Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Kick Off Canada 150 at Wawanesa Insurance Family New Year's Eve

We're ringing in the new year bigger than ever before. Wawanesa Insurance Family New Year's Eve promises to be a blast for everyone, young and old.

We've got two fireworks shows this year to kick off Canada 150! The shows are at 8 pm and midnight, and put on by award-winning local company Archangel Fireworks.

For all the details head over to theforks.com/nye and let us know if you're coming on Facebook!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

5 Things to do at The Forks This Holiday Season

There’s no doubt that December is a busy time – figuring out what to buy for loved ones, checking progress on your New Year’s resolutions, and getting accustomed to driving to and from work in the dark. On the bright side, the change of the season means there is an entirely new set of exciting things happening at The Forks!

1. Shopping local at The Forks Market

The Forks Holiday Gift Guide highlights the best gifts for Her, for Him, the kiddos, the foodies, the yogis, and The Common lovers. You can find every item in the guide in The Forks Market, so while you’re shopping, you can walk around with a glass of wine in hand on the first floor, be serenaded by the buskers, and stop in for a meal at the Food Hall. Yeah – that’s what we call shopping!

Check out Forks Trading Co. and Generation Green for a couple stops where you are guaranteed to find the perfect gift for the picky teenage fashionista or your Aunt who seems to have everything. They have a huge variety of goodies – many of which are made right here in Manitoba. #shoplocal this holiday season!

Still stuck? Head to The Common or The Forks Market Office to pick up The Forks Market Gift Cards. That way, they can pick up whatever they’d like from the shops in The Forks Market.

2. Lace up your skates

The on-land skating trails around The Forks are ready for evening skates with a date and a steaming hot chocolate or for an afternoon pick-up game with your buds. Be sure to skate the Historic Rail Bridge, the view with the twinkling lights overhead is... Well... You'll have to see it for yourself. We promise, that shot will be Instagram-worthy.

3. Get your craft on in The Forks Market Food Hall

One of the best parts of the holidays is getting the chance to spend time with the people who make you smile. The next best thing about the holidays is all the making that goes on – holiday baking, DIY presents, creative wrapping, and sparkly decorating. Now, you can combine those things by bringing your favourite people to The Common for our crafting workshop series. 

4. Keep the family on their feet during the relaxing season

Come down to The Forks Market on December 18th for some family-friendly programming, a holiday movie, and some other great surprises. The Common will be open and serving craft beer and wine for the big kids too! Stay tuned on The Forks Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and more information.

5. Give 2016 a send-off to remember

To finish off a great year, and kick of #Canada150, The Forks will be hosting Wawanesa Insurance Family New Years Eve. There will be activities for the kids during the day, fireworks at 8:00 p.m. and midnight with concerts and DJs throughout the night, and of course – drinks at The Common all night.

For a full list of events at The Forks, visit theforks.com/events

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The Frances Five: secrets to a long happy life

If youve ever been to The Forks on a Tuesday or Thursday morning its hard not to notice a happy, friendly group of seniors milling about. They meet twice a week for their I AM Fitness class, a free exercise class that caters to those 55 and up, encouraging strength, mobility and flexibility. 

I recently joined them for a class and met Frances, who at age 90 is living life to its fullest. After class, over a cup of tea in The Forks Market, she shared with me some secrets to her long, happy, healthy life.

I call them the Frances Five, and Id love to share them with you:

1. She goes outside

Frances is outside all the time, nature makes her happy. Fresh air invigorates her, connecting her to the outside world. She cuts her own grass in the summer and shovels her own sidewalk in the winter. I asked her how she manages our cold winters, she smiled and said, You put on a warmer coat. Keep your eyes peeled for Frances this winter on the Red River Mutual Trail, shes a trail regular!

