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Winnipeg

Here & Now: Tour de Food

Earth on plate. 3d render.

AUG 1-31

Sample global flavours during Ciao! Taste The World. This culinary event sees some of the city’s top dining establishments dishing up globally inspired specials for lunch throughout August. A $12 price tag makes it easy to transform lunch time into a world tour. Visit ciaowinnipeg.com for a full list of participating restaurants and menus.

Here & Now: Beautiful Ballet

Photo by Rejean Brandt

Photo by Rejean Brandt

JUL 27-29

See members of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet plié, jeté and pirouette on an outdoor stage at Ballet in the Park. The annual free fresh air performances take place on warm summer evenings in lush Assiniboine Park. Audience members bring lawn chairs or curl up on picnic blankets in front of the Lyric Stage. Arrive early to score prime seats. Show starts at 7:30 pm. Assiniboine Park, main entrance, 2355 Corydon Ave. Call 204‑956‑0183 for details, rwb.org

Editor’s Pick: Top 5 Shops For Cultural Treasures

Courtesy Winnipeg Trading Post

Courtesy Winnipeg Trading Post

These shops offer one-of-a-kind artisanal crafts from around the globe.   

Linen shirts, called ‘vyshyvanka’, at Oseredok Boutique are decorated with hand-embroidered designs symbolizing cultural pride and national hospitality. 184 Alexander Ave E, 204‑942-0218

Find mukluks and moccasins (pictured) created by Aboriginal artisans at Winnipeg Trading Post. Mukluks are designed for warmth and durability in the frigid northern tundra. 1128 Main St, 204‑947-0513

Mandarin International carries a mix of gifts from the Far East and Canadiana souvenirs. Shelves burst with Winnipeg-themed t-shirts and mugs, as well as colourful Chinese fans and chopsticks. Johnston Terminal at The Forks, main floor, 204‑943‑0383

Shop t-shirts and tank tops adorned with February’s Festival du Voyageur logo at Boutique du Festival. Traditional sashes which were used to carry belongings during the fur trade era are made by Métis company Étchiboy. 233 Provencher Blvd, 204‑237‑7692

Vibrant decorations from Mexico colour the walls of La Bodega Imports. Star light fixtures are made by craftsmen from Central Mexico out of tin, brass and glass. 955 Portage Ave, 204‑772‑4331

Hot Art: Artist Spotlight, Karel Funk

Karel Funk Untitled #19, 2006 Acrylic on panel 78.7 x 61.0 cm Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal © Karel Funk, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Karel Funk Untitled #19, 2006 Acrylic on panel 78.7 x 61.0 cm Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal © Karel Funk, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Winnipeg- born Karel Funk has garnered international attention for his paintings of lone hooded figures. These intimate and abstract explorations have been displayed at prestigious galleries including the Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum and the National Gallery of Canada. The first retrospective of his work taken from public, private and corporate collections across North America is on now at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Funk describes his style as rooted in Renaissance portraiture, contemporary urbanism and photo realism. In 2001, he moved to New York to complete his Masters of Fine Arts at Columbia University. “I was taking lots of art history classes and I was going to the MET quite a bit. I loved looking at the details of the brush strokes.”

His hyper-realist portraits were further influenced by his experience on crowded New York subways, where he became intrigued by facial details of fellow riders. His fixation with ear lobes and hair follicles of strangers merge intimacy with anonymity.

A single image can take up to two months to complete. Funk’s technique involves layering, at times, more than 100 thin semi-transparent coats of acrylic paint on a wood panel to capture folds in jackets and strands of hair.

His recent work removes the human form, further masking identity and creating a sense of mystery.

The installation, a collection of 24 pieces, will be on exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery from Jun 11-Oct 2. 300 Memorial Blvd, 204‑786-6641

Now Open: WAG@THEFORKS

"Ojibway Clans: Animal Totems and Spirits", Author: Mark Anthony Jacobson, Courtesy of the Winnipeg Art Gallery

“Ojibway Clans: Animal Totems and Spirits”, Author: Mark Anthony Jacobson, Courtesy of the Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s new satellite shopping space, WAG@TheForks, carries more of the one-of-a-kind, artisan-made goods that has made the WAG Gallery Shop such a hit with locals and visitors alike. The store features Inuit, First Nations and Métis creations from some of Canada’s most celebrated artists including Jackson Beardy and Daphne Odjig. Visitors have a chance to create art in a workshop space at beading and carving classes. The WAG will also display beautiful stone carvings from its collection of contemporary Inuit Art, which is the world’s largest. Johnston Terminal at The Forks, main floor, 204-789-1349,

Here & Now: The Play’s The Thing

Photo by Leif Norman

Photo by Leif Norman

JUL 13-24

Daring one-man shows, hilarious improv sketches and provocative plays can all be found at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, one of Canada’s largest. More than 170 companies present creative works that push the boundaries of theatre. Venues are scattered throughout the Exchange District, but Old Market Square is the festival hub, with beer gardens, free live music, an outdoor market and free children’s programming. Call 204‑956‑1340 or visit winnipegfringe.com for full schedule.

