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Winnipeg

Top 5 Souper Bowls

Cioppino at Cafe La Scala. Photo by David Lipnowski.

Cioppino at Cafe La Scala. Photo by David Lipnowski.

Soup’s on! In a city famous for winter, its no wonder Winnipeggers love to huddle up around steaming bowls of broth. These are the city’s most slurp-able.

Sana Souphouse is a haven for nearby office workers, with a comfortable interior and selection of soups both classic and novel. Try a bowl of the creamy cinnamon-scented red pepper bisque, or sample a flight of three varieties. 387 Graham Ave, sanasouphouse.com

Recent renovations have given Corydon Avenue mainstay Cafe La Scala fresh new digs, and the kitchen is equally skilled at updating the classics. Stellar cioppino piles tender seafood beneath a shimmery red stock, with a hit of Sambuca imparting modern edge. 725 Corydon Ave, facebook

Sherbrook Street Delicatessen has indecisive diners covered. A heaping bowl of mis mash soup has a little of everything–corned beef, matzah balls, veggies–thrown in. 102 Sherbrook St, sherbrookstreetdeli.com

A family-owned gem tucked into a St Boniface strip mall, Boun’s Restaurant serves a mix of Laotian, Chinese, and Thai cuisine. With hits of lime, roasted garlic, and cilantro, Laotian chicken noodle soup packs more punch than Granny’s and is equally sure to cure what ails you. 208 Marion St, facebook

Winnipeg’s French Quarter is the ideal place to find a bowl of French onion soup. Promenade Cafe and Wine offers a classic version with loads of gooey cheese. 130 Provencher Blvd, cafeandwine.com

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Artist Spotlight: Michel Saint Hilaire

Courtesy Michel Saint Hilaire.

Courtesy Michel Saint Hilaire.

If you’ve wandered the streets of Winnipeg, you’ve likely seen some of Michel Saint Hilaire’s work. An accomplished muralist, the Winnipeg artist also creates arresting contemporary pieces that blend seemingly disparate media, inspiration, style, and emotion into an incredible whole.

Michel found his calling in grade school and spent years honing his ability, drawing floor plans of houses and classic cars, a precursor to the architecturally influenced style of his later work. After two years of University training in Fine Arts, where he was taught by renowned Winnipeg artist Ivan Eyre, he began selling his art and painting murals full time.

Though he originally worked solely in pencil, Michel now blends media, usually pencil and acrylic, to create a layered effect punched with contemporary flourishes of line and colour.

Courtesy of Michel Saint Hilaire.

Courtesy of Michel Saint Hilaire.

His latest work was inspired by a 3 week residency in Moncton, NB, during which time he painted roughly 20 portraits of community members. He became enthralled with the unique qualities and complexity of faces, and set out to recreate the experiment with Winnipeg muses. The resulting exhibit, which begins in January, originally featured members of the city’s French speaking arts community, but has evolved to include portraits of famous figures, a mannequin, and the likeness of reclusive photographer Vivian Meier, whose work was recently discovered posthumously. “I started from a place of nurturing my home and community,” says Michel, “Then expanded to painting people that I don’t know, then to pieces that touch on global and environmental issues.”

Michel’s collection of portraits will be exhibited at La Galerie inside the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain from January 26. 340 Provencher Blvd, 204‑233‑8972, monmichel.com

Now Open: dconstruct Jewellery

Courtesy of dconstruct jewellery.

Courtesy of dconstruct jewellery.

Local brand dconstruct jewellery now has a brick and mortar home in the Exchange District. Eco-friendly necklaces, earrings, and bracelets made of recycled resin fill the walls of this chic shop, as well as accessories like iPhone cases and mod vases. Check out lightweight bangles and men’s bowties made from concrete and necklaces sculpted from salvaged scraps of corian countertop. 84 1/2 Albert St, dconstruct.ca

Top 5 Shops for Wellness Wishers

Colour therapy glasses from Float.Calm. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Colour therapy glasses from Float.Calm. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Shop these spots for products promoting health for mind, body, and spirit.

