Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Home for the Holidays?!

Time to relax. Breathe. And enjoy the season!
As much as we like to take it easy, over the next week you might be wondering what you can do with all that extra time. Here are a few ideas to consider:
  • Take a hike... (or walk) around The Forks site. There is a lot to enjoy (both inside and out) and it's a great way to burn off the turkey you've inhaled.
  • Glide around! Bring (or rent) skates and stake along our kilometer long on-land trails! Be sure to check conditions here, or here, or here.
  • Host your own Hockey Night in Canada and play a game of shinny on our Festival Field Rink.
  • If you haven't done enough shopping and want to find something local and unique, take a stroll around The Forks Market. 
  • Gather together some folks and visit the Children's Museum or Canadian Museum for Human Rights
  • Mini-Donuts (it's like a palate cleanser between all your family dinners).
  • Gain some perspective and walk up the Atrium Tower to get a great winter view of Winnipeg.  
As a friendly reminder, The Forks hours are as follows:
  • December 24 – 9:30am to 4pm
  • December 25 – CLOSED
  • December 26 – 9:30am to 6:30pm (select tenants open)
  • December 27 - 30th – 9:30am to 6:30pm
  • December 31 – 9:30am to 8pm

Whatever it is you do - we want to wish you all the best over the holiday season! And if you are looking for things to do for New Year's Eve... be sure to stop by for the fireworks at 8pm!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Holiday Help: For the Parents

Well, the clock is counting to Christmas! And with only days left, we rack our brains for the perfect parent gift. Finding the right gifts for parents can be hard because it seems they have everything... and want nothing. All I ever get from mine is, "We just want to spend time with you" which is great, but I feel eternally indebted to them hence getting them a small gift - because it makes me feel like I'm at least paying off the interest I've accumulated.
So, shall we begin?

Dear Dad, 
Here are a few things I thought you might like. 
  1. A BBQ for the stove top. I know you like barbecuing outside, but for those -50 degrees Celsius feel free to stay inside. ( Generation Green)
  2. Now I know you aren't into baking bread, but maybe you might like bread made with beer?! If not, I still got you a case so don't worry there. (Farmery Gear)
  3. Fur hat. 'Nuff said. ( SF Imports)
  4. Now that you are getting older you keep saying it's cold in the house. I know you aren't inclined to turning up the thermostat, so here's a moose sweater to keep you warm. (Two Rivers)
  5. Wool button up for those days you need something that is inbetween t-shirt and moose sweater mode- here's the perfect balance... and it's not plaid (like all the other button shirts you have). ( Sk8)
  6. If the beer bread isn't your thing... this beer flavoured hot sauce can go on everything, no extra effort required. ( Human Bean Coffee and Tea)
  7. Since change and other money has been falling out of your wallet, I thought you might want to try this out. It's made entirely out of recycled rubber... from tires. ( Generation Green)
  8. Gone Fishing? No, gone flushing... Needless to say - you came to mind when I saw this. Enjoy! (Generation Green)

Dearest Mom, 

I don't know how you do it. The older I get the crazier life is, and yet you seem to handle everything with grace and sanity... But just in case you do need a break, here is a little something for you.
  1. Mug for your favourite tea. (The Forks Trading Company)
  2. Red Clover Blossoms Tea- because it is as beautiful to brew as it is tasty to drink.(Generation Green)
  3. A warm plaid blanket--- because we know dad likes to keep the house at an "appropriate temperature". ( The Forks Trading Company)
  4. Although a book about The North, it's not as cold as it sounds. Trust me, you'll like it.  (The Forks Trading Company)
  5. To survive the weather and the havoc it puts on your skin. (Generation Green)
  6. Something cute to add to your jewelry collection (let's be honest - accessories are always a good thing. (SF Imports)
  7. Dipped candles- because the smell of beeswax reminds me of craft sale shopping with you.  (The Forks Trading Company
  8. So much chocolate. (Almond Tree)
  9. A journal to write down all your wisdom so that I can keep it and pass it down to my kids.(Generation Green)

This list contains only a small token of my appreciation for you, parents. But I know that it will never be enough, that's why you'll see me during Christmas because spending time with you is the best way I can repay you.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Holiday Help: For the Hipster

