Who knows whether it's the promise of warm temperatures, the extended daylight of the March sun, or the bursts of colour popping up around us, but there's something about the arrival of spring that inspires creativity. This upcoming month is an exciting one for the arts community in Winnipeg, and there'll be no shortage of outlets that celebrate and foster artistic expression.
This Thursday, April 3 (7:00 pm - 11:00 pm; The Oak, 826 Regent Ave West), RAW Artists will be continuing its growth across Canada with Awakening, an exciting launch right here in the city. Since its conception in 2009, RAW has showcased over 35,000 artists and has hosted over 600 local art-infused events. Cynthia Ballesteros, Executive Director (Canada), is "thrilled to be adding Winnipeg to the strong lineup of Canadian cities showcasing our talented Canadian artists." Awakening will unite all art forms in an eclectic explosion of creativity, all in one evening. "We've certainly brought hidden gems into the spotlight," says Ballesteros, "and there's just so much talent to be found in Winnipeg." I was catching up with a friend last week who just so happens to be one of the featured participants, and she's beyond excited to encourage visitors to come out for the evening:
"It's going to be the largest scale art show featuring local artists I've ever heard of," says Jess Mann, Winnipeg photographer. "You'll get to meet the artists, get to know them, and talk with them about their artistic process. It's truly going to be a cultural experience like no other. It's the mosaic of Winnipeg showing you the dreams they've brought to life. You don't have to spend three months pounding the pavement of every town, every art gallery, restaurant, beach, provincial park or heritage site: come to RAW. Everything that is Winnipeg will be deeply embedded into every creation there."
The event will feature a cash bar for cocktails to enjoy while taking in the talent, whether from local, hand-picked performance artists, musicians, photographers, film screenings, magicians of hair and makeup or up and coming designers. For any arts aficionado and supporter of our incredibly talented community, this event is certainly one not to be missed. Grab your cocktail dresses and join me for an artistic circus of creativity! Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
There are countless other avenues in the city through which to explore all things arts. The Winnipeg Art Gallery is currently featuring a variety of exhibits, the first of which continues the celebration of the JUNO Awards. The JUNO Tour of Canadian Art pairs great Canadian art with great Canadian music: award nominees and/or past winners choose Canadian works that serve as personal or artistic inspiration. Their response is recorded and displayed in the gallery next to their chosen piece. This year's batch of contributors includes numerous local JUNO heroes such as Fred Penner, John K. Samson (The Weakerthans), Royal Canoe and more.
Other exhibits cover a diverse range of topics in an artistic way: Math + Art runs until May 4 and invites visitors to celebrate the fascinating relationship between the two disciplines; Off the Beaten Path (to April 20) utilizes the power of art to promote awareness and inspire action on an important social issue; and you can view collections of European Renaissance and Baroque art at any time. A new exhibit (March 29 through May 11), Through the Eyes of a Child, includes art from hundreds of talented children and teens who put their creativity to use over the fall and winter. "The kids just let their imaginations run riot in class and the result is an exhibition that brings a smile to our visitors' faces," said Michael Boss, head of WAG Studio. "Staff, instructors, members of the arts community, and, of course, proud parents, are invariably delighted by the outpouring of energy, skill, and imagination that characterizes this exhibition. Did I mention that Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dali's incredible work is also coming to the WAG this fall?
In the Exchange District is Frame Arts Warehouse, where there's never a shortage of things going on. Stop in on Monday nights for CaRaVaN Open Stage, where everything from poetry to guitar, storytelling to backflips and everything in between is welcome! Sign up to perform yourself, or just enjoy a diverse range of local talent eager to share the fruits of their imaginations. Every first Friday at Frame you'll also find the Winnipeg Makers' Market, where makers and curators are joined by musical acts to bring unique local creations to the public for purchase. The venue also houses two art galleries and The Purple Room, which has hosted touring musicians, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, slam poetry, swing dancing, Fringe theatre, and even laser tag. Check their website for current events.
Winnipeg has such a vibrant arts community, and these are just a handful of the fantastic events we have to offer year-round. Celebrate imagination and embrace all things creative by indulging in the arts this spring!
Only in The Peg Chronicles the adventures of the Peg family–Missus, Mister and Lil' Peg - as they discover everything there is to see and do in Winnipeg. Follow them at @tourismwpg on Twitter or visit them on Facebook. For even more info on Winnipeg, visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com.