Chic duds made of earth friendly bamboo, cotton, and hemp fibres are feel-good buys at Hempyrean. Yogis get extra stretch in breathable bamboo and cotton leggings. 111 Osborne St, 204‑947‑5223, hempyrean.ca

Humboldt’s Legacy boasts eco-friendly gifts, fair trade goods, and local food products. Give beauty routines a makeover with natural and organic makeup from Ecco Bella. 167 Lilac St, 204-772-1404, humboldtslegacy.com

Shelves at Prairie Sky Books are stocked with tomes on self help and spirituality, as well as candles, decor, and aromatherapy items. Adult colouring books help calm and centre the mind through intricate patterns and swirls. 871 Westminster Ave, 204‑774‑6152, prairieskybooks.com

Sensory deprivation pods filled with a buoying epsom salt solution provide ultimate relaxation at Float.Calm. A small retail area carries take home de-stressors, like artisanal bath bombs and mood boosting colour therapy glasses. 337 Pembina Hwy, 204‑477‑6507, floatcalm.com

Organic produce, wholesome food products, and natural health and beauty aids fill The Fresh Carrot’s spacious interior. Health guru gourmands can cap off a shopping spree with a fresh cold pressed juice from the attached deli. 2-230 Osborne St, 204‑489‑3737, thefreshcarrot.ca

Where To Shop Downtown

GOODS ON GRAHAM

Graham Avenue’s central strip, easily accessible by skywalk, is perfect for a downtown shop hop.

Courtesy of Bison Books

Courtesy of Bison Books

Inside the lobby of the Millennium Library, Best of Friends Gift Shop stocks clever giftware, like journals, cards, and fun patterned socks. friendswpl.ca

Another haven for literature lovers, Bison Books is piled high with classic and modern reads, including wide selections of local authors and rare books. bisonbooks.ca

Courtesy of Perfume Paradise.

Courtesy of Perfume Paradise.

Around the corner, on Vaughn Street, nose exclusive and hard to find fragrances at Perfume Paradise. perfumeparadise.ca

Courtesy of Verde Plant Design.

Courtesy of Verde Plant Design.

Verde Plant Design offers a bright and airy escape filled with succulents, air plants, and cacti. verdeterrariums.com

Wrap up a day of shopping at Modern Supply Co. Browse minimalist fashion and luxe homeware, like cozy handwoven pillows by Fable Studio, then relax with a hot cuppa from attached Thom Bargen Coffee & Tea. instagram

More Winnipeg shopping districts:

5 Shopping Neighbourhoods in Winnipeg
Where to shop at The Forks
Where to shop on Academy Road
Top 5 Handmade Hotspots
Where to shop in Osborne Village

Now Open: Two New Restaurants with Old World Charm

Hunter chicken courtesy of Saddlery on Market.

Hunter chicken courtesy of Saddlery on Market.

Newcomer to the East Exchange District, Saddlery on Market, is paying tribute to the historic ‘hood with a gorgeous renovated room and a welcoming menu of comfort food. Modern-meets-heritage touches like barn board, brick, and pendant lighting decorate the space, with placards explaining the locations history as the site of the Great West Saddlery Company. Chef Michael Day does wonders with protein preparations, like delectable hunter chicken. 114 Market Ave, saddleryonmarket.com

Nose-to-tail eating finds a home at new St Boniface spot Bouchee Boucher. The cozy window-wrapped dining room is a backdrop to chef Alex Svenne’s concise small plates menu, which makes excellent use of prime cuts from the attached butcher shop. Items like braised lamb casserole with pomegranate and tahini show global inspiration. 101-300 Tache Ave, boucheeboucher.ca

Hot Art: January and February

Exhibits worth seeking out during your stay.

Courtesy of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant. Courtesy of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

ACTS OF RECLAMATION

JAN-FEB

Two major exhibits at the Winnipeg Art Gallery explore the concept of land ownership through the intersection between Indigenous identity and sport. Boarder X features contemporary Indigenous artists from across Canada, drawing parallels between areas prohibiting snowboarding, or the surfer’s search for uncrowded waves, and the contested spaces of politics, identity, and land. Presented alongside this exhibit, Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant engages with territorial disputes centred around Australia’s beaches. Traditional Aboriginal designs and colours turn surfboards into works of cultural meaning. 300 Memorial Blvd, wag.ca

Drop Shadow by Nancy Kerr. Courtesy of Wayne Arthur Gallery.

Drop Shadow by Nancy Kerr. Courtesy of Wayne Arthur Gallery.

STRIKING SIMPLICITY

TO FEB 1

The Through Her Eyes Photography Collective presents an exhibit of black and white minimalist photography at the Wayne Arthur Gallery. Dramatically reduced design elements create imagery that is striking and thought-provoking, imbuing everyday items with unfamiliar beauty. 186 Provencher Blvd, waynearthurgallery.com

