Anne Hawe

Anne Hawe

West End community correspondent

Anne Hawe is a community correspondent for the West End. She can be reached at annie_hawe@hotmail.com

Recent articles of Anne Hawe

So many places to sew in Winnipeg

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So many places to sew in Winnipeg

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

When front-line healthcare workers needed face masks early on in the pandemic, Winnipeggers started turned on their sewing machines. Countless people — groups and individuals — dusted off old machines or invested in new ones as the city united to sew the thousands of cotton masks required. It was a labour of love to protect those who were putting themselves at risk to care for patients.

Local sewing and fabric stores couldn’t keep up with the demand and sales of the cottons used in mask production soared. It was an easy transition to go from sewing masks to sewing totes, clothes or stuffies especially when long lockdowns meant workplaces were closed and little else was open. Delays in receiving online orders of every type caused many to get creative and refashion little-worn garments or old fabric scraps. Sewing is a great stress-buster and just like baking sourdough bread and knitting, it soon became a pandemic “thing.”

If you don’t have a sewing machine but have pants you want to hem, alterations you want to make or mending to do, where can you go?

There are four free-to-use sewing machines in the ideaMILL on the third floor of the Millennium Library downtown. The collaborative workspace, which opened in 2018, is staffed by library assistants and open during regular library hours. The up-to-date sewing machines in its craft room were donated by the Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library (friendsWPL.ca), partly from sales at their tiny but wonderful gift shop in the library lobby. You will need a library card to book time on one of the sewing machines or on the ideaMILL’s quilting machine. Thread, needles and encouragement are supplied but not instruction.

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

In one of the rooms located in the ideaMill at the Millennium Library, there are sewing machines and various other crafts tools.

Youth Crew Catering makes fabulous food

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Youth Crew Catering makes fabulous food

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

The phone is ringing off the hook at Youth Crew Catering. It could be due to their famous celebration cookie. It could be because they are known to not skimp on top quality ingredients. It could be because non-profits love them, as their delicious food is made by West End youth.

“Requests are coming in daily, it’s almost overwhelming,” program manager Leslie Kwok says.

Youth Crew Catering is part of the Spence Neighbourhood Association’s Youth Crew program, which gives local youth a chance to gain much-needed experience and earn money while working on a casual basis.

Kwok prioritizes safety and professionalism in the kitchen and the youth love her for it. Under her warm hearted yet tough-love tutelage they become engaged, accountable, responsible and safe. All youth in the program learn employee rights and adopt a culture of workplace safety.

Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

Leslie Kwok, who founded and runs SNA’s Youth Crew program, which includes Youth Crew Catering, shows off a batch of gluten-free, ginger and chocolate chip cookies.

Residential composting only makes sense

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Residential composting only makes sense

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2022

As the city’s two-year-long residential composting pilot project nears completion, I’m hoping the results will convince the city to roll out some form of citywide residential composting program soon. I’m grateful to be participating and have discovered that composting is much less of a chore than I expected. And not half as messy either.

Composting isn’t an airy-fairy wish list item. Landfills across the country are filling up fast and food scraps and other organic matter take up valuable space and don’t rot properly in a mountain of garbage. Instead they get slimy and stinky while emitting massive amounts of methane gas which heats up the earth and changes our climate.

A maze of collection wells has been drilled under the older parts of the Brady Road Resource Management Facility so that trapped methane can be piped to a smokestack and then ignited. This releases less harmful CO2 into the atmosphere and is required under the Climate Change Reductions Emissions Act.

I can now compost paper towel, meat bones and scraps. These wouldn’t go in a backyard composter. Wish-composting (when you suppose something can be composted but don’t really know) still has to be avoided.

Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2022

After Halloween last year, Compost Winnipeg held a popular pumpkin drop at Polo Park to help keep discarded pumpkins out of the landfill.
Supplied photo by Karrie Blackburn

Rationing made for inventive problem-solving

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Rationing made for inventive problem-solving

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022

Who knows how much a loaf of bread will cost in three months’ time? If the sanctions being imposed on Russia are successful then it will be worth all the extra food costs.

