Ben Waldman

Ben Waldman

Reporter

Ben Waldman appreciates a good story. Here’s his.

Ben was born in Winnipeg in 1995 to parents who inspired in him a love of learning, a sense of curiosity, and above all, a commitment to do the right thing. It took until he wrote the previous sentence for him to realize it, but in retrospect, a career in journalism has always made perfect sense.

Raised on McAdam Avenue, he could be seen drawing cartoons, doing silly impersonations, shooting — and occasionally swishing — jump shots in the back lane, and playing soccer for the Sinclair Park Falcons with a huge chip on his shoulder.

His education came from school, but he learned most of what he needed to know about the world at Camp Massad, where he spent nine summers as a camper and five as a counsellor. At camp, Ben channeled his creative energy, writing epic plays with his friends, discovering the value of schtick, and learning a lesson that his mom — an early childhood educator — would have appreciated: there is more to every kid, and therefore every person, than what shows on the surface.

That idea is a driving force in Ben’s idea of journalism, and he put it into practice at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism, from which he graduated in 2018 with the gold medal and a number of other awards his classmates deserved more.

While a student at Ryerson, he wrote and edited for The Eyeopener and was a managing editor for the Ryerson Review of Journalism. He sent three clips of his work in The Eyeopener to the Winnipeg Free Press in November 2016, leading to his first internship at his hometown paper.

The next two summers, he interned again. In September 2018, he began a year-long freelancing journey, publishing work in Maclean’s, Chatelaine, Toronto Life, Sharp Magazine, the United Church Observer, and the Globe and Mail, while also writing local news and long-form journalism for the Free Press.

In October 2019, he joined the Free Press full time.

That’s his story. He’s sticking to it.

Recent articles of Ben Waldman

City’s fall theatre season brings a bumper crop of live delights

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Preview

City’s fall theatre season brings a bumper crop of live delights

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Friday, Sep. 30, 2022

Well, summer is officially over. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the changing of the seasons brings with it some benefits: the temporary utility of light jackets, the beautiful foliage on the trees and the satisfying crunch of the fallen leaves under our feet.

Autumn also brings a new season of theatre, and in Winnipeg there’s a lot to see, including some productions that have been hotly anticipated since before the pandemic began.

The Free Press has a quick round-up of some of the shows, which — barring any scheduling changes — will see the curtains raised over the coming weeks.

OCTOBER●The Velveteen Rabbit, by Purni Morell with music by Jason Carr

Friday, Sep. 30, 2022

Raugi Yu stars in Bad Parent; the Ins Choi play finally makes it to Prairie Theatre Exchange in November after being canclled twice. (Supplied)

New statue of former Jet Dale Hawerchuk captures his spirit

Ben Waldman 6 minute read Preview

New statue of former Jet Dale Hawerchuk captures his spirit

Ben Waldman 6 minute read Friday, Sep. 30, 2022

The American sculptor Erik Blome was in Uganda teaching bronze-casting when he typed “Dale Hawerchuk” into Google.

Blome, who lives and works in Woodstock, Ill., considers himself a hockey fan, and though he remembered the exploits of the late Jets captain — who exploded onto the NHL scene in 1981 to win the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year and scored more than 1,400 points in a 17-year career — the artist needed to brush up on the man known as Ducky.

He needed to understand Hawerchuk on a level deeper than goals (518, including seven 40-goal years with the Jets) and assists (never fewer than 51 in a season with Winnipeg). He needed to learn how Hawerchuk pushed off to glide across the blue line, the way he dug for the puck in the corners, the way he celebrated, the way he shouted and the way his face looked when he was hard at work.

Was Hawerchuk graceful, gritty, or a little bit of both?

Friday, Sep. 30, 2022

Sculptor Erik Blome's (right) statue of Dale Hawerchuk will be unveiled on Saturday. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Winnipeg man skates to remember residential school victims

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Preview

Winnipeg man skates to remember residential school victims

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022

On the most famous street in Winnipeg, Alan Young stickhandles past invisible defenders. He dekes left, he dekes right, accelerating like the semi-trucks that speed past him before stopping gracefully at Portage Avenue and Sherbrook Street.

