Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/12/2016 (1021 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
You could do all of this year’s holiday shopping at the mall, surrounded by throngs of grouchy shoppers scouring stores for some sort of remotely memorable gift.
Or you could pop by the Good Will Social Club (625 Portage Ave.) between noon and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 and grab some unique local creations and vintage finds in a relaxed environment while sipping on a beverage.
The GW Smart Market returns with an eclectic collection of local artists, designers and creators hawking their wares for those looking for a truly outstanding gift for that special someone — be it a stocking stuffer or something a little weightier. Among participating vendors are Vreem (concrete planters and household decor), Mine Clothing (locally designed threads), Born of the Anvil (hand-crafted leather and metal goods), the natural goodness of Clay Soap, jewelry creators Sunday Feel, and Square & Co. (clothing).
If the thought of supporting local artisans isn’t enough to entice you away from the mall, expect some festive hot and cold holiday drink specials from the Good Will to be poured — both boozy and otherwise.
— Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
Toronto fivesome July Talk have made a name for themselves through their almost argumentative singing style and explosive live shows.
Lead vocalists Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay toss lines back and forth, making the distinction between their already opposing voices even clearer, but it’s their focus on each other when they perform that is truly captivating.
For their sophomore release, Touch, the group wanted to capture some of the magic of their shows on the album, so they recorded many of the tracks live.
"It was easy to create a vibe and sound direction for the new record," says Dreimanis in a release about the album. "We literally just looked at our live show and what was fun about it, what kind of people came and what sense of community you felt in the room. We’ve never been about drawing the stage line — that was our mandate from the beginning, and with our live show, we’re really about breaking that down so that we’re in the room as much as our audience.
"We wanted songs where we can grab people by the throat and show them something unique — the kind of songs that feel incredible in a sweaty room."
July Talk independently released their self-titled debut in 2012, but it was picked up and re-released by Universal Canada the following year. The band quickly became a rock-radio staple, with their album going gold in Canada and earning them a Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year.
July Talk are currently on a sold-out tour of Canada, which stops in Winnipeg Dec. 7 at the Garrick Centre.
— Erin Lebar
Celtic singer and fiddler Lizzy Hoyt returns to Winnipeg Sunday, Dec. 4, for an evening of traditional Christmas carols in a fitting venue — St. Andrews River Heights Church, at 255 Oak St.
"I’m one of those those weird people — I will think about Christmas in July," Hoyt says in a telephone interview. "I’m hoping (the concert) be a good kickoff for Christmas."
Hoyt, who remembers celebrating Christmases with her family growing up in Alberta, will be looking back to her 2011 album A Christmas Song as the backbone of the evening. The album includes some seasonal favourites such as Silent Night and Good King Wenceslas, but other lesser-heard sacred songs on the record, such as Bel Astre Que J’Adore and the title track, often fall by the wayside during a deluge of sleigh bells and reindeer fairy tales heard during the month of December.
Also expect a medley of fiddle reels and jigs from Hoyt’s latest album, 2014’s New Lady on the Prairie, she says.
Once the holidays are over, Hoyt is looking to remember another sacred moment: the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The First World War battle, which took place April 9-12, 1917, is often viewed as a critical time in Canada’s national history, as the nation’s soldiers paid a heavy price during the four-day battle.
Hoyt’s 2010 CD, Home, includes the song Vimy Ridge, which she sang at the 95th anniversary of the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France two years later. She says she would love to sing the song again at the memorial on the 100th anniversary of the battle this spring.
"When I went to Vimy Ridge for the first time, it was a life-changing experience," Hoyt says. "Being there in person, it just felt so different to be there. It completely changed how I related to that history."
Tickets for Hoyt’s Christmas show are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students under 18, at the door or at hoyt’s website, lizzyhoyt.com.
— Alan Small
The play Tigers Be Still, opening Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Rachel Browne Theatre, may do for under-employed 20-somethings what Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s The Audience does for former British prime ministers.
The dark comedy by Kim Rosenstock is getting its Canadian première courtesy of Winnipeg’s District Theatre Collective (Mr. Burns, Avenue Q), and gives the disadvantaged demographic a sympathetic hearing with a story of Sherri, a university graduate struggling with life and career after getting her masters degree in art therapy.
Sherri, played by Connie Manfredi, finds herself in a dilemma faced by many post-graduates.
"She hasn’t been able to find any work," says the mid-20s Manfredi. "That’s an issue that’s been plaguing my generation, myself included.
"Our parents maybe didn’t go to school as long because they wanted to be able to work to allow their kids the opportunity to go to school, and then their kids go to school and can’t find work because our parents’ generation have been at their places of work for 30 or 40 years.
"So we’re all at a loss right now," Manfredi says. "And for a person who’s eager to help people, like this character is, she has a very hard time not being able to do the thing she’s been trained to do, and she’s affected by the fear and pain that comes from not being able to do that."
Where most local theatre companies tend to target the older parental demographic, DTC’s mandate is "to put on theatre that we would want to go see," Manfredi says.
"We really try to focus on getting people out who are our age and are dealing with the same kind of milestones in life that we’re dealing with. With every show we’ve done, we really try to give that audience a voice."
The show will have just five performances at 8 p.m. nightly from Thursday, Dec. 1, to Sunday, Dec. 4, with a matinee performance Saturday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 and at tigersbestill.brownpapertickets.com and 1-800-838-3006. There will be a limited number of rush pay-what-you-can tickets at the door 15 minutes prior to Saturday’s matinee.
— Randall King