Making ends meet is going to be more difficult for many of us. A book about food rationing in Britain during the Second World War might seem like a depressing read during the current turmoil but a little of its wartime ingenuity could help bring our food bills down. The Ministry of Food;Thrifty Wartime Ways to Feed Your Family Today, written by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall, is fun and instructive to flip through as it is full of gardening lessons and wartime recipes adapted for modern kitchens.

I loved the many full-page illustrated slogans and posters of the time such as “A Clear Plate Means A Clear Conscience” “Go Easy With Bread, Eat Potatos Instead” and the better-known “Dig For Victory” The book was written to accompany a major exhibition on wartime rationing at the Imperial War Museum in 2010 and these illustrations would have been front and centre.

The British government’s incredibly successful wartime campaign to feed the country utilized dozens of these catchy slogans in pamphlets published in the millions by the Ministry of Food. They needed to get Britons to grow more food, preserve it and eke out their meagre wartime rations nutritiously as ships bringing food were being bombed by German U-boats. It was imperative that the nation became more self-reliant in a hurry.

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022

Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book on the U.K.’s wartime Ministry of Food is a fascinating look at a hopefully bygone era.

Time to curl up with Christmas radio classics

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Time to curl up with Christmas radio classics

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Friday, Dec. 3, 2021

Listening to our favourite CBC Radio broadcasts, with or without hot chocolate and cookies, has become a holiday tradition for many households. We keep listening year after year because they are just so darn good and it wouldn’t be Christmas without hearing the classic Dave Cooks the Turkey story once again.

Here are two of my favourites and one that I will listen to for the first time this year. All three can also be listened to online for free at any time.

I really enjoyed The Reindeer Santa Left Behind, produced by RTE Radio in Ireland when I heard it on CBC last year. It is 45 minutes of inventive storytelling with great sound effects and (luckily) easily understandable Irish accents. Children and adults alike are sure to be enthralled by this well produced new take on Christmas.   

It is narrated documentary-style and describes how Blitzen hurt his hoof badly during a rough landing on Christmas Eve. Santa still had to deliver presents to many more children so he knocked on the door of an Irish farmhouse to ask the Mulready family if they would tend Blitzen until he could fly again.  

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021

Brandon Sun file photo by Tim Sm
’Tis the season for classic holiday stories to be broadcast again on the radio, such as Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Café tale, Dave Cooks the Turkey.

Reduce your eco-footprint at Refill Zero Waste Market

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Reduce your eco-footprint at Refill Zero Waste Market

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021

How can they only put out a bag of garbage once every six to eight months? That question was running through my head after I met Marisa and Cody, who own Refill Zero Waste Market at 634 Notre Dame Ave.

The young couple live in the West End and are really happy with their new store’s location, which is both close to home and conveniently located for city wide deliveries using one of Peg City Car Co-op’s hybrid cars.

Yes, they really have adopted (an almost) zero-waste lifestyle. They are passionate about sustainable living and the idea for the store grew from there.

I was at Refill Zero Waste Market on Oct. 29 for Auxvoir Style Collective’s clothing swap. The small space at the back of the store had been transformed with clothing racks and tables. Attendees from the surrounding neighbourhood and further afield had dropped off some of their own gently used garments and were leaving happily with others’ castoff treasures.

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021

Photo by Anne Hawe
Marisa Loreno shows Abigaïl Theano-Pudwill, owner of Auxvoir Style Collective, some products during a recent clothing swap at Refill Zero Waste Market on Notre Dame Avenue.

Cobra Collectibles will be hopping at Halloween

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Cobra Collectibles will be hopping at Halloween

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 15, 2021

There are going to be more people walking around in costume than usual this Halloween as the inaugural Winnipeg Comic Con will be held at RBC Convention Centre from Oct. 29 to 31. It will be the first comic convention held here since 2019 and many attendees have missed dressing up as their favourite anime characters and superheroes.

Cosplay is a popular activity and performance art in which participants not only dress like their favourite characters from anime, video games, TV or film but sometimes adopt their mannerisms too.

