David Sanderson

Dave Sanderson was born in Regina but please, don’t hold that against him. 

Dave studied journalism at Red River College. After completing that school’s Creative Communications course, he helped launch the late, great entertainment rag, Winnipeg Music Notes. He also covered the local music scene for Winnipeg Alive, a mid-80s tabloid that paid its writers precisely zilch.

In 2003, Dave submitted a story to the Free Press, back when the paper had an open column titled The View From Here. He was shocked when former Free Press editor Margo Goodhand called to say she enjoyed his piece and that he could expect to see it in print the following day.

Almost overnight, Dave became a regular contributor to The View From Here – to the degree other people hoping to get published complained to Goodhand, saying her “open” column wasn’t so open, after all. In February 2004, Goodhand told Dave one of her regular freelance writers was holidaying in Mexico for a month. She asked him if he would like to take that person’s place, while she was away. He has been writing for the Free Press on a weekly basis, ever since.

As a general feature writer for the 49.8 section – and the person responsible for the Sunday Free Press’s This City column – Dave is afforded the opportunity to write about anything under the sun. Check that: anything under a Canadian Prairie sun.

Since 2005, he has also handled the Free Press’s collectibles “beat,” an assignment that has allowed him to sit down with folks who collect everything from moustache cups to player pianos to airplane barf bags (unused).

If you want to reach Dave, you’ll have to knock on his door. He has never owned a cell phone in his life and his next text message will be his first. Worse still, the married father of one has yet to see an episode of The Simpsons, a personality quirk his long-time editor and chum, Jill Wilson, finds almost unforgivable.

Recent articles of David Sanderson

Entrepreneur’s confections gain wider market exposure

David Sanderson 8 minute read Preview

Entrepreneur’s confections gain wider market exposure

David Sanderson 8 minute read Friday, Dec. 2, 2022

GARSON — We have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is, if one of your family’s preferred, yuletide treats is peppermint bark, a sheet confection similar in presentation to peanut brittle that typically pairs chocolate with shards of candy cane, you may be out of luck, no matter how naughty or nice you’ve been.

That’s because for the second winter in a row, there is a global candy cane shortage, as production of peppermint oil continues to be down significantly, owing to supply-chain issues.

Now for the good news; Jenna Cadorath is the founder of Bonbon Bark, a four-year-old venture that offers four varieties of gourmet bark, none of which calls for candy canes as an ingredient. For example, Tasty Turtle, her top seller, combines unsweetened chocolate with walnuts and cocoa butter, while her gluten-free Rockin’ Raz bark contains raspberry, lemon, almonds and soy.

Friday, Dec. 2, 2022

Cadorath swirls her candy bark. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

La Liga Soccer geared up for World Cup 12 months in advance

David Sanderson 8 minute read Preview

La Liga Soccer geared up for World Cup 12 months in advance

David Sanderson 8 minute read Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022

It’s the first Sunday morning of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and Cecilia Castro pauses in mid-sentence, saying, “Sorry, but I need to watch this,” as she nods toward a big-screen television mounted on the wall to her right.

Apparently, someone has just registered the first goal of the tournament in a game pitting Ecuador against host nation Qatar. Satisfied it was Ecuadoran captain Emmer Valencia who nailed the penalty, Castro returns to her conversation, explaining it’s important she knows who comes out on top, so she’ll be fully prepared when that country’s fans show up in a celebratory mood post-match, looking for a jersey or flag.

Castro, you see, is the owner of La Liga Soccer, a retail operation at 871 Waverley St. wholly devoted to the beautiful game. Moments later, after the South American nation seemingly seals the victory with a second tally at the 30-minute mark, the mother of three grown children laughs, saying she never needs a guide to know when an important soccer match is on TV. That’s because if it’s an elimination game between, say, France and England, or a Serie A showdown between Inter Milan and Juventus, it’s highly likely she won’t greet a single customer for two hours or so, what with everybody glued to the action.

“That’s OK, though,” she says, adjusting a display of red-and-white Canada jerseys, which she anticipates selling out of in the days ahead, especially if Les Rouges have a strong showing in Qatar. “I want to watch, too, so it’s better if things aren’t too busy.”

Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022

Cecilia Castro, owner of La Liga, the city’s top, all-things-soccer store. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

De Nardi family celebrates a half century in the food-and-wine biz

David Sanderson 9 minute read Preview

De Nardi family celebrates a half century in the food-and-wine biz

David Sanderson 9 minute read Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

Before we get to today’s story toasting the De Nardi family’s 50th anniversary in the food-and-wine biz, Ugo and Maria De Nardi, who along with their grown children Tom and Liana own and operate specialty grocery centre Piazza De Nardi at 1360 Taylor Ave., would like to acknowledge the pivotal role Transit Tom played in their many accomplishments.

Maria was 18 years old in 1961, living with her Italian-born parents on Jessie Avenue, in Winnipeg’s Earl Grey neighbourhood. Bright and early every Sunday morning, she would catch a bus at the corner of Pembina Highway and Daly Street, to attend mass at Holy Rosary Church, then located on Sherbrook Street. Ugo, whose parents hailed from Treviso, Italy, was part of the congregation there, as well, and because he lived a few streets over from Maria, he often boarded the same, church-bound bus as her.

One Sunday, after taking a seat near the driver, Maria noticed Ugo, two years her senior, looking over at her with a smile on his face. Though they’d never been formally introduced, she knew him to say hello, so she returned his gaze. It was at that point he patted an empty spot on the bench beside him, as if signalling her to join him.

“He likes to tell everybody how I used to stare at him on the bus, and that’s why he invited me over, but that’s not the way I remember it,” Maria says with a chuckle, seated across from her son in a banquet room on Piazza De Nardi’s mezzanine level. “In response, I made a motion with my own hand, meaning if he wanted to sit next to me, he’d have to be the one who walked over. That’s precisely what he did, and we’ve been together ever since.”

Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

Ugo and Maria De Nardi, owners of Piazza De Nardi, are celebating their 50th anniversary in the food and grocery business. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

Entrepreneur crafts bespoke pack for backyard rink rats

David Sanderson 7 minute read Preview

Entrepreneur crafts bespoke pack for backyard rink rats

David Sanderson 7 minute read Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022

Big league scouts on the hunt for the next Great One might want to sneak a peek over their neighbour’s fence.

According to RinkWatch, an Ontario-based environmental initiative that tracks the number of outdoor skating surfaces fashioned annually in Canada and as far away as Sweden and Finland, backyard rinks — the sort Wayne Gretzky has often credited for helping to develop his skills at an early age — regained their sheen at the height of the pandemic, when most indoor facilities were closed to the general public.

One Facebook group devoted to the how-tos of maintaining an expertly manicured, backyard sheet of ice saw its membership more than double, from 10,000 to 21,000, between January 2020 and January 2021. Meanwhile, those in the business of marketing rink kits that contain plastic liners, boards and nets, could hardly keep up with demand last winter, and, judging from pre-orders this fall, expect to be just as flooded with sales, this season.

On that note, meet Eric Morrish, founder of Pigeon Hockey Supply Co., a Winnipeg venture specifically aimed at the outdoor rink, or, as he puts it, ODR, crowd.

Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Eric Morrish tries to advertise his pigeon pack as often as possible during the winter months if he’s headed to a community club rink down the street or the Nestaweya River Trail along the Red and Assiniboine rivers.

Newspaper enthusiast stockpiles a personal archive

David Sanderson 8 minute read Preview

Newspaper enthusiast stockpiles a personal archive

David Sanderson 8 minute read Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

EAST ST. PAUL — Over time, this writer has penned in the neighbourhood of 200 stories primarily focused on what individuals collect and why. That includes a gent in Italy who had amassed close to 5,000 hotel do-not-disturb signs, a grandmother in Boissevain who lovingly stored hundreds of antique salt-and-pepper sets in a large, wooden hutch, and a fellow in Southdale in possession of a few thousand casino poker chips, every last one of which remained uncashed.

