Andrew Braga

Andrew Braga

South Osborne community correspondent

Andrew Braga is a community correspondent for South Osborne.

Recent articles of Andrew Braga

Gone but clearly not forgotten

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Gone but clearly not forgotten

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

Garth Ashdown lived at the corner of Maplewood Avenue and Fisher Street in Riverview with his wife and two daughters.

A landscape architect by profession, he was also an artist, and taught a studio course for the University of Manitoba at Riding Mountain. He had a warm, gentle nature, and firmly believed that life has to have refinement; not just in particular objects, but in every detail, every action.

Garth brought this philosophy to his work and imparted it to his students. He also practised it in his everyday life. He loved to walk his dog along the trail that follows the Red River beside Churchill Drive, in the community where his daughters were raised.

It is on that same trail, down by the river at the far-eastern end of what is now called Don Gerrie Park, that his memorial can be found today.

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

Supplied photo

This memorial for landscape architect Garth Ashdown was designed by Delores Altin and placed in Don Gerrie Park in 1998.

City services require people to maintain them

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City services require people to maintain them

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022

“Life has to have refinement, not just in particular objects, but in every detail; especially in the detail of every day, every action.”

It is a nice sentiment, and it comes from a quote inscribed on a semi-circular slab of stone that rests on a cylindrical one about two metres in diameter, attributed to one Garth Ashdown.

The memorial is a curious sight to behold roughly one kilometre down a trail that starts at the Manitoba Canoe and Kayak Centre and follows the Red River through the Don Gerrie Park in South Osborne.

For much of the season, the trail was nearly impassable. High water levels in the spring left parts muddy or underwater, and as the river receded back down to its banks, the trail became overgrown.

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022

Don Gerrie Park runs along Churchill Drive, just east of the Manitoba Canoe and Kayak Centre.

Wishing crime away is a fool’s errand

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Wishing crime away is a fool’s errand

By Andrew Braga 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022

People gazed in wonder, and no doubt many made wishes, as the sky was lit up by two astronomical phenomena recently: the “sturgeon moon,” the last “super-moon” of the year; and the Perseid meteor shower, an annual display of “shooting stars.”

On the ground, and on the same weekend, two fires lit up the Lord Roberts community in South Osborne: one of them set to the “little library” on Kylemore Avenue; the other to a car parked nearby, on Berwick Place.

No doubt people wondered why such senseless acts of destruction had taken place, and wished they hadn’t.

It was an eventful weekend in the neighbourhood from start to finish. Two days earlier, two off-duty transit drivers were assaulted on Brandon Avenue, in the vicinity of Winnipeg Transit’s South Osborne garage.

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022

People gazed in wonder, and no doubt many made wishes, as the sky was lit up by two astronomical phenomena recently: the “sturgeon moon,” the last “super-moon” of the year; and the Perseid meteor shower, an annual display of “shooting stars.”

On the ground, and on the same weekend, two fires lit up the Lord Roberts community in South Osborne: one of them set to the “little library” on Kylemore Avenue; the other to a car parked nearby, on Berwick Place.

No doubt people wondered why such senseless acts of destruction had taken place, and wished they hadn’t.

It was an eventful weekend in the neighbourhood from start to finish. Two days earlier, two off-duty transit drivers were assaulted on Brandon Avenue, in the vicinity of Winnipeg Transit’s South Osborne garage.

Leadership must be held accountable

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Leadership must be held accountable

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

For weeks, he called for the glass, doors, heating, and seating to be stripped from two bus shelters that were the subject of frequent calls for emergency-service response, and complaints from the constituents in his electoral ward.

Then, just two weeks after he and his colleagues in city council’s public works committee voted in favour of the idea on June 9, he stood in the courtyard at City Hall with fellow city councillor Sherry Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) to listen to advocates for the homeless.

By the end of the month, Coun. Shawn Nason (Transcona) had not only backed off his idea, but supported supervised consumption sites, and promised to work with Rollins on creating low-barrier housing.

His was a remarkable turnaround – one that was applauded by soon-to-be outgoing Mayor Brian Bowman – but it probably shouldn’t be surprising. It is an election year in Winnipeg, and the one-term councillor is running for re-election, and the issue seemed to catch peoples’ attention.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

For weeks, he called for the glass, doors, heating, and seating to be stripped from two bus shelters that were the subject of frequent calls for emergency-service response, and complaints from the constituents in his electoral ward.

