Winnipeg Celebrities

Lately I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of film trailers around town. They’ve been at the Leg (pronounced ‘ledge’), on Wellington Crescent, the Exchange District, even mysteriously set up around Sobey’s. They aren’t all low-budget Lifetime movie affairs either. These are the real deal with well-known actors like Keanu Reeves and Kristin Stewart. It’s pretty amazing to think that our little area has become so popular with Hollywood. But then you find out that the types of movies which are being filmed are titled Siberia or the setting is small-town Minnesota. It’s quite humbling actually.

As you may or may not be aware, Winnipeg is not what you would call a glamorous city. With those working class roots and a general distaste for big dreams, it kind of makes sense that Winnipeg hasn’t produced many celebrities. And we hold on so tightly to the famous folks that we do have some affiliation with. It’s been almost 50 years since he moved away, but Neil Young attended Kelvin High School! Anna Paquin? Sure, she may have been age 4 when she left, but she was born in Winnipeg. Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman return on occasion which gives everyone a thrill. Nia Vardalos had that Greek movie in the early aughts. Truthfully, there isn’t anything wrong with being proud of these people, or wanting to believe that growing up here, in this place, contributed to their success in some way. I’m sure every home town feels the same pride.

This past summer, I had a few celebrity sightings of my own. Not of the Hollywood-caliber, but our very own hometown, local familiar faces. Within the span of a few days, I saw resident entomologist, Taz Stuart (Bomber game). Only in Winnipeg would a bug guy be so instantly recognizable. It says a lot about our obsession with mosquitos. My next big sighting was Rod “I never sleep!” Peeler (restaurant). Seriously, what a master of the art of realtor marketing. Lastly, the all too familiar face of Sam Katz (restaurant). If you’re wondering, yes I can confirm that he does have a Goldeyes license plate. There was also some exciting developments on the reclusive pseudo-celebrity front when this article ran in the Freep about Cheryl Lashek. She takes care of the elevators in my workplace and probably in yours.

While they aren’t exactly celebrities in the People sense of the word, they are certainly much more representative of our little city. Nothing could be more fitting for a working class city to celebrate their local, working class citizens.

 

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Supporting Local Business

Two Christmases ago, my mom gave me a book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. At the time I didn’t realize it was a pop culture phenomenon. I thought it was a gag gift or maybe a last ditch effort on my mom’s part to help me finally overcome my messy tendencies.  Being tidy has been a personal struggle of mine for a long time. Not for lack of trying. I’ve tried every strategy that is recommended for people like me. The 1 minute rule. The 15 minute rule. Making lists. Weekly routines. Not even Loonette on the Big Comfy Couch could solve my messy problem. A few months after Christmas, I decided to give kondo-ing a try, partly because I was to move out shortly thereafter. I was hesitant because the first step is to gather all your belongings and dump them into a pile. I was envisioning myself becoming fatigued by the gathering and not actually moving onto the next step: sorting. Memories of previous moves that had ended in me sobbing late at night, overwhelmed by a small sea of unpacked belongings pushed me to start the process. In the end I did get rid of a lot of items that I had no use for anymore. And once they were out of the house, I didn’t miss them.

Since then I’ve still struggled to stay tidy, but cleaning up doesn’t take nearly as long because there is so much less to put away. As a direct result of this, my shopping habits have changed substantially. I’ve always loved shopping and spending money, but lately I am much more interested in quality v.s. quantity. Instead of impulse shopping, I think about what I really want and what I really need in my life. I haven’t been taken in by things just because they’re a good deal. In fact, I’m finding that I would prefer to not spend my money until I find something that is worth spending the money on. And beyond that I’ve also been thinking about the impact that my money has when I spend it which is why I continue to become more invested in supporting independent shops.

I’ve always been in favour of spending money at local businesses and it seems like I’m not alone because there has been a renaissance of locally-made high quality goods.  I don’t remember Winnipeg ever being so full of entrepreneurs. Local brew pubs and coffee shops are scattered throughout the city. Gourmet doughnut shops and local clothing designers with their own boutiques are highlights in the downtown area. An even broader variety of artisans are on Instagram and although they don’t have their own brick and mortar stores, they can be found at wildly popular pop up markets. Even the food truck variety is staggering when compared with what was available a few years ago. Often the products being sold isn’t the cheapest option. However, for a few more dollars, there are tangible rewards like meeting the creator of your goods, detailed information about how and your product is made and pride in the service provided. At the same time, when our money is kept in our own community, we boost our local economy. Even if you buy less and spend more, consider the overall benefits of supporting local. It’s worth it.