He stands out, not just because he’s six-feet tall, wearing Rollerblades, holding a beat-up hockey stick, and moving around effortlessly.

Young is impossible to miss because of his orange, black and white attire.

From far away, it looks like a Philadelphia Flyers jersey is clinging to Young’s frame, but that’s not it. There’s a much more serious logo on the front, and a much more solemn message on the back.

Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Alan Young is the son of residential school survivors, and growing up in Cross Lake and Bloodvein, the horror stories written at those institutions were both quiet and loud, known and unknown, unspoken yet heard.

Songs in the key of love

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Preview

Songs in the key of love

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 27, 2022

Peter Morin and Jimmie Kilpatrick used to go to church together.

It wasn’t in a cathedral, with wooden pews and stained glass. It was at a bar in Brandon called the Double Decker, and the hymns they sang were written by Cat Stevens, Tina Turner or Cher.

“We called it the church of karaoke,” says Kilpatrick, a Brandon-based artist who’s performed solo as Shotgun Jimmie and in groups such as Shotgun and Jaybird. “Thursday night at the Double Decker, I guess you could say we gathered for mass.”

Though they laugh about it, Kilpatrick and Morin, a performance artist and a program director at the Ontario College of Art and Design, take karaoke very seriously. It’s an artform in itself, elevating music to communal experience, transforming average people into headliners and a dingy bar into a concert hall.

Tuesday, Sep. 27, 2022

Huimin (Daisy) Wu photo

Peter Morin, left, and Jimmie Kilpatrick have made an album using karaoke to critique colonization and get people singing the same tune.

Running to conquer and reclaim

Ben Waldman 5 minute read Preview

Running to conquer and reclaim

Ben Waldman 5 minute read Monday, Sep. 26, 2022

The winter winds were howling and snow was falling in 1967 when Charlie Bittern was tossed from the car and forced to run.

He’d done nothing wrong. But that didn’t matter to the principal of the Birtle Indian Residential School, who was chauffeuring the 19-year-old and his friend Bernell home after a trip to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, where a bull the two raised was entered in competition.

The ride home should have been celebratory.

At Birtle, where the students farmed, Bittern took Bernell under his wing. In a place like that, meant to destroy both the person and the people, sticking together was a matter of survival.

Monday, Sep. 26, 2022

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

‘I felt light.’ Revisiting the traumatizing 80-kilometre run, this time accompanied by an elder, family and friends, was a liberating experience, says Charlie Bittern, here at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights where the documentary about his experience, Bimibatoo-win: Where I Ran, will be screened today.

Ukrainian exhibit tells story of war through eyes of artists

Ben Waldman 3 minute read Preview

Ukrainian exhibit tells story of war through eyes of artists

Ben Waldman 3 minute read Friday, Sep. 23, 2022

‘Will I be fast enough to reach the bomb shelter?”

That’s the question asked by a woman cooking her breakfast in an illustration by Kyiv-based illustrator Anna Sarvira. Behind the woman, warheads fall. She may not have enough time.

It’s a startling depiction of the trauma of conflict: even the most mundane, quotidian activities — making eggs, going to the grocery store, cracking a window to let in a cool breeze — become fraught with risk, doubt and paranoia. It’s a reality those in Ukraine have been reliving day after day for seven months since the Russian invasion. In a war zone, life moves at a scattered, unpredictable pace.

This lived experience is at the core of an impressive exhibition of Ukrainian digital art at Winnipeg’s Oseredok, where 50 pieces grace displays in one of the cultural centre’s open gallery spaces. The collection is being shown during a two-day pop-up event coinciding with Nuit Blanche, with proceeds going toward English classes at Oseredok for Ukrainian refugees. Each piece in the collection was created during the still-occurring occupation of Ukraine by members of the Pictoric art collective, showing the experience of war through the individual prisms of each member.