2. She spends active time with friends and family

Shes our inspiration! her classmates proudly announce. Smiling and greeting each other, its clear there are relationships beyond exercise. After class, they routinely have coffee, celebrating birthdays and life milestones together. It motivates Frances when people expect to see her every week. Its a nice way to spend time with people., some of her best memories were winters she spent skiing with her grandsons, she tells me.

3. She doesnt eat fried food often

When I asked Frances about what she eats, she simply stated, Well, I try not to eat fried foods. She cooks most of her own meals and often enjoys a glass of red wine with dinner. Winter breakfasts are oatmeal with flax, snacks are fruit or almonds. Currently her favourite sandwich is toasted tomato made with her own garden tomatoes.

4. She says yes

She is always up for anything. It takes bravery to step out of your comfort zone, and Frances is a living example of that. Do a plank? Sure, why not. Frances says that as long as she can move her body, she can participate in life. The I AM Fitness classes maintain her mobility and strength to give her the energy to go out in the world to dance, skate, play badminton and enjoy the theatre and symphony.

5. She walks and bikes everywhere

Her first choice to get anywhere is always to use her own body. In summer months, Frances rides her bike to The Forks for classes. If you spot her in her own neighbourhood, shes always out walking. She recently had a few errands downtown, she told me she left her car parked downtown for the day and walked everywhere she needed to go. Why drive everywhere? she says. “Its more fun to get out and see the world.

Oh Frances, you have my heart. I want to grow up and be just like you.

I AM Fitness classes are every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 am – 10:30 am, and 10:30 am – 11:30 am. In warmer months they meet outside under the Forks canopy and in cooler months they meet inside the bright beautiful Royal Dance studio in The Forks Market. Classes are first come, first serve. Sign up sheets are posted outside the class to reserve your spot. They dont check IDs.

* * *

Lindsay Somers is an urban lifestyle health coach. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram. All photos by Luckygirl Photography. Special thanks to Raul, Connie and Frances for sharing their stories. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Must-Taste Local Foods at the Love Local MB Pop-Up

Our friends at Generation Green are hosting yet another local-filled event at The Forks this Saturday!

On October 22nd, the Love Local MB Pop-Up will be set up in the atrium by the elevators. Local food developers will be talking about their process while you sample their delicious food.

Once your food baby has grown to a healthy size, you can make your way into the Pop-Up store to buy that dip you know your Heritage Classic Viewing Party guests will adore.

Who will be there:

Pete Fehr from Gourmet Inspirations

Bessie Hatizirifonos of Bessie's Best

... and so many more.

By purchasing local food, you are eating good food and promoting both economic and environmental sustainability. Win – win!

Plus, knowing that this deliciousness was made right in Manitoba gives us all the proud feels.

To top it all off, stop by The Common just around the corner to pick up a local brew to sip while tasting the food. We recommend testing out Torque Brewing Co.'s Red Line IPA – so good!

There is a $5 entry at the door which also gives you a chance to win a prize pack stuffed full of Manitoba food.

Check our Instagram and Facebook to learn how to win tickets to the event.

Visit Generation Green for more information about the Love Local MB Pop-Up.

Happy tasting!

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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

City Adventure Workout: Paddle to The Forks

I love a city that embraces the water around it. Winnipeg may not be a coastal city, but we do have over 200 km of rivers that run through our city. In winter, we make excellent use of our frozen rivers, with over 10,000 people skating on it every season. But, in summer we don’t venture out on the water as much. Mud-bottomed rivers aren’t ideal for swimming, so I thought I’d check out another way to enjoy the river in its unfrozen state — paddling. Inspired by my pals Kate and Lynne, frequent urban paddlers, we gathered up some fellow adventurers and spent an afternoon paddling from the west Perimeter to The Forks…

Our flotilla consisted of canoes and single and tandem kayaks. People showed up with borrowed, rented and their own equipment. You can pick up canoes from Splashdash at The Forks if you are looking to paddle around the Port area. Or if you are looking to go on a longer adventure, you can get everything (and I mean everything) you need from Wilderness Supply

They ensure you are comfortable with the equipment, answering any questions and getting you exactly what you need for your trip. And? They strap everything to your car too! Daily rentals are $30 for kayak, paddles and a lifejacket. I opted for the tandem kayak with my pal Sara, because it just seemed like too much fun. Also: hello, amazing date idea!

