Culture has not been cancelled and the Centre culturel franco-manitobain (Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre) is continuing its mission of organizing cultural activities. There are jazz concerts every other Tuesday, the Manitoban Improvisation League shows Fridays, and if you prefer the cinema, the Cinémental francophone film festival takes place the last two weekends of October. This list of events is not exhaustive, so check out the CCFM’s new website for more!
Fort Gibraltar has closed for the season but you can visit the site virtually. And the question that’s on everyone’s minds is will we have a Festival du Voyageur this winter? The answer is yes! The programming hasn’t yet been revealed but the Festival knows how to surprise us and reinvent itself. It’s expected to take place February 12 – 21 2021. While you wait, you can take a look at videos and pictures and of course my article to relive the 2020 season.
The Saint-Boniface Museum is open to the public, free of charge and without reservations on Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm, on Friday and Saturday from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm, and on Sunday from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Visitors are encouraged to make a donation. If you’ve yet to visit the Museum, here’s your chance for Manitoba’s 150th anniversary, and if you don’t know what to expect, check out the museum’s 8 unmissable elements.
The Gabrielle Roy House is open from Wednesday to Saturday, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The Franco-Manitoban author’s house is worth a visit. You’ll discover how her birthplace in Saint-Boniface is shown in her work, the important role she played in the patrimony of Canadian literature and the resemblance she bears to French author Colette.
But that’s not all. The Théâtre Cercle Molière continues to innovate with online shows, cooking workshops and videos on the whole creation process, from the onset to makeup. Every Tuesday through to Saturday, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, the Royal Canadian Mint offers guided tours on its state-of-the-art facilities and how they produce coins for over 75 countries worldwide. The Maison des artistes visuels francophones is proposing as usual two exhibitions, one in the main gallery and one in the studio, from Wednesday to Friday, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and on Saturday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
I promise to provide you shortly with a list of local shops from which to do your Christmas shopping but in the meantime, you can learn more about four of Saint-Boniface’s unmissable stops: Bothwell Cheese Shop, À la page bookstore, the Norwood Florist, and Café Postal in this article.
I also suggest stopping in at La Belle Baguette or Le Croissant for a tasty pastry. The restaurant Dwarf No Cachette serves delicious Japanese food and Inferno’s, much like Resto Gare, are my favourite restaurants for special occasions. For these three restaurants, you can dine in, order for pickup, or have it delivered safely to your door.
It’s always possible and encouraged to take a stroll around Saint-Boniface, a coffee in hand. Watch the river freeze over and take in a magnificent prairie sunset from the Esplanade Riel, look for geocaches (it’s fun and free of charge – you’ll find more information on how it works here), visit the ruins of the Cathedral, take a guess at what the sculptures in the Sculpture Garden signify, walk in Louis Riel’s footsteps.
For a complete experience of Saint-Boniface, why not come by at night? Package deals are available from Ô Tours with two nights at the Inn at the Forks just on the other side of the river or two nights at the Norwood Hotel, meals, and museum vouchers. You can be tourists right close to home!