 

 

The Importance of Neighbours

Last year I found out that once you move into a house, a question a lot of people will ask is “How are your neighbours?” Which makes sense because there is the close proximity within which you will both be living your lives. Neighbours are important. If you’re away for a few days, there is comfort with knowing that the good people next door will be keeping an eye out. Even if you have family or a friend checking on your house, it’s the neighbours who will recognize behaviour or events that might be out of the ordinary.

These are the folks who will warn you about events happening on your street, like car break-ins, vandalism, or suspicious ‘furnace inspectors’ knocking on doors. It’s only your neighbours who are equally concerned about local services, like schools, libraries, or community centres. Only the residents on your street or in your area face the same daily gripes that you do.

Like most communities, it is the unfortunate case that it’s usually difficult circumstances that unite us. All it takes is a drive down Henderson Highway these days to see how the impending loss of the urgent care facility at Concordia is uniting the 27km stretch of road. Back to our neighbourhood, River Heights is regularly united by car break-ins, and a deeply held belief in NIMBY-ism. Google ‘River Heights Residents Angry’ and you can see a lengthy and varied search return. The majority of residents obviously value the status quo. If you zoom out a bit, there is a clear difference in the level of community between neighbourhoods with different demographics.  As anyone that has lived in the North End will tell you, the sense of community is palpable. Everyone places a much higher value on community and make a huge effort to be friendly with each other. In contrast, talk to anyone who lives in Tuxedo. Many of them don’t even know what their neighbours look like, let alone their names. It might be the money that makes the difference. After all, how many of us end up chatting with the neighbour over the fence while mowing the lawn or gardening. If that work is done by a contractor, that opportunity is gone. Home and neighbourhood design have changed as well over the years. With big attached garages, you can avoid contact with people altogether by driving in and out. When my parents moved to the city, I could match each SUV to the corresponding house, but I don’t think I could have placed a single driver in a police lineup.

Currently, we have great neighbours. They’re friendly, and although slightly eccentric, none of them appear to sell drugs, belong to gangs, or live a pesticide-free lifestyle (hippies: everyone’s least favorite suburban neighbour). We are familiar enough to know the names of their pets and their general lifestyle. Even better, is that we have neighbour-friends that we alternate hosting dinners with and they’re a really wonderful couple. It didn’t happen by accident though. They put in conscious effort to welcome us to the area when we moved in. They extended an invitation to get together and gave us their phone number. If it weren’t for those gestures, we would likely have lived for years next to a great couple without getting to know them. Transcona has a great festival called the Hi Neighbourfestival which I first thought was kind of a cheesy idea. And maybe it is a little bit, but I think it really underscores the value of getting to know the people around you. Social media fascinates us because it shows the exotic, the exciting, the everything else. Meanwhile we’ve stopped valuing our own reality because it seems less interesting in comparison. Until that difficult circumstance comes along, we don’t need the people who live nearby. Instead of waiting for that day to come, we should make the effort now. Being a neighbour is more than just living next to each other, it’s also finding value in the sense of community that that closeness provides. And in order to do that, we have to cultivate those relationships, like our neighbour friends did, by making the effort.

Thinking about this made me revisit Mr. Rogers and his timeless invitation:

“Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbour?”

 

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

As of this week, we are back into more normal February weather. Was anyone else weirded out by the amount of warm weather we’ve had this winter? It’s strange to see people at the bus stop in February with bare hands reading the paper or scrolling on their phones. Granted, every time that Festival du Voyageur starts up, we always have at least a couple of days that the weather warms up just enough to slightly melt the lovely ice sculptures around the city so they become an abstract version of the original. If you squint your eyes and turn your head just so, you can almost see what the artist’s vision was. I’m not complaining about the unseasonable warmth(because you can’t complain when the weather is nice in winter), but when it’s rained in both January and February, it feels odd. Like maybe we’re in Vancouver, but without the scenery and expensive housing.