Then, just two weeks after he and his colleagues in city council’s public works committee voted in favour of the idea on June 9, he stood in the courtyard at City Hall with fellow city councillor Sherry Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) to listen to advocates for the homeless.

By the end of the month, Coun. Shawn Nason (Transcona) had not only backed off his idea, but supported supervised consumption sites, and promised to work with Rollins on creating low-barrier housing.

His was a remarkable turnaround – one that was applauded by soon-to-be outgoing Mayor Brian Bowman – but it probably shouldn’t be surprising. It is an election year in Winnipeg, and the one-term councillor is running for re-election, and the issue seemed to catch peoples’ attention.

Stuck in traffic on Jubilee

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Stuck in traffic on Jubilee

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2022

Has anyone else spent an inordinate amount of time stuck in traffic on Jubilee Street lately?

If you have, it probably isn’t anything entirely new; the street is regularly congested during rush hour, but it will be worse for the duration of this summer, and next. After years of patchwork and filled potholes, it was long overdue for the full-scale renewal it is finally getting.

Improvements to sidewalk and cycling infrastructure are also part of the project. Not since the Park Line street car — the first electric street car to operate in Canada — began running down Osborne to its terminus at Jubilee will the neighbourhood’s transportation network be as “modern.”

That was way back in 1891, and Route 125, the collector road today known as Jubilee Avenu—, had not yet been so named in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2022

Jubilee Avenue will be modernized by roadworks machines such as this one this summer. Correspondent Andrew Braga wonders if it’s time the monarchy for which Jubileee was named is also modernized.

Local news key to reliable information

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Local news key to reliable information

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022

At the time of this writing, Manitobans were bracing for what was being called an “historical event” in the form of a “once in a generation storm.”

Meanwhile, inflation is at its highest rate in a generation, and there are warnings about the possibility of a “worst-ever affordability” crisis. It is of course thanks in large part to a once in a lifetime pandemic that may or may not be far from over, and a military conflict that might also lead to nuclear fallout and the start World War III.

With so much to worry about, we should be working together. But we’re also being told that this is the most divided we’ve ever been in our history.

Reading headlines these days, one might suspect we’re dealing with horrors the likes of which we’ve never seen all at once.

Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022

At the time of this writing, Manitobans were bracing for what was being called an “historical event” in the form of a “once in a generation storm.”

Meanwhile, inflation is at its highest rate in a generation, and there are warnings about the possibility of a “worst-ever affordability” crisis. It is of course thanks in large part to a once in a lifetime pandemic that may or may not be far from over, and a military conflict that might also lead to nuclear fallout and the start World War III.

With so much to worry about, we should be working together. But we’re also being told that this is the most divided we’ve ever been in our history.

Reading headlines these days, one might suspect we’re dealing with horrors the likes of which we’ve never seen all at once.

Strong leadership needed in uncertain future

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Strong leadership needed in uncertain future

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022

On the last day of February, 2022, an elderly gentleman struggled to push his walker through a pile of snow in front of Fred Tipping Place at 601 Osborne St. Insisting he was equal to the task, he lightheartedly lamented one thing about his predicament.

“I forgot to change my shoes before I left home,” he said with a chuckle. Then he raised his foot to show off his house slippers. They were in stark contrast to his thick, winter jacket.

But he obviously had a lot more on his mind.

“At least things are supposed to start getting better — for us,” he continued. “Horrible what’s happening over in Europe, isn’t it?”

Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has not shied away from responsibility, evenin the face of an invasion.

2022 looks to be another tough year

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2022 looks to be another tough year

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Friday, Dec. 31, 2021

By the end of this week, another tough year will be behind us. Unfortunately, the outlook for the one ahead is grim.

Our health care system is on the brink of failure. Nearly two full years of periodic lockdowns have left many Canadians fatigued and in a state of economic uncertainty. Meanwhile, the cost of living continues to rise.

The prices of all types of consumer goods are already inflated, but grocery bills in particular are expected to see the biggest annual increase on record in 2022. The affordability of housing in Canada — already at a 31-year low — is also expected to deteriorate even further.

Of course, there are some people and businesses that have thrived under the present conditions. They are generally better-off individuals and bigger businesses into whose hands wealth seems to be consolidating. For the rest, and particularly for small businesses and people with more modest incomes, recovery remains fragile and uneven.

