MANYFEST: At the three-day blast last weekend, the people who will remember it forever are the kids dressed up for Lights on Broadway -- parading up and down in fantasy light costumes on Saturday night. Photographers roamed the area, asking the kids if they could snap the lighted artistry their parents had created for their heads and bodies and bicycles. Manyfest encompassed a wine festival, outdoor movie, food-truck wars, a market garden, street vendors and bands on two stages. Jason Syvixay, leader of strategic initiatives and the Downtown BIZ gang including heavy lifters such as Stefano Grande, Signy Gerrard, Rose Dominguez, Stephanie Voyce, Kristen Lourie, Ed Medgyes and Rick Joyal -- deserve much praise for this end-of-summer grand finale fest. By the way, Syvixay was cycling to the Saturday events he'd help plan when he got hit by a car at Corydon Avenue and Lilac Street, receiving lacerations to his face and losing teeth. ... But he's still smiling!
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LAST CHANCE TONIGHT: Tony 'the Verbal Assassin" Hinchcliffe flew in from L.A. to do a whirlwind week of comedy around Winnipeg, including the Rose & Bee and Boa's Lounge -- with one last show you can catch tonight at Finn's Pub. Hinchcliffe is known for his work at the Comedy Store, the DeathSquad Podcast Network, and Comedy Central's The Burn. The comic spoke to me Wednesday sitting on the back step of his two-storey condo in L.A., looking out over the hills. Though he confesses he slept for three months in his '94 Ford Taurus behind Comedy Central, he's making it now as a top-level comedian and a writer of scathing barbs for Comedy Central roasts. The 29-year-old has already skewered stars such as Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell. Hinchcliffe says he got funny in a hurry, to survive school bullies. In fact, he says he got the crap beaten out of him on the first day of his first year of school and quickly learned to fight back, picking out weaknesses and making deadly jokes. "I was the bullies' worst nightmare." He's known for taking on people in the audience and playing with them, but some guys just can't take a joke. "I had one guy jump right on the stage with me. I decided not to run and to take the punch like a man and go down like a warrior. The guy was really drunk and I only weigh about a buck and quarter." Luckily, security guys swarmed the stage and grabbed the bruiser before he could land his first punch. It's a tough world up there! Hinchcliffe says he drove from Youngstown, Ohio, to L.A. at 22, with nothing but two backpacks. "That car was so slow I called it my Ford Tortoise." Seven years later, his career has taken off -- not a long time to pay dues. Tickets at Finn's, 2nd floor Johnston Terminal at The Forks, are $10 at the door. It's an 8 p.m. show -- get there early if you want a ticket.
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DEE-LISH! Last Sunday night, 300 people flooded the charming Caboto Centre on Wilkes to attend the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg's third annual 100 Mile dinner. Talk about fresh food! Ingredients coming from 100 miles (160 kilometres) away or less became gourmet dishes created by top Winnipeg chefs. The dinner cost $125 per ticket and sold out quickly. The 2013 culinary team included head chef Luc Jean from Red River College, Adam Donnelly of Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant, Tristan Foucault of Peasant Cookery, Mandel Hitzer of Deer + Almond, Ben Kramer of Diversity Food Services plus Jonny Royal of Red River College, Alexander Svenne of Bistro 7 1/4 and Mark Teague of Sydney's at The Forks. Here's just two of the many courses: Tunisian spiced Manitoba lamb entree in a French pastry with cumin spice, carrot pur©e and zucchini relish -- and a dessert of goat cheesecake rhubarb apple crumble. So much for rubber chicken! CBC weekend morning host Terry MacLeod, who had a heart attack this year, officiated this year with his effervescent PR-type wife Ellen MacDonald of the Perfect Publicist biz by his side at the dinner table. MacLeod charmed the crowd with a story of his ignorance when he sent back his first steak tartar (meant to be a raw-hamburger-and-egg dish) "because it wasn't cooked!" MacDonald Winced. "Yes, he actually did that!" Spotted: president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg Ron Brown, event organizer Heather Black, lawyer Frank Bueti, international travelling "foodie" Jennifer LaForce, Free Press prepress supervisor Debbie Thompson and the evening's dynamic speaker, Sappfyre McLeod, who started going to Boys and Girls Clubs at age 19.
Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 204-474-1116, email Maureen.Scurfield@Winnipegfreepress.com, or send letters to Maureen Scurfield c/o the Insider, 1355 Mountain Ave., R2X 3B6.