OTHER EXHIBITS

TO JAN 8: Our Land: Contemporary Art From the Arctic showcases artists from Canada’s north at the Winnipeg Art Gallery300 Memorial Blvd, wag.ca
TO JAN 19: Megan Krause’s abstracted landscapes act as a visual exploration of the effects of climate change and a rising global population in Fertile AshMennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Canadian Mennonite University, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd, gallery.mennonitechurch.ca
TO JAN 19: Interna is a collection of non-objective abstract paintings by Dale Boldt. Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Canadian Mennonite University, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd, gallery.mennonitechurch.ca
TO JAN 20:
Climate Changes by Mathieu Gotti explores the metamorphosis of animals in their environment at La Galerie inside the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain. 340 Provencher Blvd, ccfm.mb.ca
TO JAN 25: Christian Worthington’s Sermons To The Birds explores the influence of historical religious art in a secular post-modern world. Gurevich Fine Art, 2nd floor, 62 Albert St, gurevichfineart.com
JAN 6-24: 99 Pieces of Art on The Wall is an exhibit and sale featuring Cre8ery members. Pieces are priced $40-$200 and sold on site. Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
JAN 6-FEB 4: Catch To Step is To Rise, a solo exhibition of new work by Montreal based artist Jeanette Johns, at Lisa Kehler Art + Projects. 171 McDermot Ave, lkap.ca
JAN 12-FEB 18: University of Winnipeg gallery, Gallery 1C03, displays video exhibition Moving Images. This group show features 23 short films and videos, including work by acclaimed filmmaker Guy Maddin. 1st floor, Centennial Hall, University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave, uwinnipeg.ca/art-gallery
JAN 20-FEB 25: Hireath is a collection of pieces by printmaker Heather Lier exploring the nostalgia and wonderment of childhood memory. Martha Street Studio
11 Martha St, printmakers.mb.ca
FROM JAN 26: A collection of portraits by Michel Saint-Hilaire observes and questions our social environment, showing that we all have a story to tell. La Galerie inside the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain. 340 Provencher Blvd, ccfm.mb.ca
JAN 27-FEB 7: The Society of OUTstanding Artists group show features this collective formed through the LGBTQ Rainbow Resource Centre.Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
FROM FEB 3: 
Wally Dion blends Indigenous craft with modern technology, drawing connections between quilts and circuit boards. Urban Shaman, 203‑290 McDermot Ave, urbanshaman.org
FROM FEB 3: Barry Ace’s Niibwa Ndanwendaagan (My Relatives) is a suite of Anishnaabe bandolier bags (or ‘friendship bags’) adorned with electronic components and a tablet screening historical family photographs and archival film of Indigenous peoples. Urban Shaman, 203‑290 McDermot Ave, urbanshaman.org
FROM FEB 3: The Manitoba Society of Artists exhibit Visual Voices in Manitoba, a group show highlighting emerging and professional visual artists in the province, at the Wayne Arthur Gallery. 186 Provencher Blvd, waynearthurgallery.com
FEB 9-21: Artworks featuring horses pay homage to the 43 horses recently killed in a barn fire in Ontario in the group show 43 Horses: Enduring Spirits. Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
FROM FEB 10: Yapci Ramos’ Perras y Putas is an intimate dialogue through photography with women in prostitution in different parts of the world. Lisa Kehler Art + Projects, 171 McDermot Ave, lkap.ca

More Things To Do in Winnipeg:

Here & Now: Must-see and Do Activities During Your Stay
Why You Need to Visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
All About Winnipeg’s Convention Centre
Best New Restaurants 2016: What’s Hot Right Now for Food Lovers

Best New Restaurants 2016

Clementine Cafe. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Clementine Cafe. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Winnipeg maintains its status as a destination food city with a bumper crop of hot new restaurants. Clementine tops our list of the best new opens this year, and has been chosen as one of Canada’s Top 10 New Restaurants by Where Editors.

By Joelle Kidd

GOOD MORNING

From the first step down the flight of stairs that leads to Clementine Café’s subterranean Exchange District space, an excitement begins to take hold. Over the buzz of chatter from filled tables, anticipation sets in. A look at the menu reveals something conspicuously absent from the city’s dining scene, until now.

Arctic Char at Clementine. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Arctic Char at Clementine. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Breakfast fine dining has oft been interpreted as home cooking classics delivered on fancy china. Following the lead of chef-owned hotspots pushing boundaries, Clementine reimagines breakfast with inventive flavour combinations, melding thoughtfulness and creativity with accessibility and casualness in price and atmosphere.

The underground nook’s interior seamlessly blends cozy and kooky elements. Industrial-chic elements like rough-hewn wood rafters and exposed brick are complemented by pattern adorned walls and black and white chevron floor tiles.

Through a grid of window panes into the open kitchen, diners get an up close look at head chefs Adam Donnelly and Chris Gama leading what seems like a full brigade, frying, chopping, saucing and simmering marvelous creations. This creative kitchen has produced instant signatures like eggs benedict topped with thick cut maple bacon and glossy hollandaise, or the instagram darling fried chicken toast, which piles juicy crisp chicken on a thick wedge of housemade sourdough.

