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Hot Art: Artist Spotlight, Cindy Dyson

"Mid day” Courtesy of Cindy Dyson

“Mid day” Courtesy of Cindy Dyson

Fascinated by the mundane and commonplace at a young age, Cindy Dyson began drawing as a child as a way to find therapy and refuge from her challenging childhood. In her 20s, she fell in love with the work of 19th century Impressionists such as Monet, Renoir and Pissarro. Since then, she has been inspired by the commitment of these artists to depict the beauty and elegance of daily experiences.

Dyson’s exhibition A Pause In Routine at Pulse Gallery is a celebration of everyday life in our 21st century world. Her paintings and  observations reveal the joy, bittersweetness and preciousness of a fleeting moment, presented through bright splashes of colour that exude energy and life. Her work captures street scenes and landscapes of Winnipeg’s cultural hubs like the Exchange District and downtown core.

The process of creating can be time consuming, yet rewarding. Often times, Dyson takes photos of scenery while out with family and friends, and sketches the subject on paper to form composition. She then applies acrylic paint to canvas to create shadow, depth and light. Texture is common in her paintings, as she uses tools like a palette knife, sponge, fork, comb and her fingers to apply paint. “I find the endless variety of marks I can make with these tools challenges and fascinates me,” she says. I love the physicality and range of the knife —aggressive slices, delicate dabs, focused scrapes and thick bold swaths of colour.” The versatility of acrylic paint enables Dyson to splatter, spray, blob and pour, to evoke mood and movement within each piece.

Her collection will be on exhibit at Pulse Gallery from Oct 14-31. Main floor, Johnston Terminal, The Forks, 204-957-7140

Hot Dining: Flipping Burgers

Photo by Ian McCausland

Photo by Ian McCausland

The team behind slick spot Nuburger has given fast food a gourmet makeover, with dressed-up beef, chicken, bison, and veggie patties boasting wild toppings like house made boursin cheese and blueberry barbeque sauce. Committing to local sourcing, choosing to make everything in house, and ensuring all napkins and take out containers are compostable has set this burger joint apart. By working towards a greener, healthier, tastier world, Nuburger proves that the humble hamburger just might be the ultimate superfood. 472 Stradbrook Ave, 204-888-1001; 1-1650 Kenaston Blvd, 204‑615-2009, ilovenuburger.com

Scene In The City: Exchange District

"Peach Paradiso" Courtesy of Amsterdam Tea Room

“Peach Paradiso” Courtesy of Amsterdam Tea Room

Located in the heart of downtown, this National Historic Site is home to a mix of boutiques, galleries and eateries. Start at The Foxy Shoppe for curve-hugging retro styled dresses and killer cat-eye sunglasses. Hilary Druxman catches the eye with handcrafted, elegantly simple jewellery. At Amsterdam Tea Room, the fragrance of loose-leaf teas like fruity peach paradiso (pictured) fills the bright and airy space. In the East Exchange, shelves at U.N. Luggage are stocked with bags, totes and travel accessories that have both style and function. Head north to Rupert Ave. and browse The Museum Shop for books like Manitoba Treasures-Trésors, which features 20 objects from the Museum’s collection.

Top 5 Restaurants with Live Music

Photo courtesy Prairie Ink Restaurant

Photo courtesy Prairie Ink Restaurant

Dining is not just about taste; get the other senses involved at these restaurants, which offer live music in harmony with mouth-watering flavour.

Prairie Ink Restaurant (pictured), inside McNally Robinson Booksellers, hosts sweet music every Friday and Saturday night. Acoustic crooners and jazz trios are the backdrop to healthful eats like kicky curried spaghetti squash. Reservations preferred. 1120 Grant Ave, 204‑975‑2659, mcnallyrobinson.com/restaurant

Hip venue The Good Will slings java during the day and sates late night cravings with slices from Little Pizza Heaven. Indie rock, jazz, and hip hop artists usually take the stage. 625 Portage Ave, 204-221-1577, thegoodwill.ca

Excellent pub grub, like indulgent pulled pork poutine, makes Le Garage the place to lounge. Consistent live shows range from local legends to open mics. 166 Provencher Blvd, 204‑237‑0737, garagecafe.ca