Anime characters are among the most popular as Japanese-style manga and anime comics have very well drawn out and detailed characters. Fans are known to research their chosen characters thoroughly before spending time and money to get the costume sand looks just right, often with the help of wigs or makeup.    

Cobra Collectibles at 555 Sargent Ave. is the place to find manga and anime comics and everything else comic-related. It is chock-a-block with vintage collectible figurines and memorabilia from the ’70s and later. Star Wars, Star Trek, Pokemon, Ninja Turtles, The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, He Man, She-Ra and many more figurines are all there - shelf after shelf of them.

Friday, Oct. 15, 2021

Photo by Anne Hawe
Cobra Collectibles on Sargent Avenue features figurines and collectible items from comic books, TV shows, professional wrestling and more.

Gardens of plenty at Gordon Bell

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Gardens of plenty at Gordon Bell

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Monday, Sep. 13, 2021

The heat wave and drought were detrimental to many gardens this summer but the community garden at Gordon Bell High School did well.

Raymond Ngarboui, community organizer with the Community Education Development Association, estimates that almost 3,000 pounds of vegetables were grown at the green space and in planters outside the school. He led 20 students who tended the garden as part of their jobs on the Gordon Bell Green Team this summer. Most of the students attended Gordon Bell High School but a few go to Collège Louis-Riel.

Djimie Tgoï and Mariette Debó are both 16 and going into Grade 11 at Collège Louis-Riel.

“We didn’t know each other at school even though we were in the same class and are both from Cameroon,” Tgoï said. “We became friends through this.”

Monday, Sep. 13, 2021

Photo by Anne Hawe
Raymond Ngarboui (at left), community organizer with the Community Education Development Association, is pictured with members of the GBHS Green Team in the community gardens at Gordon Bell High School.

Central Park is a multi-cultural community hub

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Central Park is a multi-cultural community hub

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Monday, Aug. 16, 2021

I’ve been in Winnipeg for just eight years so I didn’t see Central Park before it was revamped between 2008 and 2012. I am glad the gothic Waddell Fountain was restored as it adds a heap of old-world charm to the park

I often meet up with a friend at the park to play board games found at nearby Thrive Thrift Store. We have played The Newfoundland Jam Game, Frog Juice and Set - a real oldie. All were a steal at just 50 cents apiece.   

Almost all the residents of the Central Park neighbourhood live in high-rises so the park really comes alive on sweltering hot summer evenings. It is only in summer that it has its vibrant multicultural feel, as so many people stay indoors in winter.  

During the community consultations, back in 2008, that went along with re-doing the park, residents suggested a spray park and a soccer pitch. Both were inspired choices as laughter rings out continually from the kids playing in the water and the artificial pitch is usually being used for youth soccer or smaller kids just kicking a ball around. Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, daycares and schools have been bringing kids to play during recess and at lunch hour.

Monday, Aug. 16, 2021

Photo by Anne Hawe
Drum Cafe performed in Central Park on Aug. 5.

Therapy dog program helps break the ice

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Preview

Therapy dog program helps break the ice

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Thursday, Jul. 22, 2021

Christine Schroeder and Yara, her nine-year-old black Russian terrier, are participants in the St. John Ambulance therapy dog program. Schroeder can’t say enough good things about the mentorship and support she receives from the free program and loves that the volunteers are insured when they are on duty.

The nearly 200 certified therapy dogs in Manitoba that have earned their St. John Ambulance kerchiefs must be missing all the attention they used to get while regularly visiting facilities such as hospitals, hospices, seniors residences and schools.

Their handlers are also missing this unique and rewarding volunteer opportunity, which brought so much “pawsitivity” into people’s lives before being interrupted by COVID-19.

Some of the teams have begun going into the Health Sciences Centre to provide emotional support to the staff. In the first week alone, over 350 of the healthcare staff de-stressed a little by spending brief snatches of time with one or more of the dogs.     

Thursday, Jul. 22, 2021

Supplied photo
Christine Schroeder and Yara loved meeting kids at Wellington School as part of the St. John Ambulance therapy dog program called Special Paws for Special Kids.

