Friday, December 6, 2013

Music Made in Manitoba

Winnipeg has a booming music scene. Talent on talent on talent. Arguably some of the greatest musicians have come out of our beautiful city. See: The Guess Who and Fred Penner (seriously I adore Fred Penner, he made my love of sandwiches cool). 

Today, I am going to introduce you to my 5 favorite Winnipeg artists. If you're new to the city or a long-time resident, you need to give all of them a listen. 

If you're not from the city give them a listen anyway and expand their fanbase because they 100% deserve it! 

So without further ado, here are the Top 5 (as deemed by me) Best Acts in Winnipeg Today:

5. Nic Dyson

THE FEELS. Every time I listen to Nic, my heart goes out to him. You can actually feel his emotions in his songs. And then I start to feel those emotions. It's crazy. He's also proof that you should never stop following your dreams. You can do anything. He inspires me. Just try and watch him sing I Miss You and not shed a tear yourself. I see big things in this boy's future. BIG THINGS. 

4. Royal Canoe

Coming in at number four we have Royal Canoe. Recently discovered thanks to Ace Burpee, I cannot stop listening to them. Their video for Bathtubs just speaks to me in the weirdest, best way possible. I haven't seen them live but I hear it's a good time. I'm putting it on my list of things to do in 2014. 

3. Andrew Mitchell Music

Am I allowed to put a friend on the list? Whoops, I just did. Andrew Mitchell is one super talented dude. He works really hard at it too and that's pretty inspiring. I've never met anyone (other than me) who wakes up at 3 am, has an idea, and starts writing it down immediately. That's dedication. Because ya know, sleep is usually important. I'm off topic. The point is, he's good. And ladies he's single.

2. The Treble Band

These guys are big news. So don't tell me you've never heard of them. And if you haven't then you need to get to clicking and listening because ehrmagerd so good. I have also never seen them live but that is another thing on my list of things to do. I've maybe creeped on them once or twice at a TMTTP show and by creeped I mean passed them and was like "oh that's The Treble, cool". Anyway, I'm getting off topic. They're really good and it reminds me yet again how lucky I am to live in this city. I'm pretty sure one of them is a teacher and how cool would that be to be his student? Pretty cool if you ask me. I need to stop saying cool so much. 

1. Take Me To The Pilot

I may be biased. Actually I am 100% biased because my friend Jon is the drummer. But that doesn't mean they aren't the best thing to come out of Winnipeg since Winnie the Pooh (which is really high on my list of amazing things Winnipeg has given the world). Their pop vibe and foot-tapping, head bobbing, sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs inducing melodies make them easily number one on this list. Also, ladies, they aren't bad on the eyes if ya know what I mean. 50% of them are single but you'll probably have to fight off their screaming fan girls to get to them so good luck with that. They just came back from touring Western Canada so I'm not sure when you can catch them live but I'm sure (hoping) they'll be performing in early 2014. I also heard rumors of a new album coming, so anyway, enough rambling, listen to their beautiful holiday track. 

So there you have. My Top 5. I hope you enjoy them. Anyone you think I should add to my list? Let me know, I love hearing from you!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cancer Doesn't Care

I made a promise yesterday that I would post about Winnipeg music today.

I lied. 

Something extremely important and dear to me came up and I'm gonna need to postpone that other post to make way for this one instead.

I'm going to need everyone to take 2 minutes out of their day and read this post right here. This girl is an American blogger that I follow and she posted about an organization called The Young and Brave. It's an American non profit dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer. Focus on the Young. Cancer doesn't care how old you are, how fit or active you are, the price tag on your jeans, what material possession you may own. It strikes whenever and however it wants to and it doesn't discriminate.

The Young and Brave

This is a cause near and dear to me. I had a cousin lose a leg before he was even a teenager. He was active, fit, no one saw it coming.

Canadians are generous peoples. Winnipeggers do so much for Cancer research and that's something I'm so proud of. So now I'm going to encourage you to go to Cancer Care Foundation MB and see what you can do to help. Cancer doesn't care if you're 20 or 50.

I also encourage you to visit Children's Wish because they made my cousins dreams come true and kept his spirits high.

Thank you Winnipeg. I love you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Santa Claus Parade and My Apologies!

Hi my name is Melissa and I am the WORST. I have neglected this little blog of mine but I will try my darndest to keep this corner of the internet up to date from now on. In the next few days, there will be a new design and posts every day!