Friday, Dec. 31, 2021

By the end of this week, another tough year will be behind us. Unfortunately, the outlook for the one ahead is grim.

Our health care system is on the brink of failure. Nearly two full years of periodic lockdowns have left many Canadians fatigued and in a state of economic uncertainty. Meanwhile, the cost of living continues to rise.

The prices of all types of consumer goods are already inflated, but grocery bills in particular are expected to see the biggest annual increase on record in 2022. The affordability of housing in Canada — already at a 31-year low — is also expected to deteriorate even further.

Of course, there are some people and businesses that have thrived under the present conditions. They are generally better-off individuals and bigger businesses into whose hands wealth seems to be consolidating. For the rest, and particularly for small businesses and people with more modest incomes, recovery remains fragile and uneven.

Has social progress ‘gone to the wind’?

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Has social progress ‘gone to the wind’?

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Friday, Dec. 3, 2021

When I was in university, I had a professor who gave excellent lectures that provided some of the best social criticism I’ve ever heard. All semester he promised to reveal what he saw as the defining characteristic of our generation.

“You’re all a bunch of closet liberals,” he finally told us with a smirk on the last day of class. Then he chuckled and set us loose into the world, bewildered if a little underwhelmed. We knew he meant a great deal more than that we were all secretly supporters of the Liberal Party of Canada, but what exactly did he mean?

The old man retired that year, and I never got to ask him. But every so often I find myself turning those words over in my mind.

 What my professor saw was a sharp decline in student activism as compared to his own time, a trend he accredited to the rise of liberalism in our culture.

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021

When I was in university, I had a professor who gave excellent lectures that provided some of the best social criticism I’ve ever heard. All semester he promised to reveal what he saw as the defining characteristic of our generation.

“You’re all a bunch of closet liberals,” he finally told us with a smirk on the last day of class. Then he chuckled and set us loose into the world, bewildered if a little underwhelmed. We knew he meant a great deal more than that we were all secretly supporters of the Liberal Party of Canada, but what exactly did he mean?

The old man retired that year, and I never got to ask him. But every so often I find myself turning those words over in my mind.

 What my professor saw was a sharp decline in student activism as compared to his own time, a trend he accredited to the rise of liberalism in our culture.

Small-business resilience should be rewarded

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Small-business resilience should be rewarded

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Friday, Nov. 5, 2021

October was Small Business Month, and the entrepreneurs who make up the community deserved to be celebrated.

They have endured 19 months of hardship, and even though Manitoba’s official “state of emergency” expired on Oct. 21, there are likely very few in the community who believe that hardship wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Some businesses are still operating at limited capacity, heavy debt loads are still being carried, and only 40 per cent of businesses are back to normal sales, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses. Meanwhile, the federal government has ended many of the pandemic relief programs that helped businesses stay afloat.

Of course they didn’t say these supports were being cancelled but rather “redesigned.” It was a nice piece of euphemism, and there is still support available to some businesses and individuals, but no one expected rent and wage subsidies to last forever.

Friday, Nov. 5, 2021

October was Small Business Month, and the entrepreneurs who make up the community deserved to be celebrated.

They have endured 19 months of hardship, and even though Manitoba’s official “state of emergency” expired on Oct. 21, there are likely very few in the community who believe that hardship wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Some businesses are still operating at limited capacity, heavy debt loads are still being carried, and only 40 per cent of businesses are back to normal sales, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses. Meanwhile, the federal government has ended many of the pandemic relief programs that helped businesses stay afloat.

Of course they didn’t say these supports were being cancelled but rather “redesigned.” It was a nice piece of euphemism, and there is still support available to some businesses and individuals, but no one expected rent and wage subsidies to last forever.

Affordability key issue in 2021 election

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Affordability key issue in 2021 election

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Friday, Sep. 10, 2021

There’s an old adage in politics that tells us “people vote with their pocketbooks,” and every election the major political parties repackage old platitudes and roll out big promises and so as not to be outdone by their competition.

Judging by the expensive promises being made this year, they obviously see “pocketbook issues” as a major theme in 2021.

And as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau found out at a recent campaign event, at least some voters think the big money should go towards addressing affordability.

Standing in front of a half-built home in Hamilton, Ont. that will likely retail for around $1 million, the prime minister was heckled by a young man who asked him: “Are you going to help us pay $1.5 million? Are you, buddy?”

