THIRD TIME'S A CHARM: "I've been in the finals of this contest three times!" says comic Andy Noble, who finally won Winnipeg's Funniest Person With a Day Job this year. He beat out seven finalists at the Rumor's Restaurant and Comedy Club competition on Aug. 25 and won $1,000, bragging rights and chances to host at Rumor's, where international headliners will see his act.
Noble jumped into the Winnipeg comedy scene three years ago when he won the Scott Porteous contest Comedy Do or Die.
The construction worker, who definitely has a career onstage if he wants it, jokes about his humble comedy ambitions: "I've just been hoping to get to the point where I can be in a contest and not have to sell tickets to it!"
Spencer Adamus, who came in second, played on his sweet face and diminutive size for jokes. Clayton T. Stewart finished third.
Other competitors included Jared Story, Cole Schapansky, Chad Anderson, Ryan Evans and Renee Billauer. This year's judges were Stephen Sim of Crumbs improv, Rumor's headliner Steve Dylan, John Kavanaugh, Rumor's former manager, and present GM Tyler Schultz.
OUR ARTY WEST END: Gloria Cardwell-Hoeppner of the West End BIZ scoffs at naysayers who grumble there's a "saturation" of murals in the West End.
"I think we should be more saturated," she says. "The murals show so much history and beauty, and we had more mural tour-goers this summer than ever before."
Mural No. 79, The History of Hats, on the east wall of Akins International Foods, 570 Sargent. Ave., had its big reveal on Aug. 27. The corner has a history of millinery outlets.
A funky crowd came out in hats to celebrate, including a half-dozen folks from the Red Hats club, Luke Nolan of the Haberdashery, Minto MLA Andrew Swan and Akins owner Elizabeth Ogidan. Her store sells fancy hats as well as food from all over.
Very soon the giant Flowers of the World mural, No. 80, is going up opposite the Adam Beach mural at Ellice Avenue and Sherbrook Street.
ODYSSEO JOBS: Want to run away from it all — and join the circus? Have you seen the big tent on Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway? Odysseo — a Cirque du Soleil-style travelling show with horses — will be under the big white multi-peaked tent Sept. 10-Oct 4.
Tucked into their website, it says they are "currently recruiting." The show is growing fast and looking for people to fill permanent positions with the touring show, including artists and riders, a veterinary technician, horse stable managers and others.
But you don't need to be a horse expert to get a job there. On the technical side, they're looking for a carpenter, head of lighting, head electrician, plus a technical director and artistic co-ordinator, box office manager and supervisor and front-of-house supervisor.
EDMONTON STREET CONNECTING CULTURES: Downtown fall festivals Manito Ahbee and ManyFest are being held at the same time this year — on purpose — on the second weekend in September.
Says Jason Syvixay of Downtown BIZ: "We want to celebrate aboriginal culture and make sure they are included in the downtown fabric. And one of Manito Ahbee's goals is to incorporate other cultures into their festival." So, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has decided to make Edmonton Street into a connecting walkway between the two festivals that weekend.
It starts with an indigenous music stage on Broadway at Edmonton Street. Musicians, artists, crafters, buskers and drumming circles will be set up on Edmonton to Graham Avenue. That's where will people turn off at the Manitoba Hydro building to get to Manito Ahbee at the MTS Centre. The aboriginal stage on Broadway will be going full-tilt Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"There's a different act every hour and many will be indigenous music nominees, the cream of the crop," says Syvixay. If people have more ideas on what could go on Edmonton Street, call him at 204-958-4640.
TUTTI FRUTTI LINEUPS: Why is it the little Tutti Frutti shop at 1130 Taylor Ave., way off the main drag, is attracting lineups through the shop and out the door? Because it's like a party in there.
Supervisor Virginia Reyta, known as "Vigie," is to blame. She treats everyone like they're a guest in her house. And they've introduced Americano coffees, specialty teas and now crepes.
Reyta is a cook and has been a caterer for many parties; she whips up the crepes on a circular grill and customers use them to roll up fillings and their choices of 36 toppings (many kinds of fruit, chocolate and candies). It's a fancier alternative to a dish of yogurt, which Tutti Frutti also sells.
Where do the lineups come from? "We get all kinds of teams here, like soccer and swimmers and basketball, and the shoppers from Sobeys and other stores, big families and people on dates," Reyta says. "The food is really good here and we have non-dairy yogurts too!"
Got tips, events, special events going on? Call the tip line at 204-474-1116 or write Maureen Scurfield c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, Mb. R2X 3B6.