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This article was published 30/6/2018 (1215 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone is taking it to the streets once more.
Following the success of its downtown farmers market and Whiteout street parties, the Downtown BIZ is launching its next outdoor initiative: a night market.
BIZ chief executive officer Stefano Grande said he thinks a key to revitalizing downtown is keeping people around after the work day is done. Graham Avenue from Kennedy to Edmonton streets was closed from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday for a trial run of the night market, featuring live music, local vendors and face-painting and balloon animals for children.
Local musicians Ila Barker, Lana Winterhalt and Phil Natividad played busker-style sets, while artists from the Graffiti Gallery repainted an art installation — a large, metal horn at the corner of Graham and Kennedy.
And there were beer gardens: one at Rudy’s Eat & Drink patio, the other a pop-up on Kennedy Street near where the BIZ set up a giant chess board.
On Friday, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said he wasn’t sure if he could attend, due to family obligations, but Grande quipped he would buy the mayor a beer if he made an appearance. Grande said he planned to be there all night — but in shorts and a T-shirt, instead of his usual business attire.
Downtown BIZ is planning night markets for the last Friday of July and August, too, to further test the idea.
Grande said he wants the night market to be the next Manyfest, the annual September street festival that shuts down Broadway for two days while food trucks, music and people fill the street.
Grande said he envisions Graham Avenue as the new Corydon Avenue — a lively, bustling strip.
Erik Pindera is a multimedia producer at the Winnipeg Free Press.