POOF! -- Fifteen psychics disappeared last Sunday only to reappear Wednesday! The large two-storey Soul Medicine Psychic Shoppe -- a multi-psychic operation at 310 Nairn Ave. owned by Bernice (Bisson) Cyr and Chantal Roy -- had it out with their Vancouver-based landlord "due to building safety and code issues" that had stalled their tea shop expansion. Soul Medicine manager Gloria Stokes says they had already bought kitchen equipment and put a lot of money into outfitting the English-style upstairs tea shop -- something they had planned since opening on Oct. 31, 2010 in the picturesque Bridgeport Building overlooking the water.
On Sunday, they arrived at the building to find the landlord there with the locks changed and plans to sell the building. "He gave us one more day of business," says Bisson.
Twelve psychics showed up in 30 minutes with packing boxes and vehicles and emptied the entire operation. Thanks to the online magic of Kijiji, Cyr found a storefront at 136 Provencher Ave., signed the deal this week and the business is reopening in July.
Said Cyr, who happily ripped down the for rent signs at the new shop Thursday: "It was the universe telling me to give up on that location and move on and I would find a better space. We want to have a Louisiana French kind of feel at this shop."
KAZOOS AND KEYNOTES -- What a way to up the ante at one of the last awards galas of the season: kazoos for the crowd! Winnipeg Free Press deputy editor Julie Carl -- herself a noted kazoo player -- was the MC for the National Conference of Community Radio Stations (NCRA) at a high-spirited bash Wednesday night at the University of Winnipeg.
The U of W's campus radio station, CKUW, supplied bowls of kazoos on each table, along with cheers and applause for each winner. The crowd played their kazoos to a crescendo as each winner came to the stage to accept his or her award, cleverly made from an eight-track tape. Especially talented on the kazoo was the table from the Guelph, Ont., community radio station. Delegates flew to Winnipeg from across the country to attend the four-day NCRA conference that wraps up Saturday. Keynote speaker was Dave McLeod, CEO of NCI FM, no stranger to fine music and a secret Elvis imitator himself. Spotted: CKUW station manager Rob Schmidt; piano man Al Andrusco; Rockin' Ronnie, the veteran host of CKUW's Bluesday; Bill Stewart, station manager of CJNU Nostalgia Broadcasting Cooperative; Into the Music owner Greg Tonn; Wendy Hart, CKUW board member/broadcaster; NCRA's president Brenda Grunau; executive director Shelley Robinson; Robin Eriksson, CKUW program director; and Ted Turner, U of W Students' Association outreach and special projects co-ordinator
TEA STORY-- Winnipeggers are too shy to take the free tea being offered in the big jug outside the newly opened Tea Story at 653 Corydon Ave. This week, at the second location founded by Daniel Song and Iris He, the "fresh fruit ice fusion" in the jug was attracting lots of looks and not many takers. Server Emily Zarychta says she gets people knocking on the window to ask her if it's OK to take a glass of the delicious concoction -- even though there is a sign asking passersby to help themselves. She's often outside pouring, and explaining, "It's OK. It's all right, it's free." Rommel Dhilon took a sip Wednesday night and said, after making sure it was OK: "It's fantastic! It's great. I love the little hint of fruit in the tea."
PIRATES, STEAMPUNK, FINE ART & FUN -- Coronation Park in Norwood, bordered by St. Mary's Road and Tach© Avenue, is expecting an infestation of pirates and wild characters in medieval clothing Saturday. Everyone knows Winnipeg is festival mad, but this is three festivals in one -- the Swords and Sabres renaissance festival will be most noticeable (Psst! Look for Johnny Depp imitator Toby Markham in the crowd). Daryl Dumanski of the Forum Art Centre says she is stoked about the idea of combining the Fresh Art Show with Swords and Sabres' festival antics, knowing all those fun people were coming out anyway. Forum Art will show new art from 40 students inside the centre, located on the edge of the park, with 10 artists also working outside all weekend. Hot tip: Winnipeg ceramic artist Jordan Van Sewell, who used to instruct at Forum and is world famous for his newt pieces, has developed an original kids game to play in the artists' village.
Jennifer Mathieson of the Norwood Grove BIZ just had to get in on the act with its community festival, so there will be rides and events for kids of all ages.
The organizer of the renaissance fest is Mike Paille, owner of Raven Toys, Comics and Games. He is also the president of the Norwood Grove Biz board. Paille is bringing in actor Marty Klebba of Pirates of the Caribbean fame and Toby Markham from Los Angeles -- a costumer for major movies and stars. For details see www.swordsandsabres.com.
SUMMER CHANGES -- "We have everything from naughty to nice," says Gabriella Bridges, who opens her Tutti Frutti franchise at the end of June in time for Canada Day celebrations. At the new self-serve yogurt palace at 753 Corydon Ave., you choose your style of yogurt then select from 50 toppings, ranging from fresh fruits to Cap'n Crunch cereal to flax seeds. The franchise business is popping up in this city faster than a certain coffee chain and is attracting curious strollers this week as it's being painted with bright candy colours.
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., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6