Category Archives: Winnipeg

Everyone’s A Winner

I attended the Arts Junktion fundraiser last Friday night.  We are annual patrons of the event.  In case you don’t know Arts Junktion does wonderful work by redistributing reusable stuff to community artists.  Businesses donate materials to Arts Junktion that might otherwise be headed for landfills and the ArtsJunktion volunteers organize the materials and make them available free of charge to teachers, early childhood educators, crafters, community organizations and the general public. Arts Junktion also hosts workshops led by artists to educate people on how to use the materials available for various art projects. It’s a win/win experience for everyone involved. 

Regular features of the annual fundraiser night at the Kings Head Pub are a 50/50 draw, a silent auction and a raffle for a brand new bicycle donated by the Les Wiens Investors Group.  Last Friday Dave and I bought tickets for all the contests.  

At the end of the evening Allison Moore the new chair of the Arts Junktion board started pulling tickets for the silent auction winners.  Lo and behold my number was selected and I had won a collection of things including…….. a beautiful necklace, a gift certificate to a designer clothing shop and a print by local artist Craig Love.  I was excited! 

black and white with bikeThen came the draw for the bicycle.  Les Wiens who had donated the bike pulled the winning ticket.  He teased the audience a bit. The winner’s last name ends with ‘r’ he said and it starts with ‘D’ and the first initial is ‘M’. By then I was pretty sure I was the winner and by the time he read out my full name I was already half way up to the front to get my prize.  

I had a lovely chat with Les later and also with the owner of White Pine Bicycle Company where the bike was purchased.  He told me I was free to come in and trade my bike for another color or size anytime.  I don’t think that will be necessary. I’ve tested my bike already riding it up and down the long hallways in our condo and think it will be the perfect bike for me.  I did give my neighbor Stephanie a little scare when I zipped by her as she walked up from the elevator. 

Although I was a big winner at the Arts Junktion fundraiser this year everyone who goes is really a big winner because they are all contributing to a great cause that promotes artistic expression and environmental responsibility for everyone in the community.  

Other posts. …….

Tin Can Art and Feeding the Homeless




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Filed under Art, Winnipeg

The West End Cultural Centre

mike koop free pass front pageThat’s a former student of mine!  Mike Koop was my grade one student many, many years ago.  I remember how full of energy he was and how he often had something very important to tell me.  Mike, who is a professional musician was featured on the front page of Saturday’s Winnipeg Free Press to illustrate a great story about the history of the West End Cultural Centre.  It was so interesting to read about all the people who have given selflessly of their time and energy and money to found and then keep this cultural hub of Winnipeg’s music industry growing. 

wiki commons photoMy husband is one of those people since he volunteers regularly at the West End Cultural Centre helping to take tickets, usher or sell merchandise at events. We attend concerts there often and I love the different ways the venue is used to showcase all kinds of musical experiences.

Just a few weeks ago we were there to see jazz musician Amber Epp (a former student of my husband’s) perform her versions of all the songs on Joni Mitchell’s album Blue

am-i-not-kingLast December our son’s band Royal Canoe provided the music for an intriguing version of Shakespeare’s Richard II called Am I Not King? It was performed at the West End Cultural Centre. The production is nominated for six awards at the upcoming Winnipeg Theatre Awards event taking place at The West End Cultural Centre on November 12.  

Garden City Collegiate Jazz Vocal Group directed by my daughter-in-law

Last June within one week I heard a concert by 70-year-old Canadian musician Valdy at the West End Cultural Centre and attended a wonderful show of jazz music performed by teenagers from the Seven Oaks School Division. 

One of my favorite shows at the West End was The Last Waltz A Celebration of The Band.  I could sing along with almost every number. 

As the headline in the Winnipeg Free Press said….  the music really does live on at the West End Cultural Centre. 

Other posts…….

Young and Old At the West End Cultural Centre

Nathan Rogers A Story That Tugs At Your Heart Strings

The Last Waltz

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Filed under Music, Winnipeg

Wings or Fingers?

high fiveI walk past this art piece many times each week and have often wondered what it was called and who made it.  Recently I noticed a sign on the boulevard that said the piece is named High Five and was created by Jennifer Stillwell.   It is on Waterfront Drive right across the street from the Goldeyes ball park. Each of the five fins or wings or fingers in the installation are over 25 feet tall and seven feet wide. 

jennifer stillwell high fiveIf you look at the piece from inside the ball park it looks like a human hand with five fingers. The fingers also resemble the wings of an airplane and each one has a target on it. The target designs could be abstract fingerprints, designs on an airplane wing or archery targets. Apparently during a warm up for a Goldeyes game a batter hit one of the targets with a home run ball.  The artist Jennifer Stillwell said she didn’t want the piece to have a specific meaning but hoped each viewer would interpret it from the perspective of their own life experience and would be prompted to discuss its meaning with others. 