In the midst of all this weird weather, I’ve been doing some really cool stuff around the city lately, like seeing the MTC play Black Coffee (a whodunit Agatha Christie mystery) and enjoying poutine at the Festival while wearing a classic 80’s one-piece snowsuit. That last part was owing to a friend who has a ton of 80’s snowsuit stock. Let me tell you, 15 people wearing matching 80’s ski suits do not go unnoticed. I had a blast and Festival always makes you appreciate both our local French community as well as winter. It says something about Winnipeg that Festival takes place in the middle of winter, when we’ve grown tired of shoveling, and the magic of snowflakes wears a little thin.  Nevertheless, every year Festival brings out large crowds of people and often fills the grounds to capacity for late night. To me, the event is almost a perfect roundup of Winnipeg – laid-back, friendly, and full of good eating. Like if someone wanted to see the best of Winnipeg in the winter, Festival would be where I would direct them to go. Where else would you find hordes of people enjoying maple syrup on a stick or such a striking number of folks wearing lumberjack plaid. It may not be cosmopolitan, but it’s us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responsibility

One of the reasons people like to live in small towns is because they like the idea of a community. You get that feeling of connection.  If you’re living in a small town, the waiter that serves you at the Chicken Chef is your buddy’s older brother and the cook is your neighbour. You never forget that they are a person. In a small town, there’s a higher chance that you’ll feel personally invested in community initiatives. If the pool can’t open for the summer, then your children’s swimming lessons are cancelled. When the local event hall burns down, there’s nowhere to have a social.

Living in a city is different. We see so many people every day that they become background noise. The person slowly counting out their change while you wait impatiently is an idiot. Except if you were in a small town, you would know that he isn’t an idiot. After a bad car accident, he now struggles to count out the right amount of change. When the woman speaking broken English is asking the bus driver for instructions while you’re standing in -25 weather, you angrily think “Figure it out, it’s not that hard.” But if your small town had welcomed a refugee family, you would know that she has PTSD and you would help her find her way home. If you were in a small town and saw a woman lying on the sidewalk in -30 weather, you wouldn’t drive by without stopping to help. Since we aren’t in a small town, a woman died on our streets. Her name was Tina.She was found in front of Portage Place. Carl Seier, of The Stranger Connection Winnipeg wrote a post about Tina here  and I’ve been carrying his words with me ever since.

How, as a community, could we let this happen?

Last year was a year long celebration of Winnipeg identity. What parts of living in this city make us who we are. This year, I’m not satisfied with that. We need to contribute. Every single resident in this city has something to contribute. Whether it’s money, time, awareness, blood, or small gestures of empathy. You can make this city better. You have a responsibility and a duty to make this place better. I don’t care how. Last year I started donating on a monthly basis to two charities that I strongly believe in. The people who run those charities put in so much time and effort that I feel ashamed because what I give is not enough. What these charities need is a dependable income. The number of people in our growing city can support community initiatives. We choose not to.

Recently a local man donated his car to a Syrian refugee family. And he received backlash for it. This isn’t public funds. This wasn’t taking other peoples’ money and being underhanded about it. He donated his own car. And people around the city skewered him for it. It baffled me when I heard about it. And then I thought that perhaps these people were lashing out because this gesture gave them no excuses. You have no excuses. Neither do I. What you are doing is not enough. 2017 should be the year we do more. We should all be doing more. The need for help can be overwhelming sometimes. It’s easier to drive to work, drive home, watch t.v and not think about. Or we see the people visibly active in the community and appreciate their efforts without offering any form of support. Those people are not operating in a vacuum. They operate in the real world like you and me. The gas doesn’t pay for itself. The bills don’t pay themselves. Unexpected expenses inevitably happen.

The Main Street Project operated a homeless outreach van up until 6 years ago. The service allows workers to travel around the city in order to provide clothing, food and and transportation for homeless people to shelters.The van stopped going out because the funding dried up and we failed to support the initiative. There’s the very real possibility that Tina could still be alive had the van been funded throughout. For the time being the van is on the road, but there is a limited amount of funding from the Downtown BIZ . And what will happen then?

I’m not trying to demoralize or guilt-trip you. What I hope to do is to inspire you. We have the power to affect change. Every time you choose action over apathy, you make our community better. Unfortunately it can be paralyzing to know where to begin. This year, each month I will feature a local organization that is taking steps to make our city better.  I hope that this year you will take a step with me to doing better. We must do better. This month please take a minute and visit The Main Street Project  to see the good work that they do.  Let’s do this together.

