Favourite Local Gathering Place

The Forks

There’s some new growth at The Forks, in a portion of the grounds that – before now – has been less accessible and in poorer shape.

A new sculpture titled Niimaamaa was unveiled after a naming ceremony for the area now known as Niizhoziibean (formerly called South Point) was held this past August.

Niimaamaa, funded in part by the Winnipeg Foundation, is a collaboration between artists Val Vint, KC Adams and Jaimie Isaac and is one step toward a revisioning of Niizhoziibean.

“Plans continuing forward are to create an Indigenous celebration space and an outdoor Indigenous art gallery in that area,” Larissa Peck, marketing and communications co-ordinator at The Forks, says.

Within The Forks Market, this year has also seen new additions to the space, including McNally Robinson booksellers, Coal and Canary, dconstruct jewellery and Red Ember Common.

The Forks has also added a quieter space with “soft seating” around Fergie’s Fish ‘n Chips, Peck says. “We see lots of people gathering there, and it’s sort of more of a relaxed pace in that part of the market.”

The outdoor skating rink is now open, and The Forks will run free outdoor winter programming on Sundays from early December through to the end of February.

“We have Soul on Ice, which is a DJ dance party on the canopy rink, some Indigenous storytelling and bannock-making in the tipis on site, horse-drawn wagon rides and snow sculpting,” Peck says.

Once more snow lands and the river freezes, skating trails on land and the river will also open. Plans are in the works for a new attraction near the port, which is a partnership between The Forks and Festival du Voyageur.

Pavilion Sub-Zero will feature performances by Terje Isungset, a musician from Norway who will “be doing a performance using instruments made out of ice from the Red River,” Peck says. The pavilion will feature an ice bar but, outside of regular programming, will also serve as a spot for skaters to lace up.

Published in Volume 73, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 29, 2018)

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