Add this Winterruption to your social calendar

30 performers on six stages


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Some people view the coldest months of the year as a hibernation period for music festivals and concerts in Manitoba. Winterruption (Jan. 20-29) is out to wake those people up.

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Some people view the coldest months of the year as a hibernation period for music festivals and concerts in Manitoba. Winterruption (Jan. 20-29) is out to wake those people up.

Produced by the West End Cultural Centre with Real Love Winnipeg, the concert series features 30-plus performers taking the stage in six venues — WECC, Good Will Social Club, Handsome Daughter, Park Theatre, and Rec Room.

Now in its fourth year in Winnipeg, Winterruption — which also happens in Saskatoon, Regina and Edmonton — is a genre-bending, multi-venue event. The Free Press gives a quick intro to some of the artists slated to perform.

Pierre Kwenders, winner of the Polaris Music Prize, will perform at the West End Cultural Centre on Jan. 25. (Supplied)

Pierre Kwenders

WECC, Jan. 25

The 2022 winner of the Polaris Music Prize for his virtuosic Jose Louis and the Paradox of Love, Kwenders writes music in the form of trance-like visions, with an unpredictable blend of global dance music, swinging jazz, gospel, and sweltery pop. Born in Kinshasa, and raised in Montreal, Kwenders takes the stage with Winnipeg’s Dr. Henry Band.

Kid Filthy

The Handsome Daughter, Jan. 28

On his 2022 single Vetements, Kid Filthy airs his cleanest material. With his rapid-fire delivery, the Vancouver-based artist — who has opened for 2Chainz and Amine — makes waves. But it’s the chorus that showcases a multi-dimensional artist on the rise.

Len Bowen

The Handsome Daughter, Jan. 28

Winnipeg’s Len Bowen has quietly been building toward big things. Growing Pains, Bowen’s 2022 single, is a good starting point to show his strength as a solo rapper and collaborator: on a song featuring Anthony OKS and Odario, Bowen manages to make the song his own while wisely knowing when to give others their shine. With BBS Steve (3Peat) providing the beats, Bowen plays the Daughter.

Matt Mac will perform at the West End Cultural Centre on Jan. 28. (Supplied)


WECC, Jan. 28

Garden Hill First Nation’s Mattmac, 22, started singing in local gospel jamborees at the age of 4. Over time, he learned to play the piano, starting his journey to becoming one of the most exciting young hip-hop artists in Manitoba. On Rez, off Mattmac’s Blurred Visions, the artist sings and raps atop gently tickled keys. Mattmac plays the WECC along with Boogey the Beat, the Kaptain, and Toppleganger.


Good Will, Jan. 26

Don’t sleep on Bedtime. This dreamy project from Mirella Villa and Hailey Primrose is in its early stages, but Bedtime is showing promise with its gentle blend of dream pop and hymnal indie rock. Sundaze, the band’s most recent single, is available to stream at Bedtime joins Winnipeg’s Virgo Rising, a band highlighted in our What Manitoba Sounded Like in 2022 list, and New Brunswick’s Motherhood.


Good Will, Jan. 26

Motherhood’s latest album, Winded, is breathless and wily, mixing bar-room punk, surf rock, and charming alt-pop through an East Coast outsider lens. Vocalists Brydon Crain and Penelope Stevens have a bit of a New Pornographers vibe going on when they sing together, while Adam Sipkema’s drums burst and crash.

Carlo Capobianco

Good Will, Jan. 28

One of the city’s most colourful performers, Carlo Capobianco sounds like he’s from the 1980s, and he looks like he’s from a different time, too. Check out his album covers: pink, serif-heavy fonts, Bruce Springsteen blue jeans, and flared leather pants surround him. Capobianco makes glamorous pop music in his own way, and plays the Good Will with JayWood and Jasmyn.


Good Will, Jan. 28

Jasmyn is not a stranger. As the front person for the Juno-nominated, Polaris-shortlisted act Weaves, the artist has crafted a reputation for wickedly wide-ranging and witty indie pop. But since leaving the band in 2020, the performer has ventured into new territory that allows her voice to sparkle.

Stefan Hodges

Good Will, Jan. 27

A few weeks ago, Hodges took the stage at the Good Will as a member of Animal Teeth, a beloved mainstay in Winnipeg’s indie scene. On Friday night, he steps out on his own, opening for A. Savage, a co-founder of the critically acclaimed group Parquet Courts. With gentle vocals that can climb high and crawl low, Hodges has a great stage presence that says, “Trust me.”

Kornbread Jete and the Bannock Babes

Park Theatre, Jan. 27

Get bready. Kornbread Jete of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame will be serving her sass at the Park on Friday night, joined by Winnipeg drag troupe The Bannock Babes.

The full lineup, with ticket info, is available at

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Ben Waldman

Ben Waldman

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

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