James Wilt

  • Whose House? Nils & Melissa’s house.

    Nils and Melissa Vik are finally chilling out. It’s undeniably well-deserved. Nils opened up Little Sister Coffee Maker with Vanessa Stachiw, Melissa’s sister, in September of 2013. Melissa gave birth to their first child, Marte, the following February. In between all that, the pair of 31-year-olds oversaw the construction of a gorgeous house in St. Boniface. It’s not a combo that Nils would immediately advocate.

  • Bearing with New Year’s

    Figuring out plans for New Year’s Eve seems like one heck of a chore, which is probably why I’ve never gone out for said occasion. Here’s a potentially helpful list of stuff to do. Some spots haven’t yet posted details on their events, so keep an eye on certain venue’s Facebook and Twitter pages for more info as the fateful day draws closer. Just try to be kind to your already wounded credit score.

  • Sharing the love

    At this point, most are somewhat aware of the tenets of polyamory. Monogamy is restrictive, if not a totally bunk relic of Judeo-Christian metaphysics. Why can one become emotionally intimate with new people, but not physically? Why bother drawing such lines? As long as consent and honesty ground everything, anything goes. The logic seems sound.

  • No bells and whistles

    Lunch Bell Bistro opened a few months ago on the ground floor of Main Street’s Bell Hotel Supportive Housing Complex, between Higgins and Logan Ave. The small diner’s staffed mostly by people living with cognitive and developmental disabilities. Press coverage was initially sparse. But as Josh Marantz, the restaurant’s general manager, welcomes us at into the nearly empty spot on a snowy Wednesday, he informs us that it’s one of the slowest days in memory.

  • A whale of a time

    It’s so easy to forget that Manitoba’s a coastal province. But travel some 1,700 kilometers north from Winnipeg to Churchill and spend a few days kayaking amongst the belugas in the Hudson Bay. That sort of memory won’t fade in a hurry. It was that experience that eventually convinced Kristin Westdal to return to the frigid area for a full-time gig.

  • Getting on the map

    ATLAAS - and no, we’re not shouting, it’s one of those stylistic things - is one of those bands that comes out of nowhere and manages to immediately distinguish itself. Its debut EP, titled ONE, only features three tracks. Each is totally golden. There’s the ever-versatile Heather Thomas (of Bunny) on vocals and keytar, bouncing between octaves with remarkable style and assertiveness. Then, there’s Ricardo Lopez-Aguilar (of Oldfolks Home) on guitar, drum machine and programming. It’s a bit like Phantogram, except actually enjoyable to listen to.

  • Acting dead

    The subject of dying has anchored many an epic production: think Shakespeare’s Hamlet, or Miller’s Death of a Salesman, or Sartre’s No Exit. But perhaps no play has had such fun at the expense of the ghastly subject as Morris Panych’s Vigil, an internationally renown black comedy (Panych and his partner recently travelled to Japan to see it performed). Now, Prairie Theatre Exchange is bringing the play back to the stage.

  • Storm chasing

    Notoriety struck Ian Mauro early in his academic career. Back in the early 2000s, the University of Manitoba - where he scored his PhD in Environment and Geography - threatened to sue Mauro and his team for challenging the role of GMOs in a documentary he made. Monsanto Company has a $12 million building on the U of M’s campus; administrators were evidently concerned about the depiction of the corporation, which specializes in the sale of agrochemicals.

  • Missing the forest for the weeds

    Joel Penner takes a half-hour to wander down a vacant alley. 

  • Hacking is the best medicine

    The concept of “hacking” might not seem to have anything to do with getting a broken arm casted or blood transfused. But that assumption’s been mightily challenged as of late in the form of Hacking Health meet-ups, events that combine frontline healthcare professionals with designers and engineers to create technology-based solutions to pressing needs in doctor’s offices and emergency rooms. The event, which started in Montreal in 2012 and has made a dozen stops in other cities, has now finally arrived on the banks of Winnipeg.

  • This month in hip hop

    There’s been an unfortunate lull in quality rap releases as of late: two of the stronger albums of the year – Common’s Nobody’s Smiling and Cormega’s Mega Philosophy – were both dropped back on July 22.  Since then, we’ve really only seen the welcome comeback of Dilated People, the return of the gangsta (with albums from Jeezy and Gucci Mane) and a steady influx of shitty white rappers.

  • Whose House? Quincy’s House.

    There used to be a tradition at the Orange House - a residence appropriately named for the vibrant shade of its exterior - to leave an additional plate at every Monday night dinner. The small act honoured the extra guest that could show at any point in the weekly celebration. That sort of ethos permeates every part of the West End household. The point of the project, in addition to housing three full-time residents, is to welcome anyone who steps in the door.

  • Christmas with Kozelek

    For a casual Mark Kozelek fan, the last two months of his lengthy career have been a bit inexplicable: first, there was the Hopscotch Music Festival incident (he called a noisy crowd “fucking hillbillies” and told them “to shut the fuck up,” later making t-shirts with the quote to commemorate the standoff). Then came the invented beef with Philadelphia band War on Drugs, which culminated in the highly controversial songs “War on Drugs: Suck My Cock” and “Adam Granofsky Blues.” 

  • A litre of comedy

    The bantering of Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme is exactly as hilarious as you’d think it would be.

  • An extended interview with John Ralston Saul

    I realize that you were recently in Winnipeg for the receiving of an honorary doctorate from the U of W, and that is was the university that it was your father attended. How did the convocation go?

  • Heart & Saul

    It’s been a slow burn. Saul’s long served as a thorn in the side of the neo-conservative and excessively rational: over a few decades, he’s authored dozens of works (most famously 1992’s Voltaire’s Bastards), delivered the 1995 Massey Lecture (later published as The Unconscious Civilization) and served as the president of PEN International. But now, his sights have fully swivelled to Indigenous issues. He’s calling Canada to account for its past and ongoing atrocities. Any niceties are gone. The Comeback: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power And Influence is the result.

  • Frosty feasting

    It’s an odd thought: while the boreal forest - the wondrous home of wood bison, spruce trees and 2.5 million Canadians - makes up over half of the country’s land mass, many southerners know very little about it. It’s Michele Genest’s mission to change that through food. The Boreal Feast, a new cookbook that features recipes to promote the use of northern foods, is the latest iteration in her quest, coming on the heels of her 2010 book The Boreal Gourmet

  • A rally for two-wheelers

    It’s been a solid few months for the cycling community in Winnipeg. In September, the new bike lane on Sherbrook Street was unveiled, and hundreds of cyclists bike jammed it around town for Nuit Blanche. Most recently, Bike Winnipeg revealed that five out of eight candidates who ran for municipal office wanted to see a doubling of investment in cycling routes. It’s a mighty good time for Winnipeg’s inaugural hosting of the Canadian Cyclocross Championship (the first national event was hosted in Toronto in 1997, and there’s been annual contests since).

  • Austere artistry

    It’s a remarkable thing to witness a mayoral forum on arts funding devolve into musings about potholes.

  • Splicing up rainbows

    Art about oppression can be a tricky one to pull off: too somber and only the most committed of activists attend showings, too cheerful and it might disrespect the content. But for almost three decades, Reel Pride - Winnipeg’s LGBTQ film festival - has been achieving near-perfect equilibrium.

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