Friday, 30 September 2011

Page One: Inside the New York Times- Movie at the Art Space

This past Friday, I attended "Page One: Inside the New York Times" with the CreComm clan. As a student of journalism; the movie gave me both a realistic and exciting insight into the life and times of a journalist.

Sitting in the small movie theater next to my peers, my eyes were focused on the quick witted pros of The Times, such as the star of the movie David Carr.

The story of The Times is a prime example of how instant information has changed the way we; read, interpret, and receive news.
The way the director explains this change is by comparing the Watergate scandal to WikiLeaks YouTube Iraq video.

When the Watergate scandal broke, the journalists were needed to get the information to the people; in contrast to now, the information is simply transmitted over the Internet without the use of the newspaper.

Another difference is; the information that is being transmitted without the help of the newspaper has a not-so-secret agenda.The use of fairness and balance journalism has become far more skewed because WikiLeaks claims to be "activist-journalists", but really it is journalism with an agenda and an edited video.

"It's a collision of two words, classification , privacy and wanting to take it down" said the other star of the movie Brian Stelter.
The movie was a glimpse into the very busy, and changing world of a journalism in an age where the future of traditional media, like the newspaper is at risk.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

"Welcome to Winnipeg: We were born here, what's your excuse?"

Here are some funny YouTube videos mentioning Winnipeg:

The best clip is the last one, The Simpson's "That's it, back to Winnipeg!"

SNL with Zach Galifianakis

"The roads were closed."

"The concierge is a Winnipeg equivalent to a Geisha"- Michael Scott (Steve Carell).

The last clip of The Simpson's says "Welcome to Winnipeg: We were born here, what's your excuse?"

Friday, 23 September 2011

My Favorite Small-Stage Music Venues

Winnipeg has a pretty great music scene, the only problem is; unless you pay attention, sometimes it's hard to find.

However, if and when, you do go out to a show, there a bunch of great small venues. Whether it's Mother Mother at The Garrick, Sloan at the Pyramid, or Xavier Rudd at the Burt, Winnipeg's converted movie theaters and cabarets provide an awesome atmosphere for partying and listening to great tunes.

Not being a musician, well not one that plays in a band in front of an audience, here are my favorite venues as a audience member.
Face To Face at the Garrick, 2011

3. The Burton Cumming's Theater: 364 Smith Street in the Exchange District. This converted movie theater has a rad dance floor and lots of seating. However, if you get a cheaper seat, then you better not be afraid of heights.

The dance floor is a little small, but there are seats on the first floor that are great for intimate concerts done without microphones, like the Hawksley Workman show in 07.'

The stairs leading to the last section, on the third floor, at the top back of the theater is like climbing a step ladder. When you finally do get to your seat, its like your sitting on the edge of a cliff.

Be careful not to have too many drinks when sitting in those seats. The theater has a great intimate atmosphere and the stairs just add to the theater's charm.

It was also the first venue that I was allowed to go to a concert without parental supervision: Sum 41 in 2003.

2. The Garrick Center: 330 Garry Street, also in the Exchange District, and is also a converted movie theater. This year was the first year I attended shows at the Garrick, and it was nothing short of amazing. The acoustics are awesome; it's not a big venue, so its easy to fill the place up with sound.

The front of the venue used to be front row seats for the movie theater, but the seats have been removed and now it is a big open dance floor. For shows like Face to Face and Strung Out, it is essential for mosh pits.

The venue is only two stories high, the seating is spread out and over looks the dance pit.

The only problem with the Garrick is, that the dance floor is sloped downward, so you end up with sore knees after long shows.

Jason Cruz from Strung Out at The Garrick, 2011

1. The Pyramid Cabaret, 176 Fort Street, downtown Winnipeg. When I was younger, perhaps underage, before the drivers licenses were so difficult to copy, the Pyramid was the place to be Thursday nights for MOD night.

Since being of-age, the Pyramid has quickly become my favorite small-stage music venues.

The venue is really just a large bar with some tables and seating at the back, a big side patio and two bars; one beside the stage and the other at the back of the bar. But something about its grungy-ness, the posters of old rock groups on the walls, and the weird mummy dolls hiding in different places around the bar, make you feel like New York rock and roll in the 70's, even if it's The Rural Alberta Advantage (2011) playing on stage.
Mother Mother at the Garrick, 2011

*Sorry all the pictures are of the Garrick, I'll post more of the other venues when I get some. Also going to add two more venues at a later date: The Death Trap and the Park Theater.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Tweeting My Life Away


What used to be an new outlet where I could post about the mouldy bread in my fridge, or the strange things that I overhear people saying on the bus, is now an outlet for professional life.

I always kept in mind that I should be cautious of what I write on the Internet, I mean, Mama didn't raise no fool. But now, I feel as if I am leaving my carefree days of being the first generation of Facebookers behind, and moving on to the new days of tweeting my life away, with some caution.

Downtown Winnipeg Mural

My life from here on out is, and will be, tracked. Anything that I post could possibly lead me or inhibit me from a potential career. I suppose it shouln't be an issue if I don't post anything that could cause any issues, however, it's a little unnerving.


That being said, its Follow Friday, and keeping with the theme of my blog- here are some Winnipeggers that are must follows in my books:

@themanitoban, @RRCProjector: The University of Manitoba and Red River College's student newspaper. Well written articles posted by these very creative and articulate students.

@WinnipegFolk:  Upcoming festivals, music workshops and reminders of the fun in the sun that is the Winnipeg Folk Festival (my favorite time of year ).

@WinnipegNews: The Winnipeg Free Press, my favorite local newspaper.