I never completed my list of 101 Things to do in Winnipeg but that isn't going to stop me from exploring this beautiful city of mine. Now that the snow has fallen, there are 100 new things for me to do. Recently, I've been hitting up the local music scene. So tomorrow, I will give you a full report on what I've been up to lately. For now, please accept my sincerest apologies.

Today I want to discuss the Santa Claus Parade. In my humble opinion, it is one of the greatest Winnipeg traditions! This year, I was lucky enough to be on a float with my work. Probably the most fun I've had on a Saturday in a loooong time. Seeing the thousands of parents and children line the streets of Portage Ave and Main St. was so heart warming. I didn't get a chance to see many of the other floats, just what was directly in front of me and directly behind me (shout out West Jet for a cute float!). It was well organized, the weather was perfect and the smiles on everyone's faces was almost too much to handle. Enjoy this photo dump from the day.

If you missed the parade, I found this Youtube video you can watch to get an idea.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Number 13: Tinkertown!

This might be cheating, but it's a better alternative than being that creepy adult walking around without children taking pictures. 

So today we're going to throw it back, wayyyy back to 1994. Or 1995. I'm not really sure. It doesn't matter, the point is that Tinkertown was a staple of my childhood. I was lucky enough to have a stay at home mommy that took us to do things all the time. And the majority of those times were spent with my second family who lived a wonderful 3 houses away, the Hornby's. Eric, Lynn and Colin are like brothers and sisters to me and my sis. To this day we remain super close and I have to say it's all thanks to our moms for keeping us so busy together all the time. 

thanks for helping me rock the lion king mom

From the jalopies, to the lady bugs, the roller coaster and the gigantic stinky play-place, some of my favorite memories were spent here. My all time favorite was the carousel though. 

there's my pops, my brutha from anotha mutha and my actual sister

my sista from anotha mista, real sister, second dad, and wee little baby brother (also from another mother)

If you have kids, you would be really smart to take them here. No fuss way to enjoy a day! Plus who doesn't love to let their inner child out, can anyone say Ferris Wheel and cotton candy?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Number 37: Ikea

My favorite place. I honestly wish I had a million dollars (and my own place) so I could buy ALL THE THINGS. Unfortunately for me, I'm still living at home and my room is about as furnished as it's ever going to get. So I had to settle for a dresser and some dvd racks. 

Guess what? I built the dresser all by myself. My mother thought I couldn't do it because, I'll admit, I can be kind of a princess. But I vowed I would use tools and make this little monstrosity myself. Two days and a cramped back later and voilĂ ! 

Call me a master carpenter because this is one beautifully put together piece of furniture. (In reality, I think I put some screws in the wrong place and it shouldn't have taken two days, but please let me revel in this accomplishment). 

to the right is the dvd shelves. love!

Also, nobody will ever convince me that there is anything better than an Ikea cinnamon bun and coffee for $2. Nothing gets better than that!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Number 23: Mexican - Taco Del Mar

I tried Taco Del Mar for the first time last week. Unfortunately, I can't say that I really enjoyed it. I found it pretty mediocre and a little expensive for what I got. The burrito was kind of bland. I was really looking forward to this place! Looks like I'll have to stay with Burrito Del Rio for now. 

I have only been to Burrito Del Rio once but it was delicious! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures because I'm terrible at remembering to take them. Sorry :( 

Also, I'm fully aware that it's October, which means technically summer is over, but because I got so behind on blogging (I was focused on my other blog just a tad too much) I'm going to be continuing until they come out with a Fall/Winter list!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Number 18: The Whistle Pig Drive-In

This could very possibly be my favorite part about Summer, but that could just be the Transcona girl in me. I have been hitting up this little joint every year since I was a toddler. It's a family tradition. Here you will find the greasiest, yummiest food in the world. My personal favorite is the Whistle Dog. Bacon, cheese, onions, how could you go wrong!?

I seriously recommend this place and try the banquet burger too! The only qualm I have is that this is possibly one of the creepiest things I've seen in awhile.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm So Behind/ABC's

I swear I have more adventures coming! My problem is I'm really bad at remembering to take pictures and I don't want to just steal some pictures off Google to make my posts more interesting. So get ready for an incoming of posts in the coming weeks because I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off to snap some photos! 

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you my ABC's of Winnipeg. What is that you ask? Well take a looky down below! I've laid out my favorite places/things/people in Winnipeg for each letter of the alphabet. 

A - Assiniboine Park. There's so much you can do! The Zoo, the Duck Pond, the Lyric Theatre, Leo Mol Sculpture Garden or play some cricket, soccer or ultimate Frisbee. The park is absolutely breathtaking. 

