Summer in WinnipegFestivals, Events, Arts, & Design
As much as we all marvel at our Golden Boy – who is a Manitoban representation of Hermes – perched on top of the Manitoba Legislative Building, perhaps Apollo – the god of music and the arts – would have been a more fitting figure.
You see, Winnipeg is one creative city, especially when the sun is shining down on us in the summer!
We’re home to perhaps more live music per capita than any other Canadian city, while many of our legendary and world-renown performances groups wear the Royal stamp of approval. We have outstanding packages & deals on right now that will be music to your ears (and wallet!).
Festivals and live entertainment
The largest and most-attended summer festival is the Winnipeg Folk Festival (July 11-14), which features multiple stages, an ecological ethos (it’s perhaps the greenest festival in Canada), great food, and some fantastic headliners that include Kacey Musgraves, Snail Mail, Jason Mraz, and Death Cab for Cutie.
In the Exchange District, particularly on the futuristic Cube stage in Old Market Square, the party pretty much does not stop all summer long. For starters, there’s the TD International Jazz Festival (June 18-23) – which features numerous free shows on said stage, along with big headlining acts including Common and Bobby McFerrin. More free shows at the Cube are courtesy of the Winnipeg International Soca Reggae Festival (July 12-14), which brings island flavour to Old Market Square. Then there’s the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival (July 18-29), North America’s second-largest fringe festival which features 170 theatre companies putting on shows across this same area, including plenty of free fare in Old Market Square.
Finally, this being Winnipeg – a city where over 100 languages are spoken – it would only make sense that we play host to the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival. That festival is called Folklorama (August 4-17), and this year they are celebrating half a century! On any given night you can go globetrotting to pavilions across the city to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of countries from across the world.
Arts & Culture
With its incredible design that both radiates within downtown’s skyline and graces the new Canadian $10 bill, you really can’t miss the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR). On the opposite side of the new bill, you’ll find Viola Desmond, the Canadian civil rights activist whose story is told within the Museum in the One Woman’s Resistance exhibit. It’s just one of many riveting exhibits you’ll find within the CMHR’s ever-climbing floors, which also includes an award-winning exhibition that allows visitors to retrace the steps of one of the 20th century’s most-inspirational figures – Nelson Mandela.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery – home to the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit Art – also has an exhibit on this summer with a global outlook. Vision Exchange: Perspectives from India to Canada presents works from 20 contemporary artists from India/with Indian heritage living in Canada.
While the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has numerous shows on this summer, including the big Canada Day Celebration at The ForksWhile we are at it, we’d also like to tell you about all the live acts you can catch at the Bell MTS Place, Burton Cummings Theatre, Good Will Social Club, Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club, West End Cultural Centre, Park Theatre, Club Regent Event Centre and every other music joint in town, but to do so would take up an entire website. Lucky for you, we, along with Manitoba Music, have created that website, which you can find here.
Finally, there’s Cirque du Soliel, who will once again be bringing a big top show to Winnipeg to close out summer. Amaluna (43 performances, starting September 14), promises to be a female-driven spectacle, taking place on a mysterious island ruled by goddesses.
Time a tour
One of the best ways to discover Winnipeg is through an expert’s eyes, and Winnipeg has one sweet fleet when it comes to those.
For foodies and craft beer enthusiasts, a few great options include the West End’s Around the World in a Few Blocks – which brings you to some of the best ethnic cuisine in the city; Downtown Winnipeg’s Food Tours – where themes include brunch, Caesars, wine and bikes; Exchange District Food Tours. Winnipeg Tasting Tours and the Winnipeg Trolley’s Ale Trail Craft Brewery Tour, both showcase Winnipeg’s microbrewery scene while driving you and a crew around in style. The city’s newest culinary tours come courtesy of Culinary Adventure Co., who offer three walking tours – Savour The Forks, the Exchange District, and the Made in Canada food tours.
For tours that celebrate Winnipeg’s storied history, we have plenty of options that run across all manner of transport At the Forks, the 6,000 Years in 60 Minutes utilizes Parks Canada’s costumed interpreters to reveal just how steeped in history The Forks area is; while Indigenous elders hosts The Forks Oral History Tour, where you’ll learn of the fascinating history and legends of the region’s Anishinaabe, Cree and Métis peoples.
Old Saint Boniface Walking Tours magnify all the beauty of Winnipeg’s French Quarter. Plus, just about every neighbourhood – from the West End, to The Exchange District, to Downtown – provides fun guided walking tours that celebrate the city’s art, architecture, and more.
Winnipeg Trolley Company and Wonderful Winnipeg City Tours all will have you riding in comfort and style as you visit the city’s most famous areas and attractions, while you can see the city from the Red and Assiniboine Rivers while learning fun facts and being awash in saucy anecdotes with Splash Dash River Tours.