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First Fridays in the Exchange Friday, Dec. 2 Various times and locations Visit firstfridayswinnipeg.org for a full list of participants

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First Fridays in the Exchange

Friday, Dec. 2
Various times and locations
Visit firstfridayswinnipeg.org for a full list of participants

Tarot readings, gallery exhibits and hot apple cider: this month’s First Fridays event features a bevy of creative and interactive events — several with a holiday twist — throughout the Exchange District.

Enjoy the aforementioned cider while shopping for gifts at Katie + Gunner Gallery (141 Bannatyne Ave.) or Northlore (75 Albert St.). Local and artsy presents can also be acquired during the holiday market at Pottery Empire (70 Albert St.), down the street at Plant Lab Botanical Design (68 Albert), Tara Davis Studio Boutique (246 McDermot Ave.) and All About Theatre & Gallery (288 McDermot).

Warehouse Artworks (222 McDermot Ave.) and the Edge Gallery and Urban Art Centre (611 Main St.) are both hosting ornament-making workshops — the latter is also running a Chilli Bowl fundraiser that will see bowls of chili, mugs and grab bags available for $20 each.

More than 24 businesses, galleries and art centres across the Exchange are participating in the December installation of First Fridays.

This month’s online Art Talk will feature a conversation with Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art’s interim director, Debbie Keeper, and gallery co-founder Louis Ogemah about Indigenous-run artist collectives in Winnipeg. The talk will be livestreamed on YouTube.

— Eva Wasney


Zoo Lights returns to Assiniboine Park

Thursday through Jan. 8
Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5-11 p.m.
Assiniboine Park Zoo
Tickets $16 plus GST (age 3 and up) at assiniboinepark.ca

More than a million twinkling lights in a riot of colours will transform the Assiniboine Park Zoo into a magical winter wonderland as Zoo Lights kicks off Thursday.

From the colourful tunnel along Tundra Trail to the blankets of Aurora Borealis lights, there’s no shortage of ooohs, ahhhs and Instagrammable moments to be had along the Zoo Lights loop, which also features projections, tree-wraps and other light installations.

Sample some snacks and drinks, warm up by the fire pits, and, of course, enjoy the music. Every night, local musicians — including Slow Leaves, Cassidy Mann, Al Simmons, Sierra Noble and many more — will performing at Town Hall, the large heated tent located on the west side of the zoo, with DJs spinning between each set.

New this year is the Ice Bar at the Dome, a clear-top tent located at the McFeetors Heavy Horse Centre.

Zoo Lights will go on rain, snow, cold or shine, and will only close for extreme weather. Tickets are time- and date-specific. For more information, including the full performer lineup and an FAQ, visit assiniboinepark.ca.

Note: Zoo Lights is closed on December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 24 and 25.

Jen Zoratti


Rockin’ Elvis Christmas with Rory Allen

Friday, 7 p.m.
Club Regent Event Centre, 1425 Regent Ave. W
Tickets from $26.25 plus fees, Ticketmaster.ca

Like Santa himself, the king of rock ‘n’ roll is coming for one night only — and just in time to help you get properly blue for Christmas.

Saskatchewan Elvis tribute artist Rory Allen will take the stage with his 11-piece band at Club Regent Event Centre for his Rockin’ Elvis Christmas show, which draws on all your favourite festive tunes made famous by Elvis Presley throughout his career. From Blue Christmas to Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) to the King’s more gospel-themed tunes, his Vegas numbers and beyond, Allen and co. will serve up a hunka hunka holiday cheer that will have you humming Here Comes Santa Claus for days to come.

Tickets for Rockin’ Elvis Christmas with Rory Allen start at $26.25 and are available via ticketmaster.ca. For more on Allen, see roryallen.com.

Ben Sigurdson


Swap your cookie cutters

Free, Osborne Library
Starts Friday, run to Jan. 3

It’s December, which means for many it is time to make holiday cookies. But aren’t you and your loved ones bored of the same old shapes? The stars? The angels? The Douglas firs? If the regulars are feeling a bit stale, the Winnipeg Public Library’s Osborne branch understands your cookie-cutter conundrum.

Starting Friday, library patrons can bring in their (clean) cookie cutters to swap them out for other ones, giving home bakers a chance to avoid the ho-hum and keep their cookies fresh. Because there’s nothing worse than a cookie that feels cookie-cutter. OK, there are many, many worse things than that. But your friends and family might appreciate a change of pace. More details, including library hours, are available at winnipeg.ca/library.

Ben Waldman

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Ben Sigurdson

Ben Sigurdson
Literary editor, drinks writer

Ben Sigurdson edits the Free Press books section, and also writes about wine, beer and spirits.

Ben Waldman

Ben Waldman

Ben Waldman covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.

Eva Wasney

Eva Wasney
Arts Reporter

Eva Wasney is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.

Jen Zoratti

Jen Zoratti

Jen Zoratti is a Winnipeg Free Press columnist and author of the newsletter, NEXT, a weekly look towards a post-pandemic future.

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