Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Art for Auction

Less than 48 hours- that's all the time that Red River College's Graphic Design students will get when they are working on their piece for the 13th Annual Forks Market Student Art Show and Auction this weekend. Talk about a time crunch. 

Mackenzie, Allan and Adria are all going to be there on Friday and Saturday to showcase their talent. We asked them to share their process leading up to the event and how they're doing.

My immediate thought about the event was, "Oh, a 7 day school week." This was with little thought to how the event would actually play out. But, after we got more information and saw pictures from past years Art Auctions, I realized it would be an exciting opportunity. I also recently developed an appreciation for cheese boards and red wine, but I swear that has nothing to do with my enthusiasm.

In terms of art and design, I have an inclination towards creating digitally. Despite this, I enjoy the challenge of being outside my comfort zone doing traditional pieces, especially with the public watching.

My anticipation evolved into excitement after I completed my rough-draft piece for the event: an intricate design in the form of a wolf. I got a lot of positive feedback on it, so I'm looking forward to completing it at the Forks. I was told we're allowed to bid on our own art, so if I'm feeling particularly attached to my piece I might just end up bidding on it myself.

Outside of school hours, I know a lot of us spend additional time doing our design projects. We're all artsy in our own different ways - some of us indulge in video games, movies, books, music. My personal weaknesses are music (Soundcloud is my kryptonite) and video games. Some of us also work part-time jobs, because we need money to buy coffee, tea and all the other fuel that enables us to manage a 41 credit hour semester while still (somehow) having a life outside of school. (Just kidding, we don’t have lives.)

2nd Year Graphic Design Student, Red River College

I am excited and a little nervous for the Art Auction.  Excited because it will be a great to see all the work that will be created by a lot of talented people.  And to also be part of the experience and being creative with a group of people. Having friends and family around to see you do something that they know you enjoy.  Getting a chance to be with all these talented people creating art while the public can see our process.  And that is also why I am a little nervous. Most people I know feel a little nervous when someone is watching them make art and this will be on a bigger scale. You don't want to make a mistake or sometimes it feels like you are when someone is watching you go through the steps. Who knows though, it could also be a good way to help us get rid of that fear.

I am doing an acrylic painting of a forest, but not just an ordinary forest.  It is a forest that comes alive at night.  It is based on my experiences of being in the woods as a child and how your imagination can run wild with that you can't see. I do not do too many paintings so there is some pressure to deliver, but also a motivation to succeed. Either way, I think it will be a lot of fun to get out and share an experience with a great group of people.

2nd Year Graphic Design Student, Red River College

I am looking forward to the auction that is taking place on the weekend. I am a painter and I am looking forward to doing it in a different setting and seeing what other people come up with as well. It will be a good event for my fellow classmates as well as guests showing up to the event, experiencing something new and different in Winnipeg.

The piece that I am doing for the show is going to be an acrylic painting on canvas. The background of the painting is going to have a wood grain texture and the foreground is going to be a white bicycle. I am doing the bicycle because Winnipeg has a very large biking community and I think that it would be a popular piece.

Post-graduation, I see myself working as a graphic designer, hopefully doing advertising. Advertising interests me because it is an opportunity to really express your work and show the brand at its fullest potential.

2nd Year Graphic Design Student, Red River College

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Keepin' Warm in Canada, eh?

It's getting cold in here, folks. And although we've been living in "winter mode" for the past few months, this extreme cold is what separates those that survive from those that thrive in a Manitoba winter. So how exactly does one embrace the frigid temperatures? We asked the Kings of Cold, our Winter Crew, who built and maintain the Red Rive Mutual Trail and Arctic Glacier Winter Park.

These guys are out when it's -40 degrees Celsius, pumping river water out on the ice to make our skating trails. And believe it or not, they stay WARM! Here are the tips they suggest when going out in the cold:
  1. It's all about the base... layer, that is. You need something underneath that will wick away the sweat while you are running around.
  2. The next layer can be normal clothing, or something that you're comfortable in.
  3. The outer limits need to keep the outer elements outside! You need to consider how warm the outer layer needs to be, how much wind it will block, and how waterproof it is. If you are playing in snow (or making a river trail) you will want it to be more water resistant than if you are just going for a stroll in the park. This year, FXR helped our Winer Crew out by providing jackets and ski pants from their Hardwear line for the crew to wear. These guys worked 14 hours out in subzero temperatures and didn't even feel the cold. So remember to invest well in a good outer layer.

  4. Cover your skin. Face, ears, neck- these are the parts of you that will be exposed to direct cold and wind. Make sure you have a scarf / bandanna/ buff or something that can cut down on exposure (especially in extreme cold). Ski goggles or superhero masks can also be used to protect your face/eyes and make a great fashion statement.

  5. Keep your head in the game. Body heat escapes through your head, so make sure that you have a hood, toque, beanie, cap, something, anything to keep your head warm.

