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Heritage in May - Jane's Walk Tours, Heritage Festival, Manitoba Day, & Doors Open

Article by Laura McKay & Megan Redmond, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
Photography courtesy of Megan Redmond.
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

Megan hard at work :)
May is a fantastic month for heritage in Winnipeg - and, as you may have noticed, there wasn't an article last week. We've been so busy at the office with heritage events, we forgot to do a blog post! Here's a brief review of some of the things we've been up to and getting ready for, including the Jane's Walk Tours, the Red River Heritage Fair, Manitoba Day at the Manitoba Museum, and Doors Open Winnipeg 2015.

Jane's Walk - May 2 & 3, 2015

Image courtesy of the 2015 Jane's Walk pamphlet.

What is a Jane's Walk?

In a nutshell, a Jane's Walk Tour is a free tour put on by a member of the community. Every year on the first weekend in May, walks are organized by local people who want to create a space for discussion about what matters to them in the places that they live, work, and play. 

An artist's rendering of Jane Jacobs, image courtesy of the Jane's Walk 2015 pamphlet.
 It has become a global movement of citizen-led walking tours inspired by the legacy of Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), an activist, urbanist, and writer who championed a community-based approach to city planning. 

She was a firm believer in getting input from local residents in the shaping of their communities, as well as a promoter of higher density in cities, short blocks, local economies, and mixed uses for buildings.

IT STARTS AT CITY HALL: Accessibility, Universal Design and Inclusive Urban Planning 

“Universal Design is the practice of designing environments that can be efficiently used by people with a wide range of abilities operating in a wide range of situations. It is about putting people first, providing the same opportunity for accessing services, landscapes, buildings and information to young and old, with or without disabilities regardless of life circumstances” 
~ City of Winnipeg website ~

On Friday, May 1, 2015, Laura and Megan took the first of this year's series of Jane's Walk Tours called "It Starts at City Hall: Accessibility, Universal Design, and Inclusive Urban Planning". Walk leaders Marcella Poirier and Wins Bridgman of Bridgman Collaborative Architecture Ltd. prompted us to consider just how inclusive our city really is - even the areas that claim to be accessible to everyone. 

Walk leaders Wins Bridgman and Marcella Poirier.
The tour took us on a walk from Main Street in front of City Hall and the adjacent courtyard to Old Market Square, evaluating each space from 1 to 5 on the success of their inclusive design elements. Considerations included the degree of incline of ramps and their placement, the presence or absence of railings, and the type of materials used for walking surfaces that may or may not become slippery when wet. 

Another topic of note was the concept of creating accessible solutions that aren't permanent. Since accessibility is a 'moving target' so to speak, with our standards and expectations changing almost constantly, designing solutions that can be adapted along the way are ideal. This is particularly important in the Exchange District, where heritage buildings pose a unique challenge and permanent solutions may damage or destroy a piece of Winnipeg's history.

Looking to participate in a Jane's Walk Tour?
Visit the Jane's Walk Winnipeg Website for more information or to organize your own walk in your community.

Red River Heritage Fair - May 7, 2015

Last Thursday Heritage Winnipeg went to at Duckworth Centre for the Red River Heritage Fair. The volunteer-run, bilingual program encourages students to explore Canadian heritage in a dynamic, hands-on learning environment. Students use the medium of their choice to tell stories about Canadian heroes, legends, milestones and achievements, presenting the results of their research at a public exhibition.

Megan presented awards on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg for students with really outstanding projects. It was hard to pick because there were so many interesting and informative topics! It's refreshing to see so many young people with a passion for history.

Erin VanVeen from Immanuel Christian School was awarded for her project on one of our favourite local historic places, The Forks! Great research and such a beautiful display. Congrats, Erin, your hard work paid off.

Morgan Versteeg, also from Immanuel Christian School won for her interesting and informative project about Rainbow Stage. Another fantastic-looking display. Though you might not be able to see in the photo, the rainbow is made of tissue paper. Quite an undertaking! Morgan's commitment to making her project stand out worked, those bold colours couldn't be missed in the Duckworth Centre gymnasium!

Our final award winner for the day was actually a duo! Taking on a more serious topic, Kara McMillan and Emily Pokrant from John Pritchard School did their assignment on The History of John Pritchard School. This school has been a landmark in North Kildonan for the last century. Good work girls! 