One person’s trash is another’s art supplies

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One person’s trash is another’s art supplies

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Friday, Jun. 25, 2021

West End artist Moneca Sinclaire isn’t a gardener but the unusual and playful kinetic sculptures she has planted on her lawn are as colourful as any flower garden.

Some of them rotate like windmills when a gust of wind catches them or a child spins them, while others resemble large and colourful woollen mandalas with playful pompoms attached.

The overall effect is so eye-catching that I didn’t realize at first glance that the outsized sculptures are all made out of bicycle tire rims bolted to six-feet-or-taller metal posts driven into the lawn.

Making art holds many good memories for Sinclaire and has brought a lot of joy to her life. When she was four or five and living in northern Manitoba, she would watch her Cree grandmother crafting and hear how important it is to use up every last scrap of material to respect Mother Earth.

Friday, Jun. 25, 2021

Photo by Anne Hawe
West End artist Moneca Sinclaire uses plastic trash and recyclables that other artists might shun in her art. Red, yellow and black pop-bottle lids pick out the colour of the medicine wheel on one sculpture, and the windmill-style blades of another are fashioned from cut-down pop bottles.

Rediscover a West End gem

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Rediscover a West End gem

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Tuesday, May. 25, 2021

Jacob Penner Park is one of the oldest parks in the city, but the sleepy green space and play park across from the old Health Sciences Centre women’s hospital is often overlooked. Now there is an opportunity for kids to discover it.

Explore Jacob Penner Park, a self-guided tour created by the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation, includes a free map and activity guide. It is the latest in a series of architectural tours for kids created by the Foundation. The houses, buildings and even the trees wear smiles in the colourful cartoon map of the park and adjoining streets drawn by Kaj Hasselriis. Fun questions for kids are posed in comic-style bubbles.

The map and activity guide can be downloaded and printed in either English, French, Cree, Icelandic, Ojibwe or Tagalog at winnipegarchitecture.ca

You can also pick up a copy of any version at the Daniel McIntyre-St. Matthews Community Association at 823 Ellice Ave. on weekdays between 1 and 6 p.m.

Tuesday, May. 25, 2021

Supplied photo
David Jack and his son, Isaac, peruse the kids’ map of Jacob Penner Park illustrated by Kaj Hasselriis.

West End cleanup postponed, to be rescheduled

Anne Hawe 2 minute read Preview

West End cleanup postponed, to be rescheduled

Anne Hawe 2 minute read Tuesday, Mar. 30, 2021

I’ve rediscovered the joy of housecleaning. Small chores like picking up after myself and vacuuming are great stress-busters in these uncertain times.

I may have taken it too far, though. My colour-co-ordinated bookcase groups books with blue, white, black, orange and beige spines. The rest of the books I collect end up at a nearby Little Free Library. Another bookcase is painstakingly curated and everything has its set place - art technique books, articles I’ve written that were actually printed, DVDs and so on.

But housework beats listening to the COVID bulletins on the radio and hearing about the rising numbers of variant cases, for me anyhow.

I really wish I could get as enthused about picking up the garbage littering my neighbourhood. Take Pride Winnipeg recently announced the results of its annual litter index,which found that this year the West End was the city’s dirtiest neighbourhood. That more litter than usual had been lying underneath the snow this winter doesn’t come as any surprise to many of us. Chances are that some of it will be those ubiquitous non-medical masks.

Tuesday, Mar. 30, 2021

Photo by Anne Hawe
It’s no surprise to many West Enders that there’s always plenty of garbage to pick up after the snow melts each spring.

The fascinating world of the sciences

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The fascinating world of the sciences

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Monday, Mar. 8, 2021

There are an ever increasing number of scholarships available to girls in Grade 12 who are going on to study science, technology, engineering or math (the STEM subjects) in a post-secondary institution.

There are also scholarships available for those students who have already started their studies in a STEM field.   

But what does a scientist actually do? The government’s Canadian STEM femmes blog (online at: http://bit.ly/westendhawe_) answers that question with a compilation of stories written by approximately 20 women working (mainly) in the sciences. They recount how they first became interested in science, what career paths they followed, some of their best experiences at work, and why they like their jobs. The personal accounts are an interesting read and the blog does a good job of highlighting the surprising diversity of jobs in the sciences.