B - Blue Bombers. They may suck the big one this year but I have faith they'll make a comeback next year... okay maybe two years from now...?

C - Corydon Avenue. One word, GELATI. 

E - Exchange District. Oh the history

F - The Forks. It is a beautiful spot for spending a day outdoors!

G - Goldeyes.

H - Haunted Winnipeg. Haven't actually been on a tour, but will be going and I mean who doesn't love ghosts?

I - India Palace. The yummiest Indian food ever and Saroj and Nagpal are the nicest people out there. 

J - Go JETS Go! 

K - Kildonan Park

L - Library! I love our libraries. I love books so I'm always checking out huge quantities at a time and we have a pretty great selection. The best part is they will transfer books from one library to another so you never have to drive out of your way. 

M - Manitoba Museum

N - Nightlife. We have a pretty good selection from Whiskey Dix, Liv, Karma, Shark Club, Boa, Fame, Opera and any Canad Inns bar, there is always somewhere to go on a weekend. 

O - Osborne Village

P - Pantages. I've seen so many amazing shows here and at the Concert Hall across the street. 

Q - Qualico Family Centre in Assiniboine Park. It's a cute little spot for a reception!

R - Royal Winnipeg Ballet

S - Stella`s Cafe & Bakery

T - Transcona. My hood. I will argue to the end of the earth and back how great it is. 

U - University of Winnipeg. I spent the best 5 years of my life there. 

V - VIP Theatre. It's a little expensive but definitely worth it. Dinner & a Movie without having to move!

W - West End Dumplings. By far one of the best blogs this city has to offer. 

X - Red River eXhibition park. Okay so maybe I'm stretching a little for this one but whatever. Going to the Ex is a Winnipeg tradition and you can't tell me you've never driven through the Winter Wonderland at Christmas. 

Y - Yoga in the Park.

Z - Zoohky! If you don't know who that is I wrote about his mural here.

What would your Winnipeg alphabet look like? I'd love to hear them!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Number 4: Go To A Concert At The MTS Centre

Does this make me a professional photographer?

I go to a lot of concerts. I'm that person that drives to Minneapolis and back within 24 hours just to see my favorite band if they don't stop in Winnipeg. So it's safe to say that when there are concerts in Winnipeg, I'm generally first in line to go. 

Since I love live music so much, I'm typically one to favor smaller venues such as The Garrick, The West End Cultural Centre or The Park Theatre. I love being close to the music. But ever since the MTS Centre opened, I jump at the chance to take in a concert there. There's just something about a full house of screaming fans that puts you in a mood like no other. 

I've seen my fair share of superstars here in Winnipeg since the arena opened: the Backstreet Boys, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Justin Timberlake, and the list goes on. One of the best investments the city has ever made was building that downtown arena (but that's just my opinion). Aside from the fact that it now houses the Jets (whoop), it has enabled the city to witness a slough of superstars, the likes of which we might never had had the opportunity to host. 

My view from the back of the floor

So this past Monday, I was witness to one of these superstars. The great Selena Gomez! (Don't judge, I love teen pop). Okay so she may not quite be a superstar yet but judging by her intensely loud, screaming, super young fans, she will be one day.  

I was definitely the oldest person there who had not brought a child, but that didn't stop me from fully enjoying myself. The crowd was amazing and at one point I thought the whole room was going to explode from the noise. I admit, I knew almost every word to every song and I'm not even a little bit embarrassed by that. 

The opening band was adorable (oops, showing my age again)

Aside from her relationship with Justin Bieber, I think she is a fantastic role model for girls. She proved it once again when she spoke to the crowd about having been bullied and to remember that You. Are. Beautiful. Her speech elicited an emotional and (again) loud response from the 10-16 year old girls in the arena and then she dove right in to her "let the haters hate" song Who Says. 

Girl can work a stage

I think she did a wonderful job for her first real tour and I only expect bigger and better things from her in the future. 

My dates for the evening!

On to the next concert!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Number 16: See a Musical at Rainbow Stage

Step in time to the music of Mary Poppins! The beloved Disney classic was one of two shows at Rainbow Stage this summer and I had the good fortune to attend. As a Winnipegger, I'm slightly embarrassed to admit what I'm about to say next, but I had never been to Rainbow Stage. I know, I know... go ahead and throw stones. How is it possible in my 23 years that I've never once been to that beautiful amphitheater in the park!? 

