Top 3 things to do in Winnipeg the weekend of Dec. 14-16

With the holiday season in full swing, revisit the Regency time period, celebrate a unique musical talent or take in the local handiwork of fellow Winnipeggers.

Nostalgia, music and local artisans dominate this weekend

1882 Fruit Based Hot Sauce will be warming up the Yuletide Market in St. Norbert. (Submitted by Patrick Michalishyn)

With the holiday season in full swing, revisit the Regency era, celebrate a unique musical talent or take in the local handiwork of fellow Winnipeggers.  

All things Christmas including skating at The Forks, photos with Santa Claus and holiday festivals will be ongoing this upcoming weekend.

If you're looking for a quick break from all things holidays, our trio of CBC Manitoba personalities has you covered:

Shannah-Lee Vidal's pick: Jane Austen dinner party

On Sunday evening, stepping inside the Fort Garry Hotel could feel like entering a time machine. You have an opportunity to go back to the early 19th century England for a special celebration.

In honour of Jane Austen's birthday, Lady Jane Production is hosting a dinner and dance that will reflect the times of the Pride and Prejudice author.

Winnipeggers will have a chance to wear their best Georgian clothing for a Jane Austen dinner and dance. (Submitted by Nanc Price Photography)

At Home with Jane Austen: A Regency Dinner Party will feature a four-course feast of dishes Austen would have enjoyed during her lifetime.

Following dinner, there will be a guided country dance and live music by the Pemberley Players string and woodwind chamber ensemble.

Since it is an historically-themed event, attendees are encouraged to get into the spirit by donning their Regency era attire. Or you can put on your modern day semi-formal best.

More information on tickets, and how to dress in Regency era attire, can be found on the Lady Jane Productions website.

Ismaila Alfa's pick: Ego Spank Presents: Al Simmons

The West End Cultural Centre has the second in their Ego Spank Presents series. Ego Spank is a sort of Winnipeg super band made up of Murray Pulver, Gilles Fournier, Daniel ROA and Marc Arnould some of the best musicians in the city.

The series basically brings Ego Spank together with other superstar artists from Manitoba.

On Friday, they present Juno Award winner Al Simmons. He's a creative genius with amazing costumes and one of a kind self-made instruments and … sometimes the instrument is part of the costume!

Manitoba children's entertainer Al Simmons will be performing this Saturday at the West End Cultural Centre. (submitted/

He is funny, thoughtful and hilarious and has won over a legion of fans and is a HUGE hit at every theatre and festival he's played around the world.

You'll never see a performance like one of Al's from any other performer.

Now you can see Al Simmons as you've never seen him before … backed by Ego Spank.

The show will be co-curated by West End Cultural Centre artistic director Keri Stephens and the band.

Ego Spank Presents Al Simmons is Friday at the West End Cultural Centre. Admission is just $25.

Colton Hutchinson's pick: holiday markets

Winnipeg is well known for its vibrant community of artisans and makers, from jewlery and clothing, food and drink, to amazing artwork of all kinds.

The artisan markets are going all out for the holiday season, with just two weekends left before Christmas. The next few days are a perfect opportunity to find that unique, locally sourced gift to really wow the company. Here's a rundown of some of the larger holiday markets happening in Winnipeg;

Dragonfly Jewelry is always a favorite at local markets. Catch them at the Rise Above Holiday Sale. (Submitted by June Currie)

What: Night Owl Market

Where: 892 Dorchester Ave

When: Friday, Dec. 14, 5-10 p.m.

This brand new pop-up shop in Crescentwood is going to be a great opportunity to pick up some fancy gifts and treats, and have a little fun while you're at it. Not only is admission free, so is the "holiday cheer" with mulled wine and boozy (or not) hot chocolate flowing all night.

What: Rise Above's 1st Annual Handmade Holiday Sale

Where: 420 Corydon Ave.

When: Saturday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

At this new market, expect to run into some of your favourite Winnipeg makers, and support a great cause while you do it. Rise Above Bursaries for Single Parents looks to provide post-secondary grants for single parents attending the University of Manitoba. For a $2 admission you'll be donating to Rise Above, and entering a space with over 40 vendors of all sorts. Custom pallet art designs, beard accessories (you provide the beards), soaps, lotions, and baby gear are all on the menu for Saturday.

What: Yuletide Artisan Market

Where: St. Norbert Arts Centre, 100 Rue des Ruines du Monastere

When: Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Aurora Farms is hosting four storeys of vendors at this mega-market in St. Norbert this weekend. It's a safe bet that not only will you seal off your present shopping, but refurbish your home and stock your pantry for the year while you're at it.

Along with the classic rustic decor items, hot sauce, honey and handmade art you'll see, Aurora Farms is going to be showcasing its brand new soap studio in the basement of the arts centre.

You have two days to make it out to St. Norbert for the market, so no excuse to miss out on the fun.

What: South Osborne Holiday Market

Where: Farm Fresh Food Hub - 725 Kylemore Ave.

When: Sunday, Dec. 16, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

What better gift to give than a cellar full of fresh, local vegetables to store for the winter?

Farm Fresh Food Hub is hosting this market, and in addition to 30-plus vendors of all kinds setting up shop, Farm Fresh is bringing out their winter feast boxes and storable veggies. Packaged to keep well through the winter, the boxes are full of local beets, carrots, potatoes, onions and meats if desired. A great gift idea, especially if you're getting yourself a present this season.

What: Christmas Fundraiser for the Kitties

Where: Miss J.La's Fur Babies Cat Cafe and Adoption Centre, 508 Airlies St.

When: Sunday, Dec. 16, 12- 3 p.m.

While this market may be smaller than the others, it's definitely going to be hairier.

If you're not familiar with Miss J.La's Fur Babies Cat Cafe and Adoption Centre, this is Winnipeg's only hangout for cats. Feel free to drop in with your kitty and socialize, and if you need a fur baby of your own Miss J.La facilitates adoptions.

It's a lot of work to foster cats and provide a drop-in centre for the fur babies, and unfortunately the cat cafe is temporarily closed due to some funding issues.

This market is an opportunity to help get the Cafe back on its paws, and pick up some gifts for your own kitties. Personalized pet stockings and home baking will be in full stock, as well an assortment of other vendors.