travelling with culture in mind

Nuit Blanche Gimli

I had the pleasure of being the culture guide on September 27, 2014 in Gimli, Manitoba, for the town’s inaugural participation in Nuit Blanche, the annual night-time culture tour that is free and designed to immerse participants into a collage of cultural opportunities and venues to fill their senses with pleasure. Our first crack at Nuit Blanche was a great success, and Gimli’s event was chosen as one of the Top 10 Nuit Blanche in Canada in 2014. We did it again this weekend on September 26th, 2015, October 1st in 2016, and September 30th, 2017.

An installation of doodle art by Shaun Morin on display at the Flatland Coffee Company was our first stop on the tour.

An installation of doodle art by Shaun Morin (pictured above) was on display at the Flatland Coffee Company for the 2014 tour. In 2015, Flatland Coffee featured the art of Eric Roberts and was open from 7-11 pm.

Nuit Blanche Gimli is being organized by representatives of Gimli’s cultural scene in cooperation with the folks at Culture Days Manitoba, and how special we felt knowing that Gimli was the only place in Manitoba outside of Winnipeg to have a Nuit Blanche event in 2014 (although several other communities did participate in Culture Days.)

The second stop on our tour was at Lifa, where the Pixel jazz duo offered some fantastic music on the porch, which art fans could learn how to master an antique finish on different surfaces.

The second stop on the inaugural Nuit Blanche Gimli 2014 tour was at Lifa, where the Pixel jazz duo offered some fantastic music on the porch, and art fans could learn how to master an antique finish on different surfaces. In 2015, Lifa featured insights on the use of chalk paint as part of its Nuit Blanche presentation.

Nuit Blanche is a cultural event that was first launched in Nantes, France, back in 1984, and can now be found in more than 120 locations around the world. Although we don’t go all night as some Nuit Blanche events are said to do–thus the name meaning “white night” as the lights are on throughout the night–Nuit Blanche has been extended for 2015 to go well into the night. Some venues in Winnipeg and abroad lived up to the name, but our local Gimli tour runs from 7:30-9:30 p.m., with additional events continuing until 2 am at the Ship & Plough.

The third stop on the tour was at the A-Spire Theatre, a Gimli landmark that houses many cultural activities.

The first stop on the Nuit Blanche Gimli 2016 tour is the A-Spire Theatre, a 1905 Gimli landmark that houses many cultural activities.

We’ll begin at 7:30 pm at the A-Spire Theatre, A Gimli landmark venue that houses many cultural events such as live performances and readings by authors. Last year’s sketch was, “GPS – An Auto Erotic Comedy!”  In 2014, we were treated to a sketch called “Louis and Dave” by playwright Norm Foster that has us rolling in the aisles. Performances at the A-Spire are always filled with energy and inspiration. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year for Nuit Blanche.

Deborah Romeyn has the voice of an angel.

Deborah Romeyn has the voice of an angel.

Those who love melodic music were thrilled with the next stop on the tour, as we were whisked away to the land of bliss, listening to Deborah Romeyn’s concert at the New Iceland Heritage Museum. You can get a taste of Deb’s music on her site. Some folks enjoyed perusing the quilt show that was featured at the museum, but you couldn’t tear me away from the music.

I bet they didn't get chainsaw art at any other Nuit Blanche events in the world!

I bet they didn’t get chainsaw art at any other Nuit Blanche events in the world!

We then made our way to the Gimli Art Club, where artist Warren Wenzel was waiting for us with his chainsaw! In addition to stoneworks (also on sale at the GAC) Warren is a master of chainsaw art, and showed us how he carves a pelican out of a stump of wood. Inside the art club, tour participants could create their own mini painting with guidance from members of the club. This year, the GAC is hosting “Art by Moonlight” from 7-10 pm.

Members of the Hammer's Music School of Winnipeg Beach performing at the Ship and Plough.

The final stop on the 2014 tour was to the Ship & Plough Gastropub, where we caught the tail end of a performance by Hammer’s Music School (pictured above.) This year, the Ship & Plough if offering free Music workshops from 7 pm until 2 am, so there is bound to be something to appeal to everyone, no matter what time you drop in. Our tour will be there at 7:50 pm this year.

