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Comedian Nate Bargatze brings Raincheck Tour to Winnipeg
June 16, 7 p.m.
Burton Cummings Theatre
Tickets $63-$108 at Ticketmaster
You could say that comedian Nate Bargatze was born into the funny business.
Bargatze’s dad Stephen Bargatze is a former clown and renowned comedic magician, as well as the inspiration for Nate’s career-launching debut stand-up album, 2014’s Yelled At By a Clown. The Tennessee funnyman’s profile has steadily risen since then, thanks to a pair of Netflix specials — 2021’s The Greatest Average American and 2019’s The Tennessee Kid — and his weekly podcast, Nateland.
Launched in 2020 as a pandemic project, Nateland is a balm for These Times, with Bargatze and co-hosts/fellow comics Brian Bates and Aaron Webber offering lighthearted banter about random topics — life hacks, restaurants, The Office.
Bargatze is currently roadtesting new material on his Raincheck Tour, which has North American dates strectching into December. For tickets to tonight’s show, visit Ticketmaster.ca.
— Jen Zoratti
Rides, tunes and treats at the Red River Ex
Red River Exhibition Grounds
Tickets at redriverex.com
The Zipper? The Tilt-A-Whirl? The Polar Express? Find those classics among the more than 50 midway rides at the Red River Ex, which kicks off this Friday and runs until the last weekend of June. The annual sprawling outdoor event will also feature more than 200 hours of live music and all the deep-fried, decadent carnival food you can imagine.
This weekend’s musical lineup includes Big Dave McLean, Past the Perimeter (a country outfit from Stonewall), Jennifer Hanson, the Dirty Catfish Brass Band and an array of local cover artists. Music takes place daily across two different stages.
In addition to rides, there will be plenty of family-friendly entertainment — of the human and animal variety — throughout the grounds. Attractions include a canine circus, barrel racing, horse jumping, a petting zoo, magic shows, high flying acrobats, kids shows, animatronic dinosaurs, Doo Doo the Clown, chainsaw carving and blacksmith demonstrations. Fireworks happen every Saturday night.
This year’s competitions will feature a judged quilt show and a seniors talent show. Hobbyists can check out the model boat and train displays, as well as an antique fire truck and farm equipment.
Advanced gate admission is $12.50 if purchased online; ride tickets are $1 each or $50 for a ride-all-day wristband.
— Eva Wasney
Flatlander’s Beer Festival the cure for what ales you
June 17 and 18
Canada Life Centre
Tickets at flatlandersbeerfest.com
For the first time since 2019, the Flatlander’s Beer Festival returns for in-person sipping of lagers, ales and more at Canada Life Centre on Friday and Saturday.
Set up throughout the concourse and at ice level, the festival — presented by Manitoba Liquor Marts and now in its 18th year — features local, national and international breweries pouring hundreds of products, including flagship brews, smaller-batch beers and a handful of festival exclusives. Local producers will once again be well represented, although there are a few notable absences among participating Manitoba breweries this year.
In addition to the range of beer styles being poured, Flatlander’s will once again feature ciders in their program. And this year they’ve gone even further, adding “refreshment beverages” — hard seltzers, pre-made cocktails, coolers and the like — to the event. So whether you prefer the hoppiest/haziest IPA or the latest low-calorie vodka-soda drink, chances are you’ll not go thirsty.
Tickets for the Flatlander’s Beer Festival, which takes place Friday and Saturday from 7-10 p.m. (with a Saturday matinee tasting from 1-4 p.m.) are $49.95 plus taxes and fees, and are available through Ticketmaster via the festival website. Designated driver tickets are $25 plus fees. Proceeds from the festival benefit the True North Youth Foundation.
For more information including a complete list of drinks being poured and to buy tickets, see flatlandersbeerfest.com.
— Ben Sigurdson
Peacemaker marks 30th anniversary
Monday, June 20. 8 p.m.
Pyramid Cabaret, 176 Fort St.
Advance tickets: $15 at pyramidboxoffice.com. $20 at the door.
Winnipeg alt-rockers Peacemaker were one of the first Indigenous bands in Canada to release their music on compact disc when their self-titled debut came out in 1992.
Three years later the band — comprised of Donny Ducharme, Shawn Mann Parenteau, Jesse Green and Mark Nabess — put out a second album, Reservation Dogs, which led to concerts with other hard rock acts of the ‘90s such as the Headstones and Lee Aaron, and at venues such as Toronto’s SkyDome for Canadian Music Week.
The band broke up — most of the band went on to back Buffy Sainte-Marie on tour — and eventually Peacemaker faded into Winnipeg music history.
But an opportunity for the band to buy back Peacemaker’s master recordings from their old record label has brought the four into the spotlight again.
Peacemaker takes the stage Monday night at the Pyramid Cabaret as they commemorate the 30th anniversary of their debut release with a new 20-song retrospective disc that includes remastered versions of their two albums as well as unreleased songs.
They’ll be joined on stage by Eagle & Hawk, Donovan Craig Bruyere, Low Budget Rock Star, Venus Mantrap and Shades of Dawn.
— Alan Small
A Japanese tradition comes to Winnipeg
Saturday, June 18. 6 p.m.
180 McPhillips St.
Do you want to hear a funny story? Then head to the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba’s McPhillips Street headquarters Saturday and take a seat.
The funny story will be told in the form of rakugo, a traditional Japanese oratory style centred on mostly humorous monologues, performed in their entirety by a seated storyteller, wearing a kimono and using only a fan and hand towel as props. Developed in the Edo Period, the artform was used as entertainment for ordinary citizens. (It will be performed in English).
“Unable to fall back on costumes and scenery, it is the job of the rakugoka to inspire the imagination of the audience through the skill employed in portraying the world of the story,” the JCAM website says. Every word matters, from the first to the ochi – literally “the drop,” or the punchline.
Winnipeg-born Katsura Fukuryu (Derek Cavers) — whose passion for Japanese culture and language led him to move to the country, where he joined the Katsura Fukudanji Ichimon and was given his name – will be performing his own translations of scripts originally composed in Japanese.
It’s a rare opportunity: the JCAM says this is the first formal performance of rakugo ever conducted in Winnipeg.
Tickets are available only online, at jcamwpg.ca, starting at $20. The show begins at 6 p.m. Wear a kimono and get a free beverage.
— Ben Waldman
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.
Eva Wasney is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.
Jen Zoratti is a Winnipeg Free Press columnist and co-host of the paper's local culture podcast, Bury the Lede.
Senior copy editor
Jill Wilson writes about culture and the culinary arts for the Arts & Life section.