Friday, Sep. 10, 2021

There’s an old adage in politics that tells us “people vote with their pocketbooks,” and every election the major political parties repackage old platitudes and roll out big promises and so as not to be outdone by their competition.

Judging by the expensive promises being made this year, they obviously see “pocketbook issues” as a major theme in 2021.

And as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau found out at a recent campaign event, at least some voters think the big money should go towards addressing affordability.

Standing in front of a half-built home in Hamilton, Ont. that will likely retail for around $1 million, the prime minister was heckled by a young man who asked him: “Are you going to help us pay $1.5 million? Are you, buddy?”

We’re gaining quite the reputation

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We’re gaining quite the reputation

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021

For the second time in five years, Winnipeg has made a widely circulated and highly regarded publication’s short list for top international destinations. In 2016, it was National Geographic’s 50 “Best Trips on Earth.” This year it is Time Magazine’s overview of  “The World’s 100 Greatest Places.”

We even made it onto the cover.

Putting aside the fact that “100 greatest places” is rather vague (greatest places for what, exactly?), the reaction to the designation was predictable: there were those who defended Winnipeg’s inclusion on the prestigious listing, and those who exhibited our collective insecurity about Winnipeg by measuring it against other destinations.

But what no one seems to have mentioned is that the Time cover is somewhat misleading.

Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021

File photo
Li’l ol’ Winnipeg is featured on the front cover of Time Magazine.

Reckoning with Canada’s colonial past

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Reckoning with Canada’s colonial past

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 20, 2021

It was an arresting sight for anyone to behold - the statue of Queen Victoria removed from its pedestal, its head removed from its body.

It was also one of stark contrasts between the toppled, headless statue, the 215 orange flags on the lawn in front of it, and the 215 pairs of shoes on the steps behind – solemn and moving memorials to the 215 children whose remains were discovered in an unmarked grave at a former Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.

Looking down on them and shining under the brilliant sun was the Golden Boy, firm atop the dome of the Legislature, still clutching a bushel of wheat, still facing true north down Memorial Boulevard toward Colony Street.

For many people, it probably evoked a mixture of complex feelings; for others, it obviously did not.

Tuesday, Jul. 20, 2021

It was an arresting sight for anyone to behold - the statue of Queen Victoria removed from its pedestal, its head removed from its body.

It was also one of stark contrasts between the toppled, headless statue, the 215 orange flags on the lawn in front of it, and the 215 pairs of shoes on the steps behind – solemn and moving memorials to the 215 children whose remains were discovered in an unmarked grave at a former Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.

Looking down on them and shining under the brilliant sun was the Golden Boy, firm atop the dome of the Legislature, still clutching a bushel of wheat, still facing true north down Memorial Boulevard toward Colony Street.

For many people, it probably evoked a mixture of complex feelings; for others, it obviously did not.

It’s been too long

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It’s been too long

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Saturday, Jun. 12, 2021

If there’s one thing we can all say with absolute certainty at this stage in the pandemic, it is this:

It’s been too long.

But how long has it been, exactly? Fifteen months? Maybe 16?

If you feel like you can’t really remember, know this – you’re not alone.

Saturday, Jun. 12, 2021

If there’s one thing we can all say with absolute certainty at this stage in the pandemic, it is this:

It’s been too long.

But how long has it been, exactly? Fifteen months? Maybe 16?

If you feel like you can’t really remember, know this – you’re not alone.

Looking back on treaty history

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Looking back on treaty history

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Tuesday, May. 18, 2021

Happy (belated) anniversary Manitoba.

Forgive yourselves if you forgot to mark it on your calendars, but our dear province quietly turned 151 years old last week. You understandably had other things on your mind. Besides, even if we could have celebrated together, it is more typical of us to mark major anniversaries like a sesquicentennial (for 150 years), which in Manitoba’s case was last May.

But the Manitoba Act, which formally received royal assent on May 12th, 1870, led to the negotiations that shaped this country  as we know it today.

Those negotiations began on July 27, 1871, and were finalized eight complicated and tense days later when Treaty 1 was signed. It represents the first “legal” agreement between Indigenous peoples, the British Crown, and the Dominion of Canada.

Tuesday, May. 18, 2021

Happy (belated) anniversary Manitoba.

Forgive yourselves if you forgot to mark it on your calendars, but our dear province quietly turned 151 years old last week. You understandably had other things on your mind. Besides, even if we could have celebrated together, it is more typical of us to mark major anniversaries like a sesquicentennial (for 150 years), which in Manitoba’s case was last May.