  6. Keeping all 10 of your fingers and 10 of your toes is a good goal. Having proper mitts and boots are key to keeping you warm while being out in the cold. For trudging through the snow, you will want high boots with thicker insulation to make sure you feet don't freeze and snow stays out. If you are building a snowman, you'll want to have mitts that have waterproof layer and that can either be tucked into your jacket or go higher up your arm to keep snow out.

  7. The extras: 
    • There are some new things out there like hand warmers that you can stuff in your pockets or mitts to keep a bit warmer. 
    • If you have a friend with you, huddling together can be useful for conserving body head. 
    • If you are on the Red River Mutual Trail try to find one of the Warming Huts to take shelter from the cold *(please note some huts are warmer than others). 
    • Know your limits. If you need to go inside, go inside.
    • Have a cup of hot chocolate or something warm ready to go when you come inside.
A special thanks to our Winter Crew for keeping the Red River Mutual Trail and on-land tails in tip-top shape this year! Also, a big thank you to FXR, who sponsored the outer gear to help keep our Winter Crew warm. 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

The Love of "Our Forks Story"

It was truly heartwarming to hear all the stories that came in for the "Our Forks Story" contest. There were stories of first dates, weddings, engagements in the top of the tower, and more. We couldn't pick just one, so we've decided that everyone who entered is getting a "Embrace Winter" gift pack (skate rentals, hot chocolate and mini donuts). To determine the winner of the  "Love Found" gift pack, we put everyone's story into a random draw. And the winner?! Well, here's their story of how they found love at The Forks.

Jen + Dallas 

My girlfriend and I broke up in 2005. After three long years apart, we gleefully got back together in August of 2008. One month later, I took her on a surprise canoe trip at The Forks with my friend's canoe. We walked the canoe from the parkade to the waterfront, receiving a lot of waves and 'way to go's' as a result of the canoe atop our heads. We put in and paddled the short distance down to the Red River. My girlfriend had been on the provincial rowing team so I suggested that we paddle by the rowing club on Lyndale Drive. As we passed under the Norwood bridge, I suddenly turned the canoe around and told her to look up. I had affixed the sign "Jen, will you marry me?" on the bridge. She shrieked in delight and I got down very carefully on one knee in the canoe to give her the canoe engagement ring I had bought. She said 'yes' and we paddled back to The Forks. 

As we neared, my friend and his family paddled out to meet us in the brand new canoe that was also part of my engagement present. We switched canoes right on the water (nearly tipping with the effort) and continued up the Assiniboine alone in our brand new canoe, giggling all the way. 
We were married January 3, 2009 and just celebrated our 6th anniversary. 
- As told by Dallas

We couldn't just leave it with Dallas and Jen's story, so here are a a few other stories that we'd like to share.

Caitlin + Tim  Doucette 

Tim (my dear husband) and I met at 15 years old in high school (yep, sweethearts we are!) and our favourite place to go on any date or just to hang out, has always been The Forks.  We both love supporting homegrown businesses and absolutely love the feel and ambiance The Forks provides us.  We go no matter the time of year, whether skating along the Red River or dining at our fave place to eat; The Old Spag (we actually celebrate our anniversary by having dinner there every year).  We absolutely love it there, and I love to shop there!  Since we started going to enjoy The Forks at 15 years old to now over 11 years later, we find something new every time we go.  Exploring the trails, enjoying some mini donuts or frozen yogurt and shopping in the amazing little shops; we always find something unique to take in.  We have some of our best memories together at The Forks and I know we will continue to for years.  

When Tim proposed almost 4 years ago, I knew we had to incorporate our love of The Forks into our wedding.  So, I talked with our photographer and decided that our spot for our wedding photos will be at The Forks.  We both love the uniqueness and rustic architecture and fell of everything at The Forks so why wouldn't we have our lifelong pictures of our special day there?  So the majority of our wedding photos were taken around our favourite spots, see attached photos.  I can't describe how much The Forks has taken a part in our love with eachother, amazing date nights, catching fireworks, skating...all things we have done at The Forks have made us so happy and the memories will never fade.  We hope to bring our one day children to The Forks for some great family adventures and to show them just how important it is to support local businesses and companies.  
Tim has been so supportive and inspirational to me over our 11 years together that I would love to surprise him with an amazing date night and photos to remember them with!  I don't want to win this for me, I want to win this for the man that has made my life the best it could be.  

- As told by Caitlin

Jaelyn + Shane

The Forks has been a date night spot for my now FIANCÉ and I for 3 years. My name is Jaelyn Bartel and my fiancés name is Shane Froese. One of our first date nights happened at The Forks and it started off by skating on the Red River Trail followed by hot cocoa in the market. We ended up carving our names into the bridge overlooking the river. Every date night that happened to be at The Forks for the following 3 years we would make a tally mark on the bridge next to our names. After lunch on February 8, 2015 at The Old Spaghetti Factory, our 14th tally mark was carved into the same spot by our names. We went for a walk around The Forks after lunch and when we got to “our spot" I grabbed my fiancés car keys to make a new tally mark as I usually do. As I was making the tally mark he came up behind me and told me, “You better make this tally bigger and bolder, because it’s the day I’m going to ask you to marry me.”

