LATE-NIGHT TIPS: Some poor, misguided Folklorama fans drift through the two-week cultural festival without attending the most exciting events of all — the late-night parties.
That’s when the onstage performers loosen up, fans are sometimes invited to sing with them, and everybody dances, eats and drinks into the wee hours. It’s the ultimate Folkorama experience.
Here’s your primer on where to find the hottest late-night events this week:
With the Olympics in full swing in Rio, you can expect the Alô Brasil party to be a bigger blast than ever this year. It’s on one big night only, Friday from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., at the Bronx Community Centre, 720 Henderson Hwy.
Saturday night is the Caribbean bash, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., at Centre culturel franco-manitobain, 340 Provencher Blvd.
The Cuban Pavilion has two late-night parties, Friday and Saturday nights from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the RBC Convention Centre. Want a more intimate hot spot? Chile Lindo holds its late-night soirées Saturday and Sunday from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Notre Dame Recreation Centre, 271 Rue de la Cathedrale.
And while you’re on the prowl, why not make it three nights in a row? Hit the German Pavilion at the German Society, 121 Charles St., for late-night bashes Thursday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
VINYL REVIVAL OPEN MIC: Because Vinyl Revival at 10 McGillivray Place is a coffee house as well as a music school and record store, adults, teens and the odd young kid show up at Wednesday night open-mic events. Instruments and backup players are provided.
To everyone’s surprise, the last act Wednesday night was 12-year-old Chanson Lussier — who blew away the crowd with Vance Joy’s hit Riptide, accompanying himself with a ukulele. This home-schooled kid with the unusually strong, lyrical voice and the perfect name for fame (Chanson is French for "song"), got a standing ovation. Then he found himself giving an impromptu interview onstage with store owner/musician Darren Sawchuk. The thought throughout the room was, "Wow, that kid is really going somewhere!"
SPOTTED — musicians Chris Harris, Madeline Nickel, Shailyn Senft, Chenoa McKelvey and a duo called "BS" (Brendan MacLean and Shane Barron). Sawchuk was with his sweetheart Loralie Nadler. Sawchuk and his band, 59 Divide, did a charity bash called Hip Night Out playing Tragically Hip tunes at Jekyll & Hyde in Osborne Village on Aug. 4, with all proceeds to the Never Alone Foundation, which provides funding and support for those fighting cancer, and their families.
POKEMON PROTECTION: The new Pokemon Go game craze will a be new part of the ManyFest celebrations Sept. 9-11 this year.
The Downtown BIZ has paid for extra Pokemon lures to attract players to Memorial Park and Broadway.
"The Downtown Watch Team will be roaming the area making sure everyone is safe," says Rose Dominguez, Downtown BIZ events co-ordinator.
Downtown BIZ honcho Jason Syvixay says they’ll have more musical entertainers on the boulevard for the ManyFest Lights on Broadway candlelight parade. "And it’ll be shorter. We listen to what people want," he adds.
ROOFTOP LUNCH AND ENTERTAINMENT FOR YOUTH: Aboriginal Music Week runs from Tuesday to Saturday with entertainment during the lunch hour at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The WAG is also providing an Indigenous Music & Visual Art Experience for Youth. The dual experience starts with a visit to the Qua’yuk tchi’gae’win: Making Good exhibit, and then it’s up to the rooftop sculpture garden for the free concerts — a new entertainer every day. Be sure to bring your own bag lunches, as food is not provided.
The excitement starts Tuesday at noon with Digital Drum, which will feature performances by Maliseet operatic singer Jeremy Dutcher. On Wednesday, Pitjantjatjara singer-songwriter Frank Yamma, "the voice of Australia’s central desert," performs. Métis neo-soul singer David Morin is onstage Thursday, and on Friday, Cree hip-hop MC Eekwol will get everybody jumpin’ for the weekend.
Rooftop seating is available, with an indoor space at the ready in case of rain. Email Alan Greyeyes of Aboriginal Music Manitoba at firstname.lastname@example.org to register groups for one or more of the lunch hours.
These events are a small part of Aboriginal Music Week, with scores of talented performers and bands performing all over the city. For more information go to the AMW page on Facebook.
BBQ AND BLUES: The Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival takes over Smith Street in front of the Burton Cummings Theatre Aug. 19 and 20 with a full slab of live entertainment, along with a Pit Masters barbecue competition and food-and-beverage garden.
This two-day event is a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned competition open to amateurs and professionals competing for cash prizes. The barbecue competitions carry a $10,000 purse, but beyond the money, the most sought-after prizes are invitations to the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue Competition in Lynchburg, Tenn., and an invite to the World Food Championships in Las Vegas.
And then there’s the music. Headliners on the Burton Cummings Theatre stage on Friday night are Creedence Clearwater Revisited on Friday night and Detroit blues guitarist Laith Al-Saadi on Saturday. A recent finalist on The Voice, Al-Saadi is replacing originally announced act James Cotton, who is unable to perform owing to health issues.
The outdoor stage offerings include artists such as Big Dave McLean, Doucette, Cecile Doo-Kingue, the New Meanies, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar and Son of Dave, featuring Ben Darville of the Crash Test Dummies. Two-day passes, which include both outdoor site access and reserved seating for headlining concerts at Burton Cummings Theatre, are $69 to $129. Individual day concert passes start at $39 and passes to the street festival, including the outdoor stage, the barbecue competition, food and beverage areas, are $20 plus fees at Ticketmaster.
Got tips? Anything fun and exciting going on in your world? Been rubbing shoulders with stars? Call Maureen’s tipline at 204-474-1116.