Winnipeg is a very cultural town we love our arts and all types of entertainment. Last week I was lucky enough to score a ticket to the Van Gogh exhibit that is being held downtown at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. It was an immersive show that projected wall sized images of his works onto a variety of screens about the space.
As many of you know Vincent was a troubled soul and lived in virtual poverty. He eventually took his own life at the young age of 37. There is a theory that great art can only come from great personal pain. Without a doubt Van Gogh had both in great abundance. The last years of his short life were prolific in the extreme, it was mentioned that to compare Vincent to Shakespeare would be to say that Shakespeare would have had to written the bulk of his work in under 2 years. Now that is saying something.
So without further ado I give you the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.
That is just a sample of the wonders of Van Gogh please join me again for Go, Go Van Gogh: People and faces.
Well, here we are again Winnipeg, mid-January with the cold and snow firmly entrenched and no end in sight. For those of you, like myself, unable to travel somewhere tropical, there is a reprieve in sight. The good folks in The Vatican came up with the idea of Lent a couple of centuries ago and wouldn’t you know it the industrious citizens of New Orléans know an opportunity to eat and carry on when they see it. Fat Tuesday, or Mardi-Gras to our Creole and Cajun friends to the South is just the excuse to let loose, eat and drink till you can’t do that no more.
Tom McGouran lampshade at the ready with Alix Michaels rocking out with an Aligator at Mardi Gras Media Night
Announcing the festivities for Mardi Gras at media night.
Friday, February 13th is Zombie Night. The living dead will be roaming the room at the RBC Convention Centre. Come dressed as one of the living impaired and join the Undead Newlyweds as they seek fun, dancing and brains!! Those who dress to impress the undead get free admission to the Friday the 13th event.
Tom McGouran better eat quick he’s being sized up for lunch by the Zombie Bride!
Don’t have a date or a mate to bring to Mardi Gras on Valentine’s Day Saturday, February the 14th? Don’t worry, you can wear your heart on your sleeve and maybe meet that special someone who will sweep you off your feet and rock the night away. Cut out hearts will be available at the door to pin to your outfit and mark yourself Looking for Love! I can personally attest to hearing some very heartfelt testimonials from people who were looking only to dance the night away and found that special someone to make the night magical.
Tom McGouran and Alix Michaels
Speaking of magic, back by popular demand, all the way from New Orléans, Louisiana is Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellrasisers. The perennial party band is a sweet treat for your ears and your feet. You’ll be jumping and shaking with music so good you’ll want to slap yo mama!
Even Country Girls like Mardi Gras. Leanne “The Boss Lady” Cater in full plumage at Mardi Gras Media Night
If that’s not enough for y’all, don’t forget The Lindsays will be performing throughout the night. Featuring Sword Swallowing, Juggling and feats that will amaze and surprise young and old alike! Showgirls and yes ladies Showboys will be on display for your roving eye. Of course we can’t forget Beads! Thank goodness it’s an adult party with no children to protect from the giving of Beads! Wink Wink Y’all!
Fresh shucked oysters
Now all that moving and shaking is going to be putting a fierce hunger in that belly. Why not try some of the flavours of Louisiana. The menu this year includes fan favourites such as Deep Fried Pickles and Sweet Potato Fries, screamingly fresh P.E.I Oysters, shucked just for you and of course Peel and Eat Shrimp. New to Winnipeg Mardi Gras, sample Authentic Alligator Fritters, be careful though these may bite back!
Freshly flambéed Shrimp with Pasta
Looking for something a little more hearty? Try the Louisiana Style Shrimp with Pasta, French Quarter Gumbo or Bourbon Street Creole Style Jambalaya! I’ve personally tried all the above and they are spectacular.
Jambalaya! Need I say More?
Gentlemen, why not treat your own zombie bride to be or Valentine date to a sweet treat. This year’s desert special is Basin Street Pudding with Bourbon Laced Caramel Sauce.
Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
With all of this activity y’all are going to have a mighty powerful thirst going on. Don’t worry, they have you covered. Major drink sponsors include Fireball Canadian Whiskey,Wine O’ Clock, Diabolica, Molson/Coors and Heineken. Naturally, you can’t have a party Louisiana style without Jack Daniel’s or Southern Comfort so they’ll be there as well!
Come visit Kristjana the Fireball Girl at Mardi Gras February 13th at the RBC Convention Centre.
I know that personally I can’t wait for the chance to shake off these winter blues and dance till my feet can’t dance no more. Come join us, it’s going to be one hell-raiser of a good time.
Media Celeberties laugh it up at Mardi Gras Media Night
Authors Note: I do have a few free passes to give away for both Friday and Saturday nights. So to win, leave a comment detailing what night you’d like and what you’ll do to get them. For example, if you want Zombie Night, tell me what your costume plans are. If Valentine’s Day is more your style tell me why you absolutely need to meet that special someone this year. Winnipeg and area only please, I will be in contact with the winners to arrange pick up of the tickets.
Winnipeg has always been a hotbed of musical innovation. From the 60’s community club scene that saw The Guess Who and Neil Young dominating the Rock and Roll charts. To smaller bands like The Jury who never quite got the big break they deserved. Some music scholars have theorized that it’s all part of the isolation Winnipeg enjoys geographically and meteorologically. Let’s face it although Winnipeg is in the center of the continent we’re in the middle of nowhere and our winters can be brutally extreme.
What this does to people is debatable but one thing is for sure it breeds creativity. The Real Love Music festival, happening June 6-8th, is proof of that in spades. Taking place at Gimli Motorsports Park in Gimli, Manitoba The Real Love Festival hopes to give people of all ages and backgrounds an affordable and memorable music experience.
Tonight I just found out about an awesome initiative for teenage girls that just happens to be located minutes away from my home town of Fort Frances, Ontario. The I’m awesome and I know it retreat takes place at Sunny Cove Camp, a place I grew up at and know intimately.
The Sunny Cove Entrance off the Highway
Renée’s vision for the very first “I AM AWESOME! (And I Know It!)” Self Esteem Retreat for Young Women is a simple vision Renée wants every young woman to be confident, courageous, kind, strong, and compassionate. She believes with her whole heart that every young woman has a gift to share with the world, and that they can achieve anything if they have the confidence to reach for their dreams. Renée understands that teenagers today are facing many pressures; body image, peer pressure and bullying, school and academic stress, boys, family issues, and media manipulation. She knows that the retreat will give each girl who attends the tools to make confident decisions, embrace their individuality, and the courage to follow their passions!
How Awesome is this! A place where our stressed out and bombarded female children can just relax and have fun in an awesome natural environment. The location, Sunny Cove Camp, has been a Fort Frances staple for decades. Comfortable sleeping cabins in a group setting, a main lodge that is as homey as it is practical and a sand beach where generations of area children have learned to swim.
Sunset Country at its best, with the light dropping slowly over Rainy Lake.
To me this program is a home run, anything that empowers our female children to grow up strong and self-confident is right in my books.
For more information on this program please check out
I must admit something straight away, I have been a Godzilla fan for as long as I can remember. Running home to catch the Matinee Money Movie on WDIO television out of Duluth, Minnesota. They would play classic movies throughout the week. Abbot and Costello, and the Toho movies were mainstays in my childhood film education.
Over the years I learned that Godzilla was a metaphor for the horrors of nuclear war. A creature spawned from the ashes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In that sense the first half of Godzilla 2014 works. The film opens with an imaginative set piece showing nuclear testing in the 1950’s with documents being censored as the opening credits. We also learn that the so-called tests were actually trying to destroy the monsters that had been awakened from slumber at the dawn of the nuclear age.