We've tackled 'The Teen', but now it's time to decipher what you could gift for 'The Hipster'. For those that know what 'The Hipster' is, you probably know the more random the gift the better. For those that are trying to figure out what exactly we're referring to, or if in fact their friend fits into "The Hipster' category, here are some Hipster Facts: 
  • A true Hipster will never self identify. Ever. Even when asked. 
  • If something is trending, it's already old news to Hipsters.
  • If something is popular, odds are a Hipster won't like it, or if they do, they liked it before anyone even knew about it. 
  • If there is a bike, a bird, or succulent imprinted on an item, it probably is a good gift for a Hipster. 
  • If it is from Portland, Oregon, it's Hipster. 
  • If your grandma owned it, Hipster will like it. 
  • If it's handmade they will want it; if it's handmade AND organic, even better; if it's handmade and organic AND ethically made you've hit the jackpot for a Hipster gift! 
If you are still confused or just want a checklist for gifts, here we go...

1. Handmade Bow Ties by local creator Douglas Lavack. This classic find is new to The Forks Trading Post and getting some attention (but not too much that a Hipster wouldn't like it).
2. Ox Skull Print: you can find a variety of animal prints at Teekca's Aboriginal Boutique. Again, animal print= awesome gift.
3. Genuine Leather Mitts: Great for Winnipeg winters, your hands will never be warmer. The Forks Trading Post has these and other mitts/gloves to keep your fingers toasty.
4. Beard Oil: As far as Hipsters go, facial hair (especially beards) are always a good thing, and grooming is key. Find this and other beard grooming products at Generation Green.
5. Wild Flower Bath: Anything that comes in old-school tins are always a good thing. Featured here is a vintage looking tin filled with bath time goodness. The Forks Trading Post has these and other great bath products.
6. Hand Mill: Have you ever wanted to hand grind some wheat to make homemade bread? If so, odds are you may be a Hipster (or a Hipster at heart)! Stop by Generation Green for this great gadget and get back to baking basics.
7. Russian Nesting Dolls: These add a decorative touch of history and colour to any Hipster home. You'll want to grab these from SF Imports.
8. Elephant Teapot: Items with an animals on them are a great gifts... but a gift in the shape of an animal- even better. This cute elephant teapot is from The Human Bean and is only $14.99
9. Wooden Postcard: Nothing says Hipster like a handwritten note, so give them a wooden moose postcard so they can write a note to a loved one. Check out Two Rivers for other postcard prints.
10. Souvinear Spoon: It's vintage, and grandmas love them, so talk about a double win for a Hipster gift! This one comes from Two Rivers and is only $4.99.
11. Bike Notebook: Need we say more. These notebooks are locally made and can be picked up at Generation Green.
12. Beard Balm: Does their beard need more shape? Slip some of this into their stocking. Generation Green is where it can be found.
13. S'well Water Bottle: Keeps hot drinks HOT and iced drinks ICED for hours. Generation Green has a large selection of reusable water bottles to choose from.
14. Gorp Bar: A healthy way to stuff their stocking, this Manitoba-made treat will keep them full. Find all three delicious flavours at Generation Green.
15. Watuko Headband: From crazy patterns to solid colours, there are a variety of headbands Hipsters adore at Generation Green.

So there you have it — things for The Hipster. Still to come... The Parents! Hopefully your shopping has been as happy as ours. 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Help for the Holidays

With only a few days till Christmas, we know there can be stress (and maybe some panic) when it comes to buying gifts for some of the people on your list. So, we’re here to help over the next few days with our “Top Holiday Gift Hunt” for your teens, your hipster friends, the parents and last but not least, your friend who says they never want anything, but you want to get them something because they just deserve it.