Lisa Fernando is one of the scientists profiled on the blog. She is the zoonotic diseases and special pathogens program manager at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) on Arlington Street. The NHL contains the only Level 4 containment lab (CL4) in Canada and houses deadly pathogens  such as the Ebola and Marburg viruses.

Monday, Mar. 8, 2021

Supplied photo
Lisa Fernando is the zoonotic diseases and special pathogens program manager at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory on Arlington Street.

Libraries a great place to start genealogy research

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Libraries a great place to start genealogy research

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

Winnipeg’s public libraries may be presently closed except for contactless pickup and returns of library materials but there are a lot of great resources available online on their website: www.winnipeg.wpl.ca

No library card? You can get a temporary one that will let you check out digital materials online. And don’t let unpaid fines keep you from borrowing from the library as they stopped charging late fees (and DVD/Blu-ray borrowing fees) on Jan. 1 and cleared all outstanding fines.

Researching family history has become a popular pastime during the pandemic. Genealogy is really interesting but the sheer number of different sites to visit, with links to sites that link to other sites, can be a bit overwhelming at first. The library has bundled together some great resources on itsgenealogy info page. The website www.Ancestry.com boasts millions of paying members worldwide but with your library card, you can view Ancestry Library Edition for free. In addition, www.Newspaperarchives.com is a searchable database of archived newspapers from around the world that is also free to access with your library card. Winnipeg Free Press newspapers between the years 1872 to 2016, are archived there, as are newspapers from 32 cities and small towns across Manitoba.

You may remember the Henderson street directories for Winnipeg that came out annually from 1880 - 2000. They were comprehensively updated every year with the most current information about residents or businesses at (almost) every address on each street and are very useful if you’re looking for the history of your house. A link to the editions that the University of Alberta has digitized is available on the Winnipeg library website. The entire physical collection is housed in the Local History Room at Millennium Library and the librarians will find directory listings for you if you call. They will also dig up census data, Winnipeg and Manitoba phone book entries going back 100-plus years as well as research local history topics.   

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press
Winnipeg’s public libraries, including the Harvey Smith Library in the West End (above), are great resources of genealogical information.

Tales from the Toy Mountain campaign

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Preview

Tales from the Toy Mountain campaign

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Monday, Jan. 4, 2021

I was a tired elf after spending a few days volunteering at the Salvation Army’s Toy Mountain. Parents in need of support this past Christmas, and who had registered their children for Toy Mountain, relied on us volunteers to choose the toys that the children would unwrap on Christmas morning. There were toys atop of toys in boxes and bins everywhere you looked with overflowing tables covered in piles of toys categorized by age group.

Working with a wish-list and the child’s age it would generally take a circuit around the gym to gather their toys. Paw Patrol toys were in especially high demand and the plucky pups could be hard to find.

The same with Shopkins and LOLs which went quickly, almost as soon as they were put out. But there were always trucks of every type and description available in many different sizes. There were so many of the perennially- popular Barbies that they even had their own table. Of course, there was even an occasional run on Barbies which would deplete the stock.

It was always gratifying to find a toy that a child had requested and it did happen from time to time.

Monday, Jan. 4, 2021

I was a tired elf after spending a few days volunteering at the Salvation Army’s Toy Mountain. Parents in need of support this past Christmas, and who had registered their children for Toy Mountain, relied on us volunteers to choose the toys that the children would unwrap on Christmas morning. There were toys atop of toys in boxes and bins everywhere you looked with overflowing tables covered in piles of toys categorized by age group.

Working with a wish-list and the child’s age it would generally take a circuit around the gym to gather their toys. Paw Patrol toys were in especially high demand and the plucky pups could be hard to find.

The same with Shopkins and LOLs which went quickly, almost as soon as they were put out. But there were always trucks of every type and description available in many different sizes. There were so many of the perennially- popular Barbies that they even had their own table. Of course, there was even an occasional run on Barbies which would deplete the stock.

It was always gratifying to find a toy that a child had requested and it did happen from time to time.