Shine On You Crazy Crab

Over the last couple of years I’ve spent many hours listening to various podcasts. One of my favorites is Call Your Girlfriend with Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman. The podcast itself is well worth listening to, a mix of pop culture, current women’s issues and fun, but the reason I bring it up is because of something they call Shine Theory. The Shine Theory philosophy is ‘I don’t shine if you don’t shine.’ The basic premise is that for various reasons, women can be intimidated by other successful women. This intimidation stems from insecurity and fear, causing us to behave in less-than-nice ways to each other. We start thinking that the only way to win is to be the only woman in the room. What Friedman argues is that instead of giving into the urge to dislike or compete with other successful women, we should actively seek them out and befriend them. The more successful women we surround ourselves with, the more motivated we will be. I love this idea. My own girlfriends are a constant source of inspiration. Every time that I come away from hanging out with them, I feel energized and focused. I’m fortunate to have a lot of smart, funny, and successful women in my life. I do get those moments of insecurity when I compare myself to one of them. Sometimes I go so far as to wonder why exactly they’re spending time with me. The best way to shake these feelings off are to refocus on how happy I am for their successes. It’s much more fun to live vicariously through them as they celebrate their achievements.

What does all this have to do with Winnipeg? After reading about Shine Theory, I started thinking about the idea in general. This philosophy can apply at any level. How about locally? Winnipeggers have a crab in the bucket mentality. As in if I can’t have it, neither can you. There’s a kind of low level negativity that feeds off of mediocrity. This attitude is toxic and prevalent. It’s incredibly frustrating. Read any news comments section about The Museum of Human Rights, downtown revitalization, or any other positive local initiative. Workers who want more pay or benefits are told they should be satisfied with what they have. Businesses shouldn’t have any tax breaks because they might be too successful. Even on your daily commute, drivers try to prevent other cars from passing them. And to what end? This attitude doesn’t help anyone. Ultimately it hurts all of us. The more preoccupied we are with dragging other folks down, the less energy we save for making positive change. What we should be doing is recognizing that we all want to see our community work harder, do more and ultimately become better. No, you don’t have to support all things all of the time. If you don’t support a particular goal, then offer constructive criticism. Develop alternatives. Create options. Make your own mark. It is no one else’s job to make you happy and satisfied with your life or your community. That is up to you. If we get past the pettiness and insecurity, we can spend our time helping both ourselves and our city to shine brighter. The more that we support change-makers, the more positive the impact. As we inspire and support each other we can keep growing into a city to be proud of.

This is all well and great, but how can this be applied? After all we can’t all be Chipmans, Aspers, or Bulmans, leaving an obvious (and expensive) stamp on the city. We can start small though. One way to show support for local businesses is using the Local Frequency app. Whenever you make a purchase with cash or debit, the business can scan your app. 3% of your transaction will go towards your Local Points. The cash stays within our local economy while you save money. It’s free to download so there’s no additional cost to you. And while you’re at it, the list of businesses can also function as a road map to cool local places that you wouldn’t necessarily know about. Together we can fight the crab mentality. When someone signals to get in your lane, let them in. You’ll help them to get where they want to go.

Downtown

Downtown Winnipeg is about as polarizing as our weather. We aren’t ambivalent about the area. Everyone has an opinion which they are more than happy to share; at work, with friends, or in very strongly worded letters to the editor. Ultimately I think everyone agrees there are issues with our downtown. In my opinion the biggest hurdle is how relatively massive the space is compared to the overall size and population density of the entire city. If you plan to map the whole thing on foot, better make sure you wear good shoes. Once I power-walked from the U of W to the Forks and ended up icing my foot for a week.

Downtown has always had a special place in my heart. Before I lived in Winnipeg, both my dentist and orthodontist were on Kennedy so I regularly spent a lot of time at Portage Place and the Bay. When I was 17, I began attending the U of W. Exploring the West End and the Exchange District meant indie concerts, pho, comic book stores, designer clothes, and alternative lifestyle paraphernalia. My first job out of university was on the other side of downtown. I had an active lifestyle; walking home through the Forks every day and swimming at the Fairmont during lunch. I spent my hard earned dollars at stores in the Exchange like Hoopers and Candie and Dolls.

