Top 5 things to do in Winnipeg this weekend

This is the weekend of listening to charming, talented dudes play music in Winnipeg.

Festival du Voyageur, Tribe Called Red and Royal Winnipeg Ballet all must-sees this weekend

The Festival du Voyageur kicks off on Friday this weekend in Winnipeg. (Dan Harper/The Canadian Press)

This is the weekend of listening to charming, talented dudes play music in Winnipeg.

With Hana Lulu and Indicator Indicator playing a Valentine’s Day set at Festival du Voyageur, Jon Bryant making an appearance at the Folk Exchange and A Tribe Called Red blowing the doors off of Union on Sunday, there’s a pretty stellar lineup of shows to check out.

And there are the obvious annual greats to see at Festival du Voyageur (great if you have kids and/or friends who act like kids) and the Centennial Concert Hall where the Royal Winnipeg Ballet will be doing their own beautiful rendition of Romeo and Juliet.

Keep warm, my compatriots. Winter is almost over!

WHAT: FESTIVAL — Festival du Voyageur

When: Friday, Saturday or Sunday

Where: Voyageur Park at 866 St. Joseph St.

Cost: $15 for a day pass or $28 for a 10-day fest pass

Festival du Voyageur is back this year, in the midst of what feels like one of the coldest, meanest winters this city has ever seen.

Snow sculptures, traditional French and Métis foods, endless local bands, tobogganing and tons more will be on at the fest – open to those brave enough to venture into the cold.

Festival kicks off on Friday with an impressive music lineup and will go for two whole weeks.

This weekend, there’s a DJ show, tons of local bands like Hana Lulu and Indicator, Indicator (see below), a fashion show and a fancy ball.

And for two weekends of fun, it’ll only cost you $28, which is just crazy cheap. Also, if you have a kid or are a kid, prices are even cheaper.

Born and bred Winnipeggers will know this — but in case you’re new in town and you haven’t been before, you need to dress super, super warm. Double up on socks, break out your Sorels, put on that super-sexy waffle-long-underwear and do not skimp on the fur hats, scarves and mittens.

Also, if you go at night, be sure to try the Festival’s signature cocktail — Caribou. It’s basically red wine and whisky with some other lovely additions, but it’s not for the faint of heart.

If you’re brave though, there may be nothing better for warming you up.

WHAT: MUSIC —​ Hana Lulu and Indicator Indicator

When: Friday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Where: Pambian Tent in Voyageur Park at 866 St. Joseph St.

Cost: $15 for a day pass or $28 for a 10-day fest pass

If you haven’t seen local band Hana Lulu yet, you need to get on it. They’ve got an amazing, electro-indie sound that pretty much begs you to dance.
Indicator Indicator will be alternating sets with Hana Lulu this weekend at Festival Du Voyageur. (Indicator, Indicator)

They’re basically the perfect band to get you warm and moving in a chilly Festival du Voyageur tent on Friday night.

Plus, they’re alternating sets with local favourites Indicator Indicator about every hour.

I’d wear warm socks and try a few sips of whisky before you go, there could be a lineup to get into the tent!

WHAT: MUSIC — Jon Bryant at Flatlander’s Studio

When: Saturday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m.

Where: Flatlander’s Studio at 782 Main St.

Cost: $12 advance, $15 at the door

Whoa! The super-talented Jon Bryant is back in Winnipeg for an Exchange District show at Flatlander’s Studio this weekend.
Jon Bryant is back in Winnipeg at Flatlander's Studio this weekend. (Kevin Bryan Photography)

If you haven’t heard him before, he’s got a sort of twangy-indie sounding Paul Simon meets the Decemberists vibe going. 

Bryant’s vocals, original lyrics and the super rad people he plays will make Saturday a pretty spectacular show. If you’re still not sold: His last city gig was at the Folk Exchange, and it sold out despite the weather being extremely, extremely horrible that night. If trudging through snow in -40 C weather just to see someone play music isn’t a pretty good testament to how good they are, I don’t know what is.

Needless to say, $15 is a steal to see this man play. Grab tickets, maybe some warm tea and have an amazing night with your best lady/man friend.

WHAT: BALLET – RWB do Romeo and Juliet

When: Friday, Saturday or Sunday

Where: Centennial Concert Hall at 555 Main St.

Cost: $40-$140 per ticket

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s rendition of Romeo and Juliet will take over the Centennial Concert Hall this weekend with shows Friday and Saturday night as well as an afternoon show on Sunday.

I totally get wanting to avoid this on Valentine’s Day — it’s pretty cliché to check out anything Romeo and Juliet, never mind the ballet, on a holiday invented by greeting cards. But, I think it’s more than worth checking out on Saturday or Sunday.

Everyone knows the story, so it won’t be hard to follow, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet just does amazing stuff across the board.

It’s also easy to rationalize the ticket price when you think about how much you spend on drinks and cover on a normal weekend.

It’ll be beautiful! You should go.

WHAT: MUSIC – A Tribe Called Red at Union

When: Sunday, Feb. 16 at 9 p.m.

Where: Union Sound Hall at 110 Market Ave.

Cost: $20

A Tribe Called Red is playing a show at Union Sound Hall this weekend, and you should definitely go.
Check out the lovely dudes in A Tribe Called Red at Union on Sunday. (Pat Bolduc)

The hip-hop group/DJ collective is doing a cross-Canada tour right now with a few stops in the United States, leading up to their Juno nomination.

I first saw these guys in Ottawa, where they started an event called Electric Powwow, which is basically just an amazing dance party, but with some traditional music mixed with hip hop, dub step and reggae.

It’s super accessible, fun music, and the guys are exploding in popularity right now.

Sunday night will be a good chance to see them for an affordable price before they’re selling out major venues and tickets cost triple. Plus, Monday is a holiday!

Plus, there could not be a nicer, more modest and friendly dude around than Deejay NDN. Go support the stuff he does! It’s rad!