Category Archives: Winnipeg Music Scene

Dining in the quarter made easy at Le Garage Café

As my long term readers will know we live in the French quarter of St Boniface, it is an area filled with the heady smells of fresh bread being baked in the morning and the sounds of ringing church bells keeping time in the afternoon.  It is also a place where you can expect to be greeted en Français before a word of English is spoken.

So to many an Anglophone, particularly those visiting from out of town, the French Quarter can be a confusing and intimidating place.  But rest assured travellers English is still readily spoken here even in the most hard-core French establishments.

Le Garage Café

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Out at the Ballpark – The Tragically Hip hit a home run!

As I have described in earlier posts such as Gord Downie: Canadian Musical Psychopath, The Tragically Hip’s front man is a bit of a maniac on stage.  Being up close and personal with him at the Country of Miracles show last year gave me an appreciation for his lunacy in an intimate setting.  I had yet to witness the full blown frenetic schism that he becomes when teamed up with massive electric guitar power and the chest thumping bass drum that collectively form The Tragically Hip.

Gord aping about as The Hip take the stage

For those of you, who have not seen The Hip live, trust me this is not one of those overproduced, lip synced cookie cutter perfect types of shows.  Everything, I repeat everything is live. From Gord going wildly off topic in the middle of a song, ranting and raging about anything from sports, politics or inventing a new story on the spot.  Thursday’s performance was no different in those regards.

Gord Downie in full flight with Paul Langlois (guitar) and Johnny Fay on drums.

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Get on your boots! Only one more sleep till U2 in Winnipeg.

The claw has finally touched down at Winnipeg’s Canadinns Stadium and the band followed close behind. It seems that this weekend before the massive U2 360 Degree concert the Dublin quartet are filming a documentary at the Burton Cummings theatre.

Arriving Friday evening to a Irish drizzle of rain Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton greeted fans who had staked out ” The Burt” theatre in hopes of meeting the band.

Adam Clayton Meets fans at the Burt (Winnipeg Free Press)

Lead Guitar, The Edge presses the flesh with wet but excited fans Friday afternoon. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Bono signs an autograph for an eager fan. (Winnipeg Free Press)

My own reconnaissance took my camera to the stadium where the massive stage nicknamed The Claw is taking shape. Let me tell any of you who have only seen video or pictures of this monstrosity that it is easily the largest stage set up that has ever seen fit to land in Manitoba. With a footprint of approximately 40 yards square on the football field and reaching a height that matches the top rows of the stadium upper deck seating there will not be a single poor seat in the house when the show begins.

The Claw takes form behind a tight band of security.

Look, No guards here!

My seat for the concert of the year!

Apparently Bono is also very interested in a little project that rivals his own stage set up for sheer scale. The rising Canadian Museum for Human Rights at the forks, has been put on his agenda as a must see item. No doubt the spearhead of the museum project Gail Asper is dying to have a chat with the U2 front man about the project and it’s fund-raising arm.

Construction continues on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The Museum that is being constructed at The Forks complex will highlight the successes and failures of humanity in its ongoing struggle to find a noble path through the struggles of life. Genocides and conflict, rights movements and hero’s will be featured inside the massive “Glass Mountain” structure on the banks of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers.

With a limited time in Winnipeg before they move on to the next stop on their world tour I would like to personally wish the boys a hearty welcome and hope they enjoy Winnipeg as much as Winnipeg is going to enjoy them.

Sláinte!

Maria Aragon LIVE in Toronto.

For any of you who were hiding under a rock for the last few weeks, I’ll explain and catch ya’ll up.  Little Maria Aragon the 10-year-old YouTube sensation who took the word by storm is back in Winnipeg after her whirlwind tour of big league American talk shows and performing on stage with Lady Gaga herself.

Maria being a Little Monster (Photo - Hot 103.com)

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Hé Ho the party is on at Festival.

“Hé Ho, let’s go to festival”,  Darlene said.  Pronounced “Hay Ho” not “Hee Ho”, is just one of the many things a first time visitor to Festival du Voyageur has to learn when navigating the cultural mores that make St. Boniface’s annual winter festival so unique.

That’s right Anglophones leave your English-speaking ways at the gate of Fort Gibraltar, this is a Francophone festivity.  Based loosely on the mid-winter celebrations of the voyageur, this boisterous party celebrates French-Canadian culture and embraces the close bonds of community that only a harsh Canadian winter can bring.

Having won highly coveted tickets to see an invitation only concert by country music recording artist  Shane Yellowbird, we were all set for a night out.  As we left home the temperature was hovering at a balmy -18c but a strong wind decided to play havoc with our plans ensuring that any hardcore partying would have to be done in the relative comfort of one of the event tents set up around Whittier Park.

Having descended back into a deep freeze over the past couple of weeks seemed appropriate for Festival.  Ensuring that all the outdoor events went off without a hitch.  It seems counter intuitive actually wanting frigid temperatures but since so many of the outdoor events are dependant on cold weather not a single soul seemed to mind bundling up before heading out to the park.

Bar de Neige (Snow Bar)

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