To say that nothing stops us in our tracks any longer when it comes to collectibles isn’t an exaggeration. (OK, that’s not entirely true; we’ll never forget arriving at a home in St. James, to view a mechanic’s display of antique pencil sharpeners, only to be led through a space where dozens of vintage cuckoo clocks were tick-tick-ticking away. Yeah, he had meant to warn us about those, the homeowner said, when we remarked we were no longer interested in discussing his pencil sharpeners.)

Still, imagine how pleasantly surprised we were to hook up with Craig Steffano, a provincial government employee whose collecting area of expertise — Winnipeg newspapers from days gone by — is timely indeed, given the daily you’re currently perusing will toast its sesquicentennial birthday, later this month.

“I’ve always been a voracious reader, right back to when I was a kid,” says the married father of eight, seated in the living room of his and his wife Heidi’s spacious East St. Paul abode. “I don’t know if it’s a generational thing, but I still enjoy the tactile feel of having something in my hands, whether it’s a magazine or newspaper. Often when I’m on the bus, I’ll look around and notice I’m the only one holding a book, instead of a phone.”

Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

An old Tribune newspaper box is one of Steffano’s prized items in his collection.

DJ played the Beatles on CKY 60 years ago, six months before anyone else in N.A.

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DJ played the Beatles on CKY 60 years ago, six months before anyone else in N.A.

David Sanderson 7 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

We loved them, yeah, yeah, yeah.

There was a period in the mid-1960s when Winnipeg was being referred to as Canada’s Liverpool, owing to a thriving music scene that came close to rivalling what was taking place across the pond, in the Merseyside city that spawned Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Searchers and Cilla Black. Oh, and four mop-topped lads collectively known as the Beatles.

Given that tag, it’s only fitting that 60 years ago this week, a Winnipeg radio announcer, Dennis (Deno) Corrie, became the first disc jockey in North America to spin a tune by the Fab Four, when he dropped the needle on Love Me Do, the group’s official debut single.

Short of carbon-dating a 45 RPM record, how can Corrie be so certain he was numero uno? That’s easy, he replies, when reached at home in Calgary, where he’s lived since 1965. He has been making that claim since November 1962, and nobody has tapped him on the shoulder to correct him, yet.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Supplied

Deno Corrie gives Radio Luxembourg credit for the world’s first radio broadcast of a Beatles song, but he was the first in North America.

Steinbach’s very own record store an experience in nostalgia

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Steinbach’s very own record store an experience in nostalgia

David Sanderson 8 minute read Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022

STEINBACH — S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night!

For a person who chose Vinyl Experience as the tag for his new-and-used music store, Phil Wiens is surprisingly hesitant to take a trip down memory lane, when probed about his own initial experience with the format, which has been enjoying a renaissance lately.

Concerned his rock ’n’ roll reputation is going to take a direct hit if the truth gets out, Wiens, seated near a display wall adorned with coloured drawings of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, hems and haws before going, “ah, what the heck.”

The year was 1976. Wiens, now 61, was a student at Blumenort School, located a kilometre or so from the rural property he and his parents called home. One afternoon he paid a visit to Able Sound, in nearby Steinbach. He was familiar with the place as he’d bought a few 45 RPM singles there already, but this day was different: he had finally saved enough scratch to purchase his first, long-playing record.

Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Phil Wiens, owner of Vinyl Experience, was a long-haul truck driver for years and decided, after his life circumstances changed, to open his own music store in Steinbach.

Centenarian vets remain humble about roles in Second World War

David Sanderson 9 minute read Preview

Centenarian vets remain humble about roles in Second World War

David Sanderson 9 minute read Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

Despite the fact they have never met, Jean Poirier and Jim Magill have a great deal in common.

For starters, both moved to Winnipeg in their late teens, Poirier from Lorette, where he was one of 12 siblings, and Magill from Saskatoon, where he grew up the eldest of four. Magill, a retired Canadian National Railway employee, was married to his wife Evelyn — “a real peach,” he calls her — for 61 years before her death in 2010. Poirier, who ran his own electric services business until the early 1980s, and his wife Flora have been together for 65 years, having tied the knot in 1957.

