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Hot Dates: HÉ HO!

DD4_4275Photo by Dan Harper, courtesy Festival du Voyageur.

FEB 12-21, 2016

Manitoba’s rich Francophone heritage comes to life at the 47th annual Festival du Voyageur. Held in the heart of the city’s French Quarter, the celebration pays homage to the past while introducing brand new fun, like karaoke and board game nights. During the day, find snow and ice sculptures, a snow maze and educational activities for little ones, and traditional fiddling and jigging performances. At night, warm up with caribou (a mix of red wine and whiskey) sipped from an ice glass and rock out to high energy local bands. Voyageur (Whittier) Park, 836 Joseph St, 204‑237‑7692, festivalvoyageur.mb.ca.

Hot Dining: Go Big or Go Home

Chef Bill Georgakopoulos of Rae & Jerry’s. Photo by Ian McCausland.

At Rae & Jerry’s, the philosophy has always been “more is more.” With 330 seats in the dining room and lounge, the behemoth steakhouse serves up 200-300 pounds of beef daily, all butchered by chef Bill Georgakopoulos. The restaurant has been a perennial pick for stately steak dinners since 1957, famous for its generously loaded sandwiches, prime cuts of cow, and iconic red décor. This bastion of old school eating has proved the value of finding what works and sticking to it. 1405 Portage Ave, 204‑788‑6155, raeandjerrys.com

Hot Dates: All About Ayckbourn

23779_final_art_things-3000-4500 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.

Scene In the City: Corydon Avenue

20151117_123345_resizedOne of Winnipeg’s most vibrant ‘hoods offers a cultural mix of shopping and dining from around the world, with trend-setting boutiques, specialty stores and restaurants catering to the cool and hip. Start a spree at Radiance Gifts for beautiful salt lamps (pictured), and dazzling crystals like smoky quartz. Zen out with a collection of books on chakras and essential oils. Across the street at Peepers Swimwear, find colourful bathing suits perfect for a winter getaway, with brands like Speedo and Roxy. For all that sparkles, visit designer Matti Martin on Lilac St. This local goldsmith creates necklaces, earrings and rings that fuse modern and traditional design. Nearby, step inside Whodunit and bring out your inner detective, with books on crime fiction. Head north on Corydon to Nunavut Gallery and see over 4200 beautiful works of Inuit art. Paintings and sculptures by contemporary Canadian artists make a statement in any space.

Hot Dates: Eat Out


FEB 2-12

Winter heats up during Ciao! Dine About Winnipeg. Celebrating the abundance of good eating that makes up Winnipeg’s dining scene, this annual event sees the city’s best restaurants offering three course meals for only $28 and $38. For a full list of participating restaurants and menu offerings, visit ciaowinnipeg.com.

Editor’s Pick: Top 5 Wild Poutines In Winnipeg

loveys2Photo courtesy Lovey’s BBQ

In a city with as much Francophone influence as Winnipeg, it’s not hard to find that glorious mixture of french fries, gravy, and melty cheese curds. These spots branch out from the classic with irresistable toppings and tasty twists.

Read more…

Hot Dates: Rock Hop

CalvinLoveCalvin Love, photo courtesy of Big Fun Festival.

JAN 27-31, 2016

Popular indie music festival BIG FUN celebrates its 5th anniversary. Performers span favourites from the local scene like Yes We Mystic and the Crooked Brothers to national artists like Calvin Love and Mozart’s Sister. Part of the fun is venue hopping throughout the historic Exchange District and Downtown, where shows are held in diverse locations including a private residential ballroom and on the ice at RAW:almond. For a full list of performers, ticket prices, and venue information, visit

Hot Dates: Fresh Sounds

SoAction2_LiveWellPhotoSo 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.

Hot Dates: RAW:almond

RA-EXTERIORPhoto 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.

Now Open: Anya Boutique

IMGP0870Discover treasures of minimalist design at new Exchange District shop Anya Boutique. The shop carries womenswear essentials including trousers, sweaters and t-shirts from Canadian and international brands like Product of Privilege and luxury knit brand LINE the Label. The shop specializes in products made by artists and designers who focus on local production. A collection of accessories like handcrafted Moyi Moyi leather bucket bags and one-of-a-kind hand-sculpted clay necklaces from Surface Handmade make up the product mix. 88 Albert St, 204‑416‑1323

Hot Dining: Now Open

IMG_7526Photo courtesy of Blind Tiger Coffee Co.

Craft cocktails are trending, with creative concoctions popping up all over the city. New spot The Roost Social House has landed on the Corydon strip, shaking up a menu of handcrafted libations that use tastes of the season such as cranberries, figs, and cloves, and are complemented by a changing menu of boldly flavoured small plates. 651 Corydon Ave, 204‑414‑9313, theroostwpg.com

A new Prohibition Era-inspired speakeasy adds to this cocktail culture. The Blind Tiger Coffee Co serves java by day, but a secret door leads to the sultry night time dining room. French classics like mussels, charcuterie, and escargot call to the old days of Paris with some modern updates (pork belly, anyone?) 725 Osborne St, blindtigerwinnipeg.ca

Hot Art: Fibre Art

February 2016 Morton My Back Yard

The Fabric of My Life: Fibre Art Collages by Bev Morton at Wayne Arthur Gallery showcases fibre art creations inspired by places the artist lives, works and dreams. Images of home and gallery, as well as real and imagined places, use distinct lines to define form and colour, with a simplicity that allows the viewer to participate in the experiences of the artist. Many of the pieces started as paintings, which were later recreated into fabric art. Runs Jan 31-Mar 2. Wayne Arthur Gallery, 186 Provencher Blvd, 204‑477‑5249