Friday, Sep. 23, 2022

he Picoric exhibit at the Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Education Centre (184 Alexander Ave. E.) is open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to midnight. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

Café leaves underground behind for Corydon corner

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Preview

Café leaves underground behind for Corydon corner

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Friday, Sep. 23, 2022

An independent Winnipeg coffee company has shuffled the links in its chain, closing its Portage and Main underground kiosk and opening a 1,300 square-foot cafe on Corydon Avenue.

Thom Bargen Coffee Roasters opened in the Portage and Main “Circus” kiosk in 2018 in an attempt to provide downtown workers with their daily caffeine. For a while, that formula worked, but the work-from-home adaptations of the pandemic dealt a heavy blow to the small satellite location. Similar pains were felt at the company’s Kennedy Street spot, which was the busiest location on a per-minute basis prior to the pandemic, co-owner Graham Bargen says.

The company’s Sherbrook Street shop temporarily transformed into a hub for online retail and merchandise sales, and the company began roasting its own coffee at a West End brewery, but when pandemic restrictions eased, the crowds started to come back, pushing the entrepreneurs to look elsewhere for a new seven-day-a-week shop.

Bargen and co-owner Thom Hiebert looked to their old sipping grounds on Corydon Avenue.

Friday, Sep. 23, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Thom Bargen co-owner Graham Bargen has big plans for the coffee shop’s new Corydon Avenue location, on a very busy, very competitive café stretch.

What’s up

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Ben Sigurdson, Ben Waldman and Jill Wilson 6 minute read Preview

What’s up

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Ben Sigurdson, Ben Waldman and Jill Wilson 6 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2022

Musical collision between Crash Test Dummies and the WSOFriday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Centennial Concert Hall

Tickets: $25-$89 at wso.ca

There will be anniversaries galore when the Crash Test Dummies take the Centennial Concert Hall stage with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2022

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Wine lovers will sniff, swirl and sip at the convention centre this weekend.

Yvette Nolan’s pandemic play remains painfully relevant

Ben Waldman 5 minute read Preview

Yvette Nolan’s pandemic play remains painfully relevant

Ben Waldman 5 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2022

When she wrote it, Yvette Nolan didn’t think a play meant to welcome audiences back to the theatre and alleviate their worries would be necessary two years into the pandemic.

Foolishly, she says, she and everyone else thought everything would be roughly back to normal by now.

But Nolan’s Katharsis, a digital performance starring Tracey Nepinak and devised for Prairie Theatre Exchange in the fall of 2020, is just as relevant today as it was two long years ago.

In some ways, it’s taken on even more meaning.

Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2022

SUPPLIED

Playwright Yvette Nolan penned Katharsis in 2020 as a response to the pandemic.

Dilawri uses surplus land to branch out into residential rental sector

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Preview

Dilawri uses surplus land to branch out into residential rental sector

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Monday, Sep. 19, 2022

When it comes to selling souped-up sedans and sensible SUVs, Ashok Dilawri knows the industry inside and out. The head honcho of his family’s group of dealerships started in the car sales world nearly 50 years ago, back when auto sales were a money-losing business and he was a newcomer to Winnipeg trying to make an honest living.

But Dilawri persisted and built a company now composed of six Crown dealerships, three autobody shops, and no small amount of extra real estate.

On McPhillips Street, Dilawri purchased about 11 acres of land in the mid-2000s to build his Crown Honda dealership, but once the dealership was built, there was a significant slice of surplus land behind it. “I thought maybe I’d add more dealerships, or make it into a mini automall,” said Dilawri. “But most of the franchises were already in the area.”

So for over a decade, the land sat, in wait of a purpose. Then an idea struck: what if the land’s best use wasn’t in the industry Dilawri knew so well. What if it could be used for apartments instead? Dilawri had been inspired by certain apartments he’d seen during his winters snowbirding in Miami, and wanted to build something similar here.

Monday, Sep. 19, 2022

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Each of Sachi Apartments’ 124-unit rental units has a balcony, walk-in closets and in-suite laundry. In one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom formations, the prices start around $1,300 per month, topping out at around $2,000.