Despite the extravagance on the plate, entrées ring in between $9-$12, and a range of side dishes, all priced in the single digits, make for a light breaky or a sharable addition to an indulgent brunch. In dish after dish it is clear that at Clementine, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 123 Princess St, 204‑942‑9497, clementinewinnipeg.com.

OLD MEETS NEW

At the time of Prohibition and other restrictive liquor laws, many illegal establishments hid dining rooms and bars behind front businesses, often exhibits of natural wonders or animal curiosities, earning the nickname “blind tigers”. South Osborne’s Blind Tiger Kitchen + Bar takes up this moniker with tongue in cheek, presenting an earnest fondness for the past with a sleekly modern twist.

Normandy moules courtesy of Blind Tiger Kitchen + Bar.

Normandy moules courtesy of Blind Tiger Kitchen + Bar.

Antique chic décor adorns exposed brick walls, from wrought iron farming implements to an abstract art piece made from a deconstructed piano. Paired with slick dark tones, leather, and a gleaming backlit bar, the space easily blends old and new.

The menu betrays a fondness for the hallmarks of classic French cooking, from appies like escargot and chicken livers to entrée selections like bouillabaisse and niçoise salad. Dips into bistro fare include mountains of perfectly tender mussels in classic preparations. A Normandy-style rendition is simmered in a creamy broth, umami-laced from pops of bacon and topped with tart matchsticks of green apple. Thin and crispy frites under a heap of funky Parmesan are perfect for sopping up broth.

Service is without pretension, blending airs of fine dining and neighbourhood comfort. Despite a concept based around secrecy, the lively room is an invitation to settle in over another cocktail or dessert. 725 Osborne St, 204‑691‑9939, blindtigerwinnipeg.ca.

QUIRKY CASUAL

The fast casual trend hit in full force this year. Fresh, healthy, and adventurous food delivered at sleek order-at-the-counter spots has flipped the script on fast food and proven as versatile as convenient, with countless variations of quick eats spanning global cuisines and dietary styles.Of the many new concepts that have appeared, Chosabi is the cream of the crop, instantly gaining enough fans to open a second location mere months after the launch of the original Exchange District spot.

Sushi burritos courtesy of Chosabi.

Sushi burritos courtesy of Chosabi.

Inviting rooms, sprinkled with jabs of colour (red in the Exchange, yellow on Pembina) are effortlessly sleek, with clean lines and a modern mix of steel and wood textures. Stretching powerfully across a wall, a stylized mural of a fish, painted by local artist Pat Lazo, gives these clean spaces an edge.

The sushi burrito (aka Chorito), a hefty hand roll that turns delicate maki snacking into a two-handed affair, is the signature here. Perfectly seasoned rice, fresh fish, and creative ingredient combinations are a winning formula. The short menu also lists bowls that pull from a variety of cuisines, from Thai green curry to Korean bulgogi. The poke bowl is a must have, laden with glossy pink cubes of salmon and tuna, lent a briny note by threads of seaweed and a mix of soy sauce and lightly pungent wasabi-punched aioli.

Flair is added to even the smallest details. Burritos are wrapped, cut, and served in bamboo steamer baskets, and signature take out boxes are styled up with a colourful fish illustration. Even prepackaged eats are superbly fresh, like salads, nigiri, and fruit-packed smoothie cups ready to be blended at the counter. For those with more time to sit and sup, specialty coffee drinks, by-the-glass wine, and Asian beer on tap round out the selection.

Concept-driven eateries have proven popular for entrepreneurs, and Chosabi shows the strongest players deliver with outstanding taste and uncompromised flavour. 100 King St, 204‑615‑8338; 2696 Pembina Hwy, 204‑615‑8313, chosabi.com.

PRAIRIE POWER

Food is many things, from basic sustenance and nourishment to an exercise in creativity. In many ways, the food we eat is tied to identity. Manitoba’s regional ingredients like bison, beets, and lakefish have become ever more popular, but in the hands of Christa Bruneau-Guenther, these ingredients speak with added significance. When she opened Feast Café and Bistro on the corner of Ellice and Sherbrook last December, Canada’s first Indigenous cuisine restaurant was born.

Interior shot courtesy of Feast Cafe & Bistro

Interior shot courtesy of Feast Cafe & Bistro

Inside the welcoming room accented with warm colours, pendant lamps, and large black and white photos of prairie scenery, the intimate restaurant feels at once chic and cozy.

