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Hot Dates: Ready, set, dine!


Winnipeg’s hottest tasting event, Ciao! magazine’s Dine About Winnipeg, presented by Manitoba Pork, returns! Visiting foodies won’t want to miss this crash course in city dining. More than 20 restaurants will be offering up 3 course meals at a fixed price of $28 and $36. For a list of participating restaurants and menu offerings, visit ciaowinnipeg.com, Feb 1-11.

Hot Dates: Big Fun

The city’s latest indie music festival, is now in it’s third year. Hoping to ride the summer festival high, BIG FUN spotlights local musicians at various venues throughout the historic Exchange District and larger downtown area. Look for great local acts, such as Pop Crimes and Les Jupes. Concert-goers will also be thrilled to hear that the festival has secured Polaris-nominated noise band METZ as a headliner. For a full list of performers, ticket options, performance times and venue information, head to bigfunfestival.com.

Hot Dates: A Moveable Feast


RAW: almond, the coolest thing to hit Winnipeg winters, is back for a second year. The pop-up river restaurant gives 11 chefs free reign to design a five course menu with boozy pairings for a fixed price of $100. The structure, designed by RAW gallery is worth the ticket alone.

Hot Dates: Star-Crossed Lovers

All great love stories begin and end with Romeo and Juliet. Treat yourself, or take your special someone, to see this tale of timeless romance re-imagined in movement at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Classically choreographed by Rudi van Dantzig against the backdrop of 16th century Verona, this tragic but enduring tale of true love is the perfect Valentine’s date. Feb 12-16.


Hot Dates: Viva Voyageur

This original winter festival is back to celebrate its 45th year. Explore Winnipeg’s French pioneer history with the whole family, during this interactive extravaganza. Try traditional treats, like maple taffy, marvel at magnificent snow sculptures, toboggan, or catch live music performances happening by day and night. Feb 14-23.

Hot Dates: Editor’s Pick – Willful Womam


One of literature’s first real heroine’s leaps from the page to the stage, with the Manitoba Theatre Company’s adaptation of Jane Eyre. Considered a radical novel by Victorian critics, Jane Eyre documents the intense personal journey of a young woman without means. In this story of love and redemption, lies a social critique that is still relevant today. Budding feminists, literature lovers and theatre-goers alike can appreciate this fresh spin on a canonical classic. MTC, 1-877-446-4500, mtc.mb.ca.

Hot Art: Art Exhibits

Jan 10-17 — For Random 18 X 18, the cre8ery challenged 18 artists to create 18 “random” pieces. The result is not-so-random; a collection of pieces themed on personal journey, environmental issues, and the circle of life, fill the exhibit.

Jan 17-Feb 22 — Cree Métis artist Jason Baerg, unveils a new multi-media exhibition at Urban Shaman Gallery. Relations, a series of 13 tondos, inspired by ancient indigenous prophecies about the year 2012. Nomadic Bounce is an installation comprised of laser-cut acrylic paintings that explore relationships and conflicts through space and location.

To Jan 22 — Nigerian-born artist Yisa Akinbolaji creates vibrant multi-layered mixed media works of art. By using paint resistant materials between acrylic layers, hidden forms and symbols peek through to create meaning. Akinbolaji’s work is on display at the Framing & Art Centre.

Jan 24- Feb 7 — The Edge Gallery will be spotlighting the fun and fanciful work of Japanese-born local artist, Takashi Iwasaki. His technicolour imagination comes to life in embroidered imaginative scenes.

Opens Feb 1 — A new collection titled Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art is being curated for the Winnipeg Art Gallery by Art Works for Change, and intends to shed light on gender-based violence experienced by women world-wide.

To Feb 8— An examination on the use of toxic by-products in contemporary culture, this exhibit presents work by emerging Canadian artists using biological media. Toxicity is a part of an international series of conferences and workshops, hosted at the Plug In ICA.

Hot Art: Hand/Eye Coordination

Present at Hand,
by Montreal-based visual artist Matthieu Sabourin, seeks to challenge the internalized relationship between the physical body and the every day tools that it wields. By altering and manipulating found objects that have a strong relationship to the hand, Sabourin forces audiences to examine how we use tools, and how that process defines us. Across a variety of mediums, Sabourin reflects on the reductive limits humans impose on the small detail-oriented tools considered integral to our existence. 290 McDermot Ave, 2nd floor, 204-944-9763, Map 1: 0-4 

Hot Art: Editor’s Pick – Folk Fibres


Bev Morton, co-founder of the Wayne Arthur Gallery, invites you into the fabric of her memory with Breakfast at the Madison Grill and More. Recreating family photos, postcards, paintings and gallery scenes, Morton has pieced  the fibres of her life together in these textured textile collages. Wayne Arthur Gallery. To Jan 29. 186 Provencher Blvd.

Hot Dining: Now Open

As the new year unfolds, two great concept restaurants open their doors to Winnipeg’s growing dining scene. Prairie 360 is the latest incarnation of Winnipeg’s revolving restaurant. Don’t be fooled by the incredible view: the refined regional menu is truly the star! Look for dishes that highlight local flavours, like venison sliders. Lovers of lager will lap up new craft brews at Barley Brothers. This spot celebrates small-batch brewing, with space for 72 craft kegs, and tips a
glass to Manitoba farmers with harvest inspired decor. Menu highlights hearty beer-based soups and scratch-made German sausages to balance beer-laden bellies. Prairie 360, 83 Garry St, 204-505-2681. Barley Brothers, 655 Empress St, 204-772-2337.

Hot Dining: Editor’s pick – top 5 FAT + FAB

Keep warm this winter with a little extra insulation from these rib-sticking comfort foods that might be bad for the body, but do wonders for the soul:

Refuel after skating on The River Trail with pressure cooked fried chicken at Red Top Drive Inn. Not only do these tasty morsels sport a luminous deep-golden colour and crispy skin, they leave fingers grease-free. 219 St Mary’s Rd, (204) 233-7943.

Quell pre-game munchies with sinfully delicious crispy artichokes at The Met, which has been impressively restored. These buttermilk marinated artichoke hearts are fried golden and served with lemon garlic aioli (pictured). 281 Donald St, 204-594-9494.

Cozy up to someone special for a night of jazz at Le Garage Café. Opt for the poutine, as these skinny fries swimming in house-made gravy and cheese curds could rival some of Quebec’s best. 166 Provencher Blvd 204-237-0737.

Billabong‘s dingo doggies are delicious sausages dipped in buttermilk pancake batter, and served with maple syrup. This high-calorie breakfast is great fuel for an activity-packed day. 121 Osborne St, 204-452-1019.

Wind down at Rudy’s Eat & Drink, with a rich twist on mac ‘n cheese. Smothered in white cheddar sauce and topped with sausage, chives, and fresh parm,
this version is the true meaning of comfort food.  375 Graham Ave, 204-421-9094.

Hot Dining: Class in Session

Jane’s is no ordinary restaurant. The lavish dining room, housed in a more than century old space, is staffed with students from the Red River College GlobalFood Institute‘s Hospitality program. The menu, which boasts complex dishes like maple-brined bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin served with beetroot risotto, is cooked by second year students of the Culinary Arts program. Chefs Tim Appleton and Luc Jean are at the helm of this culinary classroom, which serves lunch and dinner Tuesday-Friday. Glimpse into the gleaming open concept kitchen to see teaching in action, and join in by testing the skills of your servers on specials and wine pairings. 504 Main Street, 204-632-2594.