Furthermore, not only did each man serve during the Second World War — Magill as a bombardier with the Royal Canadian Air Force and Poirier as a soldier with the Second Division of the First Canadian Army — they both toasted their centenary birthday earlier this year. Poirier turned 100 in January, with Magill following suit in July. (The latter breaks into a smile, mentioning the Patsy Cline impersonator his children hired for the occasion, the late country artist being one of his favourite singers.)

Magill, whose younger brother Jack was also in the air force, waves his hand when the word “hero” is brought up in regards to his military career, saying there was nothing heroic in the least about doing one’s job. The government of France begs to differ. In April 2018, Magill was knighted by a French consul during an official ceremony for his role in helping liberate France from Germany during the war.

Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jean Poirier with with his wife, Flo, of 65 years.

At home on the airwaves

David Sanderson 10 minute read Preview

At home on the airwaves

David Sanderson 10 minute read Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

She can laugh about it now. Almost.

Three years ago next month, veteran radio personality Kathy Kennedy, who can presently be heard on 680 CJOB, sat down with the Free Press to discuss her 30-plus year career, as well as a side gig that has made the fingers on her right hand arguably the most recognizable digits in the province.

No sooner had we put the finishing touches on a piece that touched on her duties as the TV host of Kinsmen Jackpot Bingo, which airs every Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on the local CTV affiliate, than the proverbial poop hit the fan.

Days after a lucky Manitoban claimed a jackpot prize of close to $400,000, a few eagle-eyed viewers contacted the station, to report one of the 75 bingo balls appeared to be AWOL, prior to the lot being loaded into a machine that spits them out, one by one, until a winner is declared.

Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Kathy Kennedy works on-air from her home recently. She credits her strong, smooth broadcasting voice to the coaching of the station manager at CFRY in Portage la Prairie, one of her first radio jobs

A mobile feast

David Sanderson 7 minute read Preview

A mobile feast

David Sanderson 7 minute read Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022

Eat, walk, repeat.

Ticketed food tours were one of the fastest growing travel trends in 2019. COVID-19 obviously had something to say about that, but now that the hospitality industry has largely returned to normal, groups of people are again being afforded the opportunity to head out on gastronomic adventures, by following a learned guide from one dining spot to another, to sample fare in a specific part of a city or region.

That brings us to Matthew Singer, a project archeologist who is as adept at uncovering comestible gems as he is the igneous and metamorphic variety. The 49-year-old, who’s been with White Spruce Archeology since 2005, recently introduced DIY Food Tours, an online endeavour that offers recommendations to Winnipeggers who want to try something new, but aren’t sure where to go.

Let’s say you’re not overly familiar with the Exchange District and its cornucopia of funky restos. Singer has you covered.

Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Mercadito Latino, on Sargent Avenue, is one stop on Singer’s website, diyfoodtours.com.

Tipsy Cow is celebrating five years of dishing up burgers and booze

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Tipsy Cow is celebrating five years of dishing up burgers and booze

David Sanderson 7 minute read Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022

Upscale burger and local craft beer joint Tipsy Cow — home of the fittingly named dad bod burger, which boasts two five-ounce patties topped with bacon mayo, onion and applewood cheddar served on a freshly baked brioche bun — toasted its fifth anniversary a few weeks back.

OK, that may not sound like a major accomplishment in a burg populated by such hallowed dining spots as Rae & Jerry’s Steak House, which celebrated 65 years in business this spring, or Oscar’s Deli, which has been dishing out matzo ball soup and piled-high pastrami sandwiches — on rye, with hot mustard, please and thanks — to Winnipeggers since 1929.

What makes the Tipsy Cow’s most recent birthday noteworthy, mind you, is the fact the space it occupies was the very definition of high turnover before current owner Yang Meng arrived on the scene in the summer of 2017.

Mirlycourtois, Lindy’s on Portage, Manhattan Bistro, La Bamba Café & Lounge… even an old KFC franchise, says Meng, listing off a few of her predecessors at 285 Portage Ave., situated a slapshot east of Canada Life Centre.

Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Yang Meng opened the Tipsy Cow five years ago in a downtown location that had been home to myriad other restaurants over the years.

