Friday, 30 January 2015

Build Week - Warming Huts v.2015

The warming huts are nearing the finish line and soon will go out on the ice. This week, winners of the Warming Huts v.2015 competition were at The Forks for what is affectionately know as Build Week. Teams have come from near and far to help bring their winning designs come to life. Throughout the week shelters and art installations began to take shape.

Back in November 2014 after the competition winners were announced, plans on how to turn the drawings into real life quickly were underway.  Old skis, chairs and culverts made for an unlikely shopping lists of supplies needed to complete the huts. So Facebook posts, tweets, and phone calls went out and we got great responses (like Canada Culvert  who stepping in to help with the Hole Idea by supplying the materials and labour). Supplies came in, and over the last few days we've seen the huts come together (check out #warminghuts to see some of the progress). 

Although each warming hut ranges on the scale on "warmth", they all bring creativity and imagination to the Red River Mutual Trail. The huts, along with their creators, get to share a story through art and architecture with those that stop by. And the huts (like those from previous years) will continue to inspire new stories as people sit in them, interact with them, and make their own memories with this year's winning designs. Be sure to share your story by sharing with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #warminghuts.

Here are this year's winning warming huts:

Recycling Words: 

From:  Montreal, CANADA

Story behind the hut: Recycling Words is an interactive art installation that assembles everyday objects and words to create a playful river narrative. Drawing reference to the physical and vocal exchanges that historically flocked the Red and Assiniboine rivers on canoe, Recycling Words offers a new cultural and social means of gathering along the Red River Mutual Trail.

The Hole Idea:

From: Toronto, CANADA

Story behind the hut: 
The portable hole - first developed by Prof. Calvin Q. Calculus in the 1955 Looney Tunes animation, “The Hole Thing” and later sold by the Acme Company - has a troubled history. Almost right from inception, the ominous, mobile void was put to use for evil purposes - first as an effective enabler for a vicious crime spree and later as a means to capture the American desert fowl Geococcyx californianus or as it is commonly known as, “the Roadrunner”. It is important to note that the later use always ended up with the direct opposite result than that of the intended; which is likely why the portable hole is no longer commercially available. This proposal takes as a starting point the portable hole, and by utilizing modern paint technologies, adds color. The resultant 1’-6” diameter holes - which can be located anywhere along the snowy banks of the Assiniboine or Red River – are resistant to being co-opted by evil forces (including the greyness of soul-sucking foul weather) due to the sheer cheeriness of the palette of introduced color. Further, a large, bright and yellow 10’ diameter hole is horizontally located in a 35’ long snow drift and provides skaters a warm and sheltering burrow in the snowy river bank. Since they have an inside and outside, the holes also furnish the shelter with an abundance of light and sky views.

Special Thanks to Canada Culvert for their donation of materials and work to help get this hut built.

This Big
Art Installation 

By: Tina Soli & Luca Roncoroni
From: Drøbak Akershus, NORWAY

Story behind the hut: 
Eric drills a small hole in the ice. He unfolds his chair and sits down. He pours a cup of hot coffee, and he sinks a bait in the deep, dark water. He waits. He drinks some more coffee. He waits. Finally, Eric gets a fish so big that it doesn’t make it through the hole. He cuts the line and he goes home with a story to tell … “It was this big!” The story is a good one, the fish gets bigger by the day, and the myth grows. Somebody is impressed, somebody is curious, somebody is laughing. But one day the fish wants to tell the story itself, the fish wants its 15 minutes of fame … That day is today. No more story telling. No more myth. THIS BIG is the connection between two worlds: under and over the ice. We could say it is a “semantic installation” or a “social anthropological statement”, but it is actually an ice sculpture, a big toy.

Hybrid Hut
By Invitation

By: The Hybrid Hut by: Rojkind Arquitectos
From: México D.F. MÉXICO

Story behind the hut: 
Creating new hybrids through computer-aided design and traditional craftsmanship. With the evolution of technology in the industry, it puts into question the participation of artisans in the construction of the design space to the extent that the trades are disappearing. What is the use of contemporary technology if it can’t learn to grow with the processes already acquired by artisans and traditions? And how can an accomplished craftsman learn new process through technology? What is the role of the architect that has access to both scopes?

Mirror Cloaking

By: Architecture Students from the University of Manitoba
From: International students, currently living in Winnipeg

The story behind the hut:
Using the concept of one-way mirrors and polished stainless steel panels to create a mirror box, skaters will perceive the warming hut as part of the winter landscape, yet closer inspection will find that the hut appears to reflect the surrounding. As skaters walk into the hut they realize that the one-way mirrors provide the precious scenery of winter. The design plays with the idea that the enclosed structure become transparent and visitors can still find warmth within an “open” space.

Special Thanks: 

There has been a lot of time and resources poured into he completion of these huts. Many people have gone above and beyond their normal jobs and to them we say a big thank you for all your help and support.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Embracing Winter to the Max

Winter is here to stay + so we've decided that instead of fighting it, we are going to embrace it.

