Friday, 27 June 2014

Canada Day at The Forks presented by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries

Canada’s birthday bash at The Forks will be music to your ears, and we’re excited to share the occasion with everyone! In keeping with the “Year of Music” celebration, The Forks and Manitoba Music have come together to create a stellar line-up for everyone to enjoy (for free, as always!) this July 1st.

There will be entertainment all over The Forks site – music Under the Canopy from 1:30 – 9:30, on the Rail Bridge from 1:00 – 5:00, and of course, at the Scotiabank Stage from 4:00 till 11:00 when the fireworks begin.

The Manitoba Live line-up includes the likes of indie folk/pop outfit Yes We Mystic, the wonderful ladies of the country music quartet, Oh My Darling, pop/rockers Federal Lights, Brazilian jazz guitarist Marco Castillo, francophone singer/songwriter Pierre Freynet, and other local favourites including Hana Lu Lu, Les Jupes, Jess Reimer, Eagle Lake Owls and everyone’s favourite DJ, Mama Cutsworth.

Coinciding with our Target Zero campaign, the stage on the historic Rail Bridge will be powered by a bicycle generator. How cool is that?

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will play a set on the Scotiabank Stage, and will also accompany The Royal Winnipeg Ballet as they treat us all to a few numbers.

Right before the fireworks, award-winning, charming, and very handsome alt-country singer/songwriter and master storyteller, Del Barber will share a few tunes with everyone, and will also be joined onstage by the WSO. 

Other activities such as the Founding Nations Tribal Village in Oodena Circle, drawing games with Art City, an obstacle course for the kids, big games – life-size Connect Four, Jenga and Guess Who – all begin at noon.

For the full Canada Day schedule, click here.

Canada Day is the busiest day of the year at The Forks – here are a few things to remember: 

• We’ll have plenty of food and beverage vendors onsite, near Scotiabank Stage to keep you energized and hydrated all day long. The food vendors in The Forks Market will also be open at 1 p.m.

• Parking will be at an absolute premium - alternative to driving, why not ride your bike and take advantage of our bike valet, walk, or take the bus.

• Bring sunscreen and a water bottle (you can refill onsite!) to avoid sunburns and dehydration.

• Bring a blanket or chair to sit on while you take in the entertainment at Scotiabank Stage.

• Also bring your dancing shoes, because we bet you won’t be able to help but dance along!

• Dig out your flags, maple leaves, and red and white outfits – let’s show Canada some love! 

See you at The Forks this Canada Day! 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Farmers Market at The Forks

Farmer’s Market season is upon us, and we can tell how anxious people are to fill their fridges and fruit bowls with some homegrown, homemade, unique goodness.

We been holding our Farmers Market each Sunday since mid-May, and people have been coming out – despite a few raindrops here and there – to delve into our vendors’ offerings.

Since it’s early in the season, many of the products on the tables have included jellies, jams, pickles and preserves, baked goods, and handmade jewellery and other pretty things.

Perennial plants and potted herbs are perfect reminders that summer is in fact on its way, and with that, the promise of delicious locally-grown produce like carrots, kale, peas, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, swiss chard, cauliflower, squash, beets, gourds and radishes.

Here are just some of the vendors we’re excited to have in our Farmer’s Market ranks:

Beach Glass – Linda Haugen
Like the name would indicate, Linda makes beautiful jewellery out of bits of weathered beach glass, washed up on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. 

Flora & Farmer
This gal offers variety of eclectic jam flavours – think strawberry beet & vanilla, strawberry, ginger & orange, or my personal favourite, maple, ginger & blueberry, which I think would be just as good on a slice of multigrain in the morning as it would be a pork tenderloin marinade for dinner. Bonus: no sugar added.

Generation Green
One of our favourite vendors from inside The Forks Market gets outside for the Farmer’s Market. They’re selling all kinds of local favourite food items like birch syrup, the award-winning Jamore blueberry jam by the makers of Thrive Bars, and bee pollen. Who knew our honey bees could provide us with sweet, sweet honey, AND a huge B-vitamin kick in the form of pollen?

What’s going to shake up your hot dog at your next backyard BBQ? Beet ketchup, that’s what. This guy knows his beets – he sells everything from beet juice, to beet puree, shredded beets, beet bread, and yes, beet ketchup.

Freshly Baked Bread
Signy Christianson bakes beautiful white and whole-wheat bread, hotdog and hamburger buns, dinner rolls, cinnamon-raisin bread, and croutons as well as some delectable sweet treats like Nanaimo bars, butter tarts, lemon tarts and matrimonial bars.

You’ve probably seen this orange-labeled beer at the LC and in restaurants, but maybe you haven’t tried it yet. It’s brewed right here in Russell, MB and the Farmery guys will be hanging out at our Farmer’s Market with samples and stories about becoming brew masters. Come say hi!

Loved Shorts
You will love these shorts. These girls are experts at making old jeans into the perfect pair of cut-offs, and jazzing them up so your perfect pair of shorts is totally unique.

The Bannock Factory
Bannock in a Box? Ok! These guys make delicious bannock, freeze it, box it up, and make it easy as 1-2-3 for you to have a bannock breakfast or side dish anytime you want! Just heat it up for 45-seconds in the microwave and it’s bannock time.

Wildfire Farms
Serving up all cuts of locally and sustainably raised pork and beef, including tenderloin, rib eye, roasts, ground beef, sausage, soup bones and lard, as well as free-roaming chickens, ready for you to take home and fire up on the BBQ.

See you Sundays at The Forks in the Plaza Parking Lot from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. for Farmer’s Market goodness all season-long!

Monday, 9 June 2014

The Production Game – Preparing for Aboriginal Day Live at The Forks

Oh my, it’s June already, and that means it is that time of year again. Just a couple more weeks until the 2014 edition of Aboriginal Day Live and Celebration, a fantastic festival on all things First Nation. We will broadcast from our main stage at The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the second stage will be in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia.

My name is Tina, I am the Production Coordinator – which basically means I’m like a traffic controller – I know when and where people are coming and going. I should get myself some of those nifty traffic cones and a whistle. You may see me on the day, clipboard in hand, and looking disheveled.

First let me say, this year is going to be very different from previous years, and I am so happy to be part of it all. But for the team, it isn’t all fun and games.

We've had our site walk-throughs at The Forks, many creative meetings, and endless discussions about logistics – i.e. where are we going to put everything?? Our job is turning into a giant game of Tetris that hopefully doesn't turn into Jenga. I hate that game.

We have to make room for some extra trailers and trucks this year, because not only do we have some big acts to accommodate back stage but we have a brand new stage design as well, and from what I've seen, it will blow your mind!

One of the tough things about this year is the time difference with the second stage. In order to keep the “live” aspect of the show, our top guys in the truck have the tough job of figuring out when and how to switch from stage to stage not just during the concert but on the TV broadcast as well. It’s more of an art than a skill.

But I’d say one of my favourite aspects of the show this year would be the music – Lightning Cloud, Nelson Tagoona, Leonard Sumner, and of course Billy Ray Cyrus. That’s just some of the acts for Winnipeg, and I haven’t even mentioned the great acts in Halifax. How about some Joey Stylez or A Tribe Called Red? It’s going to be a phenomenal show.

And it’s my job to make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be at the right time. Let the games begin!

~ Justina Neepin

Follow me on Twitter @JustinaNeepin