@sandboxmag: What started as a OPP project for a couple CreComm graduates, is now a graphically pleasing and intellectually stimulating magazine involving local, fashionable Winnipeggers.

@CanStreetStyle: I believe the creators are graduated CreComm students, and judgment by their twitter, they obviously have an excellent sense of style. They're website is under construction, but hopefully we'll see these guys back in tweeting action soon.

@greenappleshop: Two rad local dudes, one rad skate shop. One is into skatboarding, the other is into filming and skateboarding, both are super friendly and sweet. It's always great to support your local skate shop! I just wish they would tweet more. :)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

What to do in Winnipeg: Friday and Saturday Nights

Time Brings Change: Downtown Winnipeg

The day after I got home after travelling for five months around Central America, my younger sister was getting ready to go downtown to meet with her friends. I warned her that downtown Winnipeg is a terrifying place and that I feel uncomfortable with her going there.

My sister replied with "You just backpacked Central America alone, and you're more terrified of downtown at night than El Salvador?"

My simple reply was yes.

Growing up as a kid in the city, I was always told that downtown was a scary place filled with homeless people that want to rob you blind, and since my first year University three years ago, to me, downtown was still an ominous place.

It has been a little over a year since I've returned home, and downtown Winnipeg has seen some major changes since I've been gone.

These changes have not only shaped our downtown core architecturally, but it seems these buildings has breathed new life into our city's downtown culture.

Between the MTS center, The Winnipeg Hydro building and all the new apartment and restored buildings; life downtown isn't scary at all, it's thriving.

Downtown used to be sort of a only day time hour's place, with business people and empty buildings waiting for someone to inhabit them.

Downtown at night was deserted, and the people that were out were less than desirable to run into. But now, downtown on a night, when there's a concert, or if it's a nice summer night; is hardly desolate or scary.

Of all these visible changes, my favorite new change is the downtown day time clientele; the students.

The University of Winnipeg's four new buildings, and two new ones in the works, brings many eager learners to the downtown area.

Paired with Red River College's Princess street campus, and soon their new Culinary Arts building with student housing; downtown Winnipeg could quickly become a hub for post-secondary activity. These campuses create many job opportunities, activities, and the need for restaurants, cafes and bars. 

After moving home, fearing the worst for our downtown infrastructure, the new changes are refreshing, beautiful to see and it make me a proud Winnipegger.

My childhood fears of downtown Winnipeg will hopefully soon completely fade, and be replaced with new, exciting school memories.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Winnipeg Terminology Part 2

A Social: An event uniquely Manitoban, that consists of dancing, drinking and prizes. Socials are a fundraising event usually for a wedding, hockey team or community event. They are usually held at a community center or legion. Tickets are sold in advance and usually snacks like pretzels, chips, Kubasa*, rye bread, pickles and cheese are served. Once inside the social, one may buy raffle or 50/50 ticket in order to win prizes. Prizes are provided by the people hosting the social. If you haven’t done the boot scootin’ boogie at a social, then you truly haven’t lived ‘toban style.

Kubasa Sausage (pronounced Koo-ba-saw): A traditional Ukrainian garlic sausage and comes in a variety of grain textures from very course to finely ground. Kubasa is usually served with perogies and cabbage rolls for traditional Ukrainian holidays, such as Easter and Ukrainian Christmas or as a snack with pickles, cheese and crackers. If you eat too much of it, like my little sister did when she was five, you will smell like garlic sausage for days. Manitoba is known for its high population of people of Ukrainian decent.

Standard Lager: Since 1877, Standard Lager is brewed especially for Manitoba and is only sold in Manitoba. It is known for its mellow, easy drinking taste. Brewed and bottled only by Carling O'Keefe Breweries and sold only in bottles, it contains 5% alc. /vol. While the label looks similar to that of a Budweiser bottle, make no mistake, this beer in NOT a Budweiser.

Winnipeg is Swggerville

According to Urban Dictionary:
"Swaggerville: Winnipeg, Manitoba. Renamed swaggerville after their football team the Blue Bombers.
Dude 1: Man have you ever been to Winnipeg?

Dude 2: Yeah it's like the swagger capital of the universe!

Dude 1: No wonder they call it swaggerville..."

Not to be confused to SwaggARville otherwise you'll be swag-less, "Swaggerville" has quickly become Winnipeg's new nickname.

So, really? Are we Swaggerville?

I hate to be the hater on the subject, and I understand that the Bombers are doing well this season, but when, let's say, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats start doing well next season, are they going to be the next self-proclaimed "Swaggerville?"

What really gives us swagger anyway?
 If anything it could be our rad new downtown appeal, the chat-topping heat this past summer, the fact that we now have an NHL hockey team or, in this case, a winning CFL football team.

At first I honestly was not the biggest fan of the term "Swaggerville," and I know I am one of many who aren't on board with our city boasting about it's swag.

It all seemed so cocky and annoying bosting about winning a few football games, but after watching the YouTube interviews with the "Mayor of Swaggeville," Odell Willis and reading about the team joking about who's the city council and the CEO on the CFL website, I am starting to not mind the nickname.

If it gets people into the game, keeps fans in the seats, and gets the team playing better; then what's the harm in a little extra swag Winnipeg?

Good on the players for coining that catch phrase before one of the bigger cities with bigger sports teams did.

Sadly enough, and all the jokes aside, I have a feeling this trend may die when the Bombers start to lose games.

As for that woman who got "Winnipeg is Swaggerville" tattooed on her arm... well, let's hope they win the Grey Cup this year.


This interview with the "Mayor of Swaggerville" Odell Willis, it's pretty funny-