Winnipeg's Exchange District is a swell place, packed with intact turn-of-the-20th-century buildings and cool, very contemporary galleries, restaurants and indie boutiques. But it's nothing without people.
First Fridays is all about getting people out. A program that's worked in dozens of American and Canadian cities, it's been going in Winnipeg's Exchange District since last August.
It's a simple idea: On the first Friday evening of every month, everyone in this heritage neighbourhood works together to draw a crowd, offering art, music, food and fun. It's meant to generate that indefinable sense of big-city buzz, as people spill out of galleries, walk the streets, and linger at cafe tables.
This Friday is a little different; while it is actually the second Friday (remember Canada Day?), it is indeed still a First Friday. Confused? Don't be. Just check out these events and have yourself a good time.
This Friday, July 8th, there will be dub. What's "dub" you say? Well it's the rhythm that plays underneath reggae.
Starting at 4 p.m. Old Market Square gets some island flavour as the Soca-Reggae Festival brings the riddim throughout the weekend.
There will be an abundance of international talent on stage, ranging from Kingston town's Jah Kettle to Guyana's Omesh Sing (to name but two). Winnipeg will be well represented by the likes of Mello Man and Bubba B the MC while Caribbean food and drink will be flowing like the baselines.
On the art side of things you can look forward to something for all tastes.
Dance will complement the fabulous works at Gurevich Fine Art, as Alexandra Elliot and Black Heart Dance present "The Scents of Tang."
Estudio Luna Galeria features the tranquil, quasi-impressionistic paintings of Louise Kollinger, while the beautifully haunting paintings of Christian Worthington and the abstract works of Keith Wood will be on display at Zephaniah Gallery.
If the focus of your taste is photography then go see the local up-and-coming talent from Tec Voc high school photography students as they present "Fashion Photo Fusion" at Pixel 2.1. As well, the genius of Andrew Milne will be fully exposed at Zephaniah Gallery.