous recordings, launched and nurtured an internationally renowned New Music Festival, and played twice at Carnegie Hall. The WSO also provides the music for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Manitoba Opera Association.

“Not many orchestras are able to switch so seamlessly between the classics, pop, Broadway, and playing with young local indie bands such as Royal Canoe, not to mention the amount of new music they play during the New Music Festival,” says music director Alexander Mickelthwate. “It’s astonishing really.”

With a nucleus of 67 musicians, the organization has attracted professionals from around the world who have established significant careers here and a have made Winnipeg their home (currently, a husband, wife, and daughter all play in the string section).

Cellist Arlene Dahl, who has been with the symphony for almost four decades, continues to feel the anticipation and excitement of a live performance. One of her most memorable nights, they played for one thousand recent immigrants to the province. Music transcended language and spoke to the power of the human family, creating a transformational moment not only for the audience, but for the musicians as well.

Equally moving was the 2014 performance at Carnegie Hall. The WSO was chosen from more than 30 orchestras across the continent, and wowed the audience with their all-Canadian program. “What enhanced our experience was not just playing in that hallowed hall or playing with Dame Evelyn Glennie or playing R. Murray Schafer’s Symphony No. 1,” Dahl says. “When we walked out and saw almost 1000 Manitobans waving their patriotic red scarves and sharing our victory, that brought the tears.”

The transformative power of music reaches beyond the Concert Hall and into the community. As part of its outreach programs, Musicians in Healthcare offers performances at various care facilities in Winnipeg, uplifting patients, visitors and staff. The WSO also presents educational programs for more than 40,000 students annually, including Sistema, a daily, intensive after-school music program in Winnipeg’s inner city that is offered at no cost to the students. The impact is substantial, including improved classroom attendance and grades, greater parent involvement in the schools, and a growing self esteem in the students.

The orchestra is among Canada’s most innovative. Now in its 25th year, the New Music Festival explores new and rarely heard works by composers from around the world. The Festival was founded by music director Bramwell Tovey and the WSO’s first composer in residence, Glenn Buhr. The festival continues to flourish and draw international attention under the leadership of Alexander Mickelthwate.

Mickelthwate has been the force driving the symphony for the past twelve seasons, a fearless promoter of the value of music in people’s lives. Under his direction, the WSO has bridged education and entertainment, gaining a reputation for being both accessible and compelling. The Symphony’s 70th anniversary season coincides with the final year of Alexander Mickelthwate as music director.

“We try to be part of the fabric of the community in every kind of positive way,” says Tracy Schroeder, the WSO’s Executive Director. “I watch our audience members come in frazzled and then leave glowing from the experience. One patron said to me, ‘just being here tonight, I was so glad to be alive!’ The WSO is not just relevant but indispensable,” she says. “It’s why we do it.”

For a whole host of Winnipeggers — kids taking in their first symphony experience during the Kids Concert Series, local music fans watching their favourite bands partner with an orchestra, new music enthusiasts encountering boundary-pushing works, and season ticket holders delighting in new interpretations of the classics — Schroeder’s words ring true. This world class outfit with local pride is music to our ears.

Artist Spotlight: Hubert Theroux

HUBERT THEROUX grew up in the rural community of Cardinal, Manitoba with a love for Canadian prairies. At the age of 10, Hubert began to sketch illustrations of art and prairies. Post-high school graduation, he took photography courses to help feed his creativity and inspiration for future paintings. “Next thing you know I was shooting weddings for friends,” Hubert laughs.

    Known internationally for his realistic landscape paintings, Hubert has made a living as an artist for more than 25 years. His art continues to be inspired by the ever-changing colours of the prairies. Hubert also generously devotes time to the local art community and as the acting president of the Assiniboia Group of Artists Co-op. From Oct 27-29, meet Hubert and 40 other local artists at Manitoba’s largest professional art exhibition show Manitoba Art Expo at Assiniboia Downs. Be inspired by paintings, photography, sculptures and other medias throughout the weekend exhibit.

    In addition, Hubert’s art can be viewed at Birchwood Art Gallery year-round.