Our three-hour trip started with the drop-in on the Assiniboine River just outside the west Perimeter at Oxbend Road. Here we found easy loading and direct access to the river. For the one-way cruise, I recommend getting a kayak sherpa to drop you (and the kayaks) off and pick you (and the kayaks) up at The Forks. My husband Bob is a land-lubber so he made an excellent kayak sherpa. If no landlubbers are present, you’ll have to pre-arrange a second car drop at The Forks.

The kayaks and canoes were pretty easy to carry down to the water. A good core and upper body strength workout! To be honest, I think this was the most physically challenging aspect to the afternoon!

Once you’re at the water, you sit down in the kayak and slide right in! The connection to the water is immediate when you are in a kayak sitting at the water level. No motors. Just you, the water and some paddles. It’s quiet and peaceful (save for my shrills of delight).

I was so surprised at how we immediately started to coast without paddling! The Assiniboine River has a natural gentle current that is forever nudging you toward The Forks. 

The riverbanks are stunning and give you such a different perspective. I was struck by how it felt like I was away at a cottage, not in the middle of the city. It was quiet and serene. Every bend in the river felt like a new discovery. It was disorienting in the most wonderful way to get lost in a city I’ve lived in my whole life. We had a blue heron follow us along for most of the trip. Every once in a while a bridge would appear and we would be brought back to our familiar places the city.

We’d paddle a bit, then coast. Sometimes we’d just sit and float in the middle of the river, chat and visit. 

As we got closer to downtown, the river came alive with people. Apartment buildings appeared, people on their balconies waved at us. We greeted a fisherman, Sunday strollers and cyclists on the river walk. Boats and water taxis puttered by, waving at us. The river became social, gathering us together in a new way.

We glided into the Port area at The Forks, secured ourselves against the dock with the anchor knobs and hopped out. There’s a small lot on the southwest end of the Market (near Sydney’s restaurant) that makes it easy to load and fasten your kayak to the car. 

A cold beer post paddle tastes so good! Over patio beers and nachos, we discussed how inspiring it was to see the city from a whole new perspective. We paddled the seams of our city, connecting 10 different neighbourhoods. It felt like a trip in a new place, a bit familiar, yet completely different.

Thousands of years ago, people navigated the same rivers and met at The Forks. It’s bizarre to think that we are only rediscovering this now. We are a city built on these rivers, and it’s worth the effort to get out and enjoy them in all seasons.

Lindsay Somers is an urban lifestyle health coach. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Illustration by Brandi Baldwin. Photos by Mark Reimer

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Nu Food Coming Soon

After being voted top burger by Le Burger Week Winnipeg for the fourth year in a row, we are counting down the days until Nuburger joins The Forks Market as our newest tenant to the Food Hall this November.

Their deliciously fresh, local burgers are a great addition to the Food Hall and really highlight what we are about here at The Forks- really delicious, local food. We want to showcase the best of Winnipeg, and Nuburger is part of that

Manitoba-born and-raised co-founders Marc Priestley and Kyle Matheson, opened their first Nuburger location in 2011, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients.  They have been featured on television shows You Gotta Eat Here!, Prairie Dinner, and One Dish as well as the Canstars The Best of Winnipeg feature three years in a row.

The guys at Nuburger are just as thrilled as we are about being a part of The Forks Market. For them, they say it's like getting to be part of Winnipeg culture. And you can expect the same great flavours that they offer in their full-service restaurants but in an express kiosk.

Nuburger is scheduled to be flipping burgers in their new location starting this November. Stay tuned on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and theforks.com for the official open date.