It’s been about 3 years since I was downtown on a daily basis. Since then I’ve missed it although not in a really active way. Mostly there’s been a sense that something is absent. Every time I do go downtown or drive through it, it feels like driving past a childhood home, but the paint colour is different  and someone built an addition on the back. It’s nice to see, but disorienting at the same time. Luckily for me, the downtown exile is over. I’ve started a new job downtown and I’m trying to craft a summer schedule that includes every food truck, hipster coffee shop, and outdoor event possible. Downtown was the first neighbourhood that I got to know Winnipeg and it feels like coming home.

 

Don’t Wake Me, I Plan on Sleeping in

How many times do you hit the snooze button every morning? This morning I managed a personal best with 4 rounds of delaying the inevitable. This left me with about 13 minutes to get ready and be out the door if I was going to be anything resembling punctual. The effect adrenaline has on my efficiency is incredible. No limb goes unused. I’ll pull my pants on as I go down the stairs while brushing my hair. I’m a one-armed barista making a leftie latte while my right hand scoops cat food into a dish. Meanwhile I’m visually searching the room to see where my belongings are to minimize any further lost time. Today I grabbed my coffee, phone, purse and…I couldn’t find my keys. I searched my purse, then the kitchen, followed by the entire house. At this point I was standing around overheated and anxious while debating whether to call a cab, call in sick (will this day get better? Probably not) or check a bus schedule. I called Mike and bless his organized heart, he knew where my spare car key was. I had no idea whether the spare key was in the house let alone where it would be. I was at work ten minutes later.

I really do try to give myself more time; to leave 15 minutes earlier, prepare ahead of time, designate a place for my stuff. And it works for a while. I’ll be on top of things. And then life happens. I have a busy day or a really bad day. I change my routine. Ultimately the problem is my brain. No matter where I am physically, I’m rarely 100% there mentally or emotionally. My brain takes me to last week to relive an embarrassing experience or I’m thinking about next week and where I’ll be. Sometimes all it takes is hearing a certain word or seeing a familiar place and I wander off on a mental journey returning to the present some time later.

One of my good friends went to India this year for a month long yoga and meditation retreat. It was inspiring listening to her experiences. My 2016 doesn’t look like it’s going to include a meditation retreat in India. Instead I found the Winnipeg Sri Chinmoy Centre which offers free meditation classes. Sri Chinmoy was a spiritual master from India who spent his life teaching meditation with the philosophy that practicing meditation brings inner peace and stimulates creativity. I had signed up in February and to be honest, I had forgotten about it until the centre called me last week. This opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time because I was in the middle of an awful week . The first session is tonight. My hope is that the mindfulness will transfer into my daily life and leave me feeling more present. My friend told me that meditating was incredibly difficult for her. In the beginning she would get angry. She would be sitting in a room full of serenity and the harder she tried to relax, the more angry she would become. She overcame her frustration and has continued to practice meditation on her own. I don’t think I’ll have the same reaction she did. I think it’s more likely that my challenge will be preventing falling asleep while I’m supposed to be meditating. On the bright side, if I do nod off I won’t have a 13 minute adrenaline-fueled panic attack. Unless I lose my keys again of course.

Big Words, Small Talk

In Hollywood there is the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. In Winnipeg it’s 1.5 degrees. Maybe 2 on a good day. Each person you meet does brunch with one of your friends and probably works with your cousin. It’s uncanny. Visiting key city locations like IKEA guarantees a impromptu reunion with a colleague, a former classmate, or your Starbucks barista. Whether or not you choose to acknowledge them or instead swan dive over a Stocksund couch to avoid conversation is your choice. I have to confess that my natural instinct is to do the latter. But don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s me. I hate small talk because I always cause it to go off the rails. It starts off normal like:

The Acquaintance: “Hey, what’s up? Why are you behind this couch?”

Me: “Oh HEY! Am I behind a couch? Uh, not much is up, how about you?”

The Acquaintance: “Just taking care of some errands”

Me: “Yep, me too, just picking up some maple flavoured candies as you do”

At this point The Acquaintance looks vaguely confused and suddenly I realize that I’m veering off script. In an attempt to salvage the situation, I launch into a lengthy yet incomplete story like a coked up chipmunk.

Me: “I play video games online, with Americans and you know they don’t get some of our foodstuffs so sometimes I send “Canadian” stuff down to them. You know, in St. Cloud.”

The Acquaintance: “…Right, that’s cool. So anyway…”

By now I can’t stop myself so I keep going.