Walking in our winter wonderland

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Preview

Walking in our winter wonderland

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Monday, Dec. 7, 2020

Often we don’t pay enough attention to icy conditions underfoot until our feet go out from under us as we slip and fall on the sidewalk. Fluctuating temperatures can cause city sidewalks to become treacherous as many have found out to their detriment.

Falling on ice is a common winter mishap that leads to visits to emergency rooms, surgeries and even hospitalizations more often than you would think.

This is the winter to go for lots of long walks as COVID-19 is less transmissible outdoors. And in the midst of all the fear and uncertainty, who hasn’t been snacking more?

Although Canada is renowned for its long winters, many of our winter boots don’t grip well on ice. The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network (TRI-UHN) treats umpteen patients every year who have fallen on ice. Hoping to find some solutions, TRI started testing the performance of winter boots in its purpose-built WinterLab in 2015. Harsh winter conditions are recreated in the high-tech lab, with volunteers wearing harnesses while walking on an ice-covered, tilting floor. Few boots rated one snowflake in the first year but boot technology is improving and some have recently earned two or three snowflakes on the TRU-UHN scale. Go to ratemytreads.com to view the latest results and see if your boots have been tested.

Monday, Dec. 7, 2020

Often we don’t pay enough attention to icy conditions underfoot until our feet go out from under us as we slip and fall on the sidewalk. Fluctuating temperatures can cause city sidewalks to become treacherous as many have found out to their detriment.

Falling on ice is a common winter mishap that leads to visits to emergency rooms, surgeries and even hospitalizations more often than you would think.

This is the winter to go for lots of long walks as COVID-19 is less transmissible outdoors. And in the midst of all the fear and uncertainty, who hasn’t been snacking more?

Although Canada is renowned for its long winters, many of our winter boots don’t grip well on ice. The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network (TRI-UHN) treats umpteen patients every year who have fallen on ice. Hoping to find some solutions, TRI started testing the performance of winter boots in its purpose-built WinterLab in 2015. Harsh winter conditions are recreated in the high-tech lab, with volunteers wearing harnesses while walking on an ice-covered, tilting floor. Few boots rated one snowflake in the first year but boot technology is improving and some have recently earned two or three snowflakes on the TRU-UHN scale. Go to ratemytreads.com to view the latest results and see if your boots have been tested.

West End artist works with natural materials

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Preview

West End artist works with natural materials

Anne Hawe 3 minute read Monday, Nov. 16, 2020

Geneviève Levasseur’s pop art style portrait of Donald Trump hangs on one wall of her Sargent Avenue studio, next to a portrait of young superstar environmentalist Greta Thunberg.  

In real life, the two abhor each other.  Trump once infamously advised Thunberg to work on her “anger management problem” and frequently asserted that climate change was a hoax, even going on to say that it had been invented by scientists.

Levasseur painted the portrait of Trump in 2017, using pig’s blood, from the Lucky Market, mixed with a  gel medium. It wasn’t easy to work with and she had to use a squeeze bottle to apply it to the canvas in many places.  

Who paints a portrait using pig’s blood?  Art is a form of expressing oneself and Levasseur has never kept her feelings separate from her art practice. She says had been feeling more and more unease after Trump announced his presidential bid in 2015, and during the months of surreal and bizarre campaigning that followed. A short while after he was sworn in as U.S. president on Jan. 20, 2017, she painted the canvas over the course of a weekend — both as a spiritual exorcism for her anguish and as a meditation process to help her tolerate the coming four years which she feared would cause pain to many Americans.

Monday, Nov. 16, 2020

Anne Hawe
West End artist Geneviève Levasseur poses with her cat, Gurly, in front of her portraits of Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg.

Scare yourselves at home this Halloween

By Anne Hawe 3 minute read Preview

Scare yourselves at home this Halloween

By Anne Hawe 3 minute read Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020

Fans of horror movies may be on to something. A recent study has found that they are dealing better with the pandemic than the rest of us are.

I prefer watching comedies and missed much of every horror movie I ever watched, as my eyes were screwed tightly closed during many of the scenes.