Assiniboia Downs, 3975 Portage Ave, manitobaartexpo.ca; Birchwood Art Gallery, 1068 Pembina Hwy, 204-888-5840

Top 5 Art Finds

These Winnipeg boutiques are filled with art beyond the traditional paint brush and canvas. Take home one of these spectacular artful items, handmade with love.
A mash-up of 110 Canadian artisanal products fill the walls and display boxes at Tara Davis Studio Boutique. Find beautiful pieces from hand-embroidered maps from Sadie and June to Birch Street Studio’s laser cut jewellery.
• 246 McDermot Ave, 204‑504‑8272, taradavis.ca
On the fourth floor of an historic building, discover the dream studio of Mud and Stone. Watch the potters hand mould and paint one-of-a-kind decorative serving trays, flower pots and tableware.
• 290 McDermot Ave, mudandstonestudio.com
Find treasures crafted by First Peoples of North America at Teekca’s Aboriginal Boutique. Check out the stunning painted mural mug and coaster sets by Rabbit Studios (pictured).
• 1 Forks Market Rd, second floor, 204‑946‑0539
Shop WOW! Mabuhay outdoor and indoor home décor at the Johnston Terminal at The Forks. Unique products are imported from colourful wind chimes to stone sculptures.
• 25 Forks Market Rd, main floor, 204-947-9342
At Blue Hills Design, find paintings made by Canadian artists along with home décor. Check out the decorative painted wood boxes by British Columbia company Cedar Mountain Studios.
• 444 Academy Rd, 204‑487‑1151, bluehillsdesign.ca

Top 5 Arts & Food Pairings

Get dinner and a show by pairing a performance with a masterpiece meal at one of these local restaurants.

Housemade pastas at The Mitchell Block are the perfect prelude to curtain raising at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Try tender agnolotti stuffed with sweet potato and sage bathed in brown butter.
• 173 McDermot Ave, 204-949-9032

The oldest continually running theatre company in Canada, Le Cercle Moliere delights with whimsical French language performances. Stop in at the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain before a show and dine on filling tourtiere covered in maple cream sauce at Stella’s bright, welcoming space.
• 340 Provencher Blvd, 204-447-8393

Make a pitstop at the Saddlery on Market, steps from the Centennial Concert Hall, before watching one of Winnipeg’s most venerated arts institutions perform. Roasted beet and goat cheese salad (pictured) will have feet tapping even before the Royal Winnipeg Ballet takes stage.
• 114 Market Ave, 204-615-1898

Magical adventures unfold on the Manitoba Theatre for Young People stage. Take advantage of the theatre’s location at The Forks and slurp up a plate of spaghetti bolognese at the Old Spaghetti Factory inside the Johnston Terminal.
• 25 Forks Market Rd, 204-957-1391

At the Winnipeg Art Gallery, glimpses of Wanda Koop’s work grace the walls. After touring the exhibits, head to the museum’s penthouse level, where Table restaurant serves scrumptious exhibit-inspired lunches.
• 300 Memorial Blvd, 204-948-0085

Manitoba Memento: Manitoba Necklace

MBNecklaceFor locals sporting ‘Toban pride and visitors searching for stunning souvenirs, this necklace from local designer Hilary Druxman is the perfect keepsake. This sterling silver pendant, with a small cut out heart is handcrafted at chic jewellery boutique Hilary Druxman in the heart of the Exchange District. $30, 258 McDermot Ave, 204‑947‑1322, hilarydruxman.com

Top 5 ways to dine in nature

Get a dose of the wild or a picturesque view of outdoor scenery at these spots that blend sit down dining with outdoor fun.

Courtesy of Tundra Grill

Courtesy of Tundra Grill

The patio at Prairie’s Edge overlooks a serene pond surrounded by the greenery of Kildonan Park. Start the evening with crispy fried beet fritters before taking in a show at outdoor theatre Rainbow Stage. 2015 Main St, 204‑284‑7275

Hearty breakfast and lunch options make Buffalo Stone Cafe inside FortWhyte Alive nature preserve a go-to pick for a sweet nature setting inside city limits. The signature bison burger and a breeze off the shimmering lake are a perfect pair. 1961 McCreary Rd, 204‑989‑8355

Tundra Grill (pictured), inside the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s Journey to Churchill exhibit, boasts a 9 by 150 foot wall of windows looking out onto a polar bear habitat. Snack on kid-friendly foods like hamburgers and pizza while observing the animals roam and play. 2595 Roblin Blvd, 204‑927‑8060, Map 2: D-2

The elegant country cottage setting at Pineridge Hollow is the perfect backdrop to scratch-made fare that highlights prairie products. After sampling wild mushroom-stuffed perogies, wander the on-site garden and hand feed the goats outside. 67086 Heatherdale Rd 25E, Oakbank, MB

A century old country estate is the setting for fine dining at The Gates on Roblin. Seats in the Atrium deliver breathtaking views with your tender duck confit. Take a stroll around the grounds and visit horses grazing in the paddock. 6945 Roblin Blvd, 204‑224‑2837

A Sports Lover’s Guide To Winnipeg

As the birthplace of athletes from Terry Fox to Cindy Klassen, It should come as no surprise that Winnipeg is a major sports city. This year, as proud hosts of the 2017 Canada Games, there’s no better place To Find activities for every breed of sports fanatic. On your mark, get set, explore!

