JUNE 15-24 In Winnipeg, the Red River Exhibition is a harbinger of summer. With attendance of more than 200,000 per year, the Ex truly offers fun for the whole family. Adrenaline junkies will be put to the test by death-defying rides such as the new Mach 3, while tamer thrill seekers can snack on sugar-covered mini-doughnuts while checking out bands at the mainstage. Every night culminates in a dazzling fireworks display. Visit for early tickets or purchase at the fair gates. Red River Exhibition Park, 3977 Portage Ave, 204-888-6990.
Best Sandwiches in Winnipeg: the bánh mì at Viva Restaurant
Sandwich lore contends that the bread-bound dish was invented by John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, as a one-handed solution to sustenance while playing cards. While the historical accuracy of this is contested, the sandwich’s mobility and versatility are undeniably universal. After much lifting a chewing, we’ve selected the best five sandwich spots in Winnipeg, listed here.
OPENS JUNE 11 One of music’s most iconic figures is the subject of Rainbow Stage’s season opener Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story. Featuring more than 20 of his greatest hits including “Peggy Sue,” “Maybe Baby” and “Rave On,” this musical will evoke the golden age of rock ’n’ roll and explore the lasting legacy left by the bespectacled wunderkind whose life and career were tragically cut short. Tickets $60. Rainbow Stage at Kildonan Park, 2012 Main St. Call 204-989-0888 for tickets.
JUNE 13-23 Over the course of its 23-year history, the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival has evolved into a destination music festival thanks to ear-to-the-ground, genre-spanning programming that appeals to jazz purists and music heads alike. Nearly 100 acts are slated to play this year’s fest, including Grammy award-winning hip hop crew The Roots (pictured), eclectic indie darling Maylee Todd, soul diva Bettye LaVette and more. Free lunchtime and evening outdoor concerts at Old Market Square are great places to catch local talent, and The Cube will be transformed into an open-air lounge. Various venues. Call 204-989-4656 for tickets and visit here for full lineup and schedule.
Wide-open prairie summer skies demand stylish sunglasses. Whether it’s oversized Jackie Os for lounging poolside or sporty shades for rousing beach volleyball tourneys, treat your eyes to a pair of spectacular new sunnies.
Bohemian stylistas will want to flock to Hoopers Bazaar. This Exchange District shop stocks authentic deadstock vintage frames from the 1960s and ’70s (pictured). 70 Albert St, 204-943-5240.
Water sport specialist NBS Board Sports & Apparel is the place for high-quality UV-blocking shades made for hitting the water, from respected lifestyle brands like Electric Visual. 1580 Taylor Ave, 204-654-9740.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with a classic pair of Oakleys. Winnipeg’s Oakley Optical boasts an impressive selection to appeal to every style. 1570 Kenaston Blvd, 204-489-2146.
For contemporary wear-to-work looks, Osborne Spectacle Centre has you covered. This Osborne Village optical shop is known for its sleek, modern Scandanvian eyewear. 134 Osborne St, 204-477-1636.
If it’s fashion-forward frames you’re after, head to Para Mix. Look for ultra-trendy tortoiseshells or glamour-puss cat eyes in the eclectic display case. 108‑100 Osborne St, 204-453‑8626.
STARTS JUNE 1 Mounted by the neighbourhood biz, Exchange District Walking Tours offer wondrous windows into this city’s most history-steeped ‘hood. Two comprehensive routes, the East and West Exchange, note storied sites of Newspaper Row, Grain Exchange and distinguished Madames and explore a recent wave of green development that has added vibrance to the area. Dig deeper into fascinating tales of the Winnipeg General Strike, organized crime syndicates and more on tightly focused theme tours.
Discover the history behind one of Winnipeg’s most unique neighbourhoods. Now a National Historic Site, the Exchange District is home to some of the city’s oldest and most architecturally stunning buildings. East and West Exchange tours are 1.5 hours each. Forty-five minute specialty tours feature Banker’s Row, Winnipeg Grain Exchange, Theatre District, Winnipeg General Strike, Real to Reel, Newspaper Row and the popular Death & Debauchery tour that explores the city’s dark secrets from explosions to angry mobs. Call for hours and tour bookings. Adults $8/1.5 hr, $7/45 min; children/senior/student $7/1.5 hr, $6/45 min; 10 and under free. Group rates available. Tours depart from Old Market Square, King St & Bannatyne Ave, 204-942‑6716.
