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Kelly Bowen launches new historical fiction
McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park location
Wednesday, May 24, 7 p.m.
Bestselling Winnipeg romance and historical-fiction novelist Kelly Bowen returns with a wartime novel based on the true story of a Resistance agent holed up in a crumbling castle, and her great-granddaughter, who uncovers her stunning story decades later.
In her new novel, The Garden of Lost Secrets, Bowen tells the story of Stasia, a Resistance fighter in 1940 who hides from the Nazis in a derelict chateau in the French countryside. When her great-granddaughter Isabelle and her sister Emilie take over the property in the present day, they discover books written by Stasia, and the secrets — about her, as well as her family — held within.
Bowen cut her teeth in the historical romance genre before the spring 2021 release of The Paris Apartment, about a woman who inherits an apartment in Paris filled with a stash of art hidden from the Nazis by her grandmother.
Bowen will read from and discuss The Garden of Lost Secrets with McNally Robinson general manager Angela Torgerson. The event is free to attend and will also be streamed on McNally’s YouTube channel.
— Ben Sigurdson
Manito Ahbee Festival offers a grand welcome
Red River Exhibition Park
Today to Sunday
Tickets: Three-day pass: $38.50, families $143; day tickets: $16.50, families $56 at the gate or at the Centennial Concert Hall box office, 555 Main St. or 204-949-3999.
The Manito Ahbee Festival’s celebration of Indigenous culture and heritage brings its message of unification, education and inspiration to the Red River Exhibition Grounds this weekend.
Manito Ahbee, which means “where the Creator sits” in Ojibwe, begins today at 11:30 a.m. with the lighting of the sacred fire.
New events for 2023 are NextGen, a youth-focused event (today, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) which has social media influencers speaking about the importance of Indigenous traditions in their lives, and will include performances by Boogey the Beat, the Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers and host Tracie Léost.
Also new is the Red Road Runway (Saturday, 5:30 p.m.), which will showcase fashions by six designers: Chelsea’s Creeations, Anne Mulaire, She Holds the Sky Designs, Fashion Ikwe Designs and Zazegaakwe.
The Jig ‘n’ Jam, (Saturday, 5-8 p.m.) will pay tribute to Manitoba Métis fiddler Clint Dutiaume, who blazed a trail for Indigenous performing artists while serving as a mentor to future generations of musicians.
Dutiaume, 59, died in January; performing on the stage named in his honour will be Tayler Fleming, Double the Trouble, the Kinew Youth Dancers, Michael Audette and the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers.
Inuit and Dene performers will also be on hand to share their drumming and dancing.
Popular Manito Ahbee events are back, such as Manito Ahbee Pow Wow, which begins Friday, the teepee-raising contest (Friday, 3 p.m.), an Indigenous one-minute business pitch competition (Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.) and the Indian Horse Relay, which launches the summer racing at Assiniboia Downs (Monday, noon).
— Alan Small
Old tunes for old pups
Centre culturel franco-manitobain, 340 Provencher Blvd.
Friday, 7-10 p.m.
Tickets $20 plus fees at Eventbrite or at 204-224-2600
Kick off the long weekend by dancing the night away to classic rock hits from the ’70s and ’80s while supporting senior dogs.
Rock and Roll Odyssey: A Musical Journey is hosted by local cover group Breaking News Your Band. The event promises an evening of chart-toppers from the Beatles, Billy Joel, David Bowie, the Proclaimers and others, as well as some original tunes.
The show is a fundraiser for Before the Bridge Senior K9 Rescue, a volunteer-run charity based in Stony Mountain dedicated to helping elderly pooches. Before the Bridge specializes in finding adopters for senior dogs who have been surrendered or neglected. The rescue’s goal is to provide loving homes for aging animals to live out the remainder of their lives.
The fundraiser will include a silent auction. Doors open at 6 p.m. with refreshments from Double D’s Cheesecakes available before the music.
— Eva Wasney
Punk-rock opera picks apart modern-day sexism
The Mansplaining Division
Pyramid Cabaret, 176 Fort St.
Wednesday, May 24, to Friday, May 26; 7.30-9.30 p.m.
18+ to enter
Tickets start at $22 at manitobaundergroundopera.com
Local artists Laura Gow and Karen Remoto’s “feminist, dark comedy, punk rock” opera aims to redefine the classical genre, using satire to pick apart sexism.
With equal parts Greek mythology, The Good Place and modern feminist discourse, the show follows the re-education of John Woe Is Me, who parrots the “not all men are bad” message to anyone within earshot.
His views attract the attention of the Underworld Department of Crimes Against Women: Mansplaining Division, who take it upon themselves to set him on the right path via a series of immersive trials.
Will living through women’s experiences cause John to change his ways? Or will he remain the same?
— AV Kitching
James Keelaghan’s folk, a K-Pop bash and Nadia Douglas’s jazz
Various times, ticket prices
No, not on the same bill.
Keelaghan, a Juno-winning folk singer known for his bluesy approach and called “Canada’s finest songwriter” by longtime Rolling Stone critic Dave Marsh, will play the West End Cultural Centre on Friday at 8 p.m. (Tickets: $25 at wecc.ca).
Over at the Good Will Social Club, this Friday is K-Pop Night, promising a “unique blend of all your favourite Korean pop, R&B, hip-hop bops in one night.” The brilliantly named “Bibimbops” will be soundtracked by DJ Dommi, with performances by K-Pop dance crews Galax-E (@galaxeofficial on Instagram), the Illicit Dance Crew (@illicitdancecrew), and BTB (@btb.wpg). (Tickets: $15 in advance at thegoodwill.ca. Starts at 9 p.m.)
On Sunday night, Winnipeg jazz singer Nadia Douglas brings her rich alto voice to the Fort Garry Hotel as part of the iconic inn’s ongoing collaboration with Jazz Winnipeg. In past performances with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra and at the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, Douglas has impressed audiences with her performances of hits ranging from the 1920s to the 1960s; jazz never truly goes out of style. (Tickets $18 in advance at jazzwinnipeg.com or $20 at the door).
— 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.
AV Kitching is an arts and life writer at the Free Press.
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.
Updated on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 12:49 PM CDT: Corrects typo