But the Manitoba Act, which formally received royal assent on May 12th, 1870, led to the negotiations that shaped this country  as we know it today.

Those negotiations began on July 27, 1871, and were finalized eight complicated and tense days later when Treaty 1 was signed. It represents the first “legal” agreement between Indigenous peoples, the British Crown, and the Dominion of Canada.

Slouching towards “the new normal”

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Slouching towards “the new normal”

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Thursday, Mar. 25, 2021

It’s a term that became part of the popular lexicon last spring, but has since faded from everyday use - even though it should be more relevant now than it was then.

“The new normal” has historically been used to describe the state in which society settles after a crisis. It’s been over a year since the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Many of us thought - or maybe hoped - we’d have settled in to the “new normal” by now.

And yet, one full year, two long lockdowns, and four approved vaccines later, it is only now that we can begin to accurately guess what it might look like.

Restrictions are being eased, and eligibility for inoculation is expanding, but the way ahead remains obstructed. To paraphrase George Orwell, what we are now confronting is less like a wall of stone than it is like the plate glass of an aquarium; it’s easy to pretend it’s not there, but much less so to get through it.

Thursday, Mar. 25, 2021

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press
Manitoba premier Brian Pallister would be well-advised to heed the words of Walter Gretzky.

It’s all a matter of give and take

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It’s all a matter of give and take

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Thursday, Mar. 4, 2021

Last Monday was Louis Riel Day, and just three days after the province eased restrictions and allowed many businesses to open for the first time in months, albeit at reduced capacity, they had to spend one day open at reduced holiday hours.

Still, it was better than the alternative. Holiday or not, the answer to the question “what’s open?” was a blanket “nothing” just days before.

Also last Monday, anyone who had previously registered with the Government of Canada’s Registration of Canadians Abroad received an email from the federal service (it obviously wasn’t a federal holiday). About halfway down, it advised or reminded any recipients that strict new air travel requirements go into effect on Feb. 22.

As the saying goes: one hand giveth, the other taketh away.

Thursday, Mar. 4, 2021

Last Monday was Louis Riel Day, and just three days after the province eased restrictions and allowed many businesses to open for the first time in months, albeit at reduced capacity, they had to spend one day open at reduced holiday hours.

Still, it was better than the alternative. Holiday or not, the answer to the question “what’s open?” was a blanket “nothing” just days before.

Also last Monday, anyone who had previously registered with the Government of Canada’s Registration of Canadians Abroad received an email from the federal service (it obviously wasn’t a federal holiday). About halfway down, it advised or reminded any recipients that strict new air travel requirements go into effect on Feb. 22.

As the saying goes: one hand giveth, the other taketh away.

Activism in an engaged community

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Activism in an engaged community

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021

A common fate befalls far too many historic buildings around our city — demolition after years of neglect and deterioration caused by the ravages of time.

On Jan. 2, one anonymous community activist decided to express their dismay at the neglect shown the Rubin Block at the corner of Osborne Street and Morley Avenue in a way befitting the community where it stands.

Referring to themselves only as ‘S.O. Resident,’ they pasted an artfully written, four-paragraph letter, blown up to roughly 12 times the size of a regular sheet of paper, on the boarded-up facade of the edifice that faces Osborne.

Called a ‘treatise’ in the Winnipeg Free Press, and a ‘love letter’ in this publication, it creatively recounts the history of the Rubin Block as three metaphorical stories.

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021

Supplied photo
A letter, printed on large sheets of paper and glued using flour paste, was posted on the boarded up front of the Rubin Block recently by a South Osborne resident in early January.

Celebrating hope in a time of darkness

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Celebrating hope in a time of darkness

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

For thousands of years, probably since the dawn of civilization, people have celebrated festivals of light in the darkest times.

It is no coincidence that so many holidays and festivals across the diverse cultures around the world fall sometime around the winter solstice. Whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, or any of the other festivals  around this time of year, billions of people across the northern hemisphere have been celebrating this month and last because the darkest time is also the moment that light is about to return.

In a culturally diverse city like the one we live in, no doubt many of these festivals will be celebrated by our own friends, neighbours and co-workers. Not every one of those celebrations holds the same significance. Christmas, for example, is an important date on the Christian calendar; Hanukkah by contrast is relatively minor.