Public Winnipeg Art: Michel de Broin’s Monument
PUBLIC WINNIPEG ART: STOP #1
Monument @ La Maison des artistes visuels francophones
Underneath their granite veils, two anonymous figures stand hauntingly in the Jardins des sculptures on the lawn of La Maison des artistes visuels francophones. Eschewing classical sculpture rules, Monument artist Michel de Broin shrouds the identity of these figures. This artistic rule-breaking plays on the old-versus-new theme inherent in Winnipeg’s French Quarter. Visitors can find other works about a block and a half east of the Provencher Bridge. The newly developed sculpture garden at this artist’s centre houses permanent and temporary pieces for contemporary tastes.
• La Maison des artistes visuels francophones, 219 Provencher Blvd., 204-237-5964, maisondesartistes.mb.ca
• Map and reviews
This building is one of our Winnipeg architecture marvels. Click it to find out what it is! (Photo: AJ Batac)
At the turn of the 20th century, Winnipeg architecture earned the city the title “Chicago of the North.” The Peg’s reputation as an architectural mecca didn’t begin and end with the boom of the 1900s, of course. Many structures from before and after that period are marvels and offer many stunning photo ops. With Where.ca as your guide, delve into the legends and lore of five Winnipeg architecture jewels—and gawk at these breathtaking pictures, too.
Start the slideshow of storied Winnipeg architecture »
For Rick Shone, owner of Winnipeg’s Wilderness Supply Company, getting out into the great outdoors isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. An avid outdoorsman who spends his spare time kayaking, climbing, trail running, mountaineering and cycling, Shone, 36, has been at the helm of the independent business since 2001, when he took it over for his in-laws, Frank and Jan Sjoberg. Although Wilderness Supply Company boasts the largest selection of canoes and kayaks in the province, he’s maintained that intimate, mom-and-pop feel. He loves swapping stories with fellow adventurers. “I feel like I’m part of their expeditions.” His job isn’t just to outfit people with top-of-the-line gear; it’s also to provide encouragement and support. “We think of ourselves as educators, not just salespeople.” Wilderness Supply Company, 623 Ferry Rd, 204-783-9555.
By night, downtown Winnipeg is alive with concert-goers and diners; by day, it’s bustling with 9-to-5ers and business travellers. Busy people require specialty shops and services, and downtown is rich with options. Start your day with a quick blowout or polish change at the urban Salon One Eleven on Fort Street. Stroll a couple blocks north on Fort to Portage Avenue and turn left, followed by a right on Smith Street, where you’ll find Four Directions Trading Company. Pick up unique Aboriginal treasures like hand-carved antler earrings and traditional quilted star blankets (pictured). The Best of Friends Gift Shop, located in the Millennium Library on Donald Street, boasts stylish writerly gifts, including lovely journals and pens. Head down Graham Avenue to The Bay Downtown for a luxe department store experience. Stripe-spotters will love beautifully displayed Hudson’s Bay Company bedding and apparel. More than wedding dresses, Stella’s Bridal, located across from the University of Winnipeg, is a tony boutique for ravishing evening wear by Sophia Tolli and more.
Second generation restaurateur Beth Grubert is a Paris-trained baker with a hands-on management approach and exquisite attention to detail. Her Osborne Village eatery Baked Expectations been drawing locals to a fabulous display case of mile-high cakes, tortes and pies for three decades. Choices can be tough here, where decadent strawberry pecan torte covered in glistening chocolate ganache competes with rich peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake for a coveted place on your plate. A menu of short-order favourites that stars a triple decker grilled cheese with bacon is equally grand. Let them eat cake!
161 Osborne St, 204-452-5176.
MAY 11-AUGUST 18 In celebration of its centennial, Winnipeg Art Gallery has assembled 100 Masters: Only in Canada, a group of influential paintings, sculptures and decorative art works that spans six centuries and numerous schools. Half of this momentous exhibit is from WAG’s own collection, the balance is on loan from 30 North American museums. See major Canadian and International works by stars including Emily Carr, Andy Warhol and Henri Matisse (pictured). 300 Memorial Blvd, 204-789-1760.