Fall-flavour newbie punches up Japanese-style baking with a pinch of seasonal pumpkin spice

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Fall-flavour newbie punches up Japanese-style baking with a pinch of seasonal pumpkin spice

David Sanderson 7 minute read Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022

If you can’t beat ’em, whisk ’em, mix ’em or sift ’em — join ’em.

Pumpkin spice is omnipresent this time of year, turning up in everything from beer to cream cheese to ramen noodles to Spam luncheon meat.

Still, it wasn’t until fairly recently that Yuka Katahira, owner of Yuka’s Japanese Bakery, gave the cinnamon-and-ginger-based concoction a try. Her latté must have hit the spot. Katahira, who founded her one-person operation, presently a bit of a sensation at farmer’s markets and pop-up events in and around the city, in May, has been toying around with the flavouring, ever since.

Her boyfriend told her about people’s obsession with pumpkin spice come fall, so she thought why not incorporate it into her melon buns and cream buns, Katahira says, seated on a metal stool inside Counter Space Community Kitchen, at 15 St. Anne’s Rd., where she bakes as many as five mornings a week, to keep up with demand for her products.

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022

Photos by MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Katahira at the Wolseley Farmer’s Market recently.

Businesses set themselves apart with amusing monikers

David Sanderson 7 minute read Preview

Businesses set themselves apart with amusing monikers

David Sanderson 7 minute read Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

A husband returns home from a walk, and informs his wife that moose are falling from the sky. “You’re mistaken,” she shoots back, “it’s reindeer.”

At long last, it’s time for some pun and games.

Following two years of virtual competitions thanks to you-know-what, the live version of the O. Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championships returns to Austin, Texas, this weekend. Since 1978, the daylong affair has invited word nerds to show off their prowess at what playwright Oscar Wilde once termed the lowest form of humour, by coming up with puns on the spot — a game of groans, if you will — covering a variety of pre-selected topics.

The same way they did pre-COVID, championship co-ordinator David Guggenheim expects participants to arrive from as far away as Europe and Australia for the pun-filled event, which has been featured in the pages of Smithsonian magazine, and on the popular CBS television program Sunday Morning.

Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Barb Burgess at her hair studio, From Hair to Eternity, 101-55 Nassau Street. See Dave Sanderson story 221004 - Tuesday, October 04, 2022.

Ringo Starr, from A to Z

David Sanderson 10 minute read Preview

Ringo Starr, from A to Z

David Sanderson 10 minute read Monday, Oct. 3, 2022

He gets by with a little help from his friends.

Drummer Ringo Starr brings the latest version of his All-Starr Band to Canada Life Centre for a performance Oct. 4.

By all accounts, this will mark the first time Starr, born Richard Starkey in 1940, will set foot on Manitoba soil since Aug. 18, 1964, when a plane transporting him and his Beatles cohorts to a show in San Francisco touched down in Winnipeg for refuelling purposes. (The lads were only on the ground for 24 minutes, but that was enough time for John Lennon to crack “That’s not my fault” when a local reporter introduced himself as “Bob Burns, from CJAY TV.”)

If you’re unfamiliar with the All-Starr Band project, it’s a supergroup of musicians fronted by Starr. The personnel changes from tour to tour, and everybody gets a turn to perform a tune or two of their own, in addition to accompanying their leader on songs he made famous as a member the Fab Four, and during a successful solo career. (Winnipeg’s Burton Cummings was among Starr’s enlistees in 1992, as was Randy Bachman three years later. The current lineup, version No. 15, includes Edgar Winter, Men at Work’s Colin Hay and Toto’s Steve Lukather.)

Monday, Oct. 3, 2022

Scott Gries/Invision Files

Ringo Starr, who turned 82 on July 7, fronts the All-Starr Band, which currently features Men at Work’s Colin Hay.

If a tree falls in the urban forest…

David Sanderson / Photos by Mike Deal 7 minute read Preview

If a tree falls in the urban forest…

David Sanderson / Photos by Mike Deal 7 minute read Friday, Sep. 30, 2022

Mike McGarry was having what he describes as one of the best days of his life.

