As much as we all marvel at Hermes (aka The Golden Boy) 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!).
In case you haven’t heard, this summer, Winnipeg is Too Good Not To Visit
Festivals & Live Events
The largest and most-attended summer festival is the Winnipeg Folk Festival (July 5-8), which features multiple stages, an ecological ethos (it’s perhaps the greenest festival in Canada), great food, and some fantastic headliners that include Sheryl Crow, Bahamas, and Courtney Barnett, all in the splendour of Birds Hill Park.
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 14-24) – which features numerous free shows on said stage, along with big headlining acts – including The Flaming Lips – at venues across downtown, The Exchange District and the West End. 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 fanfare in Old Market Square.
Also bringing hot jams to downtown and the Exchange District this summer are the Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival (August 17-18) – which combines smoked meat with smoking acts from across North America, and the Soca Reggae Festival (July 13-15), which brings island flavour to 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 5-18) where 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
The biggest event in art this summer takes place at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, where they’ve teamed up with the Brooklyn Museum and the National Gallery of Canada to present a Summer with the Impressionists. Matisse, Degas, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Cassatt, Cézanne, Manet, Renoir… all the big names will be on display in two world-class exhibits that will run from June 16 to September 9.
In the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, on top of their already absorbing tours and programming, visitors will be able to delve deep into the life and character of one of the 20th century’s most-inspirational figures. Mandela: Struggle for Freedom presents a detailed history of Nelson Mandela, utilizing artifacts, interactive exhibits, video, and in-gallery activities.
On the performance side of things, you can catch the world-renowned Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet for FREE three times (July 25-27) at the outdoor Lyric Theatre in Assiniboine Park, while the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has numerous shows on this summer, including the big Canada Day Celebration at The Forks.
While 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 Cavalia’s Odysseo – one of the best touring shows to ever ride into Winnipeg. No horsing around, this big top show (actually, make that Big Tent, located at Sterling Lyon Parkway at Kenaston Blvd) features 65 horses and 45 acrobats, dancers, musicians and riders working in unison to produce a breathtaking show that relates humanity’s equine history (May 12-July 8).
Take 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; and Winnipeg Tasting Tours and the Winnipeg Trolley’s Ale Trail Craft Brewery Tour, both of which showcase Winnipeg’s microbrewery scene.
For tours that celebrate Winnipeg’s storied history, we have plenty of options that run across all manner of transport.
On foot, SquarePeg Tours look at the weird, wacky and sometimes spooky side of the city; 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 Metis peoples.
Old Saint Boniface Walking Tours will 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.
Ô Tours, 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.