HEALTH START
Start a day of exploring right by fuelling up with these eats locals love. Grab a cold pressed juice from Green Carrot Juice Co (3 locations) to replenish electrolytes, or sip on a protein-packed smoothie. Manitoba-made GORP Energy Bars, found at most of the city’s health stores, will imbue your day with energy. Carbo-loading is the name of the game at The Original Pancake House, where stacks of buttermilk flapjacks rival Ryan Cochrane’s breakfasts.

 credit Joey Traa, Sport ManitobaCALLING ALL FANS
The Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame inside the Sport Manitoba building celebrates the Canada Games with an exhibit exploring the event’s 50 year run (pictured). Photos and artifacts from every province and territory in Canada—including medals and uniforms from the first Canada Games in 1967—are on display. For budding atheletes, the Children’s Museum exhibit Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action provides a place to play. Get the little ones moving with activities like virtual surfing, a kung fu session, and a strength-building climbing wall.

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE
For a landlocked prairie province, we love our water—and Manitoba boasts more than 110,000 lakes. Diving, swimming, sailing, and rowing competitions are sure to whet your desire to make a splash yourself.

  • Get inspired by a day trip to Gimli. After taking a dip in the lake, head to the New Icelandic Heritage Museum to see an exhibit of stunning sailing photos (Jul 1-Aug 30)
  • Go swimming in the Pan Am Pool, or take a trip to Kildonan or St Vital Park to enjoy outdoor heated pools and splash pads for kiddos
  • Sit back on a guided tour of the Assiniboine river from Splash Dash Water Tours—or grab a paddle and explore the waterway by canoe
  • Get the blood pumping at Adrenaline Adventures with cable wakeboarding and beach volleyball
  • See a birch bark canoe used by this land’s first inhabitants at the Manitoba Museum
  • Prep for a day of sun and fun by picking up cute swimwear at The Hula Hut and Bra Bar
  • If you can’t make it to one of the province’s beautiful lakes, try local lakefish in one of the city’s regional themed restaurant. The Cornerstone serves pickerel in a French-influenced lemon butter sauce, while Fergie’s Fish and Chips at The Forks perfects the classic deep fry

GOLF GURUS
Think you picked up some pro tips from watching the competitors in action? Better hit the greens.

  • Practice on virtual golf simulators at Winnipeg’s only indoor Golf Dome
  • The mini golf course at Thunder Rapids is perfect for pint-sized putters
  • Lush 323 acre La Barriere Park boasts a 5700 foot long, 18-hole disc golf course
  • Golf balls emblazoned with the Winnipeg Jets’ logo from the Jets Gear Store display Winnipeg pride on the course

SUPER CYCLISTS
Between a thriving bike culture and slick city trails and paths, Winnipeg makes it easy to emulate your favourite mountain bikers, cyclists, and triathletes.

  • No bike, no problem—rent a ride from one of the city’s cycling shops. White Pine Bicycle Co at The Forks is centrally located, while Woodcock Cycle has the added perk of coffee from The Yellow Derny Cafe, inside
  • For a leisurely pedal, try out a bicycle built for two (or four) at Bee2Gether Bike Rentals at The Forks or Assiniboine Park
  • Take an art tour and see the city by bike at the same time. The Winnipeg Arts Council’s ArtRide (Jul 30) takes a scenic spin through St Boniface and St Vital. The Downtown BIZ’s A Moveable Feast tour (Aug 8) features stops at five different restaurants

PLAY BALL
Hundreds of ball players are fighting for gold during the Canada Games. Fans hit a home run of their own at these spots to dine, shop, and play.

