I WAS asked to write an article about my favourite place in Winnipeg. Now as some of you know, I tour for almost half the year with the improv duo CRUMBS. Well, I’m hoping that at least some of you know that.
When I return to Winnipeg after months on the road, I just can’t wait to get back to my house. But I’m not about to write an article about my bed, my amazing backyard or my significant other. Though it would be wrong for me not to mention them in the beginning of the article, so I have.
After performing around the world for months at a time, you would think perhaps I would then use this time to give a little shout out to the Gas Station Arts Centre. That beautiful theatre in Osborne Village is the home of the Winnipeg Improv Festival. It’s also where CRUMBS had its first-ever show.
Perhaps you would think I’d mention the King’s Head Pub in the Exchange. That’s not only where CRUMBS does its shows for the Winnipeg Fringe Festival but it’s also where we perform regularly during the year when not touring. Both of these places are dear to my heart and important for the local improv community. But no, I won’t write the article about them. After touring for months and months and months doing shows and being around people, I long to escape deeper into Winnipeg.
What I miss about Winnipeg when I am gone, is the relaxing pace of Winnipeg life. So right after my house and backyard and my significant other, I like to seek out the secret secluded hiding places that Winnipeg has to offer; places I can ride my bike to and be alone in the city.
One of those secret hiding places in the city is at The Forks. I know what you’re thinking.
You: "The Forks? Surely you have a more creative favourite place in Winnipeg?"
Me: "Now hear me out." (Or read me out) Across the footbridge to the other side of The Forks is a whole other Forks. To me, this is the true Forks. I like to ride my bike into the trails and go right to the point that juts out into where the two rivers meet. This undeveloped and beautifully raw part of The Forks, in amongst the trees and strange concrete and metal poles, is an oasis for me. A place I can go to escape the city while being right in the middle of it.
I won’t reveal my other secret hiding places. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to relax in my secret backyard and wait for the Winnipeg Fringe Festival to start.
— Stephen Sim is an improviser, director, writer, instructor, and email composer. Catch improv group CRUMBS at the King’s Head Pub during the Fringe Festival July 18-29.