Hot Dining: Now Open

Photo by Alexandra Johnson

Photo by Alexandra Johnson

The hotly anticipated Oh Doughnuts shop has opened its doors with 12-16 wild flavours that change daily. With flavours like torched lemon meringue, chai glaze, and vegan maple whiskey “bacon”, best to arrive early for a fully stocked case. 326 Broadway, 204‑615‑0802, ohdoughnuts.com

The team behind nationally recognized tapas spot Segovia has branched out into the brunch game. Breakfast and lunch locale Clementine Cafe is set to inject culinary adventure into morning routines, through items like fried chicken on toast with pimento cheese spread and bittersweet ribbons of squash (pictured). 123 Princess St, 204‑942‑9497, clementinewinnipeg.com

New downtown destination La Roca serves light, fresh Mexican fare in a sleek space. Stop by for a trio of tacos or an excellent margarita on the unique rooftop patio. 155 Smith St, 204‑615‑9605, laroca.ca

Here & Now: Music for all Folks

Photo courtesy Winnipeg Folk Festival

Photo courtesy Winnipeg Folk Festival

JUL 7-10

The Winnipeg Folk Festival has been a summer highlight for music fans for more than 40 years. This year, the outdoor stages in Birds Hill Park host artists like Ryan Adams, The Bluegrass Situation, Coeur de Pirate, Sam Roberts Band and Basia Bulat. On-site food vendors provide local, organic, and fair trade eats in earth-friendly packaging. Those staying downtown can catch the Festival Express bus to the site. Birds Hill Provincial Park, 204‑231‑0096 or 1‑866‑301‑3823, winnipegfolkfestival.ca

Hot Art: Voiceless Recollection

Lichen #4 by Rhonda Harder Epp, Courtesy Mennonite Heritage Gallery

Lichen #4 by Rhonda Harder Epp, Courtesy Mennonite Heritage Gallery

Starts June 15

Two artists exhibit work related to memory and nostalgia at the Mennonite Heritage Gallery. Parvin Shere’s Journey is a sentimental look at her life and travels and includes paintings of Venice and of her late husband Waris. In Scenes from Childhood by Rhonda Harder Epp, paintings and drawings are inspired by Robert Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood for piano, Op.15, where objects such as buttons and Cheerios are applied onto a white canvas to evoke youth. Epp’s second exhibit, The Lichen Project, features paper that is cut and layered (pictured) to create the texture of this slow-growing plant that shares a symbiotic relationship with other plant life. 600 Shaftesbury Blvd, 204‑888-6781

Winnipeg’s Best New Attraction 2016

Anything But Conventional

With its stunning design and massive new expansion, the RBC Convention Centre represents the vibrancy of Winnipeg’s downtown. For helping to cement our city’s status as an outstanding destination, WHERE Winnipeg Magazine has named the RBC Convention Centre as Best New Attraction for 2016.

By Joelle Kidd
Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Even the most lively discussion seems to pause when a group of travellers reaches York Avenue. Suddenly, they are awash in colourful light from glittering bulbs suspended over their heads. Most likely, the colours were chosen by an event organizer; rainbow stripes for the city’s Pride Parade, the logo colours of a corporation hosting a conference. Streetside, it hardly matters—all eyes are gazing upward.

This display is part of what has surely become downtown’s new showpiece. It’s hard not to gush about the newly expanded RBC Convention Centre, with its colourful lights, spectacular glass faÇade, and airy, open spaces stretching on and on.

What can’t be seen are the years of dreaming and meticulous planning that led to this building’s creation.

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

The Vision

The Winnipeg Convention Centre (as it was then called) has been a staple of the city’s downtown since 1975. Holding the distinction of being the first purpose-built centre of its kind in Canada, the space was imagined as a revitalizing force for Winnipeg. The project had its share of detractors—after all, it involved recognizing the destination potential of a relatively small prairie city. But jump forward a few decades and demand had far outgrown the building’s limitations.

Winnipeg, steadily and surely, has been growing, and with that growth have come numerous attractions: the MTS Centre and the return of the beloved Winnipeg Jets, an award-winning airport, the state-of-the-art Journey to Churchill Exhibit at Assiniboine Park Zoo and the stunning Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The energy is infectious, and the Convention Centre found itself at the heart of it all. With everything from annual trade shows to massive conventions clamouring for the space, it was clear that it was time for an upgrade.

Plans for the expansion began in 2000, when the Convention Centre’s architectural firm, LM Architectural Group, was approached by President and CEO Klaus Lahr. As architect Terry Danelley remembers, “We made drawings, created budgets … and then we waited.” The process of approval for plans and funding led to a 16 year gestation period. Finally, ground was broken for the new addition in 2012.