Welcome to the Arctic Glacier Winter Park! It has a kilometer of on-land skating trails, a hockey rink, toboggan hill and snowboarding park. You can glide, slide, or ride your way through Arctic Glacier Winter Park day or night (just remember to bundle up). If that wasn't enough, to really embrace the season, Sundays now include FREE programming starting January 18 to March 1.
“What can you all do for FREE?” you might ask. Well, here’s the rundown:

  • Aboriginal Programming | 1:30- 3:30 pm
    In traditional teepees, gather around to hear the story of winter from Aboriginal elders.  
  • Aboriginal Art | 1:30- 3:30 pm
    Create your own Aboriginal artwork to take home.
  • Snowboarding Instruction | 1:30- 3:30 pm
    Grab your board and your gear and get ready to learn some tips and tricks to snowboarding. Learn from the best as instructors give pointers for better boarding.
  • Horse Drawn Wagon Rides 1:30-4:30 pm
    Take a tour of The Forks site of a different kind. Hop in a horse drawn wagon and enjoy the view. Meet outside The Forks Market in front of The Original Pancake House.

You are welcome to come and stay at one activity or try them all. And if you are looking for something a little more ‘groovy’, spend some time spinning to records while skating on the rink under the Canopy. DJs Hunnicutt and Co-op will be playing their favourite tunes from 12- 4 pm, January 18- February 1 (weather permitting).

For the latest updates on the park conditions and programming updates be sure to check our website here, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram feed. And don’t forget to snap photos and share with us what you've been doing to #embracewinter @TheForksWinnipeg!

We know winter can be long, so we want to embrace it fully and hope you will too.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Our diet starts tomorrow?!

Welcome to 2015! We've enjoyed the holidays and now it's back to reality and routine... and for some of us- resolutions. As the clock counted down to the New Year, you (like us) might have made a list of things you'd like to do over the next 365 days. Maybe you want to do simple things, like eat more vegetables or more challenging things, like solving world hunger. Never the less, by the second week of said New Year, you may have already slacked on your resolutions or may find yourself "refining" your list... to combine resolutions into solving world hunger by eating a stick of celery over the span of a week.

On New Year's Eve, we asked local artist Kal Barteski to paint words of inspiration and resolution on the skating rink under the Canopy. Words like "Walk, Stretch, Have Fun, Love, Move Your Body, Play Outside, Celebrate the Everyday, Forgive More". The icy surface became a pinboard of ideas and motivation for the year ahead.

As the ball dropped on 2015 so did the temperature here in Winnipeg, making some of our ideal resolutions seem challenging (if not impossible) to do. But fear not, because we have some ideas for fitness at The Forks that you may not have thought of.
- Spend your lunch hour going for a walk (either inside or outside).
- Grab your friends or kiddos and go for a skate on the Red River Mutual Trail.
- Breakout your sled and shoot down Toboggan Hill (not your typical workout, but if you were to track this on a fitness app 30 minutes is about 300 calories burned!).

For those that need something inside, check out S.M.A.R.T. Exercise Class (Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together) at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Tuesday is Zumba and Thursday is fitness class. Just bring your runners and a bottle of water and join this low impact FREE fitness class. Class is open to all ages and all levels of fitness. But come early because there is a maximum of 25 participants per class.

Now for those that need something extreme to kick your New Year's resolution into full gear, we've got the three words: Winnipeg Gone Rogue. Inspired by the November Project, friends Tom and Rick wanted to push each other in their fitness goals, but also in their desire to stay motivated.

They began by meeting at The Forks with some friends on a lovely Wednesday in June... at 6:15 a.m. About eight people came out and did a bootcamp style workout. The next time they met, their friends brought some of their friends. The group kept growing and became known as Winnipeg Gone Rogue. Now they have 40-50 people come out and enjoy the plyometic workout with each person at a different fitness level. From marathoners to those just getting off the couch, Winnipeg Gone Rogue lets people challenge themselves physically while building a great fitness community (something which we hear is important when it comes to following through on your resolutions). 
Now you might be wondering if they shut it down during winter? NOT A CHANCE! They just layer up and introduce fitness moves like tobogganing. This past Wednesday it was -35 degrees Celsius and there were over 30 people there (seven of which, this was their first time). As one of the hashtags they use suggests #justshowup.

If this sparks your interest and you are now wondering how to find out where they are or what plyo-jacks they'll be doing, check out their Twitter and Instagram accounts for the latest details. But you can be sure they'll be meeting, rain or shine, snow or subzero temperatures. Oh, and did we mention it's FREE?!
And if you find yourself with a laundry list of excuses not to show,  listen to the encouragement from Rick and why you'll see him out there early on Wednesdays:
“There is no such thing as morning people. Mornings suck! You have to force yourself to do it. But if you can get up, you will make that day the best day ever! And it is going to make you a better, more motivated, healthier person. And that’s what you want in the end.”

So there you have it. Some ideas for continuing your fitness resolutions, or restarting them, or just show up. Here's to a fit + fun 2015.