Indian Tacos are the menu favourite, a riff on popular powwow food from Southwestern First Nations groups like the Navajo. Feast’s version is all Manitoba, topped with a hearty bean and local bison chili. Puffy wheels of lightly fried bannock support a mountain of chili, lettuce, salsa, and a drizzle of sour cream hinting of chipotle. This may be the only taco that requires a fork and knife, but it is easily devoured.

The same frybread makes the base for pizzas with creative toppings. A vegetarian version sporting nutty-sweet roasted butternut squash, a rich cream sauce, a smattering of pine nuts, and chipotle cream is an out of the park hit.

Simple variations on classic breakfast items draw neighbourhood crowds in the morning, from pancakes and French toast to “eggs banny” on a bannock bun.

While fare is familiar, hinting of classic diners and home cooked meals, small substitutions point to Feast’s real charm. Bannock replaces bread in nearly every dish; bison sausage swaps for breakfast sausages and pepperoni on pizza; fish fingers become oven-baked pickerel. From the use of traditional ingredients to the warm neighbourhood atmosphere, dining becomes more than just the experience of a meal; it is a connection to land, culture, and community. 587 Ellice Ave, 204‑691‑5979, feastcafebistro.com.

PAN ASIAN PERFECTION

In a city as culturally diverse as Winnipeg, there is no lack of inspiration for chefs seeking to explore flavours from across the globe. The resulting fusion across cultures has birthed new diverse dining categories. It is into one such novel genre that Máquè, the new open for chef Scott Bagshaw, steps.

Cured hamachi, celery, plum, and yuzu with turnip, smoked roe and basil. Courtesy of Maque.

Cured hamachi, celery, plum, and yuzu with turnip, smoked roe and basil. Courtesy of Maque.

Like Enoteca, Bagshaw’s River Heights haunt, Máquè features few seats, an open kitchen, and small plates made for sharing. The twist comes in the flavour profiles that populate the carefully considered menu. Inspiration comes from Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine, translated into carefully balanced plates that blend far east flavours with French derived technique. Plump dumplings, with tacky dough giving way to juicy pork, are paired with a thick smear of almond butter, playing off the warm notes of Chinese five spice powder. A dish of tender crab, lobster, bacon, and caviar is a menu highlight. The delicate jumble of seafood is doused tableside with a fragrant, swoon-inducing blend of red curry and lobster bisque. This revelatory French-Thai mash up is impossibly rich, savoury, and spicy, overset with hints of sweet coconut and a whisper of black truffle.

Multiple orders of steamed buns can be spied on every table. Drawing Momofuku comparisons, the pillowy crescents are stuffed with a mix of crisped pork belly, peanuts, ssäm sauce and a sliver of pickle.

Décor is simple, with drawings of sparrows (the Chinese translation of the restaurant’s name) adorning the window-wrapped room. Though simple wooden chopsticks replace silverware, saucy French-inflected dishes beg diners to lick the plate. 909 Dorchester Ave, 204‑284‑3385, maque.ca.

Looking for more dining inspiration?

Top 10 Restaurants in Winnipeg for Regional Cuisine
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Here & Now: What To Do In Winnipeg in February

Our picks for must-see and do activities during your stay.

Courtesy of Raw Almond

Courtesy of Raw Almond

DINE ON ICE

To FEB 13 For the fifth year in a row, pop-up eatery RAW:almond takes to the ice on the Assiniboine River. Diners feast on a unique tasting menu created by a changing mix of high profile chefs from local kitchens and across Canada, including Marc Lepine of Ottawa’s acclaimed Atelier Restaurant and Mike Robbins of Vancouver’s AnnaLena. Seatings at 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm, or 9:30 pm. Tickets: $125 plus tax. Visit raw-almond.com for more information and ticket purchase.

Courtesy Manitoba Theatre for Young People.

Courtesy Manitoba Theatre for Young People.

SILLY ON STAGE

To FEB 5 Comic adventure Dib & Dob and the Journey Home takes the stage at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People. This inventive play tells the story of Dib and Dob, two friends who have been lost for so long, they now share their own made-up language. Giggle along as they try to find their way home and overcome the monster in their path. Recommended for ages 6-11. Visit mtyp.ca for tickets. 2 Forks Market Rd, 204‑942‑8898

Courtesy of Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Courtesy of Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

STRANGE SOUNDS

To FEB 3 The Winnipeg New Music Festival celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday with a diverse array of music by Canadian composers. Bold new works include Christos Hatzis’ SynPhonia: Migration Patterns, which blends orchestra, electronics, and visuals, 12 Hour Drone: Experiments in Sounds of Winter, and a chamber music concert inside downtown’s historic Hudson’s Bay Building. Various venues. For tickets and schedule call 204‑949‑3999 or visit wnmf.ca