Manitoba Day at the Manitoba Museum - May 9, 2015

Manitoba celebrated its 145th birthday on May 12, but the Manitoba Museum and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries started the festivities a little early by offering free entry to the Museum Galleries, Science Galleries and Planetarium on Saturday, May 9. Alloway Hall was filled with local arts, culture and heritage organizations, and to top it all off there was a cake contest with free cake and refreshments served in the afternoon.

Check out the cake nominees and some excellent artwork 
by students from St. John's High School posted below!


The Jets may have lost during the playoffs, but Winnie was the winner on Manitoba Day! I guess everyone still loves good ol' Pooh Bear. Baked by the experts at Dolce Bake Shop.

There was lots to see and do, and the Heritage Winnipeg team had a great time celebrating our culturally diverse and historic province with a great group of Manitobans!


Doors Open Winnipeg - May 30 & 31, 2015

Planning your visit? Here's a PDF of the buildings, their addresses, and times they are open to help you with your planning! Just remember to read the descriptions on the website or in the insert for the extra details! 

Doors Open Winnipeg is fast approaching! The weekend of May 30 & 31, 2015, over 80 buildings and events will be open to the public for historical tours, completely free of charge. Here's a quick peek at what you can look forward to:
  • NEW - the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre at 281 Donald Street
  • NEW - E.P. Leacock Estate/Marymound School at 442 Scotia Street
  • NEW - Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Church at 505 Watt Street
  • NEW - Cercle Molière at 340 Provencher Boulevard
  • NEW - St. Matthew's Anglican Church (West End Commons) at 641 St. Matthews Avenue
  • Grand reopening of Dalnavert Museum at 61 Carlton Street
  • 100th anniversary for the Cornish Public Library at 20 West Gate
  • FRONTLINES: The Future of Heritage - Presentation and Discussion Panel 
  • NEW Walking tours: Haunted History Winnipeg, Armstrong's Point, and Ghost Signs
  • Brian Darragh, one of the last Winnipeg streetcar operators, will be on site selling his book, “The Streetcars of Winnipeg: Our Forgotten Heritage”at the Winnipeg Railway Museum
  • the always popular Vaughan Street Jail will be open 9am-5pm on both Saturday and Sunday!  
Every year Doors Open Winnipeg encourages visitors to vote in our People's Choice Awards to reward exceptional buildings for the time and effort they put in. This year, for the first time EVER, you can now vote online! Ballots will still be present at Doors Open sites during the event but online voting will remain open until June 5th - just remember you can vote once from each computer/device!

"Doors Open in the Downtown" Raffle 

Heritage Winnipeg is a non-profit organization that relies exclusively on donations and grants to do programming such as Doors Open Winnipeg. As such, this year we are doing a raffle to raise money for future programming. Tickets will be sold by Heritage Winnipeg Representatives at high traffic locations during the weekend and draw will be held Sunday night at 6:30pm. Tickets are only $5 (cash only) and you could win prizes from businesses in Winnipeg's Downtown!

The package contains:
One night's stay at the Delta Winnipeg Hotel and dinner for four in the Blaze Restaurant & Lounge
A package of products from Handmade with Love and gift certificates for services from Forever One
Dinner for two at The Peasant Cookery and 295 York, courtesy of WOW Hospitality Concepts
One night's stay and breakfast at the Fort Garry Hotel  
Two hours of consultation from Plush Home & Design
One night's stay at the Fairmont Hotel
Two tickets to Cirque du Soleil, courtesy of True North Sports & Entertainment Limited
One pair of Merell footwear from Canadian Footwear
Gift card for The Keg, donated by Greg Agnew
Rona Home & Garden Winnipeg gift card
Warehouse Artworks gift certificate
Four passes to the Winnipeg Art Gallery's Olympus Exhibit
Two tickets to a production by the Manitoba Theatre for Young People
Four passes to a gallery in the Manitoba Museum
Haberdashery Girls & Guys gift certificate
Gift certificate from the Old Spaghetti Factory

The prize package is valued at over $2300!
Keep an eye out for Heritage Winnipeg Representatives selling raffle tickets during your visit.  
Lottery License number LGA5863RF

Sources & Links

Heritage Winnipeg - Website
Doors Open Winnipeg - Website
Heritage Winnipeg - Facebook
Doors Open Winnipeg - Facebook
Heritage Winnipeg - Twitter

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