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WAG-Qaumajuq and Manitoba Music celebrate Black History Month
Friday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.
Eckhardt Hall @ Winnipeg Art Gallery
Admission is free
The Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq and the Black Professionals in Music (BPM) program at Manitoba Music have teamed up for an intimate and interactive evening of local music featuring a trio of Manitoba’s buzziest Black artists.
Songwriter/producer JayWood, hip-hop artist Nestor Wynrush and soul singer Keisha Booker will perform sets at the event, which will be hosted by the Free Press’s own Julia-Simone Rutgers. The performances will be followed by a short mixer, with a DJ and drinks. Friday’s BPM X WAG-Qaumajuq is the first in an ongoing partnership between WAG-Qaumajuq and BPM.
“I’m excited to be working with WAG-Qaumajuq on this partnership and offering local, Black music makers in Manitoba new opportunities to build community, make connections, and share their incredible music,” the artist, business owner, and Lytics member Andrew Sannie, who co-ordinates the BPM program, said in a media release.
Launched in February 2021, BPM is a program through Manitoba Music that supports Black music professionals in Manitoba via regular sessions for participants to meet, network and share their ideas, as well as their professional needs and barriers.
— Jen Zoratti
‘Mennoland’-born author joins Free Press Book Club
Monday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m.
Online – see wfp.to/bookclub for details
Free to join
Author K.R. Byggdin, raised in Niverville and now living on the East Coast, will join curious readers virtually on Monday at 7 p.m. as the latest guest of the Free Press Book Club.
Byggdin’s debut novel Wonder World will be the topic of discussion; Byggdin will read from the novel, discuss the book with Free Press copy editor Denise Duguay and John Toews of McNally Robinson Booksellers and field questions from readers about the novel (which is available to purchase at McNally Robinson).
Published by Great Plains Publications in April 2022, Wonder World is the story of 27-year-old queer Manitoba-born Mennonite Isaac Funk, who has moved to the East Coast to escape complicated family dynamics back home. He returns to rural Manitoba (which he dubs “Mennoland”) for the first time in 10 years after the passing of his opa, from whom he has inherited control of Wonder World, the family farm.
As Isaac struggles to reconnect with family, his perspective about life in “Mennoland” begins to shift, and he’s left with a decision to be made about whether he should stay and run Wonder World or sell and head back east.
The Free Press Book Club virtual meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. — those interested in signing up to receive the link to the free event, or who want more information about Monday’s meeting (or past and future events), can visit wfp.to/bookclub for details.
— Ben Sigurdson
Family-friendly dance party replaces snow with the beach
Saturday, Feb. 25; 1:30 to 4 p.m.
The Park Theatre, 698 Osborne St.
Tickets: $5 at myparktheatre.com
Dance off the stir-crazies and take a family trip to the beach at the Wackydoodle Dance Party for Kids on Saturday afternoon at The Park Theatre.
Husband-and-wife DJs Co-op and K Chedda have tuned into a younger audience with daytime high-energy dance parties geared towards parents and kids alike. The music mixes range from hip-hop to funk to pop to soul and are played at lower volumes.
Saturday’s event is “beach bash” themed and partygoers are encouraged to dust off their sunglasses and favourite warm-weather gear.
The bar will be serving juice boxes, mimosas and other beverages. There will be a pop-up sandwich bar during the event.
Tickets are $5 each, kids two years old and under get in free.
— Eva Wasney
20 years of rocking on for the Wind-Ups
Saturday, Feb. 25, 9:30 p.m.
Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club, 234 Main St.
Tickets: $17.45 at eventbrite.ca
The line from the Who’s classic Substitute — “I look pretty young, but I’m just back-dated, yeah,” — is beginning to fit the Wind-Ups.
The Winnipeg rockers, who often play Substitute during their sets, celebrate 20 years of performing at the city’s hot spots Saturday night when they play the Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club, the same club where the band began in February 2003.
The Wind-Ups got wound up when guitarist Rob Pachol and vocalist Andy Morton found themselves between bands and began jamming, finding common musical ground with songs by the Kinks, XTC and Blondie, and adding bassist Rej Ricard and Dino Desrochers on drums.
The Wind-Ups have since become one of the city’s most reliable rockers even though they play versions of the songs they like, and not necessarily what the crowd expects.
That being said, Gen Xers dig the band’s eclectic list of up-tempo songs, such as Devo’s Uncontrollable Urge, Motorhead’s Ace of Spades, or Lazy Days by the Flying Burrito Brothers.
— Alan Small
Rumor’s has it Debra DiGiovanni is in town
Saturday Feb. 23-25, various times
Rumor’s Comedy Club, 190-2025 Corydon Ave.
Tickets: $20-$25 at rumorscomedyclub.com
Comic Debra DiGiovanni first started making national audiences laugh as a panelist on Much Music’s Video On Trial, lightly roasting music videos with sharp one-liners and incredibly quick comic delivery. She hasn’t slowed down since, becoming one of Canada’s most decorated stand-ups and making strides south of the border. You might have seen her comedy special Single, Awkward Female on Netflix, or starring on the Comedy Network revival of Match Game. She’s all over the place, and for three nights, she’s here.
— Ben Waldman
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Alan Small has been a journalist at the Free Press for more than 22 years in a variety of roles, the latest being a reporter in the Arts and Life section.
Literary editor, drinks writer
Ben Sigurdson edits the Free Press books section, and also writes about wine, beer and spirits.
Ben Waldman covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.
Eva Wasney is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.
Jen Zoratti is a Winnipeg Free Press columnist and author of the newsletter, NEXT, a weekly look towards a post-pandemic future.