Expert musicians tickle the ivories at swanky Palm Lounge inside the Fort Garry Hotel while the kitchen plays with on seasonal, scratch-made fare. Jazz and classical piano is de-rigeur, often with a talented vocalist joining in. 222 Broadway, 204‑942‑8251, fortgarryhotel.com/dining

Winnipeg’s stellar jazz scene can be found at Nicolino’s every week at the Wednesday Night Hang. Budding musicians and seasoned pros share the stage, while diners sample rustic Italian cuisine. 2077 Pembina Hwy, 204‑269‑5004, nicolinosrestaurant.com

Hot Shopping Editor’s Pick: Top 5 Handmade Hotspots

Earrings (CJ Tennant) Courtesy of Winnipeg Art Gallery

Earrings (CJ Tennant) Courtesy of Winnipeg Art Gallery

These Manitoba makers craft artisanal items that spark conversation and make a statement.

   Erin Kembel of EMK Clothing designs with style and comfort in mind. Her studio boutique boasts vibrant printed dresses, bags and tops all made in-store by hand. 143 Sherbrook St, 204‑691‑4414, Map 1: R-2

The spacious loft at The Forks Trading Company showcases the work of more than 250 local makers, including plant-based lip balm from Hogwash Bath & Body. 1 Forks Market Rd, 204‑949‑1785, Map 1: Q-5

Fitness fanatics love the versatile workout gear by LBS Yoga & Athletic Wear. Make each sun salutation a style statement in the breathable and stretchy galaxy printed Trixie legging. Home Run Sports, 20 De La Seigneurie Blvd, 204‑255‑7687, Map 2: E-4

Keepsakes Gallery is stocked with the work of Manitoba artists, including floral greeting cards and acrylic paintings by artist Joy Winter-Schmidt. 626.5 West Broadway, 204-295-9257, Map 1: Q-3

An eclectic mix of Canadian-made wares line the shelves at The Gallery Shop. Glitzy earrings by CJ Tennant (pictured) get their shine from a combination of sterling silver and semi-precious stones. 300 Memorial Blvd, 204-786-6641, Map 1: P-3

Hot Art: Aesthetic Reflection

“Going Nowhere” Courtesy of Jayne Nixon

“Going Nowhere” Courtesy of Jayne Nixon

Starts sep 15

Creative Quandary at cre8ery showcases a collection of work by local artists: Naomi Gerrard, Jayne Nixon, Deb Schmid and Kathleen Black. The exhibit focuses on the exploration of the creative and emotional processes an artist goes through when creating a work. Through a variety of mediums, each piece shows a moment significant to its artist. The collection includes lush landscape paintings illustrating the English countryside, intricate glass sculptures, glass mosaics (pictured), grain and seed works inspired by prairie land and colourful mixed media work influenced by travels to Asia. 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, 204‑944-0809

Hot Shopping: Shop Talk, Generation Green

Courtesy Generation Green

Courtesy Generation Green

After a personal health scare, owner Sherry Sobey made it her mission to promote a healthy lifestyle. This conviction led her to open Generation Green, an eco-friendly shop stocked with all-natural products. Since opening in 2012, the store has added more than 60 locally produced items for health-conscious foodies, alongside toxin-free cosmetics and a re-fill station for detergent and shampoo. An organic non-GMO bulk food section was added this year, with customers encouraged to bring their own containers to reduce waste. The store’s success lies in providing Mother-Nature- approved healthy alternatives for a variety of dietary and lifestyle needs, while supporting the Manitoba market.  Unit 155-1 Forks Market Road, 204-808-9848

Hot Dining: Now Open

Photo courtesy The Forks

Photo courtesy The Forks

The eagerly awaited renovations to the Forks Market Food Hall have transformed the space into a sleek and modern dining hall complete with communal tables, attention-grabbing light fixtures, and black accents. Anchoring the room is The Common, a craft beer and wine station offering local pours in flights presented on a board shaped like our province. Other new venues include Fusian Sushi and Argentinean spot Simon’s Cuisine, as well as a new rotating food stall, NEXT, which acts as a permanent pop-up, showcasing a different local chef or restaurant every month. A few remaining expectant stalls guarantee that more good eats are in the works. 1 Forks Market Rd, theforks.com