What’s up

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Ben Waldman and Ben Sigurdson 4 minute read Preview

What’s up

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Ben Waldman and Ben Sigurdson 4 minute read Thursday, Sep. 15, 2022

Page One: Writers fest kickoffTuesday, 7 p.m.Kilter Brewing Co., 450 Rue DeschambaultFree admission: register at thinairwinnipeg.ca

The return of Thin Air: Winnipeg International Writers Festival is reason enough to raise a glass to great books. And in that spirit, the fest is kicking of a month of readings, workshops and more at a local brewery tap room to help celebrate.

The in-person Page One event takes place Tuesday, Sept. 20, in the beautiful Kilter Brewing Co. tap room and will feature a variety of writers, musicians and more (like beer, for example) starting at 7 p.m.

Local author, actor and playwright Debbie Patterson and poet Laurent Poliquin will read from some of their writing, local duo Two Hip will play some tunes, and the night will end off with one of Thin Air’s most popular events — the Haiku Death Match, which sees readers and writers square off with their best impromptu short-form poetry.

Thursday, Sep. 15, 2022

J. PAT CARTER / ASSOCIATED PRESS FILES

Say how-doodle-doo to a rooster at Discover the Farm on Sunday.

‘Live mixtape’ brings together artists for one-time-only experience

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Preview

‘Live mixtape’ brings together artists for one-time-only experience

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2022

If you’ve been lucky enough to receive a mixtape, you understand the power of that gift. It’s not an impersonal greeting card bought off the rack at the drugstore, or a mass-marketed album that everybody else has in their collection.

A mixtape, a mix CD, or in our modern times, a personalized playlist, is an indication that someone, somewhere was thinking of you, and only you, and wanted to give you something to hear, feel, love and, hopefully, remember.

That’s sort of the emotional response Nestor Wynrush is hoping his latest project will deliver to those who are lucky enough to experience it.

Wynrush, a local artist and community organizer, has assembled a deep lineup of local hip-hop, R&B and spoken-word artists for what he calls a live mixtape, a show with no fewer than 15 local acts sharing the stage — each original performance serving as its own track inside a living, breathing cassette.

Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Andrew Sannie raps with Hera Nalam (left) and Daiisu behind at the rehearsal for The Live Mixtape.

Le Burger Week taste-off pits pricey patty against family-style fatboy

AV Kitching and Ben Waldman 5 minute read Preview

Le Burger Week taste-off pits pricey patty against family-style fatboy

AV Kitching and Ben Waldman 5 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2022

It’s a tale of two hamburgers.

The Rossini Burger at 529 Wellington — a Canadian Prime Grade tenderloin patty infused with black truffle, topped by brandy foie gras terrine, Canadian butter-poached lobster, Béarnaise, crispy red onions, heritage mixed greens and black truffle aioli — costs an eye-watering $100.

The Classic Fat Boy at the White Top Drive In — chili, cheese, tomato, lettuce, patty, bun — is just $7.15. The total cost of every single item on the menu — every burger, every hotdog, every permutation of french fry or poutine, every dessert, and a milkshake and soda to wash it down — is only slightly over $100 before tax.

Every restaurant participating in Le Burger Week approaches the annual gastronomic extravaganza with its own particular interpretation of a North American classic.

Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2022

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Le Burger Week offering from 529 Wellington Steakhouse is a towering sandwich topped with foie gras and lobster.

Forks event aims to challenge stigma around substance use disorders

Ben Waldman 3 minute read Preview

Forks event aims to challenge stigma around substance use disorders

Ben Waldman 3 minute read Friday, Sep. 9, 2022

To recover from a substance use disorder, or addiction, is a tremendous task that can seem at times insurmountable, especially without the proper support and community, says Ian Rabb.

Rabb knows first-hand: 21 years ago, the Winnipegger was “an everything addict.” But with a lot of help, Rabb managed to get sober and has spent years working to help others do the same.

