Local News Briefs

Harvest raises record $314K at auction

Winnipeg Harvest’s seventh annual Empty Bowls Celebrity Auction raised a record breaking $314,600 on Oct. 9, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Participants of the event, held at the Delta Winnipeg, were given a meal of bread and soup as well as the opportunity to bid on bowls painted or decorated by a variety of celebrities. One bowl, decorated by actress Meryl Streep, sold for $1,700. Winnipeg Harvest will host the Empty Bowls Soup-er Lunch as a follow-up event on Nov. 8 at the MTS Centre. The Soup-er Lunch will auction bowls decorated by local media personalities and celebrities. Students from Sister MacNamara School will also be showcasing their bowls and sharing what they learned about the connection between art and hunger.

Papa George’s serves final meal

Known for staying open until 4 a.m., the iconic Osborne Village restaurant Papa George’s served up its final meal Sunday, Oct. 7. Nick Kontzamanis, owner of the Greek-themed restaurant, is retiring after a residency of more than 35 years at the extremely visible Osborne and River location, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Although no new tenant has been confirmed, Winnipeg-based restaurant chain Salisbury House has expressed interest in the property, the Free Press reported. Nearby businesses agree another eatery would be welcome in the area, but are reluctant to see a fast food or chain restaurant enter the neighbourhood. The current lease on the property is up on Nov. 1.

City mulls cancelling Shindico contracts

The city is considering cancelling a pair of property management contracts for both the former Canada Post building on Graham Avenue and the Dominion Bridge site, currently awarded to Shindico Reality, the Winnipeg Free Press reports. Although Shindico placed first in the city’s request for qualifications for realty services, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, along with University of Winnipeg professor and former mayoral advisor Brian Kelcey, argued before council’s property committee that the RFQ did not entail management. The two contracts are worth a combined $175,000 a year. The possibility of other firms bidding on the contract was allegedly eliminated.

NHL lockout takes its toll on city’s downtown

The Winnipeg Jets’ first game of the second season of its NHL rebirth would have been Oct. 6. Mayor Sam Katz told the Winnipeg Free Press he regretted the current lack of an agreement between the players’ union and NHL owners while noting that “it might not be realistic to expect the owners to give up too much.” Katz says the NHL lockout is damaging to Winnipeg’s downtown after the team’s resurrection only a year ago. Chuck Davidson, vice-president of policy at the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, said the lockout would have a significant financial impact on Winnipeg’s downtown area. With 15,000 extra people downtown 41 nights each year, Davidson estimates that the return of the Jets brought tens of millions of dollars to Winnipeg’s economy last year.

Published in Volume 67, Number 7 of The Uniter (October 17, 2012)

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