Hot Art: Fresh Prints

Acrylic paint, acrylic pouring medium, collage on panel, 16 x 20 inches by NEIL FARBER, COURTESY of LISA KEHLER ART + PROJECTS

Acrylic paint, acrylic pouring medium, collage on panel, 16 x 20 inches by NEIL FARBER, COURTESY of LISA KEHLER ART + PROJECTS

SEP 2-OCT 1 Neil Farber presents the first Canadian solo show of his work in more than a decade at Lisa Kehler Art + Projects. The Braided Stream includes a new series of colourful and textured paintings that feature his collages sealed between layers of clear acrylic paint. 171 McDermot Ave, 204‑510‑0099

The Play’s The Thing

By Janice Tober

Winnipeg has long been known for its rich cultural scene, generating artists who dazzle the world with creativity in both the visual and performing arts. It is our theatre scene, however, that wins Winnipeg the cultural crown.

In a city home to the country’s oldest English regional theatre, as well as Canada’s longest-running French company, theatre is ingrained in the hearts of Winnipeggers who grow up experiencing thought-provoking plays produced by these venerated institutions. It is these early companies that have emboldened aspiring artists to create theatre groups of their own, in all shapes and sizes. WHERE Winnipeg offers a sneak peek of the plays that promise to be the most talked-about dramas, inspiring stories and laugh-out-loud comedies of the 2016/17 season.


Royalty Lives Here

Winnipeggers often look to the city’s most prominent stage, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, to keep them entertained. It is the only theatre in Canada to receive royal designation, and is housed in a stunning Brutalist-style building in the Exchange District that commands respect. With a 58-year history, the company has a record of producing plays that hit the mark with audiences.

Steven Schipper, the company’s Artistic Director, states, “planning seasons is the only thing that I don’t delegate,” as he works to find plays that appeal to Winnipeg’s sophisticated artistic palate.

RMTC’s season opener, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (adapted by Simon Stephens), is a co-production with Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre. This Tony Award-winner, based on Mark Haddon’s bestseller of the same name, begins when fifteen-year-old Christopher is accused of killing his neighbour’s dog. The story follows Christopher, diagnosed with autism, as he works to clear his name and solve the mystery on his own. A strong and stimulating choice, this coming-of-age tale exposes Christopher’s vulnerabilities as well as his strengths with insight and humour. The show runs from Oct 20 to Nov 12.

Just down the street from RMTC is its second stage, the Tom Hendry Warehouse. With its own full season curated by Schipper, the Warehouse focuses on works that are more provocative and controversial than those seen on the mainstage.

The season begins with another play based on a novel: My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok. Running Oct 13-29, Aaron Posner’s stage adaptation is a thoughtful meditation on how an artist and his or her work can be driven by a compulsion that threatens both family and tenets once held dear. This co-production with Montreal’s Segal Centre is well-suited to the Warehouse’s smaller space where theatregoers are close to the drama unfolding in front of them. “It’s a perfect play for our intimate Hendry Theatre,” says Schipper. “Audiences embrace work that touches, challenges, and entertains, while asking important questions about how we may best live our lives.”

Courtesy Theatre Cercle Moliere

Courtesy Theatre Cercle Moliere

Multiculti Stages

Winnipeg’s multicultural makeup is mirrored in the city’s arts groups. In St Boniface, signs and snippets of conversation en français are reminders that French voyageurs settled here, and it is Théâtre Cercle Molière—the oldest French theatre in Canada—that best reflects this distinct Francophone community.

Geneviève Pelletier, Cercle Molière’s Artistic and General Director, chose to open the season with Et que ça saute!, an original piece by Winnipeg playwright, Danielle Séguin-Tétreault. Pelletier says she wanted to “kick off the season with a real side splitter,” and, with a title that translates to mean, “And make it snappy!” expect fast-paced dialogue and quick comedic timing. Centred around five people in an apartment building who are all searching for something in their lives, the play takes the audience through what Pelletier calls “the twists and turns of a day gone wrong.” The play opens on Oct 13 and runs until Oct 29 with simultaneous translation on certain dates.