It was July 2018, the then 26-year-old, together with his girlfriend Carlee Farmer, was working as a forest technician in Campbell River, B.C., and was seated in a helicopter, flying over a cedar forest that stretched as far as his eyes could see. It was a summer gig, both of them were due back at the University of Winnipeg in the fall to complete their degrees in Environmental Studies, but as he stared out the chopper’s windows, looking for areas that needed attention, he couldn’t help but think how amazing it would be, to be treated to that view every morning.

At the same time, something was gnawing away at him.

Back home, the city’s trees were succumbing to disease at an alarming rate. That was bothersome enough to a person majoring in forestry, except what also troubled McGarry, who grew up in River Heights, was the fact almost all of those felled timbers were destined for landfills. Given maladies such as Dutch elm disease affect only the bark of a tree, not the wood itself, he felt that was a tremendous waste of a valuable resource.

Friday, Sep. 30, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Carlee Farmer and her partner Mike McGarry, owners of Urban Lumber. They started Urban Lumber in May; instead of taking diseased elm & ash trees to the dump, etc., tree companies in town drop felled trees off at their facility, where it is converted into hardwood for use in furniture, cabinetry and live-edge tabletops.
See David Sanderson story
220927 - Tuesday, September 27, 2022.

Local canvas connoisseurs have city’s professional wrestling history covered

David Sanderson 7 minute read Preview

Local canvas connoisseurs have city’s professional wrestling history covered

David Sanderson 7 minute read Saturday, Sep. 24, 2022

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Forty years ago this week, tag team partners Dino Bravo and Rick Martel (Boo!) defeated Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell, a.k.a. the High Flyers (Yay!), in the main event of a six-match, American Wrestling Association (AWA) card held at Winnipeg Arena.

The reason we know this — along with the fact that Bobby “The Brain” Heenan won by disqualification over Ray “The Crippler” Stevens earlier that evening, and that there were 6,588 paying customers in the stands — is because Elmwood resident Dave Mollard spends the majority of his spare time chronicling every professional wrestling match staged in our fair burg, and has the posters, fan magazines, newspaper clippings… even a championship belt to prove it.

“For instance, it states here that on May 18, 1972, Dr. X fought Mad Dog (Vachon),” Mollard says, holding out a yellowed advertisement, which he keeps in a three-ring binder marked “1970s,” one of a dozen such tomes he’s compiled covering over 100 years of grappling.

Saturday, Sep. 24, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Curtis Howson, owner of First Row Collectibles, shows some of his wrestling collection (a Chris Jericho figurine).

Donut House celebrates 75 years

David Sanderson 10 minute read Preview

Donut House celebrates 75 years

David Sanderson 10 minute read Friday, Sep. 16, 2022

“Where have you been all my doughnut-lovin’ life?”

A woman who received a box of treats from the Donut House as a gift recently made her way to the North End mainstay from her home in St. Vital, looking to scoop up something similar for a friend. Upon her arrival, she informed Russ Meier, who succeeded his father Erhard as the bakery’s owner in July 2020, after the elder Meier died at age 85, that this was her first time in the store.

“How long has the shop been around?” she asked, gazing into the glass display case.

When he told her the Donut House — recognizable for its bright orange roof — got its start in 1947, she stared back at him like he was pulling her leg, says Meier, seated near a framed photograph of his father, who was still reporting for work every morning, right up until the day he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Friday, Sep. 16, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Meier waits with a batch of doughnuts that will be boxed and then shipped off to various grocery stores in the city.

Grandmother turns fence into little slice of Transcona fun

David Sanderson 6 minute read Preview

Grandmother turns fence into little slice of Transcona fun

David Sanderson 6 minute read Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022

Fran Doyle has lived in the same, grey-stucco bungalow at the southwest corner of Kildare Avenue East and Wayoata Street, deep in the heart of Transcona, for close to 50 years.

She and her late husband Jim, who died in February, nine days shy of his 69th birthday, purchased the tidily kept abode in 1973, two years after the high school sweethearts tied the knot at age 18.

Doyle never worked outside the home while their children, two sons and a daughter, were growing up. It wasn’t all preparing lunches, assisting with homework and dropping the kids off at soccer practice, mind you. The Louis Riel Collegiate grad always reserved time to feed her creative side, whether it was by drawing portraits of family and friends, turning out stained glass designs or teaching herself intarsia, a type of three-dimensional wood craft.