Me: “Yeah last time I sent him some ketchup chips and he shared them with his niece and then he had to hide the last bag from her because she liked them so much. Isn’t it funny they don’t have ketchup chips down here? Like, all that money in the military but so little in chip flavours.”

At this point The Acquaintance is looking around wondering how they can possibly wrap up what was supposed to be a quick stop’n chat. I’m realizing that this situation is now wildly out of hand and I switch gears forcibly ending the conversation like a freight train slamming into a brick wall.

Me: “Well! These candies aren’t going to pay for themselves so nicetoseeyoubye” as I beeline it to the checkout. Whereupon I realize that I forgot other essential items so I head back out to the merchandise only to bump into The Acquaintance in Aisle 7.

Me: *shout talking* “Forgot to grab a coffee crisp and REAL smarties unlike those weird American rocket smarties!!! waving the items in question around. The Acquaintance just kind of wincing and nodding like “please let this weird social nightmare be over.” And then back in the car to cringe for a while as I relive the entire awkward ordeal.

At some point I realized that I need this skill. When I first moved to Winnipeg, this wasn’t a problem because I didn’t know that many people.I could walk down Corydon with patio season in full swing and not recognize a single soul. After 12 years here, some school, a few jobs, it’s hard not to recognize someone. So I’m trying to embrace the opportunity to reconnect.  As I get older, it seems more difficult to carve out time to see everyone regularly. If a crazy, random happenstance is the only way I get to see people, I better learn to love it. If I can’t do regular small talk, maybe I can actually ask them how they are and listen to their response. Ironically, the more listening I do, the easier it is to find something to say.

 

Livin’ La Vida Local

I’ve been brought down by furry slippers. Specifically, the furry slippers are the most recent derailment in my ongoing quest to be an ethical consumer. As Mike put it, “becoming a hippie who lives exclusively off hemp products” seems to be the only way to be avoid causing misery somewhere.

This moral dilemma has been occupying space in my heart for years. I was brought up, as most millennials are, to be outraged by human and animal rights violations. Our generation has seen massive leaps forward in understanding, tolerance, and technology. It doesn’t seem unrealistic that I could believe humankind had successfully switched to actually fake fur. Not so. It turns out that fake fur originating from Asia is typically made from cat or dog fur. No problem. I can take an extra minute to check the label. I found these furry slippers and looked all over it and it was labelled as 100% polyester. Success! I brought them home and took a closer look at the label. In tiny print underneath that 100% polyester it said something like “may contain materials not man-made.” I take this to mean that in my 100% polyester slippers, there’s a good chance Rocky’s distant cousin, Pocky, donated some fur to keep my feet warm.

Pocky’s slippers are one example out of many. Meat, shrimp, electronics, quinoa, makeup….apparently to live cruelty-free you need to be a skilled private detective that thrives off of self deprivation. Even so,  I have a deep reluctance to throw in the towel. The word ‘stubborn’ has been thrown around. Really though, we all know that failure is the tuition for success.  My new attack plan? Go local. It’s the perfect time of year as we gear up into spring.

The experience of a farmer’s market is so much more enjoyable than a grocery store. Every year I’m determined that I will make it to the markets on a regular basis, but sadly I am not a morning person which can make it tough. That’s why the River Heights Farmer’s Market is great for me since it’s at a more reasonable hour of 12:00 pm on Fridays. Unfortunately since that doesn’t start up til July, I’m going to head to the Manitoba Hydro builing to visit the Downtown Farmer’s Market as it returns April 7th. For a listing of other markets check here. At the same River Heights Farmer’s Market, I had the chance to purchase humanely-raised meat from Food Ethos farm. They have a balanced agriculture approach that avoids pesticides and allows their animals to range freely. I’m currently looking into setting up a monthly meat orders with them. For more information click here.

I’ve gone to quite a few Winnipeg Christmas craft sales, but I wasn’t aware that there are some markets in the spring as well. I’ve already booked the Third and Bird Spring Market and the West Etsy Market in my calendar (as we all know I’d never remember to go otherwise). Both of these markets are on April 30th.

I think that while it will be a challenge, living locally will also inspire me to feel more connected to this place that I call home. I don’t expect to succeed wholly since I’m not one of those prairie pilgrim people. But at the very least I’ll know that some of my dollars are going back into my own community and to the good people that live here.