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It’s the end of an era for two local music staples. Long-running DJ party Grippin Grain and well-worn live music venue the Cavern are both calling it quits after one last blowout event on New Years Eve.
Local DJs Co-op Lonnie CE and Frasier have been hosting Grippin Grain, a semi-regular rap music party, at clubs around Winnipeg for roughly a decade.The 100th and final installment of event starts takes place at the Pyramid Cabaret, 176 Fort St., on Dec. 31 beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and available at showpass.com/gg100.
After decades in the middle of the Osborne Village strip, the Toad in the Hole Pub is closing up shop and moving into a new location down the street — and The Cavern isn’t coming along for the ride.
The lease on the current establishment is done on Jan. 1 and the new pub will be reopening in the former Buccacino’s restaurant site in early 2020. While live music will still be part of the weekly lineup at the new Toad in the Hole, it won’t be happening under The Cavern banner.
New Year's Eve will be a double-decker send off with the Windups playing upstairs at the Toad and Electric Feel, a local Top 40 cover band made up of members of Invisible Friends (formerly Bright Righteous), will be playing the final show at The Cavern. Search for The Toad in the Hole on Facebook for more details.
— Eva Wasney
Winnipeg's Red Moon Road is doing double-duty this New Years Eve, performing at both the Zoo Lights Festival and at the Handsome Daughter.
The Zoo Lights Festival — which takes place at the Assiniboine Park Zoo — will be staying open until midnight Dec. 31; Red Moon Road is on deck as the house band, along with Ariel Posen, Michael Jordan and Alex Campbell, as well as a selection of seven special musical guests who will each play two original songs in addition to their favourite tune from the Manitoba songbook. Performers include Kelly Bado, Tracy Bone, Sol James, Patrick Alexandre, Son Gully (of the Lytics), JD Edwards and Rayannah.
"It's kind of crazy, kind of a lot of work, but it will be fun," says Red Moon Road guitarist and vocalist Daniel Jordan. "And we made sure to invite some people we've never played with before, like Kelly Bado and Tracy Bone, so sort of taking an opportunity to make new friends and hear other peoples' music, so that part has been really nice."
(This show runs 5:30 to 9 p.m. and admission to Zoo Lights is $12 in advance and $15 at the door. The late night party continues at the Tundra Grill Ice Bar with DJs, dancing and a s'mores bar and fire pit until midnight. Drag performances and workshops will also be happening while the concert is on.)
After things wrap up at the zoo, Red Moon Road — who recently released a well-recieved single and video, Say It Again, their first new music since 2015— will zip over to the Handsome Daughter for a change of scenery and a change of name, morphing into Johnny New Year and the Ball Droppers to ring in 2020 with some familiar faces from the zoo, including Sol James and Ariel Posen. Tickets are $25 in advance, and music starts at 10:30 p.m.
There are, of course, tons of other music-related ways to welcome 2020.
Over at the Good Will Social Club, Winnipeg-based singer-sonwriter Roman Clarke is headlining a show which also features Kenzie Jane and DJ Hunnicut (tickets $25 in advance, show starts at 10 p.m.).
At one of the city's newest music venues, 1928 Eatery and Pub (in the St. James Hotel, previously the site of Fox and Hounds), the Perpetrators are offering up a NYE set starting at 9 p.m. for just $10. Tickets are available in advance at the venue, or you can contact Romi Mayes, who is the booker for the venue, at email@example.com to make arrangements.
The Dirty Catfish Brass Band and Dr. Hotbottom will once again be at the Park Theatre for their annual Then and Now Hot and Dirty Dance Party, which, this year, will be soundtracked by funk and soul songs from the '70s (this event is sold out).
At Club Regent Event Centre, you can celebrate the new year with a different kind of musical nostalgia, in the form of a double-bill featuring Canadian rock veterans Kim Mitchell and Chilliwack (tickets start at $45, show starts at 9 p.m.).
On Main Street, the Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club has the Honeysliders hosting their New Years Eve party playing originals as well as covers of Neil Young, the Band, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, among others (tickets ar $15, music starts at 10 p.m.).
Abit further north on Main Street, at Bulldog Event Centre, a "gnarly New Years" will keep the space booming with the Gnar Gnars, Mung, Face Lift, Prinport, Leg Mark and Black Pine all on the bill (Tickets are $20, music starts at 9 p.m.)
— Erin Lebar
If an elevated culinary experience on New Year’s Eve sounds like your cup of tea (or glass of wine, pint of beer or fancy cocktail), it may not be too late to secure a spot at one of the city’s top eateries for a quick bite, a nice glass of something or both.
If catching the fireworks at The Forks Market is part of your New Year’s Eve plans, there are a number of dining options in the vicinity.
Era Bistro at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is offering a curated four-course New Year’s Eve menu for $60 per person, with vegan and gluten-free options available. To book call (204) 289-2190 or visit opentable.ca/era-bistro; to see the menu visit wfp.to/eramenu.