Today we tackle the hardest first: THE TEENS. You know, the ones that live on their phones and who only seem to want cash?! Ya, those ones. Now, you might not instinctively think of going to The Forks to find them something, but we've got some great gift giving ideas that we think your teens (no matter how apathetic they are) will like {or dare we even say... love?!}

1. Look slick and support the local skate scene with a Sk8 Hoodie: $64.95 from Sk8.
2. Keep it Riel t-shirt: $19.99 from Two Rivers (You can also find Jets shirts here)
3. Get a unique iPhone case: $20 from Teekca's
4. Sk8 shoes. They  have wide selection to choose from for both the serious skaters or for just wondering around town.
5. Classic black frame glasses: Complete pair starting at $59 (including single vision lenses and anti-glare, scratch guard and UV protection from Eye GO
6. Everyone needs a Mountie Bobblehead: $12.99 from Two Rivers  (They also have other classic Canadian gear)
7. Diamond Toque + Plan B True DVD, both are selling out at Sk8 so you might want to stop by soon. 
8. Skateboard: $129.99 (assembled) from Sk8

1. Is she obsessed with the 80's? How about a book on Blondie: $24.95 from Pylon (Also, check out their Audrey Hepburn wallets or Marilyn Monroe photos)
2. Wide rimmed glasses: These ones are $79 from Eye GO (includes frames and lenses)
3. Dream Catcher: $19.99 from Teekca's
4. Don't want to dig through a huge purse? Keep your cash and cell in the same spot with this gold Volom Cell Case/Wallet: $33.95 from Sk8
5. Girls just want to have fun... and a cozy pair of moccasins for their feet. These beauties are from Teekca's, who also sell Mukluks.
6. Need something to fill a stocking? How about a cute Russian Nesting Doll Magnet from SF Imports
7. Nothing says winter like pairing a plaid shirt ($49.95) and studded sweater by Joy Ride ($59.95). You can find both at Sk8
8. This organic, fair trade infinity scarf is also eco-friendly. Find this scarf and more at Hempryean 

Now that we've checked off the teen on your list stay tuned for the hipster! 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Small Stores Give Big

The best gifts come in small packages, and so do the best retail experiences. This holiday season, get out of the big-box stores during Ciao! magazine’s annual Boutique Week!

From Dec. 5-14, Boutique Week retailers will be offering special promotions, discounts, gifts and treats that are sure to brighten your festive spirit while shopping. Shop at any retailer at The Forks and receive a free gift with a purchase over $25. As part of this shopping event, Boutique Week shoppers can enter a draw for a Grand Prize Shopping Spree provided by all participating stores.

“Neighbourhood stores are what give each city its local flavour,” says Ciao! publisher Laurie Hughes. “The dedication to high-quality products and service is a reflection of Winnipeg’s passionate local retailers.”

Hop on board a VIP shopping tour on Dec 5, 6, 11, and 12, and avoid the hassle of driving and parking. Tours begin with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at The Forks, swag bags included!

For more information and a list of participating retailers, go to

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Preparing for Winter at The Forks

The wind is getting chilly, the days are getting shorter and no one can deny there were a few little white flakes floating through the air this week…

Winter is coming. 

What does that mean for The Forks site crew? 

It means more staff, more work and a big to-do list!

Out with the old Farmers' Market Banners…in with Christmas lights!
1. Switch the geothermal heating system from cool to warm
Along with several other Target Zero initiatives, all the ventilation in the Market was redesigned with efficient heat recovery ventilation units that pre-heat fresh air with recycled heat generated by the restaurants which comes through 53 heat pumps throughout the Market to efficiently distribute heating and cooling.

Since we switched to geothermal, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 42% (448 tonnes of CO2e) and reduced our heating costs by 14%.

2. Rake leaves
It's wonderful to visit a green site, full of trees in all shapes and sizes in the summer, but our site crew definitely does not take this for granted when they're raking up all the fallen leaves in autumn. They estimate that more than 30, 1-yard bags full (about 300 garbage bags' worth) of leaves were deposited into our BIOVADOR composter this fall. This industrial composter creates the perfect environment for trillions of bacteria and microbes to do their jobs breaking down organic waste.
3. Prepare for the river freezing
The warming huts have been selected and the Zamboni has been tuned up, but even before the river begins to freeze, all the docks must be removed and stored until the spring thaw. As soon as the river is safely frozen, we'll let everyone know and all the river trail activities can begin! 