I usually shy away from horror or supernatural fiction but, with Halloween coming up, it seems like a good time to start a spooky novel. I have been meaning to read one of J. H. Moncrieff’s for a while, ever since I took her freelance writing workshop at Harvey Smith Library. The popular local writer has won some important awards for her supernatural horror/thriller books. Her work has been described by reviewers as early Gillian Flynn with a little Ray Bradbury and Stephen King thrown in for good measure. In 2016, she won Harlequin International’s search “for the next Gillian Flynn”.

If you go onto Moncrieff’s website and sign up for the hidden library, you can access free e-books, awesome writing tips, sneak peaks and other perks. She also sends out a weekly email with frightening stories set in mysterious places and more. The horror-theme website takes the reader along on her writing journey and puts the fun into being a horror and supernatural thriller lover.

Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020

Supplied photo by Joel Ross
Supplied photo by Joel Ross
The works of Winnipeg author J. H. Moncrieff are well worth a read as Halloween approaches.

Creativity helps us cope with COVID-19

By Anne Hawe 3 minute read Preview

Creativity helps us cope with COVID-19

By Anne Hawe 3 minute read Monday, Sep. 14, 2020

I am so glad that I was introduced to journalistic writing six years ago through an initiative of the Winnipeg Foundation called Community News Commons. It ended in December of 2017 but its influence on my life definitely didn’t. I am still grateful for the experience and the confidence in my writing that it gave me.

On days when the adrenaline rush of getting this column written by my deadline has changed to the dull fear that I can’t pull it together, I wonder why I do this. On the other hand. when I’m so engrossed in finishing an article that all else fades away and I lose track of time then it is surprisingly rewarding and a lot of fun.

It has been more difficult lately to submit this column as COVID-19 turned my writing routines upside down. No longer can I just drop into a library and use one of the many public computers that used to available until 9 p.m. I owe a big thank you to my niece and brother-in-law in Ottawa, as in the spring a lot of my stories were sent to them in text form so they could send them back to me in Word. It was a laborious workaround but it worked.

Working hard at a craft I enjoy gives me something to concentrate on besides COVID-19. I try to search out interesting angles and take pride in writing well-crafted articles. To write well, it really helps to read a lot so I plan on curling up on my couch this winter with lots of good books. Because I can’t afford to pay new book prices, I get a lot of books at the Goodwill Store on Princess Street downtown where paperbacks are only 50 cents (and sometimes even cheaper). I’m also very grateful to the owners of the Little Free Library a few streets over who replenish its stock of books regularly.

Monday, Sep. 14, 2020

I am so glad that I was introduced to journalistic writing six years ago through an initiative of the Winnipeg Foundation called Community News Commons. It ended in December of 2017 but its influence on my life definitely didn’t. I am still grateful for the experience and the confidence in my writing that it gave me.

On days when the adrenaline rush of getting this column written by my deadline has changed to the dull fear that I can’t pull it together, I wonder why I do this. On the other hand. when I’m so engrossed in finishing an article that all else fades away and I lose track of time then it is surprisingly rewarding and a lot of fun.

It has been more difficult lately to submit this column as COVID-19 turned my writing routines upside down. No longer can I just drop into a library and use one of the many public computers that used to available until 9 p.m. I owe a big thank you to my niece and brother-in-law in Ottawa, as in the spring a lot of my stories were sent to them in text form so they could send them back to me in Word. It was a laborious workaround but it worked.

Working hard at a craft I enjoy gives me something to concentrate on besides COVID-19. I try to search out interesting angles and take pride in writing well-crafted articles. To write well, it really helps to read a lot so I plan on curling up on my couch this winter with lots of good books. Because I can’t afford to pay new book prices, I get a lot of books at the Goodwill Store on Princess Street downtown where paperbacks are only 50 cents (and sometimes even cheaper). I’m also very grateful to the owners of the Little Free Library a few streets over who replenish its stock of books regularly.

The joys of picking cherries

By Anne Hawe 3 minute read Preview

The joys of picking cherries

By Anne Hawe 3 minute read Monday, Aug. 17, 2020

Many years ago now, when I was in my early 20s, I spent a few days picking apples in the Okanagan Valley. My memories are hazy but I remember that I wasn’t very good at it and was relegated to shaking the trees for juice apples while wearing a pail on my head so I wouldn’t get beaned. I then scurried around bent double collecting the fallen ones and the windfalls off the ground. It wasn’t an easy job.

