August 1, 2015

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Canada Day: Happy birthday to us!

Canada turns 146 on Monday and there are plenty of ways to celebrate over the weekend

ON Monday, it's your patriotic duty to wake up at the crack of dawn and paddle your canoe over to the nearest Tim Hortons.

After consuming a hearty breakfast of maple doughnuts, you will crack open a case of Blue, select the Tragically Hip on your iPod and a play a game of road hockey with a group of caribou clad in Canada Goose jackets.

Winnipeg roots trio Sweet Alibi peforms at the Scotiabank Stage at The Forks.


Winnipeg roots trio Sweet Alibi peforms at the Scotiabank Stage at The Forks.

The failure to engage in any of these stereotypical activities means you do not live up to the Canadian ideal espoused by the wise sage Michael Bublé during the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

In case you do not recall, Bublé sang a version of The Maple Leaf Forever while skaters dressed as voyageurs swirled alongside inflatable Mounties, moose and beavers, all in front of a worldwide audience estimated in the billions.

For all intents and purposes, Feb. 28, 2010, was the only Canada Day this nation will ever need. No amount of flag-waving or hockey playing and syrup swilling will ever approximate that supremely shticky act of Canadian patriotism in Vancouver.

But if you must celebrate the wimpy-by-comparison Canada Day we hold at the beginning of July -- July! A month with nary a trace of snow nor ice-skating! -- here are your finest options for a public spectacles in the general vicinity of Winnipeg:


The Forks

When: Monday, July 1, starting at 1 p.m.

Where: The confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, where people have gathered for millennia to watch free stuff and complain about parking. In 1867, it was all but impossible to find a spot on Main Street to leave your oxcart.

The main attraction: Three stages of live music by an all-Manitoba cast of musicians, including Imaginary Cities, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Mise En Scene, Sweet Alibi and the Mariachi Ghost. Along with the Scotiabank Stage, there are smaller stages at The Forks Market canopy and on the rail bridge to South Point.

What's new this year? Not content with running a zamboni on used oil from deep fryers, The Forks will power one of its stages entirely by a quartet of cyclists. There will be four slots for cyclists to hook up to a generator that powers the public-address at the Rail Bridge Stage, where the musicians will not be audible without the power of people on bikes.

"If you want to hear the music, you have to pedal," says Paul Jordan, chief operating officer at The Forks. "The more instruments you have plugged in, the more cyclists you need."

This bicycle-powered PA will also be used this winter to power stages on the River Trail, where The Forks previously was unable to host amplified music.

"Now we can do amplified things -- as long as we have cyclists," Jordan says.

What about fireworks? They start at 11 p.m., following a collaboration between indie-pop band Imaginary Cities and the WSO.


Osborne Village

When: Sunday, June 30, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Monday, July 1 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: Four blocks of Osborne Street, from River Avenue to McMillan Avenue. Don't whine about the major artery being closed for two days -- it's not as if traffic flows swiftly through the Village on a good day. Half the city empties out into cottage country on the July long weekend, anyway.

The main attraction: Live music on four stages, as well as food stalls set up outside Osborne Village restaurants. From north to south, there are stages set up in front of Music Trader, The Toad In The Hole, the Osborne Village Inn and Wild Planet. Performers include the Lytics, Boats and the Cannon Bros.

What's new this year? A family zone with kids' activities, a skateboard demo and a performance by Al Simmons. Yep, the Village isn't just one big beer garden any more.

What about fireworks? Um, you can always stand on the Osborne Street Bridge and gaze towards The Forks.


Assiniboine Park

When: Monday July 1, from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: Assiniboine Park, the city's largest green space, centred around the Lyric Theatre.

The main attraction: Family friendly live entertainment on the Lyric stage by the likes of the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band, former YTV reality-show contestant Victoria Duffield and Winnipeg drumming troupe Fubuki Daiko, capped off by fireworks at the end of the night.

Getting in and out: Winnipeg Transit is offering free park-and-ride service from parking lots at Canadian Mennonite University (500 Shaftesbury Blvd.) or the Asper Jewish Community Campus (123 Doncaster St.).

What about fireworks? The show starts at 10:40 p.m., with audio accompaniment from 99.1 Fresh FM.