More than three years and countless man-hours later, in late November of 2015, the project was nearly complete. A one-day occupancy permit was secured to celebrate the way Canadians do: by watching the Grey Cup. The Big Game was being hosted in Winnipeg. It was the perfect time to show off the new space. At the end of the glittering gala that took place in the newly completed City View Room, a shower of fireworks rained over the glass walls.

The showy display was not just a celebration of the city and the event; it was recognition of an accomplishment more than a decade in the making.

Spectacular Space

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

SEE AND BE SEEN

The most striking feature of the new Convention Centre is its glazed faÇade, the glass walls of the third floor exhibition space (the City View Room) flooding the building with sunlight during the day and transforming it into a glowing beacon at night. This design choice was born out of the need to create a large enough exhibition space by spanning over York Avenue, which presents an architectural challenge: to build across the street without blocking light or disrupting flow. The floor to ceiling windows of the Centre’s public spaces along York Avenue and Carlton Street keep these downtown thoroughfares pedestrian friendly, giving passersby a glimpse at the excitement inside.

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

LOCAL FLAIR

By its very nature, a convention centre has to be able to transform into anything—which makes it difficult to build a space that captures the spirit of its city. From first designs to final result, maintaining a local connection in the building has been an important consideration. In the planning stages, Winnipeg-based companies LM Architectural Group and Number Ten Architecture partnered with a design team from LMN Architects in Seattle. To ensure the design represented Manitoba and its people, they prepared a collection of 18 images of the province, carefully selecting photos that showed off the colours and textures of Manitoba’s many environments. The open design showing the vast prairie sky, colour scheme, and use of wood all reflect these themes. Most impressive is the lighting installation criss-crossing the ceiling of the City View Room, the snaking, geometric pattern of which was inspired by a photo of cracked ice. The commitment to Manitoba’s land and people goes beyond stylistic choices, however: the building is LEED Silver Certified for sustainability, and on the walls you’ll find a donated collection of 60 pieces of Indigenous art.

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

LUNCH BREAK

The original building has been seamlessly integrated into the new addition with its own décor update. Along with multipurpose meeting and conference rooms, the space houses the Centre Place Café. The Centre’s stellar food service team shows off their skills to visitors at this cafeteria-style spot. Full entrées are offered daily for lunch, like fillet of salmon and carved roast beef, ringing in at a very per-diem-friendly $10-$15. In lieu of a dining room, seating is spread throughout the glass-enclosed walkway over York Avenue that separates the original building and the new addition, giving diners a birds eye view of the downtown street.

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

CHANGING IT UP

A far cry from the fusty images of chintz and chandeliers that may be conjured up by the word “ballroom”, the York Ballroom is an ultra-modern and tech-integrated addition with free Wi-Fi, massive projection screens, and a stylish mix of hanging pendant and round lights to match the glittering eye candy hanging over York Avenue. The ballroom, like the third floor exhibition space, is infinitely customizeable. This flexibility was proven over one weekend, when the RBC Convention Centre played host to a business forum with attendance in the thousands, a national dance competition, and the biennial convention of the Liberal Party of Canada. Since opening, the third floor exhibition space has hosted events as diverse as a massive boat show, volleyball championship, and International pow wow.

Upcoming Events

See the space for yourself during these public events held within the Convention Centre:

Jul 6-10ScotDance Canada Championship Series

Jul 15-17Ai-Kon Anime Convention

Jul 31-Aug 6Folklorama Cuba pavilion

Aug 7-13Folklorama Mexico pavilion

Hot Dates: Ride of Your Life

Courtesy Red River Ex

Courtesy Red River Ex

JUN 17-26

The Red River Exhibition is summer’s biggest party, bringing with it a slew of adrenaline pumping rides, live music, carnival treats, and family events. This year, the midway boasts more rides than ever before, including new additions the dizzying Himalaya and children’s ride Charlie Chopper. Other new additions for 2016 include a dinosaur fossil exhibit and performance by extreme pogo stick stunt team Xpogo. Visit redriverex.com for early tickets, or purchase at the fair gates. Red River Exhibition Park, 3977 Portage Ave, 204‑888‑6990

Hot Dates: Get Jazzed

Courtesy Jazz Winnipeg

Courtesy Jazz Winnipeg

JUN 16-26

The annual TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival returns. A range of artists span genres from blues to pop, with headliners including the eclectic Tedeschi Trucks Band, pop crooner Royal Wood (pictured), and jazz legend Oliver Jones. Stop by Old Market Square for free lunchtime and evening open-air concerts featuring local bands. Various venues. Call 204‑989‑4656 or visit jazzwinnipeg.com for full schedule and tickets