Culture, Culture, Culture Days

When I came back from the South of Spain in August, I was bummed. I had been there for just three months and the thought of getting back to a routine in Winnipeg felt kind of like planning my own funeral. I could have kissed that 12th century pavement before I left, if I hadn’t been so busy crying.

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The Simpsons, eh?

I wish I had remembered then, while I boarded my flight from Malaga to Toronto, drying my tears with a shirt that still smelled like sea salt, that Winnipeg can actually be pretty magnífico (that’s Spanish for magnificent, you guys). Peg city has been totally captivating me these past couple of months and it deserves more recognition.

If you don’t believe me, just ask the wide-eyed guy from Québec that I met at Nuit Blanche on Saturday night while in line for a Kurt Cobain-inspired art exhibit.

“Is this what Winnipeg is always like?” he asked. “I always hear it’s shitty here but this is like, really cool.”

Someone tell Matt Groening!

Culture days and Nuit Blanche took place downtown this past weekend, just two weeks after ManyFest brought us to our city centre for seriously fabulous food, drinks and music.

Culture Days is a three-day festival across Manitoba and other participating parts of Canada where volunteers host free, interactive events designed to engage people in local arts and culture. With over 345 events province wide, it’s tough to explain the festival and do it justice, but I can say that it was artsy.

There was dancing.

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Beth Syrnyk teaching me how to shimmy in her Introduction to Raks Sharki Bellydancing class on Friday evening.

There was painting.

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Mural going up live on Ross Ave. on Saturday.

There was creating.

Culture Days participants make their own buttons at Tiny Feast in the Exchange district on Saturday.
Culture Days participants making their own buttons at Tiny Feast in the Exchange District on Saturday.

Naturally, I had to show M what Culture Days was all about so I picked him up bright and early on Sunday. We grabbed Coke flavoured Slurpees and drove downtown. M rode shotgun and tickled my knee periodically, a habit of mine that seems to have rubbed off on him. I’m not actually very ticklish, but I pretend.

M and I first checked out Mini Culture Days outside of the Children’s Museum where we painted rocks. The idea was to cover the big letter M pictured below with colourful stones, googly eyes and all. M painted two rocks, which is two more than I thought he would. He typically isn’t a big craft guy, but he warmed to the idea when I suggested he paint Steve, a character from his favourite video game, Minecraft.

“Yeah ok Becca, I paint Steve and Alex. That’s good idea.”

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My sister, Issy helping M put googly eyes on his freshly-painted Steve rock.

We walked down to the river, up to the top balcony and all around at The Forks. M put up with my developing photography skills as I had him pose in front of basically everything, trying to get the hang of my new DSLR.

“Oh wow. Wow Becca, this is so nice this Forks today.”

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He was right. It was maybe the nicest day I’d seen at The Forks in years. The trees were orange and yellow, there were zero clouds and I had my favourite little homie’s hand in mine. We finished our day trip at M’s favourite playground, Variety Heritage Adventure Park at The Forks where I eventually had to just put my lens cap on and play. They definitely don’t have fall like this in Spain.

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“I did it, Becca!”
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