Top 5 things to do in Winnipeg this weekend (Jan. 30-31)

This weekend is packed with festivals and once-a-year stuff that is so much fun.

The Winnipeg New Music Festival, Big Fun, Art and Soul, plus cereal and cartoons at Cinematheque

Mise en Scene plays Big Fun Saturday night at The Good Will. Go go go. (Becca Blackwood)

Sad news: if you stay home all weekend to avoid the bitter, bitter cold, you are going to be missing out on a lot.

This weekend is packed with festivals and once-a-year stuff that is so much fun.

On the festival side we have the incredible Winnipeg New Music Festival and Big Fun, which has been underway for a few days already.

If you have $10 you can go crazy on sugary cereals and vintage cartoons at Cinematheque Saturday morning, and if you have even more money than that you can check out Art and Soul at the WAG Saturday night.

Have fun, you guys.

WHAT: FEST – Winnipeg New Music Festival

When: Saturday and Sunday

Where: Centennial Concert Hall at 555 Main St.

Cost: $26-$32 per show or $128 for a fest pass

This is my top pick for the weekend – and the one you should definitely go check out (if not this weekend, at some point this week).

For the uninitiated, the New Music Festival is about contemporary classical music – but before your eyes glaze over, it’s actually just a big party with food and drinks and an absolutely massive band and tons of creative, brilliant people visiting to do what they do best.
The Gritty is part of the amazing New Music Festival this year. Go see it, OK? (Courtesy The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra)

There’s going to be art, food, music and fun in the Centennial’s Piano Noble.  There are going to be talks from people who know stuff about the music before it starts and there will be parties after.

Tickets are totally affordable (and even cheaper for students), and if you’re still wary because “classical contemporary music” sounds intimidating, here’s what Neil Middleton from the WSO told me about it: “You don’t come knowing stuff, you come to learn … The idea is you take in this music and then hang out.”

Oh and by the way, Winnipeg has one of the most impressive new music festivals in the world. We kind of kick New York and San Francisco’s butts in this regard.

WHAT: MUSIC – Big Fun Festival

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Where: Various locations

Cost: $10-$15 per show or $60 for a fest pass

For a new-ish festival, Big Fun is doing some impressive things this year – and the good news is you can catch a lot of these shows after or before you check out the New Music Festival.

There are nine venues, a ton of local and not-so-local names and even a hungover breakfast show on Sunday.

Friday night it’s all about West Broadway with shows at Thom Bargen (yay!), the Handsome Daughter and the Sherbrook Hotel.

My top picks for the weekend are a VERY early set by Panamax at the Handsome Daughter at 6 p.m. Friday, the Manitoba Music showcase on Saturday at The Good Will (hello Mise en Scene and Slow Leaves!) and the hungover brunch at Goodwill on Sunday with the Catamounts.

PS: KENmode is playing the Sherbrook Hotel Friday night if you’re cooler than me and want to go to that.

WHAT: PARTY – Art and Soul at the WAG

When: Saturday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.

Where: Winnipeg Art Gallery at 300 Memorial Blvd.

Cost: $55

Let’s get fancy, you guys. The Winnipeg Art Gallery is doing their annual super-fun thing Saturday night.
This was Art and Soul last year. This year, you could be one of those tiny people having fun. (Instagram @artandsoulwinnipeg)

Art and Soul is basically a big fundraiser for the gallery, and you can either dress up or just dress nice and have drinks and be around art, and it’s just generally lovely.

My absolute favourites Mama Cutsworth, DJ Hunnicutt and DJ Co-Op are all doing sets, and there’ll be live music from Attica Riots too.

The galleries will also be open until 11 p.m. so you can check out the extended Dali exhibit if you’re into it.

Oh and bring cash because it’s kind of like a social where you buy drink tickets instead of paying with cash.

WHAT: FILM – All-you-can-eat cereal and cartoons party

When: Saturday, Jan. 31 at 10 a.m.

Where: Cinematheque at 100 Arthur St.

Cost: $10

I don’t think I need to explain why people should go to this.

It’s all you can eat sugary cereal and three hours of retro cartoons from the ‘60s through the ‘80s in a tiny theatre.

It’s only $10, and you should bring all your friends. All of them.

Fair warning: lots of little kids go to this, so get yourself together and be cool, okay?

No cursing or talking about being hungover from Big Fun last night.

WHAT: THEATRE – MTC’s Cowardfest

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Where: Various locations

Cost: FREE to $85 for a fest pass

So this has a weird name, which is all the more reason to go check it out.
This is Noel Coward. What a boss. (Courtesy The Manitoba Theatre Centre)

The Manitoba Theatre Centre is doing their annual Master Playwright Festival this weekend (and actually for the next couple weeks) and the big guy this year is Noel Coward.

Coward is mostly known for his comedy so this year’s fest should be pretty good.

There will be plays, lectures, movies and all sorts of stuff to check out.

Joff Schmidtt, who knows a lot more about theatre than me, thinks you should go see Blithe Spirit at the Echo Theatre this weekend or Private Lives.


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