  • Dine on Indian and Hakka cuisine while overlooking the diamond at Clay Oven at Shaw Park
  • Root for the home team by picking up swag at the Goldeyes Dugout Store
  • Batting cages at Grand Prix Amusements offer a chance to practice your swing
  • Hone your pitching skills on skee ball machines at hip sports bar Underdogs (pictured below)

    Credit Gary Barringer

    Credit: Gary Barringer

Best Improved Attraction for 2017: Meet the Market

By Joelle Kidd

With stunning design and a revamped food hall concept, Winnipeg’s most historic meeting place has become its freshest attraction. WHERE editors have named The Forks Market Winnipeg’s Best Improved Attraction for 2017.

26915911563_7c1cfe1a4a_oThe place where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers converge has been a gathering place for 6,000 years, as a a sacred site, a bustling trade centre, and a hub for transportation.

What better place to meet a friend for a locally brewed beer?

In the past year, The Forks—the city’s renowned tourist attraction—underwent an impressive renovation project. What resulted is more than a little facelift on Winnipeg’s favourite food court. The Forks Market is emblematic of Winnipeg and a point of local pride; a place where Winnipeggers bring their guests to say, this is my city.

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DRAMATIC DESIGN
The Forks site and its signature ‘Forks Market’ opened in 1989 as a tourist destination, combining fresh market sensibilities with vendors selling handicrafts and imported wares. Its creation was a massive undertaking, transforming a disused rail yard in the centre of the city into one of its top attractions.

In 2014, as The Forks celebrated its 25th anniversary, it became clear it was time to refresh the look. Brainstorming meetings led to an idea that would keep true to The Market’s spirit while giving it a mod makeover.

“Winnipeggers have a sense of ownership for this space,” says Chelsea Thomson, director of communications for The Forks. In order to preserve the aspects beloved by locals, they recruited designers at Winnipeg-based Number TEN Architecture Group, who began to think of the space as the city’s living room.

“The central atrium […] has a very high ceiling with a glass roof,” says architect Greg Hasiuk, who lead the project. “Our intent was to bring down the scale and change the entire look and feel to be more intimate.”

References to The Forks’ past are blended with warm, welcoming elements and twists of local flavour. Raw steel, blacksmith work, and natural wood meld with the historic building, while sleek charcoal accents and pendant lights pull the space into the future.

The centerpiece of this inviting environment is a line of reclaimed oak tables with collapsible leaves that transform into a 88-seat harvest table, fostering the feel of community dining. Like all materials used for the reno, tables were produced locally by custom fabrication shop Wood Anchor.

Other Manitoba-made items include drum-style light fixtures crafted by Metal-Tech industries, decorative blacksmith work by Cloverdale Forge, and drink flights served on Manitoba-shaped boards carved by Huron Woodwork.

In the glass walled atrium, filled with skate-lacers in the winter, three starburst shaped ornaments hang from the ceiling. Come closer and you’ll realize these impressive decorations (made by Wood Anchor) were created from donated hockey sticks. As Thomson notes, “there’s a little piece of many Winnipeggers in this space.”

It only seems right. Stop in for a bite or a pint at any time of day, and you’ll see families chattering over plates of food, couples holding hands over coffee, and girls nights celebrating over glasses of wine—a kitchen party for all to enjoy.

EATING PLACE
If ‘food court’ conjures up images of greasy fast food and chain restaurants, The Forks is the antidote. The former horse stables house a diverse range of local vendors slinging everything from gourmet burgers to Caribbean cuisine.

On any given day, a bustling crowd of diners peruses the stalls and halls. Laughter and chatter create the atmosphere of a party where the guests are constantly changing. Footlong hotdogs piled with sauerkraut share the table with Argentinean-style empanadas and sushi tacos stuffed with crab and avocado.

Plans are in the works for two new ‘microrestaurant’ concepts that will each have a separate seating area but allow for free movement between the restaurant space and main hall.

theforks

SIPS AND SUDS
While spaces that mix drink kiosks and food vendors are common in Europe and have begun to emerge in cities like New York and Portland, Oregon, the concept is new in Manitoba and rare in Canada. Visitors to The Forks can grab a drink at The Common and wander freely throughout the rest of the main floor, melding a family friendly atmosphere with the convivial vibe of a neighbourhood watering hole.

Local brews and outstanding imports are the focus, seleted to pair well with a meal. On tap, find Winnipeg breweries like Half Pints Brewing, Little Brown Jug, Peg Beer Co, and Barnhammer Brewing. A special wine pouring system ensures all bottles are available by the glass, and a curated selection complements the usual suspects with finds like biodynamic natural orange wine from Ontario and a lively pinot blanc from the Okanagan Valley.