The grandmother of seven, who presently holds down a part-time job at a neighbourhood Safeway, was also responsible for all-things-painting. Her husband didn’t know one end of a paint brush from the other, she says with a chuckle, so it fell to her to ensure everything looked shipshape, inside and out.

Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Doyle fills in a character from the popular children’s film Toy Story.

New ice cream queens in town

David Sanderson 7 minute read Preview

New ice cream queens in town

David Sanderson 7 minute read Sunday, Sep. 4, 2022

When life gives you lemons, make lemon meringue ice cream.

Fête Ice Cream & Coffee, a boutique ice cream parlour/coffee house situated on the ground level of a downtown high-rise at 300 Assiniboine Ave., began welcoming customers in November 2019. Owners Teri-Lynn Friesen and Élise Page’s intention had been to open in August of that year, at the height of so-called ice cream season, but a series of delays associated with permits and licensing scuttled that notion.

Despite the setback, sales were steady enough those first few months that they reassured one another they should be OK, from a financial standpoint, if they could hang on until spring

“Then along comes COVID and suddenly we were like, ‘What were we thinking, opening a place of our own?’” says Friesen, seated next to Page in their cheery, 1,400-square-foot locale, which offers such creative flavours as blueberry-cheesecake, peanut butter-pretzel and honeycomb, the latter prepared with made-in-house sponge toffee.

Sunday, Sep. 4, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The funfetti flavour includes chunks of birthday cake.

Former Winnipegger has reunion with beloved GTO, 40 years after selling it

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Former Winnipegger has reunion with beloved GTO, 40 years after selling it

David Sanderson 7 minute read Friday, Sep. 2, 2022

They say you never forget your first love, and it would seem that’s especially true if said sweetheart sported a 350-horsepower engine, sat four of your closest friends and went from zero to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds.

Nolan Stoyko was 18 years old in 1979, when he scraped together the $2,700 necessary to purchase a mint-condition, 1969 Pontiac GTO, from a private owner in Windsor Park. Stoyko, a self-described car guy, wasn’t planning on using the two-door hardtop to get to and from a new, full-time job. No, he had a more utilitarian vehicle for that purpose. Rather, the Tec Voc grad intended to keep it as a classic muscle car, by storing it in his parents’ garage and taking it for a spin on special occasions only.

Stoyko left the city for California in 1982 to pursue a career in law enforcement. Because he couldn’t bring all his “toys” with him, he regrettably let the GTO go, but not before posing for a few pictures alongside it for old times’ sake.

Fast-forward to two Sundays ago. Stoyko, recently retired from his position as a Ventura County, Calif., deputy sheriff, was in Winnipeg for a month to catch up with family and friends. He was driving north on Main Street to visit his father’s gravesite in West St. Paul, when he recognized the unmistakable tail lights of a GTO about 100 metres ahead.

Friday, Sep. 2, 2022

Taking Salsa Sundays to True North Square proves popular

David Sanderson 8 minute read Preview

Taking Salsa Sundays to True North Square proves popular

David Sanderson 8 minute read Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

Bill it and they will come.

During July and August from 2005 to 2019, Leo Lopez was the ebullient host of Salsa Sundays, a free-to-the-public affair that invited one and all to try their hand, err… feet at Latin-style dancing under the canopy at The Forks.

The hugely popular event was shelved the last two years, owing to COVID-19, but was finally set to return July 3. Only instead of The Forks, Lopez and his entourage would now be cutting a rug at the plaza at True North Square, 251 Graham Ave.

Packed dance floors at The Forks, where thousands of people gather on a daily basis during the summer months, were pretty much guaranteed, says Lopez, whose dance studio Salsa Explosion, which he runs with his daughter Ana Karen Lopez, celebrated its 20th anniversary in the spring. But would that continue to be the case at True North Square, a section of the city generally lacking in foot traffic come the weekend, he wondered? Was Salsa Sundays a big enough draw on its own to justify the change in locale?

Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Leo Lopez and his daughter Ana Karen Lopez instruct a salsa class in their downtown studio.