TABLE 2

EAT AROUND TOWN

FEB 3-12 The season’s hottest restaurant event Ciao! Dine About Winnipeg attracts locals and visitors alike. This annual culinary celebration features the city’s best restaurants, offering diners the chance to sample extravagant and creative three course fixed-price meals for $18, $28, or $38. For more information, including a full list of participating restaurants and menus, visit ciaowinnipeg.com.

books-1421560

THE QUEEN OF MYSTERY

FEB 8-26 The annual Master Playwright Festival celebrates the life and work of the best-selling novelist Agatha Christie. Christie’s plays are mounted by the city’s theatre companies, including the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s production of Black Coffee, the mystery writer’s first piece written for the stage. Other events include screenings of Christie’s most thrilling films and a mystery game night at Dalnavert Museum. For information and tickets visit royalmtc.ca/mpf. Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, 174 Market Ave, 204‑956‑1340

Courtesy of Theatre Projects Manitoba

Courtesy of Theatre Projects Manitoba

TRICKSTER TALE

FEB 16-26 Written and acted by Cree performer Cliff Cardinal, Huff is a moving tribute to Indigenous identity. Incorporating tradition in the form of a mythical Trickster figure, the play confronts the harsh realities of suicide, abuse, and addiction while maintaining a quick and biting sense of humour. In a captivating solo performance, Cardinal portrays more than 12 different characters through the course of the darkly comic play. Visit theatreprojectsmanitoba.ca for tickets. Rachel Browne Theatre, 211 Bannatyne Ave, 204‑989‑2400

Courtesy of Festival du Voyageur. Photo by Dan Harper.

Courtesy of Festival du Voyageur. Photo by Dan Harper.

FRANCOPHONE FUN

FEB 17-26 For almost 50 years, the renowned Festival du Voyageur has celebrated Manitoba’s French-Canadian heritage. Costumed voyageurs teach about the fur trade, while artists and performers show off their fiddling, jigging, ice sculpting, wood carving and beard growing skills. Warm up with a bowl of pea soup or an ice glass of Caribou, a blend of red wine and whisky, and rock out to live music from local bands. Voyageur (Whittier) Park, 866 St Joseph St, 204‑237‑7692, festivalvoyageur.mb.ca

CONCERT CALENDAR

FEB 7  ARKELLS
Canadian rock band plays earworm hits, joined by guest Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, at the Centennial Concert Hall.

FEB 9  THIS IS THAT COMEDY SHOW
CBC satire show goes on the road in honour of the country’s 150th birthday. Burton Cummings Theatre 

FEB 14  VALENTINE’S SPECIAL
Celebrate love with music from Puccini to Ravel. Centennial Concert Hall 

FEB 16-19   DISNEY ON ICE
Loveable characters skate and spin on a tour through favourite Disney adventures. MTS Centre 

FEB 23  BILLY TALENT
Canadian band delivers a high energy show
of addictive rock melodies and shredding guitar. MTS Centre 

FEB 23-28  AMERICAN IDIOT: THE GREEN DAY MUSICAL
Punk-pop hits reimagined on stage. Tom Hendry Warehouse Theatre

FEB 25  JIM JEFFRIES
Quippy, controversial comedian takes the stage at Pantages Playhouse Theatre. 

More Winnipeg Stories:

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Where To Shop in St Boniface

Di Erbe lotions. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Di Erbe lotions. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Home of the Festival du Voyageur, St. Boniface is the historic hub of the Franco-Manitobain community. Today, it’s a thriving restaurant and commercial district where shoppers find unique products in neighbourhood boutiques.

At Bra Bar & Panterie, find lovely lingerie as well as a wide variety of swim and beachwear. thebrabar.com

At Wayne Arthur Gallery, browse paintings, sculpture, prints and photographs created by any of the 130 Manitoban artists and artisans they represent. waynearthurgallery.net

Meanwhile, the Boutique du Festival stocks iconic red sashes, long toques, mukluks and fur-lined, leather mitts—the unofficial uniform of February’s festival. festivalduvoyageur.mb.ca

Stock up on an organic vegan scrub, soap or hydrating lotion at di erbe. dierbe.ca

Stop for a slickly swirled latte at Cafe Postal and take home a bag of single origin Pilot Coffee or a Chemex brewer. facebook

More Winnipeg Shopping Stories:

Where to Shop at The Forks
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Top 5 Cultural Treasures

What to Expect at Winnipeg’s Gorgeous Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Courtesy Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Courtesy Canadian Museum for Human Rights

By Joelle Kidd

With stunning architecture, a strong mandate, and an eye towards a future of purpose and hope, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is leading the charge for human rights education.

