It’s all coming up sunflowers this week in Manitoba. That’s right, the sun is SHINING and Manitoba is in full bloom. Cinema and theatre lovers have a treat of a week with both the Winnipeg Fringe Fest and the Gimli Film Festival on the agenda. Agricultural enthusiasts also have a great week ahead with a pioneer festival AND a farm-to-fork dining experience. The hardest choice of all will be for Foodies. Should you dine with gods and goddesses, cyclists, or with your favourite roadtrip buddy in the Parkland? With the right planning, you just might be able to fit it all in. Here’s what’s hot this week in Manitoba…
Get your Fringe on
July 15 to 26
The Exchange District, Winnipeg
Original, accessible, cheeky – these are just some of the adjectives used to describe North America’s second-largest Fringe Theatre Festival! For 12 days, more than 180 companies from around the world will present comedy, drama, dance, improv, musicals and more while Old Market Square comes alive with non-stop entertainment on the outdoor stage.
Catch a movie on the beach
July 22 to 26
Widely recognized as the most successful film festival in Manitoba, The Gimli Film Festival is a must-see for cinema enthusiasts and movie goers. Watch feature flicks, documentaries and short films under the stars on the beach or in one of four venues. Nothing is more relaxing than catching a movie with the soft sounds of the lake humming in the background.
July 5 | 1-2 pm
Oak Hammock Marsh
Oak Hammock Marsh is home to more than 300 different species of birds, which happens to be half of all the bird species in Canada, but how can you tell them apart? Oak Hammock Marsh is the place to go for all things birding. In this workshop, you will learn the basics of recognizing and identifying different bird species that you could encounter in Manitoba.
Sing and dance in Brandon
July 25 to 27
Folky fun doesn’t have to end at the Winnipeg Folk Fest. Continue to dance and sing your heart out at this year’s Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival! Here, you will enjoy music from some of the most talented Canadian musicians. A Tribe Called Red is set to headline the event.
Take off on a downtown food tour
A Moveable Feast | July 22
Cycle, eat, repeat. Bike from restaurant to restaurant as you explore the culinary delights of our city. There are seven restaurants to sample including ERA Bistro, Little Saigon, Little Sister Coffee Maker and Carbone Coal Fired Pizza.
Tap In | July 23
Appetizers and beer are on the menu on this walking tour through some of the most popular restaurants in downtown Winnipeg. Try a sampling of appetizers and ales at eateries such as Elephant & Castle, The Pint, Fools & Horses and Rudy’s Eat & Drink.
Feast with Gods and Goddesses
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Caprese salad, Italian Stew and an ample supply of gods and goddesses are on the menu at this dinner-and-tour program at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Expert guide Rachel Baerg, WAG Head of Education, will bring you through 160 Greek and Roman treasures in a rare night of history and delectable fare.
Get a head start on Folklorama
July 25 | 4-11 pm
Don’t wait to join into the fun of Folklorama. Head to the Forks for this free kickoff event featuring interactive children’s activities, cultural demonstrations and amazing performances. Welcome the 2015 Folklorama Ambassadors and take part in a storytelling or drumming workshop. The evening will be capped off with a spectacular fireworks display.
Zip through Pembina Valley
Fly through the air and take in a killer view on a ziplining adventure. Hy-Wire Zipline Adventures will take you into the Pembina Valley from 200 feet above with their signature 5 or 8 line tour. The tour includes 1 km of hiking with the average outing lasting just over an hour.
Discover the rich history of Manitoba’s Aboriginal people
Wednesdays in July | 10:00 am
Starting at St. Boniface Cathedral
Aboriginal elders lead you from the St. Boniface Cathedral, over the Esplanade Riel Bridge and into the heart of the Forks on this family-friendly, free oral history tour. Learn about the rich and unique history of Manitoba’s Aboriginal people through stories and the legends behind iconic Forks monuments.
Turn toward the sun at the Manitoba Sunflower Festival
July 24 to 26
The sunflower capital of Canada is in full bloom at this highly anticipated festival in rural Manitoba. The festival brings in all the usual suspects – a petting zoo, stage entertainment, car shows, vendors, face painting and of course, a giant parade. Watch Manitoba’s Sunflower Queen be crowned or try authentic Mennonite food – there is something for every flavour!
Watch Hawkeye, Thor and Ironman in a live action production
July 23 to 26
Get into the action as Marvel’s most beloved characters join forces to stop the universe from total and utter obliteration. Everyone’s favourite villain, Loki, will take on members of the Avengers (and Spiderman, we can’t forget Spidey!) in this all-out brawl on the MTS Centre stage. Expect explosions, wicked tricks and a whole lot of fight sequences.
Go full steam ahead at the Threshermen’s Reunion
July 23 to 26
Take a journey back in time to the good ol’ days at Canada’s largest pioneer heritage festival. Over 10,000 visitors each year journey across Canada to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum near Austin to see a Homesteaders’ Village, live farm demonstrations, vintage fashion, antique cars, live entertainment, a rodeo and more. If you’ve ever wanted to live like a pioneer, this is a darn good place to start!
Savour a family trip in Minnedosa
Even after the Minnedosa Fun Fest is through, the excitement continues in this little town in Manitoba with beaches, parks, camping and delicious restaurants. Visit historic buildings at the Minnedosa Heritage Village or stop for a bite to eat at the Dari Isle drive-in. After a day of swinging bridges, bison-viewing and swimming, you’ll be happy to return to your tent for a good night’s rest.
Graze in the outfield
Hosted by Dairy Farmers of Manitoba in support of Field of Dreams Foundation, this unique farm-to-fork culinary event invites guests to dine in the outfield of Shaw Park. Ben Kramer will serve up delicious ballpark-style food creations, with a focus on dairy products from Manitoba. In addition to trying delicious cuisine, guests will also have the opportunity to learn about Manitoba Dairy Farms with live milking demonstrations. Tickets are available by phone (204-982-2273).
Get away from the hustle and bustle at a unique stay
Planning a staycation in Manitoba? Take the path less traveled and learn about what it takes to run a family farm, or simply kick back at a resort or in your own personal yurt. The oTENTiks in Riding Mountain National Park are an excellent compromise between tent and cabin and are especially convenient for those who prefer glamping to camping. Check in, check out and escape from it all.
Journey along the Parkland Flavour Trail
You likely have visited the Parklands to camp or to see its many heritage sites, but have you sampled the Parklands’ delicious regional cuisine? Take the self guided tour through the many restaurants and eateries of the area and mark down your favourite spots along the way. How many can you conquer in a day on the Flavour Trail?
Set your sights on the Souris Bridge
Take a daytrip to Souris and brave Canada’s longest historic suspension bridge. The town’s most famous landmark spans 184 metres and is a Manitoba Star Attraction. After you’ve crossed the river (once, twice, or many times), set out to explore the rest of this quaint town to see museums, historic sites and beautiful parks.