I was shocked and overjoyed and could not contain my excitement. He preceded to tell me how much he loved me and why he wanted to marry me. He then got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage. I then turned to my right to see one of my best friends who happens to be an amazing photographer who captured the moment perfectly. 

PS - I understand that carving your names into public property is illegal. I apologize for that but I feel as though it makes a lasting memory for my fiancé and I. 
- As told by Catlin

Thanks for all the contributions. We can't wait for next year and hope to hear even more stories of your Forks stories. 

Have a lovely Valentine's Day + we hope you are able to spend some time with those you love.

Much love, 
The Forks

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Manitoba Music On Ice

Manitoba Music and The Forks are excited to announce this year's schedule of performers for the 2015 edition of Manitoba Music On Ice. Brave Manitoba musicians will put on their warmest winter wear for an acoustic afternoon of live music at the innovative Warming Huts on the Red River Mutual Trail on Sunday, February 15.

From 1 to 4 pm, you can come and check out one of the world's longest river trails while enjoying the sounds of homegrown talent programmed by Aboriginal Music Week, BreakOut West, Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, MEME Festival, The Park Theatre, TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, and West End Cultural CentreFestival du Voyageur will also be bringing the party to the river with Rendez-vous On Ice presented by CitiFinancial, featuring local bands, DJs, fashion show, family fun, and more.

This year's diverse lineup has something for everyone, including traditional Indigenous women singers Oogimah Ikwewok, acclaimed roots singer/songwriter Jess Reimer, indie act Somebody Language, Francophone folk/soul/rocker Justin Lacroix, jazz trumpeter Simon Christie, roots/blues performer The Reverend Rambler, DJ Nathan Zahn and Chris Komus, Latin jazz duo Amber Epp & Victor Lopez, and indie singer/songwriter Adam Hanney.


Under the Canopy 
Presented by MEME Festival
1-4 PM DJs Nathan Zahn and Chris Komus

Great West Life Snow Lounge
1:00 PM Amber Epp & Victor Lopez | Presented by BreakOut West
1:30 PM Somebody Language | Presented by Icelandic Festival of Manitoba
2:00 PM Adam Hanney | Presented by The Park Theatre
2:30 PM Amber Epp & Victor Lopez | Presented by BreakOut West
3:00 PM Somebody Language | Presented by Icelandic Festival of Manitoba
3:30 PM Adam Hanney | Presented by The Park Theatre

1:00 PM Oogimah Ikwewok | Presented by Aboriginal Music Week
1:30 PM Simon Christie Trio | Presented by TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival
2:00 PM Jess Reimer | Presened by West End Cultural Centre
2:30 PM Oogimah Ikwewok | Presented by Aboriginal Music Week
3:00 PM Simon Christie Trio | Presented by TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival
3:30 PM Jess Reimer | Presened by West End Cultural Centre

The Trading Post – Rendez-vous on Ice 
Presented by Festival du Voyageur
2:00 PM DJ Kilma
3:00 PM Fashion show
3:30 PM DJ Kilma
4:30 PM The Reverend Rambler
5:30 PM The Reverend Rambler
6:30 PM Fire dance / juggler
7:00 PM Justin Lacroix
8:00 PM Justin Lacroix 

See you there!
Rachel Stone, Association & Communications Manager
Manitoba Music

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Our Forks Story

Photo by: Travis Ross

For some, February means freezing temperatures and the potential of frostbite. For others, it's means warmth and the joy of LOVE! With 10 days till Valentine's Day, we're getting excited about all things lovely.

We know that The Forks has been a meeting place for thousands of years. People have come to gather, build community, share life and LOVE. Over the past few years, we've been witness to first dates, first kisses, proposals and the exchange of I do's. For some of those moments, we've been able to share in the fun and hear their stories, but we know there are many more that we never get to hear about.

This year, we're launching our first ever "Our Forks Story" contest. We want to hear about your love story and your connection to The Forks. Did you first meet here? Did you ask the big question here? Did you get married here?! In a few sentences share with us your story by emailing or by commenting below.

Submitted stories will be entered to win an "Embrace Winter"gift pack of skate rentals, hot chocolate and mini donuts. One lucky story will be selected for a "Love Found" Package, which includes:

  • "Embrace Winter" gift pack
  • Dinner for two at the Old Spaghetti Factory
  • "Make More Love" script painting by Kal Barteski
  • A free half hour couple photo shoot on The Forks site with 12 edited photos
Contest ends February 13, 2015 at 11:59 pm, with winners being announced on Valentine's Day!

So send us your stories {and photos if you have} and share your memories and let's celebrate finding love at The Forks!