Top 5 shops for the whole family

mcnally 4 cr kyle thomas

These local shops are family favourites offering products for parents and kids alike!

    At McNally Robinson Booksellers, guests get lost in so much more than books. Kids climb a spiral staircase to explore fun toys and picture books while parents tap into nostalgia and rifle through the large selection of music on vinyl (pictured). Everyone can agree on superb treats in the pâtisserie case  at attached restaurant Prairie Ink. 1120 Grant Ave, 204-475-0483

   #1 Forks Trading Co A mash-up of Canadiana fills the shelves at The Forks Trading Company. Check out the upcycled blown glass sets (pictured) and adorable childrens’ accessories by Hello Darling, from bow ties to flower crowns. 1 Forks Market Rd, 2nd floor, 204‑949‑1785

    Test out the games on display in Kite and Kaboodle‘s inviting and playful space. Walls are lined with crafts such as build your own LEGO fidget spinners and board games perfect for the next family night. Johnston Terminal at The Forks, 2nd floor, 204‑942‑2800; St. Vital Centre, 1225 St. Mary’s Rd, 204‑257‑4595

 RS41190_6109079-hpr   Shop
Ten Thousand Villages for one of a kind products that support artisans in developing countries. Moms will love cozy Alpaca throws made by artisans in Peru (pictured) while young ones discover new instruments such as bamboo flutes. 134 Plaza Dr, 204‑261‑6381; 963 Henderson Hwy, 204‑661‑5545

    Young and old will be inspired by educational games, home décor, Fair Trade fashion items, and more at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights Boutique. Unique games teach sign language or the braille alphabet during play. Fair Trade tea and chocolate makes for a feel good treat. 85 Israel Asper Way, 204‑289‑2005

Artist Spotlight: Alexis Lagimodiére-Grisé

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Alexis Lagimodiére-Grisé grew up 30 minutes southeast of Winnipeg in the small town of Lorette. Now a rising star in the Brooklyn New York art scene, reflections on a youth spent in Winnipeg have inspired Alexis’s latest work.

While studying Fine Arts at University of Manitoba, Alexis lived with other artists in the Exchange District where he could walk around for hours seeking inspiration. Winnipeg architectural icons such as Union Station and Centennial Library influenced his work.

Recently, Alexis spent time searching through Manitoba’s archives and was drawn to prints of the former St. Boniface city hall. He began replicating and altering the backgrounds of these historic photographs, creating images that question and call attention to the function of temporality and space. From Jul 13-Aug 26, these pieces will be on display in this same historic city hall itself, now home to La Maison des Artistes Visuels Francophones. 219 Provencher Blvd, 204-237-5964, maisondesartistes.mb.ca

Hot Dining: Pretty Patisserie

Photo by Ian McCausland

Photo by Ian McCausland

Sweet delicacies are having a moment in the sun, but for Nathalie Gautier and her husband Gilles, Instagram-worthy desserts are not a fleeting trend but a representation of years of hard work spent mastering time honoured techniques. At bustling Main Street bakery, A L’Epi de Ble, these French ex-pats bring a slice of Provence to the prairies. Loaves are made with the traditional process—no preservatives, dairy, or gelatin, and never shortening—and the pastry case holds treasures like colourful macarons and eclairs stuffed with rich pastry cream. With her broad smile and lilting French accent, Nathalie herself is part of this cozy nook’s charm. 1757 Main St, 204‑334‑2526

Manitoba Memento: Camelina Oil

Courtesy of Freefield Organics

Courtesy of Freefield Organics

For a souvenir that pulls double duty as a tasty and ultra-nutritious pantry addition, take home a bottle of locally produced camelina oil. The non-GMO oil is packed with good-for-you benefits due to naturally high levels of Omega-3 and Vitamin E. Don’t worry about burning off nutritional value—unlike other culinary oils, can withstand high heat cooking up to 475°F.

This wonder ingredient, produced by Erna and Frantz Kracher of Freefield Organics, was the first certified organic camelina oil in Canada. On their 400 acre farm in rural Inglis, Manitoba the couple grows and cold presses the seed into oil. To try before you buy, visit restaurant and gift shop Pineridge Hollow and taste chef Matty Neufeld’s camelina-dressed wildberry salad before picking up a bottle. Also available in the city centre at DeLuca’s Market.

Pineridge Hollow, 67086 Heatherdale Rd, 25 km out of the city, 204‑777‑3881; and DeLuca’s, 950 Portage Ave, 204‑774‑7617