Courtesy Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Courtesy Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Rights for All

Entering into the cool, dark belly of the CMHR feels like the beginning of a journey. This is intentional. Architect Antoine Predock took painstaking care to integrate the building into the land, incorporating elements such as concrete stained the colour of Red River clay, and more than 50 species of indigenous tall grass prairie planted on either side of the building’s concrete “roots”. A massive screen displays video of silhouetted figures writing ‘welcome’ in 36 different languages. Nearby, a fossilized footprint discovered during an archeological dig of the museum’s site in 2008 reinforces this ground’s status as an historical meeting  place; this particular moccasin print is 750 years old.

It’s an impressive start to a visit, one that shows the care taken with every detail in the vast museum. The philosophy is holistic: from the building’s design to individual exhibits, every part of the experience points back to a mandate based around promoting greater understanding of human rights and prompting reflection and dialogue.

The CMHR marks a new generation of museum, one that promotes interaction and hands-on learning, that doesn’t shy away from technology, and is more interested in posing questions than loading visitors up with facts. This is not to say the museum is lacking in material: more than 100 hours of video, 250 artifacts and works of art (including 10 original art pieces), 2,543 images, and 100,000 words of original text are packed into the mammoth space.

Luckily — you guessed it — there’s an app for that. The experience-enriching application is free to download, full of content like an audio tour for self-guided wandering, the ability to sense nearby exhibits, a ‘mood meter’ that allows visitors to rate how they’re feeling and take the temperature of every gallery, and a GPS overlay that adds “hotspots” to a camera’s view of the Winnipeg skyline, pointing out additional attractions in the city.

Moving through the galleries is a conceptual journey from darkness to light, following criss-crossing ramps of backlit Spanish alabaster from the shady entranceway to the sun-dappled Garden of Contemplation, a basalt stone space offering respite and reflection, and up to the glass-walled Tower of Hope, the brilliant panoramic sweep of which symbolizes the impact of changing one’s perspective. Along the way, multimedia exhibits challenge, educate, and inspire. Global events, historic documents, deeply personal stories, and powerful works of art all share the space, providing a deep, rich, and multifaceted view of human rights. Without shying away from the past, the museum points to a better future, highlighting human resilience and ingenuity in the fight for all people to be recognized as free and equal.

Courtesy Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Courtesy Canadian Museum for Human Rights

What You’ll See

The Stories

Lean about historical and contemporary human rights issues through powerful personal stories.
Racial segregation in Canada. A collection of documents and a recreation of a 1940s movie house pay tribute to Viola Desmond, a black Nova Scotian woman who was arrested after sitting in the white-only section of a segregated movie theatre.
Holocaust survivor. Sigi Wasserman, like thousands of Jewish children in Germany, was sent along to Great Britain to escape the Nazis.
Inspiring youth. Craig Kielburger began advocating against child labour when he was only 12 years old. He went on to create an international charity, Free The Children, and the We Day initiative.
A singing activist.
Read about the life of First Nations singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, hear one of her songs, and see the Oscar she won for her song, “Up Where We Belong”.
Lifting the veil. See Quebec artist Andreanne Paquet’s photo exhibit of Muslim women wearing the hijab, which aims to promote understanding and express freedom of choice.

The Artifacts

Keep an eye out for these fascinating items on display.
A ballot box. This unassuming object has historical significance as the box that held the votes cast in South Africa’s 1994 election, in which Nelson Mandela was elected president.
Suitcases. See luggage belonging to Japanese Canadians interred in camps during World War II.
The world’s largest Metis beaded artwork. This record-holder stands 18 feet tall, made by artist Jennine Krauchi with thousands of antique beads dating back to the fur-trade era.
The Proclamation of the Constitution Act of 1982. The original document, signed by Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, enshrines Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
A red prom dress. Worn by Mareisha Rucker, who organized her school’s first integrated prom in Wilcox, Georgia, in 2013.

The Technology

Try out these high tech interactive activities.
The circular basket theatre. An original film exploring Indigenous conceptions of rights and responsibilities plays on a 360 degree screen inside a theatre made from ‘woven’ wood.
Interactive table game. This digital exhibit reacts to shadows of visitors’ hands passing over it.
Lights of Inclusion floor game. A motion sensor tracks movements with colourful spotlights that merge and tremble when visitors interact.
Interactive study table. This long, touch screen table contains information and images about 16 atrocities from around the world.
Digital canvas. A 95-foot canvas in the Canadian Journeys gallery plays silent films that tell individual stories of human rights.

Visitor Information

Visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights website for admission prices and hours. 90 minute guided tours are available, as well as self-guided audio tours for mobile device from the App Store or Google Play. 3-4 hours are recommended to delve into the CMHR’s massive array of content.

