Movies on the beach
Get out of town and enjoy a big film festival in one of Manitoba's greatest small towns. The Gimli Film Festival is July 24-28. There are lots of films to choose from, so you may want to narrow down your choices by checking the schedule online at gimlifilm.com/films or picking one up at your nearest Manitoba Liquor Mart. Catch the made-in-Manitoba short-film session ($10) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 26, and a full-length feature on the beach every night at 10 p.m. for free! They're showing the 1978 Oscar award winner for Best Cinematography, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, on Friday, and everybody's favourite, Grease, on Saturday. Just try not to get sand in your popcorn!
Fun on the boardwalk
If you're in the Interlake and your eyes need a break from the silver screen, head down the road to Winnipeg Beach for Boardwalk Days! The annual summer festival is happening July 26-28 and includes a huge midway, an outdoor market and Saturday-night fireworks. The parade cruises down Main Street at 11 a.m. Saturday, and there's a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday.
Ballet in the Park
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is treating us once again to three evenings of ballet and contemporary dance at the Lyric theatre at Assiniboine Park. Ballet in the Park is one of my favourite RWB events of the year, first of all because it's free, but also because it's the perfect way to enjoy a Winnipeg summer evening outdoors. The shows start at 7:30 p.m., but if you're there early, you can also watch the dancers warm up, which can be as fascinating as the dance itself. Ballet in the Park is on July 24-26.
Bikes, beer and Birds Hill
Can you think of a better combo? I bet you can't! A genius with the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has organized a bike tour every Thursday evening in August that departs from downtown, led by the executive director of the Downtown BIZ, cruises down the city's bike paths to Birds Hill Park and ends up back downtown at a patio for a cold, refreshing beer. The ride is about 50 kilometres round-trip, and departs at 4:30 p.m. The ride is free, but you have to register by emailing email@example.com.
Frolic at the Fringe
There's still a whole week left to Fringe it up! If you haven't got the chance to take in any or many shows, or just chill out and take in the Fringe-y vibes at Old Market Square, now's the time! One to check out upon my recommendation is Jumpman Bros. and the Epic Morning Machine. The show works as a sequel to last year's Jumpman Bros. and combines much-loved classic cartoons, an accidental time machine, live performance, green-screen animation and it's really cool. It plays at the Planetarium Auditorium.
In a different light
If you're already in The Exchange,taking in Fringe activities, why not pop into the Cre8ery Gallery (second floor, 125 Adelaide St.) to take a peek at Winnipeg photographer Ralph Croning's solo photography exhibition? Croning was handed a camera at age five and has been honing his skills ever since. This exhibition, called In a Different Light, features a collection of infrared landscapes he captured using an on-camera filter, creating landscapes that have a surreal, dreamlike and otherworldly look to them.
Folklorama is one of my favourite fests of the summer, mostly because I love eating. I also love checking out what the many, many cultural groups that populate this city are all about -- it just so happens that taste-testing signature dishes is a huge part of that! Save your appetite for when you visit the pavilions, but get to The Forks on Saturday, July 27 for a free sneak peek of the entertainment. The event at the Scotiabank Stage goes from 4-11 p.m., ending with fireworks at 10:45.