His is a story that is too uncommon, he says. Though it’s difficult to accurately quantify, addiction and substance use disorders affect thousands of Manitobans each year, and throughout the pandemic, that proportion has risen substantially, says Marion Cooper, the CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Manitoba branch.

“We’ve seen a definite increase in levels of mental illness and distress, which often coincides with substance use and addiction,” says Cooper. Meanwhile, drug-related deaths and opioid poisonings also increased, with over 400 deaths recorded in Manitoba in 2021. An estimated two in 10 Manitobans have substance use problems, Cooper says.

Friday, Sep. 9, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

From left: Colleen Allan, Executive Director St. Raphael Wellness Centre, Greg Kyllo, Executive Director Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, Ian Rabb, Chief Clinics Officer and Marion Cooper, CEO Canadian Mental Health Association Manitoba branch.

Comics, art book festivals highlight local creators with workshops, exhibits and more

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Preview

Comics, art book festivals highlight local creators with workshops, exhibits and more

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Friday, Sep. 9, 2022

KAPOW!

Now that you’re paying attention: the Prairie Comics Festival is returning to Winnipeg this weekend at the West End Cultural Centre.

But Spider-Man won’t be there, nor will the Batman. Wonder Woman sent her regrets.

Fear not, says festival co-founder Sam Beiko: the comic heroes we need — nay, the comic heroes we deserve — live right here in Peg City.

Friday, Sep. 9, 2022

SUPPLIED

City brewery changing label out of respect for MMIWG crisis

Ben Waldman 2 minute read Preview

City brewery changing label out of respect for MMIWG crisis

Ben Waldman 2 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022

A Winnipeg brewery is changing the label of one of its beers, recognizing the original branding could be seen as disrespectful in the context of Canada’s ongoing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis.

Stone Angel Brewing Co.’s Redhanded Irish Red Ale was introduced five years ago with a stylized red hand on its label, meant to evoke the Red Hand of Ulster, a historical emblem chosen to evoke the company’s majority Irish ownership.

“This week we have been asked to stop using that image,” Stone Angel’s president Paul McMullan wrote in a blog post on the brewery’s website. “When the reasons were made clear to us, we absolutely agreed.”

In recent years, McMullan wrote, a very similar red hand has become a symbolic representation in raising awareness of the ongoing violence against Indigenous women in Canada. Often depicted across the mouth, the red hand is also considered a metaphor for the silencing of Indigenous women throughout history as a result of colonialism.

Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022

The stylized red hand on Stone Angel Brewing Co.’s Redhanded Irish Red Ale was meant to evoke the Red Hand of Ulster, a historical emblem chosen to evoke the company’s majority Irish ownership. (Supplied)

For film prof Howard Curle, teaching was as important as listening and learning

Ben Waldman 7 minute read Preview

For film prof Howard Curle, teaching was as important as listening and learning

Ben Waldman 7 minute read Saturday, Sep. 3, 2022

Howard Curle was not the type of professor who bolted out the door the moment his lecture ended.

That wasn’t his style; the bare minimum was nowhere near enough. His office hours were actual hours. When he wanted students to understand a concept in practice, he wouldn’t simply tell them to go watch the work of the Italian director Vittorio De Sica: he would hand over a copy of Umberto D at the next class.

When his students at the universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba were creating short films, Curle didn’t wait until the projects were submitted to leave his mark. He accepted invitations to visit the set, and would do whatever needed to be done: holding microphones, working a light and often standing in front of the lens for a cameo. He knew what it meant to make a movie.

“Any time anyone asked him to act, he did,” says University of Winnipeg associate professor John Kozak, who was Curle’s friend since 1973. “There are a lot of films out there, somewhere, that have a bit of Howard in them.”