Seamstress’s lifelong love goes from hobby to side hustle to full-time gig

David Sanderson 7 minute read Preview

Seamstress’s lifelong love goes from hobby to side hustle to full-time gig

David Sanderson 7 minute read Friday, Aug. 19, 2022

‘Get your fix: clothing repair businesses taking off,” blared a recent headline.

The accompanying article detailed how there appeared to be a shift in attitude during COVID when it comes to fashion sustainability. As more people realize how much of a negative impact clothing consumption annually has on the planet — according to statistics from the United Kingdom, approximately 600 million kilograms of clothing less than a year old winds up in landfills there — an increasing number started to do their utmost to prolong the life of what was already in their closet, by having it mended and such, or by limiting their purchases to previously owned garments only.

Little of that comes as an eye-opener to Anna-Marie Janzen, owner of Reclaim Mending, a West End business that has been taking something old and making it new again since 2016.

The longer she’s been at it, the more she’s witnessed people being “super-enthused” over getting a cherished sweater or pair of jeans restored, says Janzen, seated in a Westminster Avenue juice bar, dressed in a blue-and-white sleeveless top, tan pants and sandals, thrift-store finds, all.

Friday, Aug. 19, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Anna-Marie Janzen has a workshop in her home where she will repair and give new life to what’s in your closet.

Jardins St-Léon Gardens a bounty of family heritage, fine local products and produce

David Sanderson 8 minute read Preview

Jardins St-Léon Gardens a bounty of family heritage, fine local products and produce

David Sanderson 8 minute read Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: if you want to be the captain of a National Hockey League team, you need to shop like the captain of a National Hockey League team.

Last September, a woman with an infant in her arms was standing in front of the cash register at Jardins St-Léon Gardens, a fresh-air market at 419 St. Mary’s Rd., when she suddenly realized she had left home without her wallet, and was unable to pay for the items in her shopping cart. The couple directly behind her in line twigged into what was occurring and, despite her insisting otherwise, announced it was all good, they would happily cover the cost of her groceries.

The beneficiary tweeted about the kind deed later that day, to which somebody — who pointed out his daughter works at St-Léon — responded that the Good Samaritans-in-question were none other than Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler and his wife, Sam.

“I wasn’t here at the time but as soon as I saw all these tweets going back and forth, I was like, ‘How wonderful,’” says Colin Rémillard, 27, who, along with his brother Luc, 29, sister Janelle, 31, and cousin Daniel Rémillard, 40, succeeded his parents Denis and Lise as owners of Jardins St-Léon Gardens six years ago.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Business at Jardins St-Léon Gardens has more than doubled since the Rémillard offspring took over in 2016, but they are hesitant to claim the credit. ‘Everything we have we owe to our parents,’ says Colin Rémillard (from left), with brother Luc, sister Janelle and cousin Daniel.

Former Guess Who's Bill Wallace is playing the band’s material in a musical tribute

David Sanderson 10 minute read Preview

Former Guess Who's Bill Wallace is playing the band’s material in a musical tribute

David Sanderson 10 minute read Friday, Aug. 12, 2022

At some point during their show in Miles City, Mont., early next month, Bill Wallace will step to the microphone and introduce himself as the former bass player for the Guess Who, whose catalogue of songs he and those with him on stage that evening will be performing under the banner Carl Dixon Sings the Guess Who, Dixon also being the lead singer for Canadian rockers Coney Hatch.

Wallace will inform the crowd that this summer marks 50 years since he joined the Guess Who, playing in the band from 1972 to 1976 and, again, from 2000 to 2003, when the Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees regrouped for the highly successful Runnin’ Back Thru Canada tour.

Then, just before breaking into Hand Me Down World, one of 10 Guess Who singles that dented Billboard’s Top 20, he’ll mention having been the first person to ever belt out that particular tune, back when he was a member of Brother, the Winnipeg band that penned it a year before the Guess Who recorded it for its 1970 album, Share the Land.

“That’s usually when I crack a joke along the lines of, ‘Get a load of this; I’m now in a cover band, covering my own stuff,’” he says with a loud guffaw.

Friday, Aug. 12, 2022