More Winnipeg Attractions:

Visit Wild Churchill Without Leaving Winnipeg at the Assiniboine Park Zoo

Courtesy of Assiniboine Park Zoo

Courtesy of Assiniboine Park Zoo

By Dunja Kovacevic

Tundra Treasures

Peer into the little explored but often mythologized world of the Arctic tundra with the Assiniboine Park Zoo‘s landmark exhibit, Journey to Churchill. Cutting-edge technology, top of the line research facilities, unparalleled attention to authenticity and environmental stewardship have set the bar for polar bear conservation centres, now recognized as the “Manitoba Standard”.

Mother bear and cubs by Keith Levit

Mother bear and cubs by Keith Levit

Majestic Manitoba

The story of Canada’s north is still a largely untold one. With environmental crises looming, the role that Manitoba has in protecting the legacy of the north and shaping the narrative of future generations is becoming increasingly important. By dazzling the senses and engaging the public, Journey to Churchill represents a monumental step towards Winnipeg’s growing reputation as a global leader in environmental and human rights.

The ambitious exhibit is both a love song to the untapped beauty of the north and a ringing call to arms. Opened in 2014, it is the first exhibit of its kind, aimed at education about climate change and conservation issues focused on northern species. According to Margaret Redmond, President and CEO of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy (APC), Journey to Churchill is “unparalleled in the zoo world in terms of its focus on northern wildlife and the immensity of the space given.”

Photo by Brad McCann

Photo by Brad McCann

Polar Bear Pilgrimage

Some 10-12,000 eco-tourists and adventure seekers file northward to Churchill, Manitoba’s Arctic jewel, each year in search of the Great White. Aptly named the “Polar Bear Capital of the World”, the wind-swept tundra has become a mecca for the world’s largest terrestrial predators, located at the crosshairs of their migratory patterns. Thrill seekers take to the frozen expanses of the tundra to catch a glimpse of these incredible carnivores.

While nothing can mimic the heart-pounding adventure of interacting directly with the bears in their icy environment, Journey to Churchill offers and experience of observing polar bears and other northern species undetected. Within the expanse of the exhibit are four main areas: the Wapusk Lowlands, Gatewa to the Arctic, Churchill Coast and the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre.

The Gateway to the Arctic contains polar bears and their primary food source, the ringed seal, in adjacent pools separated only by a thin clear wall. Expect dynamic interactions between the animals, who are able to see and smell one another through the wall, as they pivot and thrash in the exhilarating quickstep between predator and prey.

Perhaps most exciting is the Sea Ice Passage, a 10-foot wide acrylic tunnel that serves as the primary vantage point for viewing polar bears and ringed seals beneath the water. The exhibit functions as a “living laboratory” says Redmond, presenting rare and unique opportunities for field researchers to observe behavioural patterns of polar bears and seals beneath the ice.

Along with boundless roaming space, the exhibit features an on-site state-of-the-art research facility. The International Polar Bear Conservation Centre not only promotes conservation research, but is home to the only transition centre for orphaned and at-risk polar bear cubs rescued by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship. At the centre, they are rehabilitated before being relocated to designated safe areas.

Courtesy of Assiniboine Park Zoo

Courtesy of Assiniboine Park Zoo

Staggering Specs

In order to begin construction on the exhibit, 86,699 metres of earth had to be transported. The tundra area of the exhibit, home to caribou, musk ox, snowy owls, and arctic foxes, covers 3,714 square metres. Polar bear roaming grounds within the exhibit span an immense 9,507 metres squared. Pools for polar bears and seals contain a total of 1,959,714 L of water. The indoor Polar Playground and Tundra Grill alone house some 238 people. The cutting edge 360 degree domed Aurora Borealis Theatre measures over 13 metres in diameter, and 5.5 metres high. Despite these scale considerations, the zoo is making every overture towards sustainability, even seeing a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

Courtesy of Assiniboine Park Zoo

Courtesy of Assiniboine Park Zoo

Gathering Ground

Parks and zoos have long been spirited gathering grounds for families and larger groups. With this in mind, the Churchill Coast area is focused on immersive family fun. Children can explore the Polar Playground, which is packed with interactive and educational activities such as a moving ice-mass floor that responds to footsteps. Parents can unwind at the Tundra Grill, a fast-casual cafeteria-style setting with massive windows overlooking Churchill.

Also located within the Gateway to the Arctic is the Aurora Borealis Theatre, which hosts a domed 360 degree viewing screen. An interactive video weaves the interconnected legacy between the people, plants, and animals of Canada’s north. At night, the room is transformed into a bewitching backdrop for storytelling and concerts while the Northern Lights play above.

Visit the Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s website for information on hours and admissions.

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