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This article was published 10/12/2018 (309 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Heritage Winnipeg took a break from seeking legal protection for the city’s homes and buildings for an enchanting soirée at one of Winnipeg’s oldest homes, the Robert R. Scott House, on Dec. 6.
About 70 interested Heritage Winnipeg types and Crescentwood neighbours gathered in the stellar house at 29 Ruskin Row, one of many in the area built in the early 1900s, to show solidarity at a holiday party. The grand old home (built circa 1914) was lit with 100 candles and had its fireplace glowing, making it look like a fancy manor right out of Pride and Prejudice — except cars were parked out front instead of horses and carriages.
The home is named after its first owner, Robert R. Scott, who earned his fortune in the fruit business and also was president of the Sovereign Life Assurance Company. It was designed by city architect J. N. Semmens, and the 2½-storey house cost $20,000 to build, a grand sum in those days.
Inside, soprano Marlise Ritchie entertained guests near the fireplace, while waiters swirled through the crowd with hors d’oeuvres and wines.
Heritage Winnipeg executive director Cindy Tugwell and president Lisa Gardewine greeted the crowd, as did proud homeowner Chip Batten, president and CEO of Color Ad Packaging. Also on hand were Christine Skene from the Heritage Conservation committee and Barbara Myers, a Manitoba governor for the National Trust for Canada.
ROCKIN’ ELVIS CHRISTMAS: Rory Allen, the handsome blue-eyed Elvis tribute artist from Saskatchewan with the deeply dimpled chin, will be tickling the fancies of a largely female crowd (in his bejewelled white pantsuit) with his Christmas show at the Club Regent Event Centre on Friday at 8 p.m.
Like so many people from Saskatchewan, he’s a genuinely warm human being, especially when he’s playing Elvis. In fact he often goes into the audience to serenade ladies, and accept their shy hugs. "I’ve even sung for customers in Costco," he told yours truly.
There are a handful of tickets left for sale, and they range in price from $34.74 to $40.09, including fees.
FRIENDS OF FAME CHRISTMAS: On Friday, there’s also a big Christmas-style bash called Let’s get Elfed Up at the LGBTTQ*-friendly Fame Nightclub on Garry St. General manager Beverly Claeys, who’s been at Fame since Day 1 eight years ago, says the club wants to give back to the community.
The first 200 customers in the door get a complimentary haircut from the Loft Salon and Spa on Fort St. The first 300 people get a gift tag and, at 1 a.m., elves jump onstage, matching gift tags stacked to gifts, she says.
"As an adult, Christmas doesn’t feel as much fun — more like obligations for some people," Claeys says. And some have no family in the city or have been rejected by their families because of their sexuality.
"It’s sad when people have no place to go. This is the closest you’re going to get to feeling like a kid again at Christmas," she says. "It’s so fun, even just to watch!"
One of the big draws is the charity photo booth with two Santas and a Mrs. Claus. All the money raised goes to Gio’s Cares, a charity spun out of the old Gio’s club, which aims to improve the lives of people with HIV/AIDS, Claeys says. Jay Rich runs the non-profit to help people with basic needs such as food, clothing and personal items.
Fame is renowned for great dance parties and DJ HuffnPoof will be at the helm, spinning the music.
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Club 200, the city’s longest-running LGBTTQ* club, is going all out for New Year’s with a dinner and drag-queen show plus dance party, champagne and party favours at midnight. The party is called All That’s Glitters, Anita Stallion says.
"We have five different drag performers including Lita Takeela, Foxy Beast, Satina Loren, Hellacious Acres from Edmonton and Cake, the current Miss Club 200," says Stallion, who will also be performing.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, with champagne, noisemakers for midnight, plus late-night snacks. Tickets and info are available by calling 204-943-6045 after 4 p.m.
ALTERNATIVE NEW YEAR’S EVE: Hate noise, love meditation? You can bring in 2019 in a meaningful and positive way "with compassion and beneficial intentions," at Kadampa Meditation Centre Winnipeg, at 839 Ellice Ave. Gen Kelsang Rigden is the resident teacher. She’s been studying and teaching Modern Kadampa Buddhism internationally for over 16 years and is known for her warm-hearted disposition, and clear teaching.
Appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be served from 9:30-10:45 p.m. Rigden will give an introduction to the practice of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of compassion, an arrangement of special prayers and mantras, and then engage in the practice itself. As midnight approaches, Rigden guides the group in a meditation to take them into 2019.
This event offers "an opportunity for making our New Year’s resolutions extra powerful. With a peaceful and compassionate mind, we can dedicate for the welfare of the whole world," organizers say. Cost: $25 at the door, $20 for advance tickets and $5 for members, 204-691-3323.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Tired of all this goody-two-shoes holiday stuff? Take a night off and sneak off to Cinematheque’s Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood showing Dec. 14-23. It’s packed full of juicy stories of celebrity scandals.
Scotty Bowers, an ex-marine, came to Hollywood to live it up big time after surviving the horrors of the Second World War. In the ’40s and ’50s, he ran a gas station "in the shadow of the studio lots," where his friends would meet with stars hiding their sexual identities in a time when the studios painted stars as straight and monogamous.
In 2012, Bowers finally spilled his secrets in a memoir Full Service. This documentary tells all.
Got tips? Cool events happening in your world. Been rubbing shoulders with the stars. Email Maureen’s tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.