That’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.
My 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.
Last 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.
Young and Old At the West End Cultural Centre
Nathan Rogers A Story That Tugs At Your Heart Strings
The Last Waltz
Filed under Music, Winnipeg
I 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. Apparently 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.
The Guess Who on the Wall
A Musical Mural
Kornelson School Memories
Filed under Art, 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.
Burgers and Blokus
Home Grown in Newfoundland
We were invited to the new home of friends who recently moved to the St. James area of the city. The only bus I could take arrived a good forty minutes before our dinner date time. Walking towards our friends’ home from the bus stop I came upon a lovely little park I didn’t even know existed. As I wandered into Benjaminson Park I came upon a sign that explained the park had been named after Skuli Benjaminson (1879-1970) a pioneer who had owned one of the first homes in the area. He helped chop down trees so Portage Avenue could be built and was instrumental in bringing power lines into the area. He was the only owner of a car and telephone in the neighborhood’s early days and he generously provided communication and transportation services to his neighbors.
Benjaminson Park is lovely. There’s a bench under a tree which is the perfect place to read. You have a lovely view of the river. I sat reading my book for a good half hour enjoying the beautiful purple flowers around me, the birds swooping down to the river and the leafy greenery. I was almost sorry to leave but a fabulous meal with great friends awaited me.
Winnipeg is full of little parks like the Benjaminson. It would be neat someday to do a pilgrimage and try to visit them all.
The Grand Canyon For Free
Exploring Gros Morne National Park
Walking in A Haunted Forest
Filed under Nature, Winnipeg
What could be more Canadian than a canoe? Just after entering The Common, the refurbished new eating area at The Forks you can look up and see a trio of fun sculptures by Winnipeg artist Jordan Van Sewell. I noticed them for the first time last week when I met my friend Esther at The Forks for a walk and lunch.
Nineteen diverse and interesting characters represent Canada’s people, animals, symbols and strengths. Canoes are certainly a very Canadian mode of transportation. They were invented by indigenous Canadians and played a big role in the building of our country as they transported furs and supplies and people. The sculptures are inclusive. After looking at the three canoes closely I think every Canadian could identify with at least one of the characters in some way. I like it that the artist included animals too because co-existing on this earth with all God’s creatures is important.
The waters each canoe moves through are different. Here the canoe is gliding down frothy night waters. Check out the poppy in the first character’s lapel who I think may be a miner holding a shovel. There’s a musician perhaps of Italian descent paddling with his guitar and the polar bear has a paddle too.
If you visit The Forks you are sure to encounter a wide diversity of people. Jordan Van Sewell’s artwork Canoes represents that so well. If you’ve never noticed these sculptures check them out the next time you are at The Forks.
A Waterfall at the Library
Katherina Vermette on the Wall
The Guess Who on the Wall
We had a fun time down at The Forks celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.
Hanging out at the Oodena Celebration Circle listening to the amazing aboriginal drummers and watching the First Nations dancers. Checking out the Human Rights Museum and bumping into old friends Robin and Craig. It was so great to catch up with them.
People watching and marveling at the diversity of the Canadian population. Some people have been in our country for thousands of years, others for a few generations and some have just arrived. We represent so many races and cultures and religions and languages and that was in very clear evidence watching the crowds of people down at the Forks yesterday. Visiting my colleagues at the Winnipeg Art Gallery container where they were inviting visitors to design their own Canadian flag. Enjoying some great food from Nu Burger down on the river front while listening to the Riel Mens Chorus sing. Here we bumped into our friends Werner and Adelia and had a nice visit with them. Listening to our friends Bruno and Caroline perform with the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir. They sang O Canada in both languages, and a wonderful variety of pieces including an Inuit song, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and an arrangement of Oscar Peterson’s Hymn to Freedom that included these words…………. When every hand joins every hand and together moulds our destiny, That’s when we’ll be free.
O Canada- Traveling the Country
Canada Day in Leamington
Treking to the Tip of Canada
They were from Shanghai and Beijing and Shenzhen and Kunming and many other places I have visited. I had the pleasure of taking a Chinese community group of Winnipeg residents on a tour of the Picasso exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery last week. I lived in Hong Kong for six years and so it was interesting to find out where people in the group came from and to compare notes about their home cities. I had visited most of them.
It was my first tour with a translator and so I had to give information in small bits and then wait while it was translated into Mandarin. Hearing Mandarin spoken again, and talking with the tour participants about places that I had come to know, made me nostalgic. It was a nice feeling though. I’m not sorry I live in Canada now but chatting with my tour participants from China brought back fond memories of the time I spent in Asia.
Dancing in Shangri-La
Ai Wei Wei
Stick Stick Men