What is equally significant to all of us is that how we celebrate has been markedly different this year than any other we can remember. Stories of surviving through the darkness connect all of us across cultures and time, but this year we are all sharing a hardship of a different kind. COVID-19 doesn’t care that it’s the holiday season, and, in that, we are ironically connected by what is forcing us to stay apart.

Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

For thousands of years, probably since the dawn of civilization, people have celebrated festivals of light in the darkest times.

It is no coincidence that so many holidays and festivals across the diverse cultures around the world fall sometime around the winter solstice. Whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, or any of the other festivals  around this time of year, billions of people across the northern hemisphere have been celebrating this month and last because the darkest time is also the moment that light is about to return.

In a culturally diverse city like the one we live in, no doubt many of these festivals will be celebrated by our own friends, neighbours and co-workers. Not every one of those celebrations holds the same significance. Christmas, for example, is an important date on the Christian calendar; Hanukkah by contrast is relatively minor.

What is equally significant to all of us is that how we celebrate has been markedly different this year than any other we can remember. Stories of surviving through the darkness connect all of us across cultures and time, but this year we are all sharing a hardship of a different kind. COVID-19 doesn’t care that it’s the holiday season, and, in that, we are ironically connected by what is forcing us to stay apart.

How to end 2020 one day sooner

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How to end 2020 one day sooner

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Friday, Dec. 4, 2020

We’ve finally made it to the final stretch of this awful year. In just 30 days it’ll all be over, and 2021 can’t come soon enough.

No doubt in the weeks to come there will be retrospectives printed in every major publication on the most notable events of this year. No doubt most of them will look the same.

2020 started off bad. Wildfires burned out of control across most of Australia, and many species of animals unique to that ecosystem were put on the brink of extinction.

People thought the Third World War was about to start after an airstrike killed a top Iranian general and Iran retaliated by launching its own strike on a U.S. military installation in Iraq.

Friday, Dec. 4, 2020

Dreamstime.com
Correspondent Andrew Braga has a novel idea for ending 2020 a day early — let’s just skip Dec. 31.

Winnipeg’s supernatural history

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Preview

Winnipeg’s supernatural history

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Monday, Nov. 9, 2020

Halloween 2020 is officially in the books, and for many people it probably served as another stark reminder of how terrible this year has been. Yet another date people circle on their calendars has been ruined by the pandemic.

 For those who didn’t get enough of a paranormal fix, it might surprise you to know that Winnipeg is rife with options.

 Cities such as Baltimore, hometown of spooky writer Edgar Allen Poe, and places like Maine, which is the backdrop of so many Stephen King novels, are generally considered the eeriest on the North American continent. But the supernatural has a long and colourful history in Winnipeg.

 Room 202 of the Fort Garry Hotel is infamously “haunted”. People have reported seeing ghosts, blood, and experiencing all manner of strange activities in the room. Le Musée de Saint-Boniface, originally built as a nunnery, is also apparently haunted. So are the Marlborough Hotel, Pantages Playhouse Theatre, Burton Cummings Theatre, St. Boniface Cathedral, Seven Oaks House, and St. John’s Cemetery, among others.

Monday, Nov. 9, 2020

Halloween 2020 is officially in the books, and for many people it probably served as another stark reminder of how terrible this year has been. Yet another date people circle on their calendars has been ruined by the pandemic.

 For those who didn’t get enough of a paranormal fix, it might surprise you to know that Winnipeg is rife with options.

 Cities such as Baltimore, hometown of spooky writer Edgar Allen Poe, and places like Maine, which is the backdrop of so many Stephen King novels, are generally considered the eeriest on the North American continent. But the supernatural has a long and colourful history in Winnipeg.

 Room 202 of the Fort Garry Hotel is infamously “haunted”. People have reported seeing ghosts, blood, and experiencing all manner of strange activities in the room. Le Musée de Saint-Boniface, originally built as a nunnery, is also apparently haunted. So are the Marlborough Hotel, Pantages Playhouse Theatre, Burton Cummings Theatre, St. Boniface Cathedral, Seven Oaks House, and St. John’s Cemetery, among others.

Let’s give this another go

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Let’s give this another go

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

I must confess: I often find it lazy and unoriginal when people use militaristic axioms to describe situations that have nothing to do with war.

 And yet, circumstances being what they are in this 10th month of 2020, “once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,” seems as apt as anything.