My fruit-picking skills have improved since then.

Three years ago, I picked three containers of Evans cherries from a tree on Burnell Street. It must have been a bumper year for cherries, as there was a big sign inviting passersby to pick as many cherries as they wanted. So I did. It was a lot of work to remove the cherry pits by pushing them out with a straw before baking my pie but it was well worth it. Sour cherry pie was a revelation.

Last year, T & T Seeds in Headingley took over the administration of the popular Fruit Connect program that had been lining up fruit tree owners with people who wanted to pick fruit for the last 10 years.

Monday, Aug. 17, 2020

Dreamstime.com
There's nothing quite like a fresh-baked cherry pie made with handpicked sour cherries.

Resourceful couple gives used items a fresh start

By Anne Hawe 3 minute read Preview

Resourceful couple gives used items a fresh start

By Anne Hawe 3 minute read Monday, Jul. 20, 2020

A new second-hand store called Fresh Start Thrift recently opened at 887 Notre Dame Avenue (next to the 7-Eleven) and it is definitely worth a visit (or three).

Torrence and Chris Ledwich own and run the family business.

“Our sales have been down since COVID”  Torrence said. “It’s not an easy time to start a business.”

The store sells donated second-hand goods, as well as some specially-made products. Torrence sews and sells her own line of fun and functional baby clothes for newborns to 24 months at the store. The line is called Hudson + Co, after her two-year-old son, Hudson, who is often around. The onesies, tops and bottoms are handmade from whimsical Canadian fabrics with hand-painted designs and have had rave reviews on Etsy. The store also stocks a small selection of handcrafted and upcycled items by other local designers.

Monday, Jul. 20, 2020

Photo by Anne Hawe
Chris (left, with two-year-old Hudson) and Torrence Ledwich (holding three-month-old Thatcher) show off some of the Hudson + Co clothing line at Fresh Start Thrift.

Good times coming back to X-Cues

By Anne Hawe 3 minute read Preview

Good times coming back to X-Cues

By Anne Hawe 3 minute read Monday, Jun. 22, 2020

There’s a profusion of pretty flowers, plants, herbs  and greenery in one corner of the  sun-filled patio out back of X-Cues Cafe and Lounge.

When Jennifer (who didn’t want her last name used)started working there, she brought a tomato plant from her fourth-floor apartment to transplant into the adjoining garden plot.

“I wanted to share my love of gardening so I’ve also been planting lettuces, broccoli, onions and mint here,” she said.

She is proud of her success at her newfound COVID-19 pastime. One milestone sticks out for her:

Monday, Jun. 22, 2020

Photo by Anne Hawe
The 1,800-square-foot patio at X-Cues has a wonderful, countryish vibe thanks to all the plants, herbs and greenery. Now that Manitoba is in Phase 3 of reopening the economy it will once again be a favourite neighbourhood haunt.

Consider keeping a COVID-19 scrapbook

By Anne Hawe 2 minute read Preview

Consider keeping a COVID-19 scrapbook

By Anne Hawe 2 minute read Tuesday, May. 26, 2020

My sister created scrapbooks full of photos, ticket stubs and other memorabilia from her travels through Europe in her early 20s.

They were the type in which you carefully placed everything on the sticky pages and then plastic page protectors went over top.

Scrapbooking has always been popular, as it is about making memories and recording the details as simply or as creatively as you choose. People have been keeping scrapbooks for hundreds of years. Mark Twain patented the first self-pasting scrapbook in 1872, long before expensive scrapbooking papers, stamps and other accessories were available.

Think how valuable it would be today if more scrapbooks kept by those who lived through the Spanish flu had survived. Imagine poring over one of them and finding the similarities between their lives then and ours during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, May. 26, 2020

Supplied photo
Scrapbooks, such as those above put together by the sister of correspondent Anne Hawe after her European travels, are wonderful snapshots of time and place.