Saturday, Sep. 3, 2022

University of Winnipeg film professor Howard Curle died on Aug. 12 of multiple myeloma. (Alana Trachenko / The Uniter files)

Crossword-lovers clued in early and have been getting their fill for nearly a century

Ben Waldman, Puzzle by Ben Waldman and Wendy Sawatzky 12 minute read Preview

Crossword-lovers clued in early and have been getting their fill for nearly a century

Ben Waldman, Puzzle by Ben Waldman and Wendy Sawatzky 12 minute read Friday, Sep. 2, 2022

They do it on the (45 Across). They do it while masticating their (19 Across). And sometimes, they do it while headed to their (15 Across) in far-off oases, encircled by majestic (5 Down) trees, with the pitter-patter of a late summer rain hitting the windshield.

Some do it in (35 Down). Others use pencil. “If I’m desperate, I’ll use lipstick,” says Jeni Wykes.

They (27 Across) at it. They anticipate it. They cackle at it. They (41 Down) over it. Sometimes, so much so they consider launching it across the room like a (27 Down) rocket.

The blank squares mock them. They laugh at them. Ha! Good luck, they shout.

Friday, Sep. 2, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The hands of Jeni Wykes, working on a crossword at home.

A daily rite in black and white (full text, without crossword clues)

Ben Waldman 11 minute read Preview

A daily rite in black and white (full text, without crossword clues)

Ben Waldman 11 minute read Friday, Sep. 2, 2022

They do it on the porch. They do it while masticating their breakfast. And sometimes, they do it while headed to their cabin in far-off oases, encircled by majestic birch trees, with the pitter-patter of a late summer rain hitting the windshield.

Some do it in pen. Others use pencil. “If I’m desperate, I’ll use lipstick,” says Jeni Wykes.

They swear at it. They anticipate it. They cackle at it. They stew over it. Sometimes, so much so they consider launching it across the room like a Soyuz rocket.

The blank squares mock them. They laugh at them. Ha! Good luck, they shout.

Friday, Sep. 2, 2022

Sibling filmmakers’ quirky short vying for $30K prize

Ben Waldman 3 minute read Preview

Sibling filmmakers’ quirky short vying for $30K prize

Ben Waldman 3 minute read Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022

Siblings Taylor and Laina Brown live in the same house. As adults. With their partners. And get this: the two of them work together, too, doing something they’ve done since they were wearing Velcro shoes.

The Browns make movies.

Their earlier work, shot on camcorder in the early 2000s, was avant-garde and criminally underseen in the independent elementary school market. In King Crab, a pet crustacean faced off against toy knights and warriors. A homage to Japanese monster cinema and disaster films pitted a Beanie Baby citizenry against the Browns’ pet cat, who “Godzillaed” its way through the town, crushing whatever it walked by under the weight of its vicious and cuddly paws. The Beanie Babies gave their everything in service of their pint-sized directors’ vision.

For a while, the Browns — Taylor is 29, Laina is 32 — went their separate ways, working in creative pursuits such as wedding photography and commercial videography. But in 2015, they packed up from Saskatchewan and drove east, and by the next year, they’d started Folks Films, a production company.

Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022

Taylor and Laina Brown (Sierra Savannah photo)

What’s up

Eva Wasney, Jen Zoratti, Ben Waldman and Jill Wilson 4 minute read Preview

What’s up

Eva Wasney, Jen Zoratti, Ben Waldman and Jill Wilson 4 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022

Fantastic Beasts? Here’s where to find themCre8ery, 125 Adelaide St.Thursday to Sept. 6Free, masks mandatory

With his pencil, Chris Chuckry can do scary things. Terrifying things. Things that make you want to look away in disgust. Things that make you shake your head and bite your tongue. And that’s only describing his cartoons of health ministers, anti-vaxxers and a pair of Manitoba premiers.

But there’s more to the Winnipeg artist, who rocketed to local renown throughout the pandemic thanks to his sharp wit and sharp nib, than political commentary. Deep in the cockles of his heart, Chuckry prefers to draw beasts that nobody elected: grotesque, odd, strange, eerie, mythical creatures. A comic-book colourist, Chuckry has been immersed in alternate universes for decades, and with his new solo exhibition at Cre8ery, he’s inviting the rest of the world in to say hello.