In the late 19th- and early-20th centuries Winnipeg welcomed many Jewish immigrants and settlers to the city, many of whom helped create its arts institutions. The Winnipeg Jewish Theatre had its inaugural season in 1987 and has a history of showcasing original plays by some of Canada’s top playwrights—such as work by Winnipeg-born Vern Thiessen, recipient of the Governor General’s award for his moving drama, Einstein’s Gift—that highlight and lay bare the Jewish experience with emotion, comedy and accrued insight.

Running from Oct 27-Nov 6, the 2016 season opener is the Canadian premiere of Another Way Home by Anna Ziegler. Set in the summer during visiting day at Camp Kickapoo, on the surface Another Way Home is simply a witty story that catches parents in the midst of escalating conflict with their son, Joey. But amidst the barbs, the play examines what it means to be a family desperately trying to deal with a troubled son.

Courtesy Soul Pepper Theatre Company

Courtesy Soul Pepper Theatre Company

Bring the Kids

Manitoba Theatre for Young People evolved from Actor’s Showcase, an amateur theatre group that offered training for local talent, and grew with a new mandate to become one of the most respected stages in Canada for its creative, built-from-scratch productions and innovative children’s programming. Since its beginnings in 1982, the company has never rested on its laurels, winning its first award in 1992—the Canadian Institute of the Arts for Young Audiences Award—before earning a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production in the Theatre for Young Audiences category in 2007.

The 2016 season opens with Alligator Pie (running Oct 26-Nov 6), an original Dora Award-winning production by Toronto’s Soulpepper company. “The whole play is built around the beloved poems of Dennis Lee,” comments Pablo Felices-Luna, the company’s new Artistic Director, “so all of our fun is made possible through the work of an outstanding Canadian poet. And that’s how we wanted to launch, [with] all of the wildness you can experience at our theatre.” The play is full of infectious musical numbers and theatrical zaniness, but underlying the high-energy production is a message about the importance of friendship.

Courtesy Prairie Theatre Exchange

Courtesy Prairie Theatre Exchange

Go Grassroots

Since opening its doors in a ramshackle building in the Exchange District, Prairie Theatre Exchange has always been a small company rooted in the community. The theatre offered its rehearsal space to amateur groups and allowed them to perform on its stage between its own shows. Today, PTE is found in a downtown shopping centre, and it still belongs to Winnipeggers: in 2007 it opened its Playwrights Unit, where experienced and new local playwrights are provided with an office, the resources needed to put on a live reading or workshop, and input from fellow auteurs.

PTE continues its focus on work by Manitoban and Canadian artists with the play The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, penned by Canadian playwright, Beth Graham. Running from Oct 12-30, the play centres on Bernice’s daughter, Iris, as her Mom calls the family together to announce that she has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. The emotionally heavy story can be challenging for audiences, but when asked about this selection for the 2016/17 season, Artistic Director Robert Metcalfe explains, “This play was nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 2015, and I love it because of its fundamental honesty and heart in addressing some very serious subject matter—including the unique relationship between mothers and daughters—and the choices we make, both in parenting and in life.” Metcalfe has no need to shy away from difficult work, knowing that the city’s erudite audience is up for the challenge.

Read more…

Here & Now: Yuk It Up!

Chris Cubas courtesy Oddblock Comedy Festival

Chris Cubas courtesy Oddblock Comedy Festival

AUG 25-28

Oddblock Comedy Festival, a block party styled fest on South Osborne, has the street bustling. Venue-hopping comedians and attendees can grab a bite from nearby restaurants and food trucks or relax on streetside beer gardens. Check out more than 50 comics including podcast favourite Chris Cubas, improvisor Kate Berlant, and experimental comedian Ian Abramson. Various venues, 204‑478‑7275, oddblock.ca

Hot Art: Local Art

Mixed Media Mississippi River Travels by Brooklyn Samson, screenprint, 2016, courtesy Martha Street Studio

Mixed Media Mississippi River Travels by Brooklyn Samson, screenprint, 2016, courtesy Martha Street Studio

Aug 11-20 The INKubator Showcase at Martha Street Studio features silkscreen, linocut, intaglio and collagraph prints made by inner city youth in the INKubator Program. The program teaches printmaking techniques and offers studio access to aspiring artists. 11 Martha St, 204‑779-6253