St. Boniface

When: Monday, July 1, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Esplanade Riel, Fort Gibraltar, St. Boniface Museum, Maison Gabrielle Roy, St. Boniface Cathedral and Promenade Café on Taché Avenue.

The main attraction: Buskers on the pedestrian bridge, costumed interpreters at the fort, free museum admission and live music at the cathedral and café.

Getting around: A free trolley bus will run between all St. Boniface locations -- and The Forks -- from noon to 7 p.m.

What about fireworks? You get a great view of the show at The Forks from the Taché Avenue docks or Esplanade Riel.


Dauphin's Countryfest

When: Today to Sunday, June 30

Where: Selo Ukraina Site, off Highway 10 between Dauphin and Riding Mountain National Park.

The main attraction: Manitoba's largest outdoor music festival, headlined this year by Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan.

Wait, I can still buy weekend passes? No, sorry. This thing sold out in one day. All that's left are passes for tonight, which features the sons of three of country music's greatest performers: Justin Townes Earle calls Steve Earle dad, Shooter Jennings is the son of Waylon and Lukas Nelson is Willy's kid. Passes for tonight's lineup are $77 at

What about fireworks? You'll have plenty of time to drive back to Winnipeg on Monday. Just watch out for moose in Riding Mountain -- and inflatable Mounties.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 27, 2013 C1

A flag was unfurled on the field during the national anthems before the Toronto Blue Jays took on the Detroit Tigers in Major League Baseball action.
Dressed in patriotic costumes, Hugh McPherson (left) and Shawno Ashmore (centre) walk through the crowd in Vancouver, B.C.
Dressed a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, Stephane Delage carries a Canadian flag while on stilts as he entertains the crowd in Vancouver.
Chantal Limoges walks on stilts while dressed as a totem pole as she entertains the crowd during Canada Day festivities in Vancouver, B.C.
Master model builder Dan Steininger celebrates with kids after the last brick was laid on his piece during the Canada Day LEGO Flag Build at Parc Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau, Quebec. The flag is made out of 128,000 LEGO bricks.
Gov. Gen. David Johnston inspects the Guard of Honour at the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa.
The Snowbirds fly over the Peace Tower at the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes his way onto the stage at the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hatfield leaves the stage after singing at the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa.
Canadian singing star Carly Rae Jepsen takes a photo with fans after she performed at the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
Five-year-old Logan Vanos pedals his mini-tractor beside his great-uncle Frank Roks in the Canada Day parade in the village of Komoka, Ontario, west of London.
Members of the Shriners entertain the crowd as they participate in the annual Canada Day parade in Montreal.
Three patriotic teens watch a performance by Toronto band The Elwins at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth, N.S., Monday.
An alpaca gets some attention at the Canada Day celebrations at the Riverbank Discovery Centre in Brandon.
The City of Winnipeg Police Pipe Band march in front of the Lyric Theatre in Assiniboine Park Monday.
Christien Lyons plays bass during a performance with Latin band Combo Latino at the Lyric Theatre in Assiniboine Park.
Eliza (Right) and Allan Kingdon from Erickson, MB show off their red and white at the Living Flag event on the grounds of the Manitoba legislature Monday morning.
Norman Chief Memorial Dancers perform for the public during the Living Flag event Monday morning on the grounds of the Manitoba legislature.
Amber Fitkowski, 6, waves a flag while waiting for the rest of the participants to gather during the Living Flag event on the grounds of the Manitoba legislature.
Martin Barnes rides a remake of a 1875 Penny Farthing bicycle during the Living Flag event on teh grounds of the Manitoba legislature.
Participants (including Dancing Gabe, giving the thumbs-up) start to take their positions during the Living Flag event.
Organizers estimated around 3,500 people turned out to help create Winnipeg's Living Flag.
A flag flies high during the Canada Day festivities at The Forks Monday.
Branndy (left), Eric, and Isabella, 4, brought Harley, their 10-year-old Dumeril's boa out to enjoy the Canada Day festivities at The Forks.
Damion Oliver, 2, takes a little break from the Canada Day festivities at The Forks.
Gerry Wert flies his flag high during the Canada Day festivities at The Forks.
Thousands cap off a hot, activity-filled Canada Day with fireworks.

Updated on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 7:21 AM CDT: replaces photo, formats text, changes headline

9:36 AM: corrects spellings using "é"

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