Nuit Blanche Gimli is a great success. I was thrilled to be a part of it from its beginnings in 2014, and have been happy to be the guide since then. Hope to see you there! Meet me at the A-Sprire Theatre at 7:30 pm to be part of the tour, or take in any of the events on your own schedule throughout the evening.

We’ll be hash tagging on Twitter as #NBGimli. Look for it, and participate in the tweet-up on Saturday, October 1st to be part of the spirit even if you can’t join us.

Have you participated in a Nuit Blanche or Culture Days event? How was it? 

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

16 Responses

  1. Donna Janke says:

    What fun. I’ve been to some evening art walks, but nothing specifically called Nuit Blanche and certainly nothing that lasted all night. Love the chainsaw art.
    Donna Janke recently posted…Fragments of Writing WisdomMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Donna. Yes, it’s a pretty fun thing to combine art, a beautiful evening, an easy walk between venues, and the relaxed atmosphere of a rural community during an event like this. It was very well done except for the glitch at the last venue.
      Doreen recently posted…the messy baker — book reviewMy Profile

  2. Susan Cooper says:

    Sound like the only thing that would have made that evening s but more enjoyable would have been a mug of hot chocolate. Looks chilly. 🙂

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Susan: It probably would have been a bit chilly for you, but it was a mild evening for us hearty Manitobans. Quite a few people on the tour started out with a delicious coffee (or coffee concoction) from Flatland Coffee, which was the 1st stop on the tour. I think it would have been a night you would have enjoyed.
      Doreen recently posted…the messy baker — book reviewMy Profile

  3. Cheryl says:

    I have not heard of this before. It sounds like a fun and interesting event. So glad you were able to participate and enjoy it.
    Cheryl recently posted…MS Surface: Travel Device for ‘Working On-the-Go’My Profile

  4. Jeri says:

    What an honor and how interesting in that it was a night-time event. I recently did the Night Watchman tour when I was in Rothenberg, and it definitely added a different flavor to experience a city at night.
    Jeri recently posted…#CreativeWriting: Horse CrazyMy Profile

  5. Doreen says:

    It definitely does, Jeri. There’s something special and cool about roaming the streets of a community at night in search of culture! Sounds like you had an amazing trip to Germany. Thx for dropping by the blog.

    Thx, also, to Cheryl, for your comment. I think these Cultural Tours are becoming quite widespread, so hopefully, you’ll soon have one in Kansas that you are participate in. It was tremendous fun.
    Doreen recently posted…the messy baker — book reviewMy Profile

  6. Catarina says:

    Glad you were selected to be a culture guide, Doreen. Culture is so important but, unfortunately, frequently overlooked. Love the art walks they have here locally and they are a huge hit with people who live here. One interesting thing they did here was a jogging tour of cultural aspects for tourists. A friend of mine was the jogging culture guide. Would have hated joining her but for tourists into jogging it was popular.
    Catarina recently posted…Who’s the richest man in China?My Profile

  7. Esther says:

    What a great review of the town where I attended high school! I do love what folks have done with Gimli since I left. <3
    Esther recently posted…Review of Eternal Abundance CafeMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Esther and thanks for your comment.

      I think you would be amazed at how Gimli has changed since you moved away. There is a really strong artistic community throughout the Interlake, and Gimli is the hub, with larger venues and some amazing cultural activities going on. I hope you’ll visit again soon, and for longer next time so that you can take some of it in!
      Doreen recently posted…the messy baker — book reviewMy Profile

  8. I always love those who love art and the many talented people who dedicate their lives to it.

    • Doreen says:

      Hey, Warren. Thx for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment.

      Yes, those of us who earn our living from our words or art are truly lucky when we can connect with a public who appreciates our work. As much as we do it for ourselves, we create art to enhance the lives of others.
      Doreen recently posted…getting around MiamiMy Profile

  9. Helen says:

    Well, what’ya know… Manitoba has Nuit Blanche too! And this whole time I thought it was just a Toronto thing…
    Helen recently posted…Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux: Unique Accommodations and Outdoor AdventuresMy Profile

  10. Johnson says:

    Sound like the only thing that would have made that evening more enjoyable would have been a mug of hot chocolate.

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