Manitoba

A spooky old house, new music and wacky comedy entertain Winnipeg this weekend

As Winnipeg gears up for Halloween, there's laughs, music — and yes, some spookery — on tap this weekend.

CBC Manitoba's top 3 events

Some wacky improv hijinks hit the Gas Station Arts Centre stage this weekend. (Submitted by the Winnipeg Improv Festival)

They vant to make you laugh ... no, wait, that's not right. As Winnipeg gears up for Halloween, there's laughs, music — and yes, some spookery — on tap this weekend. Here's the CBC Radio crew's top three picks to check out. 

Colton Hutchinson's pick: Winnipeg Improv Festival

Can we have a setting? How about the Gas Station Arts Centre. 

Can somebody shout out an action? Laughter!

These two suggestions should make for a terrific scene of comedy this weekend at the annual Winnipeg Improv Festival!

The Improv Festival is in its 18th year here in the city, becoming one of the wackiest weekends in comedy here in the city over its tenure.

This year's festival pairs players from the Winnipeg Improv troupe with some special guests travelling in from outside of the city.

The shows will be themed, so you have a chance to pick your favourite topic, or check them all out and prepare for a weekend full of side splitting comedy on the spot.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll fall in love ... watching performers like, from left, Joleen Ballendine, Megan Leahy, Amy Shostack and Anna Currie. (Submitted by Winnipeg Improv Festival)

One of the more unique shows of the festival is titled Pixels and Friends, which incorporates virtual avatars to take the place of the players on stage. Pixels was a part of the Winnipeg Fringe Festival this year and was a big hit, so it will be great to see the idea expanded to Improvisation.

The Winnipeg Improv Festival runs two shows tonight, and two shows tomorrow at the Gas Station Arts Centre on River Ave. All of the ticket information is at winnipegimprov.com.

Lanikai plays The Good Will this weekend. Go see 'em! (Jenny Ramone Photo/Manitoba Music)

Ismaila Alfa's pick: Lanikai isn't just a beach in Hawaii!

It's a Winnipeg band fronted by Marti Sarbit.

You might recognize Marti's name and her voice — she was the lead singer for Imaginary Cities.

You know, the award-winning Winnipeg band that the Pixies insisted on taking on tour twice!

With Imaginary Cities Marti collaborated with Rusty Matyas but, with Lanikai all tunes are written by Marti. 

As she puts it, this is the first time she really gets to show the world her music in her own words.

Watch Lanikai perform I'm Glad live at CBC in the video above. 4:07

The band released their first self titled project back in 2016 but they have a bunch of new music to share. 

Last time I spoke with Marti she was telling me that she liked this new music even more than the earlier stuff.

If you've got the time you should definitely go check them out at The Good Will Social Club.

Marti has a one-of-a kind voice and writes clever, danceable tunes. You can hear the influence of artists ranging from Sam Cooke to Emily Haines but there's no mistaking — this is Lanikai!

They'll be joined by Slow Spirit and Jaywood.

It's all happening tonight at the Good Will. It all gets started at 9 p.m.

Shannah-Lee Vidal's pick: Dracula Unearthed!

Dalnavert will ramp up and down its spookiness levels this October, depending on whether adults or little ones are expected. (Submitted by Dalnavert/Leif Norman Photography)
My pick for this weekend has some fangs, because the search is on for Count Dracula.  

If you are dare, creep on over to the Dalnavert Museum for Dracula Unearthed! Revamped. It's a Victorian-era investigation that puts you inside Bram Stoker's novel. It's an authentic experience, because Dalnavert was built in 1895 and Bram Stoker's Dracula was published in 1897.  

You will go through the museum, encountering various journal entries and newspaper articles scattered throughout the many rooms. The goal is to make it feel like you are inside of Bram Stoker's novel, as you piece together the tale of this mysterious creature. It's also an experience for the ears, as you can expect to hear audio in different rooms, which has been created by local actors.

It's a scary event, but don't worry about any creepy crawlies coming out to grab you. It's rather a slow-burn type of fright that works your imagination.

It's not a jump-out-and-scare-you fright but rather a slow, intellectual burn ... into terror. (Submitted by Dalnavert/Charlene Van Buekenhout)

Dalnavert started this annual event for last Halloween. This year's Dracula investigation is similar, except that it's a touch creepier. This year, things are getting darker — literally. You can expect some added extra dark rooms to poke through.

Also, fewer people are being allowed into the investigate. Last year the limit was 20. But now, attendance is capped at only 16 attendees. So, with 25 rooms to explore, there's a biting chance you could find yourself alone in the shadows, for an added experience. But, if that thought gives you too many goosebumps, you can always stick closely to someone else.

This weekend, shows for Dracula Unearthed! Revamped takes place on Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and on at Sunday 9 p.m. The event will continue through the month until Oct. 28. 

If you have little ones, this event won't be suitable. But, don't worry, because they are welcome at Dalnavert to attend a Family Friendly Vampire Hunt on Saturdays and Sundays this month from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. This scavenger hunt uses the same decor as the Dracula event, but it's just the right amount of spooky for kids.

You can find more information on tickets and additional showtimes at DalnavertMuseum.ca.

Van Helsing artifacts at the Dracula Unearthed! exhibit. (Submitted by Dalnavert/Charlene Van Buekenhout)
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll fall in love with CBC Manitoba's top 3 picks. 2:43