Summer - New Experiences
Star attractions that were but seedlings in 2022 have come to fruition this year and are ready to be enjoyed. There’s always something big coming through town, festivals are back in full force, which means there should be so much extra energy. We’re also training to welcome thousands of participants and fans for the 2023 World Police & Fire Games.
Assiniboine Park in bloom
Now in its second full growing season, the Gardens at the Leaf are even more spectacular, offering a feast for the senses outside the Leaf itself, which just opened in December 2022. Browse the expansive outdoor gardens, then head indoors to see Canada’s tallest indoor waterfall cascading toward a symphony of greenery in the Tropical Biome.
The Mediterranean Biome provides tranquillity and prehistoric ‘dinosaur pines’ you won’t believe, plus the top of the building features a beautiful butterfly garden. Once you’re done exploring, dip in for a meal (actually, make a reso to be safe) at Gather Craft Kitchen & Bar, the onsite restaurant with a new herb-walled patio and incorporating ingredients from the surrounding Kitchen Garden.
New to Assiniboine Park and Zoo this summer is Wildlife Rescue: Miracles in Conservation. This temporary exhibition in the zoo showcases some of the most powerful stories in animal-human relations. Creatures found in the exhibition include dark poison frogs, barn owls, Hog Island boas, big-headed turtles and Mexican red knee tarantulas, with animal care experts onsite to provide interactive experiences with certain species too.
All things big and... bigger!
Canada Life Centre is always bringing in big names, which this summer includes Nickelback on June 20, Jon Pardi on July 15 and WWE Raw on August 14. While those wrestlers are big, surely the biggest thing at the arena this summer is the Winnipeg Sea Bears, our brand-new professional CEBL basketball team with ten home games this season.
Even bigger than those balling Bears are the dinosaurs at the RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre. From June 2 to 4, Jurassic Quest returns, offering life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and all manner of hands-on experiences for the whole family. This year there’s a 50-foot-long Megalodon, a T-Rex and a Spinosaurus – which surely has taken the title of most-popular prehistoric baddie in popular culture.
All the festivals are back!
Sticking with birds (which we all know are the last of the dinosaurs)…Birds Hill Park will once again provides the natural backdrop for the Winnipeg Folk Festival (July 6-9), which returns with a dazzling lineup of headliners, including Fleet Foxes, Emmylou Harris, The War on Drugs and Vance Joy.
The TD International Jazz Festival (June 14-24) brings Angélique Kidjo to the Burton Cummings Theatre while providing a new lineup of concerts at The Fort Garry Hotel. The Winnipeg Fringe Festival takes over the Exchange District from July 19-30 and Folklorama – the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival – returns with pavilions showcasing cultures via dance, song, food and fun from August 6 to 19.
Summer officially kicks off with Pride Winnipeg, May 26-June 4, to be followed by many more festivals, including the Winnipeg International Soca Reggae Festival (July 7-9), the Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition (June 22-25) and The Burt Block Party – featuring Billy Talent, The Strumbellas and Stars on August 11, 12, 18 and 19.
World Police & Fire Games
If you’re wondering about the limited hotel availability from late July through early August, it’s because Winnipeg is hosting the 2023 World Police & Fire Games. From July 28-August 6, 8,000+ athletes and their families will be in the city to compete in a wide range of sporting activities at 38 venues, with plenty of opportunities for spectators to catch a range of events from jiu-jitsu to ice hockey, soccer, stair races, tennis, volleyball and even a Toughest Competitor Alive competition.