 The famous line from Shakespeare’s King Henry the Fifth belongs to the title character. He says it to motivate his troops as they approach a gap in an enemy city’s protective wall, as a more uplifting way of saying “let’s give this another go.”

We, too, could use some encouraging words in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, even if the inverse is true in our case. Unfortunately, it is us, dear friends, who are being breached once more.

Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

I must confess: I often find it lazy and unoriginal when people use militaristic axioms to describe situations that have nothing to do with war.

 And yet, circumstances being what they are in this 10th month of 2020, “once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,” seems as apt as anything.

 The famous line from Shakespeare’s King Henry the Fifth belongs to the title character. He says it to motivate his troops as they approach a gap in an enemy city’s protective wall, as a more uplifting way of saying “let’s give this another go.”

We, too, could use some encouraging words in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, even if the inverse is true in our case. Unfortunately, it is us, dear friends, who are being breached once more.

We need to channel our spirit once again

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Preview

We need to channel our spirit once again

Andrew Braga 3 minute read Thursday, Sep. 10, 2020

The date was Aug. 29, 1970. A man of 58 took the microphone in front of a packed house of young people at the old Winnipeg Stadium and defiantly declared: “We’ll show those squares in government!”

The man onstage was Maitland Steinkopf, a former minister in Duff Roblin’s cabinet, and the event was the Man-Pop Concert. Intended to be the grand finale of a summer full of festivals celebrating Manitoba’s centennial, it was described as a “wonderfully bold idea from a crusty but sincere, driven, dedicated father and Manitoban.”

Man-Pop was initially proposed as a two-day festival, and John Lennon was invited to play. The ex-Beatle, embroiled in a controversy over the album art of his latest release, politely declined, and the event was scaled back to a one-day affair. It still became the stuff of Manitoba legend.

Hours into the concert, and with none other than Led Zeppelin waiting to take the stage, Mother Nature decided to flex her muscles.

Thursday, Sep. 10, 2020

The date was Aug. 29, 1970. A man of 58 took the microphone in front of a packed house of young people at the old Winnipeg Stadium and defiantly declared: “We’ll show those squares in government!”

The man onstage was Maitland Steinkopf, a former minister in Duff Roblin’s cabinet, and the event was the Man-Pop Concert. Intended to be the grand finale of a summer full of festivals celebrating Manitoba’s centennial, it was described as a “wonderfully bold idea from a crusty but sincere, driven, dedicated father and Manitoban.”

Man-Pop was initially proposed as a two-day festival, and John Lennon was invited to play. The ex-Beatle, embroiled in a controversy over the album art of his latest release, politely declined, and the event was scaled back to a one-day affair. It still became the stuff of Manitoba legend.

Hours into the concert, and with none other than Led Zeppelin waiting to take the stage, Mother Nature decided to flex her muscles.

Are Manitoba liquor laws too strict?

Andrew Braga 2 minute read Preview

Are Manitoba liquor laws too strict?

Andrew Braga 2 minute read Friday, Aug. 14, 2020

We’ve finally passed the halfway point of 2020, and it’s been a struggle. Forgive yourself if you feel you’ve earned a nice, cold refreshment in your favourite neighbourhood pub … or park?

According to some health experts,the latter may be the safest option.

Dr. Zain Chagla of McMaster University in Hamilton made headlines last week (admittedly nowhere near the front page), including in the Winnipeg Free Press, for suggesting that cities loosen public drinking rules.

Busy public spaces such as bars and restaurants, as well as house parties and other social gatherings, have been reported as hot spots for transmission of COVID-19. People, it seems, are growing weary of staying home. Eager to socialize, they have been filling crowded bars and restaurants.

Friday, Aug. 14, 2020

We’ve finally passed the halfway point of 2020, and it’s been a struggle. Forgive yourself if you feel you’ve earned a nice, cold refreshment in your favourite neighbourhood pub … or park?

According to some health experts,the latter may be the safest option.

Dr. Zain Chagla of McMaster University in Hamilton made headlines last week (admittedly nowhere near the front page), including in the Winnipeg Free Press, for suggesting that cities loosen public drinking rules.

Busy public spaces such as bars and restaurants, as well as house parties and other social gatherings, have been reported as hot spots for transmission of COVID-19. People, it seems, are growing weary of staying home. Eager to socialize, they have been filling crowded bars and restaurants.