Tuesday, November 29

A new way to spend your Fridays

Free admission to art exhibits? Check. Discounts on trendy boutique items? Check. An exciting way to spend Friday nights in the heart of downtown Winnipeg? Check.
If any of this sounds remotely appealing, First Fridays might be right up your alley.
First Fridays is a year-round event held on the first Friday of every month from 5:00 pm. to 9:00 p.m. in the Exchange District. The idea was modeled after successful launches in various American and Canadian cities.
Sue Gordon, co-founder of First Fridays, originally attended several of these events in Kansas City. Both her and Karen Schulz, who are resident artists in the Exchange District, decided to start the same project in Winnipeg. They’ve been hosting First Fridays since July 2010.
“Our primary goal is to promote the Exchange area as an amazing place to become involved in the arts and to be a part of the centre of Winnipeg,” said Gordon.
So far, First Fridays has been hugely successful with over 50 participating venues, including galleries, art studios, caf├ęs and boutiques. Some of the participating venues include the cr8ery, Cinematheque, Toad Hall Toys, Pixels 2.1 and Cake-ology. This event gives the downtown businesses an opportunity to get their names out to the public.
Jordan Miller, co-founder and director of the cr8ery gallery and studios, is a successful artist who this year won the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award for the Arts. Her show, Life Structures & Other Personalities, debuted on a First Friday last year.
“Making people aware of what’s in this space is what we do on First Fridays,” said Miller. “They’re not really busy now because it’s very early on. The more we work on it, the more people will come down.”
Claire Morrison, a member of the Fire & Smoke duo, initially heard about First Fridays through word of mouth from a friend who frequents the event.
“They open their doors and you get to go in, and the best part about it is that it’s free!”
Fire & Smoke, a folk and bluegrass group that met at the Winnipeg Folk Festival last year, recently filmed their first music video in the eclectic scenery of the Exchange.
Gordon encourages people to come out and join the festivities.
“We would like First Fridays in the Exchange to be the most popular attraction in Winnipeg and to be attended by hundreds of supporters.”


This is an article that I recently submitted to The Projector, Red River College's student newspaper.

Friday, November 18

On an art-related note

Recently, I was asked by a good friend of mine to complete a logo for their group.

It was a lot of fun to work on, and I had the chance to further explore Adobe Illustrator.  Being comfortable with Photoshop and InDesign is one thing, but Illustrator offers a whole new world for line-art creation that I've never really used before.  And I absolutely love it.

Friday, November 11

"We know the story of Valour Road"

Does anyone remember this History by the Minute video?

I do, and maybe you do too.

When I was younger, I remember this clip being played during commercial breaks on TV.  I knew that it represented a snapshot of Canadian history, but I had no idea what it was really about.  I never knew the significance of these brave soldiers on the battlefield until I learned a little more about the Pine Street Boys in journalism class.

The beauty of journalism is that you don't only get to report on news in the now, because you sometimes get the chance to retrace history's steps and reflect upon the past.  There are so many moving moments in Canada's history that have been documented in film, photographs and writing.  I sometimes find that the beauty captured in a simple vintage photo alone is so poignant and powerful.

A presentation by Mark Reid, Editor-In-Chief of Canada's History Magazine, and today's Remembrance Day ceremony put things into perspective for me.  As a Canadian citizen, I was humbled by all of the efforts that our troops, past and present, have made to help us live in a country that promotes freedom, equality and human rights.

I commend the soldiers, their families and the supporters that came out to Sargent Avenue and Valour Road this morning to remember all the brave men and women who have fought for our country.  For those who have suited themselves up in military dress and wore arms so that we didn't have to.  For those who have fought and for those we have lost fighting.  For those who enabled us to live in peace.

I will remember.

Walking towards Sargent Ave.

Many people assembling around the memorial for soldiers at the corner of Sargent Avenue and Valour Road.

 Poppies put together by local school children to remember soldiers that we have lost in the war.

 After the ceremonies, the wreath is decorated with the audience's poppies.

Mural on Valour Road and Ellice Avenue of the three soldiers, Corporal Leo Clarke, Sergeant-Major Frederick William Hall and Lieutenant Robert Shankland, who were individually awarded the Victoria Cross.  All three lived on Pine Street, which was later renamed in 1925 as the present Valour Road to commemorate their acts of bravery during the war.

We know the story of Valour Road, but not everyone else does.
Andrew Swan

Wednesday, November 9

Now simulating Winnipeg's first hackerspace

On November 5th, Winnipeg's first hackerspace opened its doors to the public.

Hold on a second.

.. A hacker-wha?

What is a hackerspace, exactly?

Captured from http://www.tony5m17h.net/Matrix.html

Also referred to as a hackspace, hacklab, makerspace or creative space, a hackerspace is a physical hub where people with common interests gather to meet, share, learn and create.  The subject of these meetings generally fall under the categories of technology, science or digital art, but there are many other lesser known themes that they can be focused upon.
The cool thing about these centres is that their members often collaborate to develop software, hardware and various technological tools.  Hackerspaces also provide a venue for different presentations, workshops and lectures led by local techie wizards.
To learn more about Hackerspaces, click here.

Captured from http://www.skullspace.ca/

Located on the 3rd floor of 125 Adelaide Street in the Exchange District, SkullSpace offers a place for hackers, builders, programmers and artists to intellectually and creatively collide.  They aim to provide the space, tools, education and freedom to make their ideas come to life.

They also have a pretty sweet blog that you can check out.  It gives you a better taste of what's hidden inside of their space - pinball machines, vintage games feeding through a projector and apparently there was some sort of remix of Nyan Cat going on at their after party.  Sounds like a good time to me!

For anyone that's interested in signing up to be a member of SkullSpace, they host their weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 6:00PM.  There is paperwork on their website, http://www.skullspace.ca/, that you must fill out for the meeting.

Members that decide to make the commitment pay $40 a month.  This membership grants you 24/7 access to the space, ridiculously fast bandwidth speeds and various tools, amongst other things listed on their Member Benefits page.

Just another hidden gem in the Exchange definitely worth checking out.

Friday, November 4

First Fridays in the Exchange District

Also known as: TGIFF.  Thank god it's First Fridays!

Captured from http://www.firstfridayswinnipeg.org/index.html

First Fridays in Winnipeg's Exchange District began as a project initiated by Sue Gordon and Karen Schulz in August 2010.  Since then, it has gone viral in this historic part of town.  Various art studios, retail outlets and restaurants are happily taking part in the monthly festivities.

First Fridays occurs on the first Friday of every month.  It aims to bring people into the Exchange, and allows local businesses to get their names out to the rest of Winnipeg and beyond.  These businesses open their doors and allow the public to participate in free art exhibitions, take advantage of discounted merchandise and to simply come together in a beautiful, striving part of downtown.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about First Fridays, click here.
Tonight, from 5PM to 10PM, everyone is invited to check out yet another First Fridays events.  This link will help guide you through all of the places participating in tonight's shindig.

What better way to spend your Friday nights than immersing yourself in exciting art, enjoying local talent and taking advantage of sweet discounts on unique and trendy swag.