All potential new food tenants are selected initially by a Food Hall committee, through a rolling Request For Proposals. The committee is made up of active Winnipeggers in the food community. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Railway Days: History & Technology at the Winnipeg Railway Museum

It’s Railway Days at The Forks again this September when the Winnipeg Railway Museum celebrates our railway heritage, technology and culture on tracks one and two at Via Union Station.

Winnipeg’s importance in western Canada was cemented when the Canadian Pacific Railway built here and the old fur trading post became the new centre for banking, construction and agriculture. Our two major railways moved the lifeblood of commerce through Canada and beyond bringing goods to a growing city and beyond.

The jewel of our collection is the Countess of Dufferin, a little American Standard steam locomotive brought here by barge in 1877 to build track between Thunder Bay and Golden, British Columbia.

A visit with Railway Royalty, the Countess of Dufferin, CPR number 1. She's the first steam locomotive on the Canadian Prairies.
Not only is she important historically, she’s a living example of a truly North American technology. European locomotives of the time were small and delicate, built for short distances and smooth track. The American Standard, by contrast, was built for thousands of miles of rough track. Big boned and robust, tough and rugged, all the working parts placed outside the frame, they provided a stable, reliable engine for long haul and heavy haul.

Over the years, bigger and faster locomotives pulled longer and heavier trains delivering untold millions of passengers and billions of dollars worth of freight to stations and ports all across Canada.

The railways replaced steamers with diesels over 50 years ago but their legacy lives on in popular music. Anyone who’s ever heard Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash or Bring It On Home by legendary bluesman Willie Dixon will hear the unmistakable rhythms of a steam locomotive moving the song along.

Our summer student Jeremy Leathers shows some of our visitors the machinery that the railways use to build and maintain track. The rails must be kept clean and dry so that steel wheeled trains can run well on them. The result is an energy efficient system for long haul and heavy haul.
Come out and visit us. Take an up close and personal look at a technology that really changed the world.

Railway Days takes place September 17th and 18th on Tracks One and Two Via Union Station, 123 Main Street. We’re open from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, admission by donation. Hope to see you there.

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The WRENCH: Learn How to Maintain Your New Bike

Recently, I found myself in need of a new bike. All summer, I’ve walked past The WRENCH pop up bike shop at The Forks, so it seemed like the perfect occasion to stop by and see what it’s all about.

The WRENCH provides mentorship to build, repair and maintain a bike. They have recycled bikes for sale and have experienced mechanics on hand to help you tune up your own bike. All bikes and parts are donated or ‘saved’ from the Brady landfill (how cool is that?).

Buying a new bike can be a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of bikes to choose from: cruiser, 10-speed, mountain bike, hybrid—it’s hard to know what works for you. I knew I wanted a bike to go to and from work and for evening and weekend cruising around town. Something comfortable and light, as I often have to haul it upstairs and maneuver it in elevators (part of both urban life and a complete cycling workout!).

The best way to try out a bike is to ride it and see how it feels. They had so many different kinds of bikes! It was good to get a feel for each one.

After a bit of deliberation, I selected this vintage green Sears cruiser. It was the perfect size and a light frame. But the seat wasn’t doing it for me — and this is the best part of The WRENCH…

You can modify and work on your bike right there! Out back, there is a train car full of bike parts to customize your bike to exactly your needs and taste. I found a very comfortable vintage seat and changed it MYSELF. The beauty of The WRENCH is that their experienced mechanics will teach you the skills needed to take care of your bike.

The WRENCH will be at The Forks every Sunday 11-4 from now until the end of September. You can follow cycling maps from all corners of the city leading to The Forks. We have lots of warm beautiful fall weather ahead, so ride on down to The Forks, get a tune up and check out what other cool recycled bikes they have!

Ride on!

Lindsay Somers is an urban lifestyle health expert. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram. All photos by Luckygirl Photography.

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