Courtesy Pride Winnipeg
MAY 27-JUN 5
Strut your stuff during Pride Winnipeg, the annual LGBTTQ* inclusive celebration, festival, and parade. This year’s theme, “Be Authentic”, is a call to live out your true self every day. A week of community events leads up to the 2 day outdoor concert and festival at The Forks, featuring local artists like Iskwé and Mise en Scene, and a Pride Parade through downtown Winnipeg. Visit pridewinnipeg.com for full schedule of venues and events
Courtesy Tourism Winnipeg
Named after a sacred site in Manitoba, translated as “where the Creator sits”, annual festival Manito Ahbee brings together art and Aboriginal culture in an inspiring celebration. Five days of musical performances, workshops, and youth education culminate in an International Pow Wow. Features traditional dancing and drumming, jigging competition, art expo, and Indigenous trade show and marketplace. Most events at RBC Convention Centre, 375 York Ave, manitoahbee.com
Photo by Armand Thomas Photography courtesy Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Orchestral classics are paired with stunning balletic performance in a collaboration between circus group Cirque Mechanics and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Aerialists, trapeze artists, and contortionists perform acrobatic feats staged on mechanized contraptions that contrast the human form with machine. The centerpiece, an 18-foot, pedal-powered “gantry crane”, brings the show thrillingly close. Centennial Concert Hall, 555 Main St, 204‑949‑3999, wso.ca
Photo courtesy Winnipeg Comedy Festival
The annual Winnipeg Comedy Festival celebrates 15 years of hilarity with an anniversary fest packed with big names and big laughs. Headliners include Louie Anderson, Norm MacDonald, Kevin Nealon, and Canadian comic Brent Butt of Corner Gas fame. See stand up comedians perform in a variety of venues, from free shows to comedy galas, including Gastrocomique, a multi-course meal followed by an intimate comedy show, and CBC’s The Debaters. Also look out for special events like Weird Al Karaoke, or French-English improv show, Lost in Translation, Perdu en Quoi? Visit winnipegcomedyfestival.com for full schedule and tickets.
Photo by Vince Pahkala
Founded by choreographer Peter Quanz, Q Dance showcases a group of talented dancers from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. This year’s production, Untitled, invites the audience into the creative process, with works in progress shown alongside polished ballets. Performed in modern dress with minimal staging, choreography is innovative and engrossing. Burton Cummings Theatre, 364 Smith St, rwb.org, 204‑956‑2792
Indulge in everyone’s favourite craving during Ciao! magazine’s month-long Chocolatefest presented by The Forks Market. This cocoa powered celebration showcases signature sweets from bakeries, cafes, and restaurants around the city, all for a set price. Decadent highlights from last year’s event include chocolate bacon pancakes, chocolate cherry perogies, and bison chili spiced with mole. Visit ciaowinnipeg.com for more information.
Photo courtesy of Manitoba Theatre Centre.
FEB 3-21, 2016
The yearly Master Playwright Festival celebrates the work of London’s West End legend Alan Ayckbourn. The festival features 12 of the writer’s fanciful farces and charming comedies, including the darkly hilarious Things We Do For Love. Following the story of a woman who begins an affair with her best friend’s fiance, the play is a cheeky blend of humour, love, and pain. Tom Hendry Warehouse Theatre, 140 Rupert Ave, 204‑942‑6537, royalmtc.ca.
So Percussion, photo courtesy Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
JAN 23-29, 2016
The Winnipeg New Music Festival is now in its 25th year, and is celebrating with works of epic proportion. Hear big sounds, like composer Gavin Bryar’s Sinking of the Titanic, which sees the Pan Am Pool transformed into a concert hall. Headlining guests include New York’s So Percussion, and experimental icon Stephen O’Malley. Centennial Concert Hall, 555 Main St, call 204‑949‑3999 or visit wso.ca for tickets.
Photo courtesy RAW:almond.
JAN 21-FEB 15
Set directly on the ice of the Assiniboine River, pop up river restaurant RAW:almond serves diners a multi-course menu prepared by talented chefs, from Winnipeg’s finest to international stars of cuisine, like ramen master Richie Nakano. Winnipeg-based Etcetera Projects won the annual contest to design the structure, with a cinematically inspired “frame” that gives diners a glimpse into the kitchen. Tickets: $120. Visit raw-almond.com for more information.
Dec. 17, 2015
By Afton Aikens
I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when my friend Kaari and I signed up for the Christmas in Canmore Paint Night event at Tavern 1883. I’d heard about these fun, casual painting classes taking place at Calgary restaurants, but hadn’t seen any pop up in the Bow Valley and was eager to try it (I need the instruction!).
When I met Kaari at the Tavern, it seemed like the fun had already started. Our ticket included a free drink, but many people had already grabbed a beverage and the excited energy level was contagious. (So much so that at one point someone spilled a drink into another attendee’s paint).
The set-up was as follows. Our stations were complete with easel, canvas, paint, brushes, water and apron. The instructor Wanda Ellerbeck, a Canmore-based artist and art teacher, had a canvas displayed at the front of the room with the finished product we were to create—a raven sitting on a moonlit, snow dusted tree branch.
By Afton Aikens & Olivia Grecu
Photo: Rita Taylor, The Banff Centre
Inspired Outdoor Shows
Watch artists perform against a mountain backdrop at The Banff Centre’s Shaw Amphitheatre, where the Centre’s theatre students help build sets and operate lighting. Must-see Canadian musical acts:
- Art of Time Ensemble’s rendition of the Beatles album Abbey Road (June 27).
- Blue Rodeo’s iconic country-rock (July 5).
- Royal Wood’s folk-pop tunes (July 26).