Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

From tea readings to movie kidnappings to bidets

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ESCAPED THE CURSE: Fifteen Winnipeg psychics from the Soul Medicine Psychic Shoppe, who had a blow-up with their landlord on Nairn Avenue a few weeks ago and moved in seven hours, opened at 136 Provencher Blvd. on July 1 in grand style. They were fully set up with an exotic paint job, creamy satin parlour furniture, swooping curtains and tented areas for readings. The shop was stocked with 130 teas from around the world, jewelry, candles, tarot cards, books and gifts. "This is a great location," says co-owner Bernice (Bisson) Cyr, of the business, which is just a dove's flight from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. "It's smaller, but we still have two reading rooms and a full gift shop. We're going to do just fine here." The store is open seven days a week to accommodate people who need their readings.

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AU NATUREL: "They're either on the wagon already, or just getting on the wagon," says Monique Buckmaster, explaining why people screech to a halt at her Red River General Store at 5700 Henderson Hwy. near Lockport. Her organic farmers market store sells Buckmaster's all-natural foods -- jars of pure jams sweetened with apples with names like Blubarb, shelves full of her hand-chopped spices, Manitoba honey and maple syrup. For celiacs, she sells 14 different non-gluten flours. She also does "normal" wheat-based fresh bread, cupcakes, homemade dog and cat treats, soaps, moisturizers and bath salts. Out back are seedlings grown in soil she guarantees is organic -- no chemicals. There are rooms of antiques behind all this. Say what? Seems she owns Vintage Veruca's Antiques at 1342 Main St., in the North End as well. Busy lady. How did she get so passionate about this natural food stuff? A few years ago, she was having trouble bringing a baby to term. "I thought I was eating a healthy diet, but it turned out I was actually eating a lot of genetically modified soy. She changed her diet and started creating only pure foods. "And now I have my wonderful little guy, who is two years old. He's smart and a wild one!"

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BACK IN TOWN: Well-known TV travel journalist Bea Broda is back living in Winnipeg this summer. From 1981 through 1985, Broda hosted Manitoba Morning, CKND Magazine and The Music Room, plus she did weather on the 6 p.m. news. Now, she's a globe-trotting travel-documentary maker, who prefers stories with a cause. "I just finished a mini-documentary on the plight of the Salton Sea. This sea was caused by a flood on the Colorado River in California in 1905 that lasted 18 months, forming a new sea, which is 56 kilometres by 24 km. Now it is evaporating and fish are dying and something major has to be done. I tried to make it a human story so people would understand." Check it out at Broda recently returned from doing a travel story in Rwanda, where she was one of six journalists picked to see projects developed at Nyungwe National Park such as chimp-tracking and a canopy walk in the treetops.

Broda also has a winter home in Palm Desert, a two-hour drive south of the Hollywood Hills, where she used to live. "I'm toggling between Winnipeg and Toronto this summer, catching up with friends and family. When I'm around the world, I'm recording. But when I'm at home, I'm writing and editing. I'll be here in Winnipeg until the fall; I'm a bit of a snowbird now." Coming soon: a new challenge. She's acting in a feature-length movie. "I just finished a screenplay and comic Greg Vaccariello from Las Vegas, who's been on L.A. Law and King of Queens, is my co-star. It's a romantic comedy called Highway 62." The plot?

"The guy next door kidnaps this woman as a last-ditch effort to convince her that he's the right one."

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SPOTTED: Ladies coming out of Kenko Sushi's bathroom at 788 Corydon Ave., exclaiming "There's a bidet in the ladies washroom." Sure enough, Kenko's has a shiny new triple-button bidet/toilet-lid combo. Your intrepid Insider reporter checked out the fancy commode with three big buttons on the side (home styles often have a remote). I stood beside the attraction and started pushing. Button 1: a very gentle stream, not even out of the bowl; Button 2: a jet of water arched out of the bowl, across the room and hit the wall (yikes!); Button 3: Who knows? Intrepid reporter was running down the street. Seriously, the bidet/toilet- seat combo has reportedly sold in the tens of millions worldwide. Could this be the start of something new in Winnipeg restaurants?

Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 204-474-1116, email, or send letters to Maureen Scurfield c/o The Insider, 1355 Mountain Ave., R2X 3B6.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 12, 2013 B3

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