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Culture Hopping!

August 13, 2013

This weekend I spent much of my time exploring the many cultural activities that Winnipeg has to offer, though it happened mostly by accident.

My work (in video production) takes me all over the city and sometimes beyond the city’s borders. I signed up for a series of projects this weekend, but I didn’t realize that I would get to experience a smorgasbord of cultures because of it.

Canadians love to emphasize our multicultural population. We don’t have a very strong national identity, which is great in this regard because it allows breathing room for immigrants from everywhere and the indigenous people who we formerly colonized (but now we feel really bad about it and are struggling to make things right again).

ANYWAY.

I scheduled for myself over 6 shoots in 4 days on various projects. A busy weekend!

My locations ranged from the usual artsy places, to historic landmarks, to festivals, to public spaces.

This is where I went:

1: NAfro Dance Studio. Choreographer Zab Maboungou was in from Montreal setting a work on NAfro Dance Company. Very cool stuff. Zab creates contemporary African works. NAfro is a great company to go see to experience powerful, energetic, and visually stunning dance work. Their season begins in the fall.

2: The School of Contemporary Dancers. Jolene Bailie’s showing of contemporary dance work Hybrid Human was perfect in this location, with their black costumes on a mostly white background. It was pay-by-donation ($5 minimum suggested), so it was open for anyone curious enough to come into the room.

3: Fort Gibraltar. I was only there to shoot a wedding in the main hall, but I was reminded of how amazing this place is as soon as I approached the high walls of the fort. This is a cool place to go if you want to experience early 19th century St. Boniface, as they even have re-enactors to show you how it was done back in the day. For $8 or less, you get something much more than a movie.

4: The Scottish Folklorama pavilion. If you want to see a well-constructed show…. too bad, this pavilion is finished. But next year, be sure to check it out – the entertainment is superb (my ears are still ringing with bagpipes), and the scotch bar is fantastic, too. Not that I was drinking. I was working. 😉

5: The Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre (for its French-Canadian Folklorama pavilion). This building regularly hosts great events (and delicious food, courtesy of the Cora’s restaurant), and this week is no exception. I spent much of my time with La Compagnie de la Verendrye in the cultural gallery, but the main area sounded fantastic. Note: Tourtière is one of the reasons I am struggling to become a vegetarian. This pavilion is still on! Go!

6: Outside of APTN and the Air Canada building. This public space is a popular one for those on lunch break to escape to. Today, Graffiti Gallery and Studio 393 were there to showcase their dedication to the Manito Ahbee Festival, which is coming up quickly. They had a grass dancer and some b-boys exchanging moves, and together they made a wicked mashup performance, totally improvised.

I didn’t take any photos of these places because I was so busy working. You’ll just have to check them out yourself!