“April showers bring May flowers,” is an old English proverb meant to suggest that there’s a silver lining in Britain's often-gloomy spring weather.
In the Red River Valley, it could easily be amended to “April showers bring May floods.”
As we all know, the Red River floodplain is susceptible to extensive overland flooding when the river rises over its banks. The massive floods of 1950 and 1997 are forever etched in the memories of those who experienced them.
So it wasn’t surprising this weekend to see that people are understandably nervous and twitchy about this spring’s flood prospects, especially as back-to-back spring storms have raised river levels, breaching flood barriers in some parts of the province and causing storm sewers to overflow over roadways and into basements in areas of Winnipeg.
Some people online have even been talking about water levels at James Avenue, which is Winnipeg’s unique floodwater measurement scale. (Click here for an explainer and graphic illustrating how it works.)
My brother spent some time this weekend looking at Winnipeg flood footage on YouTube and dug up this gem from British Pathé on the 1950 flood. Its tone will seem archaic but the footage is an incredible reminder of how lucky we are that former Premier Duff Roblin had the foresight and will to insist on the construction of the Red River Floodway.
Viewing that newsreel prompted my 84-year-old father to reminisce about how he and classmates at Lord Roberts School were seconded to help with the sandbagging effort in and around their neighbourhood and even across the river in Norwood.
He described it as “a great adventure for 13-year-old boys,” especially as he was just two years removed from London, which was rebuilding after the Second World War.
“(But) we were sitting on the front step in the sun in June,” he wrote in an email. “Typical Winnipeg.”
My Dad is right. We will eventually enjoy long, warm summer days... but that silver lining seems far off in the distance for many of us at the moment.
Please stay safe and dry.
• • •
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.
Finally, if someone has forwarded this email to you and you’d like to receive it, you can sign up here to have it delivered to your inbox.
John Kendle, Managing editor, Canstar Community News
Out & About
Gardens Manitoba Annual General Meeting • April 26, Winakwa Community Centre. Meeting to be held online and in-person, doors open at 5:50 p.m. To register visit www.gardensmanitoba.com
Costume Museum of Canada Annual General Meeting • April 28, 7 p.m., 410-70 Arthur St. For information, visit www.costumemuseumcanada.com
Rodarama • Red River Exhibition Park, April 29, 6 - 10 p.m., April 30, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., May 1, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Car show featuring hot rods, classics, muscle cars, Admission $10a dults, children 14 and under free with adult.
Rotary Shredfest • April 30, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. St. Vital Centre. Avoid identity theft by shredding sensitive personal or business documents in a safe, convenient, and environmentally friendly way. Suggested donation $10 per bankers box
July Talk • April 25, 8 p.m., Burton Cummings Theatre. With JayWood. Tickets $36.75 at Ticketmaster.ca
Frazey Ford • April 25, 8 p.m., Park Theatre. With Mariel Buckley. Tickets $36.75 at Ticketmaster.ca
Manitoba Chamber Orchestra • April 26 and 27, 7:30 p.m., Westminster United Church. Feat. works by Vivaldi, Haydn and Kevin Lau’s Prayer in a Green Cathedral with a special appearance by Caitlin Broms-Jacobs. Tickets $36 adults, $34 seniors, $15 under-30s at themco.ca
Dan Mangan • April 26, 8 p.m., Park Theatre. With Georgia Harmer. Sold out.
Manitoba Remembers: A COVID Elegy • April 28, 7 p.m., Centennial Concert Hall. Feat. Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Raiskin, Tracy Dahl, The Winnipeg Singers, Maples Collegiate Choir, Don Amero, Kelly Bado, Gwen Hoebig.
Billy Talent • April 29 and 30, 7 p.m., Burton Cummings Theatre. With Anti-Flag, NoBro. Tickets $53.25 at Ticketmaster.ca
Royal Canoe • April 29 and 30, 8 p.m., West End Cultural Centre. With Living Hour, Zoon. Sold out.
Winnipeg Singers • May 1, 3 p.m., Crescent Fort Rouge United Church. Now Is The Month of Maying: We Rise Again, including selections by Chatman, Elgar, Gjeilo, Balfour, Robinovitch and featuring the premiere of our commissioned new work by Stephanie Martin. Special guest musicians Robin McMillan, oboe and Cameron Denby, percussion. Tickets 430 adults, $25 seniors, $15 under-30s at winnipegsingers.com
aceartinc. • Among the falling stars: Megwe-aya’iing anangoog gaabangishimowaad, by Michel Dumont. Gallery hours: Noon to 5 p.m., Tues.-Sat. Visit www.aceart.org for more info
Urban Shaman • A Path to the Tipi between Stars and Time, by Tipi Joe. Visit www.urbanshaman.org for more info
WAG-Qaumajuq • Kakiniit/Hivonighijotaa: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings. Until July 22. For information, visit www.wag.ca
The Good Will Social Club (625 Portage Ave.) • April 27 – Leela Gilday, Ila Barker; April 29 – Slow Leaves, The Lockdown, Fontine.
Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club (234 Main St.) • April 30 – Son of Dave, The Honeysliders; May 1, 8:30 p.m.: Big Dave McLean’s Sunday Night Jam
Calls for Submissions
Manitoba Society of Artists – 90th Manitoba Open Juried Competition and Exhibition. Deadline for entries is May 5. More into at www.msaojce.com, or email the MSA help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org