While there’ll be plenty going on outdoors at The Forks Market, the indoor food hall offers plenty of options for food and drink — with some killer entertainment as well. Critically-acclaimed, Juno award-winning singer-songwriter William Prince will be the featured entertainer between 8-10 p.m., while a DJ will spin tunes starting at 10 p.m. through to midnight, when merrymakers can raise a glass of one of the many wines or craft beers available by the glass at The Common.
King and Bannatyne (100 King St.) will play host to chef Jesse Coelho, the Winnipeg Supper Club and Dark Horse Wine and Spirits this Dec. 31, as they come all together to present a five-course menu starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are $80, with wine available for purchase throughout the evening. For tickets, visit wfp.to/wpgsupperclub.
Over at Saddlery on Market (114 Market Ave.), things will heat up with the sounds of Latin music as the Argentinean Manitoban Association teams up with the Exchange District eatery for their New Year’s Eve bash, which begins at 8 p.m. In addition to a four-course meal there will be plenty of Latin tunes, bubbly at midnight, dancing and more. Tickets are $50 for association members or $65 for non-members — for more information call (204) 615-1898.
In St. Boniface, Beaujena’s (302 Hamel Ave.) is offering a seven-course New Year’s Eve menu that includes dishes featuring smoked duck, foie gras, grass-fed beef tenderloin and more. Dinner is $100, with an optional course-by-course wine pairing available for $31. The full menu is at beaujenas.com/events/; to book tickets call 204-233-4841 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those looking for lighter, upscale fare with killer cocktails, Langside Grocery (164 Langside St.) is taking reservations for their banquette seating. They’re offering their regular sharing menu as well as a few special New Year’s Eve treats on both the food and drinks side of things. To reserve banquette seating, email email@example.com. Seating at the bar will be available for walk-ups.
— Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
What better way to set the tone for the year ahead than with an evening of merriment and mirth? Rob Pue and Rumor's Comedy Club have got you covered with two NYE shows — a regular early show at 6:30 (tickets $15) and a late gala peformance at 10:15 p.m. that includes party favours and sparkling wine at midnight ($30).
The rubber-faced Pue is known for his gregarious storytelling style, drawing on personal anecdotes and enhanced by his physical comedy. He's a familiar face in Winnipeg from his Winnipeg Comedy Festival appearances, but you might also know him from his regular appearances on MTV's Punk'd or his one-hour Comedy Now special on the Comedy Channel.
The Toronto-based comedian — whose album, Puegilist, is available on iTunes — has an ambiable, hoser-ish delivery that's a clever mask for his sharp wit.
If you've already got New Year's plans, you can catch Pue during the rest of his run at Rumor's, from Friday, Dec. 27 to Saturday, Jan. 4. Tickets are avilable at rumorscomedyclub.ca. The club is located at 2025 Corydon Ave.
— Jill Wilson
If you have little revellers in tow with grand ambitions plans to stay up way past their bedtimes, there are lots of options around town for those celebrating as a family.
The Forks is offering up a family countdown and a "mini" fireworks display at 8 p.m. at the Winnipeg sign, a bite-sized version of the main fireworks event, which will happen when the clock rolls over to Jan. 1 in the the Forks Historic Port.
Outdoor activities start at 4 p.m., with horse-drawn carriage rides, snow sculpting, Indigenous storytelling, and, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the DJ Hunnicutt + Co-op skate party at CN Field rink.
The Manitoba Children's Museum is hosting Top Hats & Tiaras, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. complete with a ginger ale toast at noon instead of champagne at midnight. The Solutions are supplying the music and A Little Pizza Heaven is providing the snacks. The event is free with general museum admission.
Over at Hudson's Bay downtown, wander through a winter wonderland — minus the winter part — at Lights of the North, which is open from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Visit lightsofthenorth.ca for ticket prices.
— Jen Zoratti
One hundred years later, it’s safe to say that no book better defined the 1920s than F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. If you’re a partygoer who loves a good theme event, you’ll want to make sure you snag a ticket to one of the many Gatsby-themed parties happening across the city this New Year’s Eve.
The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre is hosting a New Year’s Eve Gatsby Gala at their venue at 281 Donald St. The 18-plus evening will include dinner, dancing and entertainment. Tickets are available by calling 204-594-9494 and are $85 plus tax.
Kristina's on Corydon is also offering a Gatsby-themed soirée, with live jazz presented by Johnny Freshman and the Undergrads. Tickets are $60 and available on eventbrite.
Even Morden is getting in on the action. Local establishment Bella’s Castle at 272 Stephen St. is presenting a Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve. Tickets are $65 and are also available on Eventbrite.
— Frances Koncan
Updated on Thursday, December 26, 2019 at 11:57 AM CST: Corrects reference to Toad timeframe.