The show is called Myths, Monsters and Fairytales, and one can be sure that Chuckry will find a common ground between the world of fable and the world we call home. Ogres, trolls, monsters, demons — they’re all around us. Scary, huh?

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022

Heather Dopson photo

The eighth annual Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday outside Portage la Prairie.

Deluxe apartment tower taking shape in Tuxedo

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Preview

Deluxe apartment tower taking shape in Tuxedo

Ben Waldman 4 minute read Monday, Aug. 22, 2022

The owners of a shopping strip in the city’s wealthiest neighbourhood have identified the site of a longtime gas station on Corydon Avenue as an untapped residential resource.

IG Mackenzie Real Property Fund, a mutual fund that has over $4.6 billion in assets, has decided to redevelop the former Shell Canada station, which operated for decades in the Tuxedo Park Shopping Centre, into a 13-storey, 84-unit deluxe rental apartment tower called Atelier Living.

In recent memory, there has been significant development of apartments in the Sterling Lyon area, which has become somewhat of a satellite of Tuxedo, but within the confines of the neighbourhood itself, large rental real estate of this size has not been added in years, said Allan Borodkin, president of Dynasty McCOR Development Inc.

Borodkin, whose company is serving as development manager for the project, said it will be the first residential investment in Winnipeg by the property fund, which holds several commercial assets in the city.

Monday, Aug. 22, 2022

SUPPLIED

The IG Mackenzie Real Property Fund is redeveloping the site of the former Shell Canada station the Tuxedo Park Shopping Centre and building a 13-storey, 84-unit deluxe rental apartment tower called Atelier Living.

Familiar tale takes on new hues in vibrant Rainbow Stage production

Ben Waldman 5 minute read Preview

Familiar tale takes on new hues in vibrant Rainbow Stage production

Ben Waldman 5 minute read Friday, Aug. 19, 2022

A tornado touched down and ripped the picket fence out from the ground. Farmhands struggled to hold onto their Stetsons. An old meanie on a bicycle went up into the sky without a ramp. And a young girl was transported from a small town in the middle of America to a lollipop forest in the middle of somewhere else.

We weren’t in Kildonan Park anymore.

The musical version of The Wizard of Oz, which premièred at Rainbow Stage Thursday night, is not a new story. It is based on writings by L. Frank Baum, first published in 1900, which were then adapted for the stage in 1902, and which were then adapted for the screen, premièring on Aug. 21, 1939, 83 years ago this weekend.

Since Baum’s first manuscripts were typed, the Wiz has not stopped casting its spell.

Friday, Aug. 19, 2022

ROBERT TINKER PHOTO

Rainbow Stage’s production of The Wizard of Oz casts a colouful spell with a strong ensemble cast.

Winnipeg man’s Instagram campaign to bring back Whistle Dog a real wiener

Ben Waldman 7 minute read Preview

Winnipeg man’s Instagram campaign to bring back Whistle Dog a real wiener

Ben Waldman 7 minute read Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022

The Whistle Dog was dead, but Peter Doroshuk wanted another. It had been four years since fast-food chain A&W — known for its burgers, onion rings and root beer — removed its snappy, bisected pork wiener from its menu, but in the spring of 2021, there lingered inside Doroshuk’s stomach an insatiable craving for one more dog.

Doroshuk, 35, a financial planner who majored in English, could have bought a frankfurter from the grocery store, sliced it down the middle, slapped it in a pan, fried up some bacon, melted some cheddar, unscrewed a jar of relish, put the whole thing inside a white-bread bun and made a homemade version in his kitchen.

Instead, he opened up Instagram, went to A&W’s profile, and let his thumbs do the talking.

“Bring back the Whistle Dog,” he wrote under one photo. He wrote it again and again, and again. Underneath a picture of a pedestrian in runners carrying a tray of java, the restaurant’s social media managers wrote the following caption: “A coffee run still counts as a run if you put the right shoes on.”

Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The whimsical mission was an impassioned comedic bit, meant to give him and a few friends a smile, but Peter Doroshuk had an honest affinity for the menu item.