I'm not Irish but I've been fortunate enough to visit the Emerald Isle and I have an Irish uncle. I've enjoyed Irish music all my life and while my knowledge of Irish literature is far from exhaustive, I've read and loved the work of novelists, poets and playwrights from George Bernard Shaw to James Joyce, Roddy Doyle to Sally Rooney.
I've always understood St. Patrick's Day – the Feast of Saint Patrick, held on the anniversary of the death of the patron saint of Ireland – as a cultural celebration. Beyond Ireland, it's a day on which the world's massive Irish diaspora acknowledges its heritage.
When I was a schoolkid in St. Vital, March 17 was an occasion to wear green and an opportunity for harassed teachers to amuse their students by getting them to cut out shamrocks and perhaps learn a little Irish history. As a young adult, writing about Winnipeg music and local nightspots, I came to see St. Patrick's Day as yet another tiresome opportunity for bar owners to attract patrons with silly promotions. Cheap jugs of green draft beer? No thanks.
That's not to say I haven't enjoyed St. Patrick's Day festivities. On March 17, 1995, I saw the first live performance of Scrüj MacDuhk, the Celtic-tinged folk-rock group led by Leonard Podolak that went on to become Grammy-nominated band The Duhks, at the old Toad Pub in Osborne Village.
And when I went to the SXSW music festival for the first time in 2010, the famous Sixth Street strip in Austin, Tex., practically exploded on St. Patrick's Day, filled with crowds of stumbling, giggling University of Texas undergrads festooned with cheap strings of green and gold beads. Their energy couldn't help but be infectious.
St.Patrick's Day celebrations have, of course, been muted since 2020 but it looks as if things are shaping up a little differently this year, as several Winnipeg venues have booked Irish and Celtic-themed entertainment for the evening of March 17. I've listed those shows in the events section below
However you celebrate St. Patrick's Day, I wish you a good one. If you enjoy a drink, do yourselves a favour and avoid the green draft – order a pint of Guinness or a glass of uisce beatha instead.
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One of the purposes of this newsletter is to offer a select list of upcoming events and to encourage people to use our event submission page. If you want to learn more about what's going on in and around the city, please visit our Events listings page.
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Enjoy the week!
John Kendle, Managing editor, Canstar Community News
Dust Rhinos • March 17, 8 p.m. – West End Cultural Centre (586 Ellice Ave.) – Tickets $30.31 to $25.16 at eventbrite.ca
Godspeed You! Black Emperor • March 17, 8 p.m. – Park Theatre (698 Osborne St.) – Sold out.
St. Patrick's Fest 2022 • March 17, 6:30 p.m. – Centre culturel Franco-manitobain (341 Provencher Blvd.) Presented by McConnell Irish Dance. Tickets $18 adults, $8 17 and under at eventbrite.ca
Snowed In Comedy Tour • March 17, 8 p.m. — Burton Cummings Theatre (364 Smith St.) – Featuring Debra DiGiovanni, Paul Myrehaug, Pete Zedlacher, Dan Quinn, Damonde Tschritter, Erica Sigurdson. Tickets $58.50 at ticketmaster.ca
Evening for Peace • March 18, 8 p.m. – Park Theatre (698 Osborne St) – Ukrainian Humanitarian Benefit Concert, feat. Sierra Noble, Zrada, Sofia Bilozor, Jorge Requena and more. Tickets $15 at eventbrite.ca, all proceeds to Ukrainian Humanitarian Crisis Appeal
An Evening with Bruce Dickinson • March 20, 8 p.m. – Burton Cummings Theatre (364 Smith St.) – Tickets $87.25, $60.75, $48.25 at ticketmaster.ca
Buhler Gallery (Everett Atrium, St. Boniface Hospital, 409 Taché St. ) – Language of Detail, work of Christine Kirouac, Paul Robles, and Takashi Iwasaki • Until April 24. Free admission.
Cre8ery Gallery (125 Adelaide St.) – Flourish, by Jola Liebzeit. Until March 15; Variety of Connections, by Marilyn McNish, March 17-19. Hours: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tues - Sat.
Gallery C103 (University of Winnipeg) – Eruptions, by Grace Nickel. Visit www.uwinnipeg.ca/art-gallery to book an exhibit appointment.
The Handsome Daughter (61 Sherbrook St.) • March 18 – The Prairie Joggers, Scott Nolan, Jason Willows; March 19 – CJ the Grey, Jana Jacobs, Bluebloods, Courtney Fox.
Irish Association of Manitoba (654 Erin St.) • March 17 – St. Patricks Day at the Irish Club: Doors open at 11 a.m., ecumenical service, 11:30 a.m.; evening performance with Geof Erikson and the Rockets, Cairde, Flatland Ceilidh Band, Glenaura Pipes & Drums, McConnell School of Irish Dance; admission $10 for non-members, free to members and children under 10. March 18 – Encore; March 19 - Killick.
Shannon's Irish Pub and Eatery (175 Carlton St.) • March 17 – Five More Miles, 9 p.m.
Stone Angel Brewery Taproom (9-1875 Pembina Hwy.) • March 17 – Killick, 7:30 p.m.
Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club (234 Main St.) • March 18 – Ridley Bent and the Killer Tumbleweeds, Leaf Rapids; March 19 - The Mariachi Ghost; March 20 - Blues jam with Big Dave McLean.