4. Prepare Urban Garden for hibernation
We're giving the Urban Gardens the fuel they need to make it through the winter by giving them a final prune and topping them with nutrients in the form of compost from the BIOVADOR 

5. Put up Christmas lights
While the holidays are still a few weeks away, we're best off getting the Christmas lights up before the first blizzard of the season. And besides, lights on sight make spirits (and dark evenings and nights) bright!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Trick - or - treat!

Halloween is such a spooky and silly time of tricks and treats, we decided to celebrate early!

Bring the kids and join us this Sunday, Oct. 26 from 1 – 4 p.m. in Centre Court for all kinds of free, Halloween-themed activities and fun.

Come ready to have your Halloween caricature drawn by Butch the Party Artist and get a cool balloon sculpture made by Floyd the Clown.

Abracadebra will be on site transforming normal children into creatures of all types with face paint.

Make your very own trick-or-treat bag, and then use it to collect some tricks and treats in the Candy Scavenger Hunt! Balloons at participating Forks Market tenants mark the spot!

Of course, costumes are highly encouraged – the sillier, spookier, wackier and kookier the better.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Farewell Farmers' Market

Last Sunday was a beautiful, perfect day to end off our outdoor Farmers’ Market season.

Vendors gathered in a circle around a campfire set-up, and visitors picked up produce, preserves and delicious baking and simply enjoyed the atmosphere.

All in all, The Forks hosted over 50 different vendors since the market began in May, with up to 32 showing up every week – rain or shine – to sell locally grown and raised food and handmade treats and goodies to visitors on our site.

Dorothy Freund from Red Poll Farms and Dean and Sara Wall from Zhoda Family Farms were very pleased at the turn-out each week – even despite many of our Sundays being not so sunny.

They enjoyed the laid-back clientele and noticed lots of tourists – and were eager to share some knowledge about what delicious items grow in Manitoba.

 Sara said she met folks who’d never tried rosehip or Saskatoon berries, and didn’t know those things grow in Manitoba. She says it’s always fun to share what she’s foraged with people and send them home with something new.

Overall, we had some very happy vendors who are ready and raring to come back next year, and make The Forks Farmers’ Market one of the most plentiful in town.

Until then, we will be hosting indoor markets featuring produce, jams, infusions, baking and alpaca wool products (for the chilly days that are surely upon us!) once per month on Oct. 25 and Nov. 25.

Thank you for supporting our inaugural Farmers’ Market!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Happy Birthday, Generation Green!

Our friends at Generation Green just marked their 2nd anniversary at The Forks Market – they celebrated with cupcakes for all from Hello Cupcake – baking that is gluten-, dairy-, nut-, soy-, and egg-free!

At The Forks we are always looking to be environmentally sustainable and strive towards Target Zero, so we’re happy to share our space with an eco-conscious business with a huge emphasis on selling and supporting locally made, sustainable products.

It’s important to Sherry Sobey, the growing shop’s owner, too.

“I appreciate being a part of an organization that also recognizes this importance, specifically with the Target Zero Initiative,” she says. “As a local and tourist destination, it's very important that we set a good example here.”

The shop has grown more quickly than she imagined it would over the last two years. Customers have responded enthusiastically to the shop and its premise.

Generation Green carries everything from kitchen utensils, makeup, soap and skincare to dog treats, giftware, supplements and grocery items – all produced sustainably, eco-consciously, and largely locally.

“It's really important that we all do our part to ensure the health of our planet, and for our own personal health benefits,” says Sherry. “We talk a lot about prevention here at Generation Green, our focus has to be on preventing problems and disease, not on waiting and fixing them once they becomes problematic.”

If you come into the shop in the next little while, expect to find the recently added line of Canadian natural supplements with a focus on immunity strengthening, as well as the complete Lorna Vanderhaeghe line for women’s health.

Soon all of Generation Green’s products will be available through their online store so they can continue offering these products to tourist customers.

“We have such a focus on locally made products that everyone ends up loving and wanting,” says Sherry.

Also be on the lookout for some unique gift baskets as the holidays approach.

What does she love about being at The Forks?

“That’s easy,” Sherry says. “The people and my neighbours! I've always loved the vibe, the people, and the fact that you could always find something unique.”

Visit Generation Green in The Forks Market and online at