Jennifer Stillwell grew up in Manitoba and studied art at the University of Manitoba.  She now lives in Victoria where she is a visual arts professor at the university there. 

Other posts about public art on Waterfront Drive…………

Selkirk Settlers

Grain is King


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Something New?

mural bison higgins underpassI often walk through the Higgins underpass in downtown Winnipeg on my way to various volunteer and work commitments.  So I was surprised the other day to discover what seemed like a new mural on the underpass walls.  I had never seen it before.  I’ve found out now that it was recently discovered while the wall of the underpass was being pressure washed to prepare it for repainting. bison mural higgins underpassApparently the mural is a couple of decades old and there are plans to try to find the original artist and fix the mural. The mural of the bison presents a glimpse into the city’s past.  Almost every time I walk through Point Douglas and into the North End I see something new.  I love that. 

Other posts……….

The Guess Who on the Wall

A Musical Mural

Kornelson School Memories


Filed under Art, Winnipeg

A Play to Think About

“How did you enjoy the play,” I asked someone I had seen in the audience at Winnipeg’s Prairie Theatre Exchange the night before.  “Enjoy isn’t really a word you can use for that play.” he said.  

Last Saturday my cousin Lynne took me to see the play Gracie for my birthday.  It follows a young girl from childhood to her teen years.  She is living with a fundamentalist Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints group in Bountiful British Columbia.  Her mother becomes the 18th wife of the group’s leader and Gracie tells us all about her life in the community.  The play starts when Gracie is eight and ends when she is fifteen and destined to become the wife of a much older man. 

To give the writer Joan MacLeod credit for being balanced we not only learn about the scary and difficult aspects of the community but also discover that Gracie experiences lots of love there and a sense of belonging and security. 

Although Gracie is a fictional character Joan MacLeod visited the Bountiful community to do research and found some normalcy in the young people she encountered. In an interview she said while it might seem unimaginable to us that a mother would  allow her teenaged daughter to become one of the many wives of a much older man it is important to remember that, from the perspective of the fundamentalist mother, such a choice is the only one that will put her daughter on the path of eternal salvation.

According to a Globe and Mail story a man and woman from the Bountiful community were recently sent to jail for taking their thirteen year old daughter to the United States to marry an American man from their sect who is now in prison for assaulting two of his child brides. 

Even though I am a person of faith the play made me wonder as I often do if the world wouldn’t be better off without organized religion. 

Other posts…….

Kill Me Now

Getting to Know Richard II

The Costumes Were Worth the Price of Admission


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Filed under Family, Theatre, Winnipeg

Meet You at the Folio

folio cafe cmuOne of the favorite places my friend Esther and I like to meet for visiting and sketching is the beautiful Folio Cafe on the Canadian Mennonite University grounds at the corner of Grant and Shaftesbury Avenue.  view from cmu cafeBig windows provide plenty of light.  folio cafe patioThere’s a patio where you can eat on nice days. 

soup and sandwich folio cafeThe lunch items are delicious.  Homemade soups and sandwiches and desserts.  Last week when I visited I ordered the beef borscht and a sandwich with goat cheese and marinated tomatoes on crusty fresh bread.  latteFor dessert there was a lovely latte and gelato. 

my picasso self portratiAfter lunch I drew my own versions of portraits of artists Picassothompson portrait and Tom Thompson.  esther coloring The Folio Cafe is spacious and welcoming and it is easy to spend several hours there visiting and drawing in the comfortable airy space the cafe provides.  If you’ve never been to the Folio I suggest  you give it a try. 

Other posts………..


A Blast From the Past Closes

Gunn’s Bakery



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Filed under Restaurants, Winnipeg

It’s Burger Week in Winnipeg

Just in case you haven’t already heard it is Burger Week in Winnipeg.  Nearly a hundred restaurants in our city have custom designed burgers for their patrons.  We decided to try a burger at Shawarma Khan. It’s a restaurant near our home owned by Obby Khan a retired professional football player who used to be on the roster of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. My husband Dave had read about their burger in the newspaper and it sounded delicious.  It was made with lamb, beef and flafel and served on a sweet potato-poppyseed egg bun lined with melted mozzarella cheese.  The meat patty was topped with  roasted red pepper,  seven-bean hummus, pickled turnips, sriracha coleslaw, caramelized onions and garlic sauce. The burger was fabulous as you can see from these photos.  I needed lots of napkins to clean all that juicy goodness off my fingers while I ate. I LOVED the fries that came with the burger.  They were crispy and spicy and hot.  Owner Obby Khan came over to check how we were enjoying our burgers and Dave asked him to pose for a photo with me. Obby was happy to oblige. 

We may try another burger in the coming days since Burger Week lasts till Thursday.  But the next time we are going to share a burger. I was so full after that  Shawarma Khan burger I could barely walk. 

Other posts……..

Burgers and Blokus

Family Visit

Home Grown in Newfoundland


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Filed under Food, Restaurants, Winnipeg