In case any of you were wondering how I was spending my incredibly gorgeous long weekend, wonder no longer. Today Dar and I decided to take a short hop down to the Forks Market and take in a few of the festivities marking the 145th birthday of Canada. Locally known as Canada Day, it’s a great excuse to have a bbq or crack a couple of cold ones and enjoy the 30 degree heat.
You’ll hardly ever hear a Winnipeger complain about the heat though, after a good solid 6 months of darkness and winter cold it takes a good few weeks of 30 Celsius weather to thaw out our Canadian bones and get us primed for summer.
As you would expect on a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon, the Forks Market was packed, the food vendors were out in full force and the beverages were indeed flowing.
Esplanade Louis Riel
The Esplanade Louis Riel (Louis Riel Bridge) is one of the newer architectural centerpieces of Downtown/St Boniface area. It’s dramatic cable stay pedestrian bridge complete with restaurant and spire draw many tourist and photographers alike to the core of the city.
Located at the East end of Esplanade Louis Riel, La Crêperie Du Pont is a great choice for a deliciously thin crepe for breakfast or a pick me up snack.
Enjoying a lovely crêpe for breakfast.
City skyline and Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
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Posted in Why Winnipeg Rocks!, Winnipeg and Hometown Goings On, Winnipeg Events, Winnipeg Street Eats
Tagged Assiniboine River, Bonne Fête Canada, Canada, Canada 145, Canada Day, Canadian, Education, Esplanade Louis Riel, Family Fun, Food Trucks, Louis Riel, Red River, Saint Boniface, St Boniface Cathedral, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, The Forks Market
It’s been a while since I have posted anything on the wonderful and often weird architecture that dots the Winnipeg landscape. In this offering let us explore some of Winnipeg’s parks and the downtown area for some truly bizarre offerings.
First on our neck snapping trip through town lets take a peek in Assiniboine Park just south of Portage Avenue. This metal monstrosity entitled Agassiz Ice sits like a shiny metal turd polluting the once clean vista of inviting grass and sunny blue sky. I’ll let sculptor Gordon Reeve tell you what he thinks of it.
Agassiz Ice in Assiniboine Park.
The sculpture “opens” just as a film does with an establishing shot of the park with the sculpture in the distance framed by the sky, trees and a river. As the viewer approaches along a predetermined route it appears to grow in size and what appeared to be a single sculpture becomes two and then three separate forms with a passage through. The hard irregular edges isolate a rapid succession of “cinematic frames” which are experienced in varying increments of time. The initial approach takes from twelve to thirty seconds before a significant change in point of view. Another ten to twelve seconds and as the piece is revealed the viewer is able to see and feel the cool polished metal.” Gordon Reeve
Metal masterpiece or shiny steel turds?
Poppycock, there is no predetermined pathway to this gauche monstrosity and it takes a good hour to get stink of artistic failure off of you in the shower before you feel clean again. What a waste of metal and money.
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Posted in Rants, Winnipeg and Hometown Goings On
Tagged Agassiz Ice, Assiniboine Park, Assiniboine River, Étienne Gaboury, Bronze Sculpture, Canada, David Perrett, Gordon Reeve, Government Waste, James Richardson and Sons, Leo Mol, Manitoba, Metal, Peter Sawatzky, Poppycock, Portage Avenue, Public Art, Richardson Building, Sculpture, Seal River Crossing, St Boniface, Tree Children, Winnipeg, Winnipeg Block Stop, Winnipeg Route 85
In an attempt to divert water from overwhelming the Assiniboine River defences the Manitoba government has intentionally breached a diking system just east of Winnipeg. The intentional cut at Hoop and Holler Bend on the Assiniboine intentionally endangers about 200 square kilometres of prime farm land and approximately 200 homes in the area.
Troops help to flood proof a home (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)
With water levels still on the rise in the west, and the peak river levels still weeks away Premier Greg Selinger worried that constant pressure on the ad-hoc diking system would be too great to handle the increase in pressure. Faced with a possible catastrophic diking failure he gave residents as much warning as possible to safeguard their homes before breaching the dike.
Strategic planning diagram of the Hoop and Holler cut (Government of Manitoba)
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Posted in Breaking News, Winnipeg Events
Tagged Assiniboine River, Breach, Dike, Elie, Flood, Flooding, Greg Selinger, Hoop and Holler Bend, La Salle, La Salle River, Manitoba, Red River, Sacrifice, Sandbagging, Tiger Dam, Winnipeg
With the arrival of spring here in Winnipeg I got to thinking about all of my favourite haunts. One of my favourite places to hang out and enjoy a nice sunny afternoon is Assiniboine Park. Within the sprawling acreage there are riding trails, formal gardens, duck ponds and the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.
Located conveniently adjacent to the foot bridge spanning the Assiniboine River, the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden showcases the artistic mastery of one of Winnipeg’s own. Born Leonid Molodozhanyn in Ukraine January 15, 1915. He studied sculpture at the Leningrad Academy of Arts and was influenced by Arno Breker and undoubtedly war-torn Europe of the 1940’s. He immigrated to Canada after the war with his new bride Magareth and made Winnipeg his home until he died July 4, 2009. His credits include the Order of Canada, Order of Manitoba. He also held honorary doctorates from the Universities of Manitoba, Alberta, and Winnipeg.
Leo Mol’s work graces the Vatican, Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and many churches and cathedrals in Canada including St. Mary’s Catholic Church in my home town of Fort Frances. Working not only in bronze but also in stained glass and paint; his commissions came from around the world.
Walking through the sculpture garden on a warm sunny day, perhaps in the morning with the sun just peeking over the treetops and the birds waking from a cheerful slumber chirping softly one can feel at total peace. The smell of dew fills your head as you walk through the paths and ponds in this bronze wonderland.
Take a walk with me now as we walk the paths in the park enjoying a beautiful day with the bronzes of Leo Mol.
Entering the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.
Entering the Sculpture Garden from the English Garden
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Posted in Winnipeg and Hometown Goings On
Tagged Arno Breker, Arts, Assiniboine Park, Assiniboine River, Bronze Sculpture, Canadian Pacific Railway, Chinese Labour, Gardens, Leo Mol, Manitoba, Pope, Sculpture, Sculpture garden, Steve Ashton, Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine, Vatican, Winnipeg
In the lull between Christmas and New Years Day many in the city either have the week off outright or work reduced hours. It seems to suit the character of Winnipeg, families get a chance to spend time together and enjoy a little break before things start back up in earnest.
I took a little drive one afternoon to check out one of my favourite haunts, The Forks Market. It was alive with activity skaters as flew by everywhere on the icy paths that are converted for the season. The chilly temperature of -18c seemed warm in the afternoon sun. People walked and skated laughing just enjoying the day. Children held mom and dad’s hand or ran with friends everywhere. The centre of activity for the little ones is an ice castle, complete with 4 entrances and an ice slide in the middle.
Ice skating under the canopy at The Forks.
The big tent, I helped build and install this canopy in the early 90's.
The Ice Castle.
Even adults can't resist playing with the kids in the castle
A nice day out for families in the sun.
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Posted in Winnipeg and Hometown Goings On, Winnipeg Events
Tagged Assiniboine River, Canada, Canopy at The Forks Market, Christmas, Ice Castle, Ice Skating, New Years Day, Oodena Circle, Photograpy, River Curling, River Hockey, Skating, Spirit Stone, Sports, Stargazing, The Forks Market, Winnipeg, Winter Activities, Winter Photography