We had much of the day to acclimatize to Winnipeg and get our bearings. We are very close to the Exchange district, which is similar to Yaletown, but with far more heritage buildings. Once called, the "Chicago of the North", many of the buildings were actually designed by Chicago architects. It is a popular place with film companies because it is easy to find locations that look like you've stepped back in time, no matter where you are. The great thing is that many of them are being used by non-profits and artists because prices are still very reasonable. The picture below shows an example of a huge loft/warehouse space that rents for just $1200 a month and could easily hold a few hundred people. Amazing!
Jay and Michelle had a chance to get onto Winnipeg's CBC radio to do a quick blurb on the show.
Went into the theatre around 5:30pm. We've gotten very efficient at setting up and breaking down. Setting new records every night. After the show some of us were anxious to see some of the Winnipeg nightlife. We'd heard of the Woodbine Hotel (which at one time was the longest bar in North America, but which has been cut in half). It has become a heavy drinking, black eye kind of place. We left after the woman behind the bar got into a knock-down drag-out fight with two other women.
Next stop was the Legion on Kent, where Zi dropped in on a bluegrass jam. Watch the video below.
The legion is over top of a long-defunct bar called the Cave, which really was a cave (more specifically, a tunnel under the street). It was famous for being a popular hangout of employees of the two newspapers the Winnipeg Free Press and the Winnipeg Tribune.
Another day of driving, this time from Regina to Winnipeg. More sweeping prairies. We had trouble with the stage flats in the wind leaving Regina and had to stop for about an hour to make the necessary adjustments.
Although it slowed us down, we did have a chance to take more pics of the local landscape, and even the local fauna:
This little prairie dog poked his head out for us. Did you know that these guys chirp like birds? Zi took the opportunity to assail a tractor in a nearby field. He had an interesting day: As we stopped to grab an ice cream, he struck up a conversation with another band of travelers. It turns out they were a members of a travelling sex show. who will pretty much do anything on stage if the price is right. They liked Zi and tried to recruit him. Oddly enough, they looked totally normal! It creeped us all out a little.
We hit Winnipeg early for a change and were able to see the place in daylight! The downtown hostel we are staying at was a far cry from the one at Canmore, or the university residences in Regina, and the above picture is far more flattering than the place really is. But it is close to both the theatre spaces. It was nice to have a night off.
We had a relaxing day in Regina before the show. Everyone took the opportunity to get a bit of private time and prepare for the first show of the tour at the Globe Theatre.
The campus at the U of R was very quiet and peaceful. As a matter of fact, even Regina itself was quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of Vancouver. The quality of light gives everything the look of old Kodachrome shots from the sixties.
Zi's got a brand new bag!! He is a happy camper.
Our first show went off without a hitch. We played to an enthusiastic crowd at the Globe Theatre's Templeton Studio Cabaret. The cast and crew did a wonderful job of setting up and tearing down in record time.
For the cast, a big thrill was to have "To The Queen's" playwright, Larry Trask in attendance and to be able to spend time with him after the show. They grilled him about what he thought of their interpretation and about the evolution of the play itself. Watch the video:
By the way, Larry will be joining us again when we return to Saskatchewan on June 2. A very interesting man.
Another full day of driving but far less eventful than Sunday. We left Canmore at about 9:30am, but didn't stop for breakfast until just after noon on the East side of Calgary. The weather in the morning was dull and foreboding, but by mid-afternoon and Medicine Hat, sun prevailed and the view was spectacular.
We had dinner in Swift Current, which is not much to look at when you enter, but turned out to be a quaint little town with a pleasant main street. Vancouver's Geoff Burner was playing at the Lyric Theatre. It's also the home of Saskatchewan's Premier, Brad Hall.
Swift Current, Saskatchewan We rolled into Regina at about 11:30pm. We are on campus at the University of Regina. Great digs in an shared apartment with a communal kitchen dining area and then bedrooms and bathrooms off to either side. The girls took one end and the boys bunked down in the other. Good times!
A long day from Vancouver to Canmore. We left later than planned (this is Theatre in the Raw, after all). Got to Burnaby and realized that the money belt was still at Jay's place. Once back on the road again, we hit a major accident on the No. 1.
After an hour delay, we finally got to Hope by early afternoon.
Along the way we hit an avalanche and yet another accident at the Roger's Pass.
"I foresee delays..."
Dinner was at about 9pm at a fun little place called the Frontier Hotel, in Revelstoke. Some great views along the way, but by the time we hit the Rockies it was too dark to see anything.
Oh, yeah, we went through almost every weather condition known to man! We were finally in Canmore at 3am Alberta time.
The Alpine Club hostel is beautiful and only $25 a night.
Morning came early with Serge waking the the whole place by singing Verdi in the shower. Up at 8am.
News: Richard Announced As Laureate In Francophone Competition
Our own Michelle A. Richard was recently awarded laureate for this year's Pacific En Chanson, an event that brought 6 francophone singer/songwriters from the Yukon and BC chosen to compete in Vancouver. Judges included teachers, artists, industry professionals and press from Capilano College, CBC Radio-Canada, and other groups. Pacific En Chanson is part of a network of Canadian francophone cultural association events and has been sponsored by the for Centre Culturel et Artistique Francophone de Colombie Britannique (BC Centre for Francphone Arts and Culture). She will also perform in this year's francophone festival, later in July.
Vancouver's notorious Theatre In The Rawgoes on the road with three one-acts and singer/songwriter Michelle A. