Our Here for It hosts are back at it for the summer, and their first stop is The Forks. Winnipeggers enjoy The Forks year-round, but Cody and Sarah show us a different perspective of this expansive space; one that focuses on public art and free amenities.
Check out the video to see a whirlwind tour of some of The Fork’s must-see gems.
One of the most eye-catching installations is Forever Bicycles, a 30 ft. sculptural piece by internationally renowned contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei. It’s a mesmerizing pattern made of 1,254 bicycles! Contrary to its name, this shiny piece won't be around forever and will disappear in September 2021, so go check it out, now.
While Cody snags some shots for Instagram, Sarah takes a stroll along The Fork’s various walking paths. She comes across another temporary piece only on display until June 2022. The Pirate Wheel is a 6.5 ft. bronze sculpture of a hare by English artist Barry Flanagan. His work is held in public collections worldwide including MoMA in New York, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Tate Modern in London!
Next up Cody finds himself at The Gathering Space which was created with the support of The Forks' Indigenous Curator, Dr. Niigaan Sinclair. It features a wiigiiwaam -- a lodge traditionally found amongst the Ojibwe people or Anishinaabe people which was recently built under the direction of Jason Parenteau. Previously known as South Point, you can find this space in the clearing along the bank of the Assiniboine at Niizhoziibean (phonetically pronounced Nee-zho-zhi-been). It is an inclusive gathering place today that also recognizes the area as a historical hub of activity for Indigenous Peoples that dates back 6,000 years.
While exploring beyond The Gathering Space, Sarah takes in a majestic beauty curated by Dr. Julie Nagam. Niimaamaa (phonetically pronounced nee-ma-ma), a word meaning “my mother” in Cree, Ojibwe and Métis, is a massive 30 ft. tall sculpture created by artists KC Adams, Jaimie Isaac and Val Vint representing motherhood, Mother Earth and new beginnings.
In addition to all the outdoor spaces at The Forks, public art can be found inside The Forks Market. The Totem Doodem murals, designed by Oji-Cree artist Jordan Stranger, are six super colourful Indigenous-inspired images. They were created with the intention of spreading the positivity and colour of the past and current Canadian Indigenous culture. Most of these public art pieces can be enjoyed because of generous donations through The Forks Foundation.
Finally, a day at The Forks wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Common Patio. Designed by Number TEN Architecture, The Common Patio features more than 470 seats outside with natural shade provided by trees along with lighting, fire pits, music at the main bar and a lovely view of the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. It is also dog-friendly, and open and accessible to everyone without having to make a purchase!
If you are grabbing something to eat, you'll also want to check out The Common’s beer and wine list, which includes 20 craft beers and 20 wines. Cicerone Tara Luxmore of The Beer Sisters handpicks the craft beer list, while the wine list is curated by Sommelier Brad Royale.
The Forks is a local gem that is drenched in rich history and significance that continues to be enjoyed by all today, and we are definitely here for it.
For more ideas on what you can do this summer in Winnipeg, go to hereforitwpg.com