I've been to countless shows at Pantages, MTC (Manitoba Theatre Centre) and the Concert Hall but this was my first time taking it all in outdoors. I loved every minute of it. It probably helped that the show itself was phenomenal. Kudos to the entire cast and crew for putting on such an amazing production. I found myself singing along (more than I should) and was impressed by the stage illusions. None other than Winnipeg's own Dean Gunnarson was listed as resident magician, so from the get-go I knew I was in for a treat. 

Every time I hear "Let's Go Fly a Kite" I'm instantly transported back to my childhood so I had the bar set pretty high for this musical. Mary Poppins truly outdid all my expectations and I will definitely be returning to Rainbow Stage next summer!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Number 1: Folklorama

WARNING: This post contains beer...

Folklorama is possibly one of the best parts of summer in Winnipeg. Every year I try and hit as many pavilions as possible, with one of those always being the German pavilion. My friends have a long standing tradition of going to the late night party at the German Pavilion on the Saturday of whichever week it is running. For the last two consecutive years I have been lucky enough to join them! It always starts with a pre-game where we put on Beerfest and gear up for a long night of food, dancing, and of course, German Beer! We're also that really cool group who takes a limo so that all 20+ of us can fit in one vehicle and not worry about being DD. (So yeah, you could say we're pretty special).

This year was possibly better than the last because I remembered to bring enough money to buy Schnitzel. Oh. My. God. Schnitzel. It may have been the best thing I've ever eaten. I also indulged in a bratwurst because "When In Rome Germany"... The show was just as entertaining as it is every year and hats off to the dancers because that is some real talent.

After dinner and the show we were ready to hit the dance floor in full force. I'm kind of a polka master so I definitely showed my skills off a little bit. The music was a great mix between current hits and polka favorites. But of course nothing got the crowd going more than the Chicken Dance! It doesn't matter how old I am, the Chicken Dance will always bring me back to a sweaty middle school gym. 

I also have a friend who wears Lederhosen every year and pulls it off better than any other 27 year old I know. 

I chalk up a good night to how dirty my feet got from being a dancing machine. I would say this means a pretty big success...
I have gross feet, sorry!

While I only had time to hit up the German Pavilion this year, I have been to many, many others in the past. Some of my favorites of years past have been: Scottish Pavilion, Brazil, Chile, and Cuba Va!

If you didn't have the opportunity to hit up a pavilion this year I strongly recommend making time for it next year. It's one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get a taste of the world. So much culture and food!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Number 24, 36, 39 and 50: The Forks

JACKPOT. I hit 4 items on the list all at once, because they all took place at the beautiful and historic Forks. I was having a really lazy weekend when my friend Anna convinced me we should head down to The Forks on Saturday afternoon. I'm beyond glad she did. For those who don't know, The Forks is where the Red River and the Assiniboine River meet and is central to Winnipeg and its history. If you want to learn more you can visit their website by clicking here. Another Winnipeg blogger might also have some interesting reads about the Forks and surrounding areas on his blog West End Dumplings. 

As for my experience this weekend, it was perfect. It wasn't too hot so walking around was comfortable and breezy. I could walk beside the river for days. It's beautiful, and all floods aside, I think we're pretty lucky to have two substantial rivers flowing through our city. It really breaks up the concrete jungle. 

Now we didn't have kids with us so it would have been weird if we'd spent any prolonged period of time at the new kids play area, but all I have to say is I wish something like that existed at The Forks when I was a child. If it wasn't creepy I probably would have gone and played in it but that's just weird. I need to find some friends' kids who'd be willing to come with me!

We made a customary stop at the Oodena Celebration Circle and I snapped a couple bad pictures. I really need to work on my photography skills! So because of that I only have this picture.

After that we made our way back into the main area near The Forks Market and there just so happened to be a cute little dog show happening. We sat and watched for awhile before heading inside and checking out the shops and the buskers. 

Of course we went into every shop and touched everything. All the handmade goods just blow my mind. it's crazy how well crafted they are. My personal favorite is the glass shop but I'm always afraid to stay in there for long periods of time because I'm clumsy and I will might break something. 

And what is a trip to The Forks without some frozen yogurt? It was pretty much a perfect Saturday afternoon day date with my best friend!

If you haven't been to The Forks yet this summer (or ever) then I strongly encourage you to check it out ASAP!

On a side note, whether you're a local or a tourist, there are so many awesome Winnipeg souvenirs. I always leave with something, even if it's just a postcard. What can I say, I love my city!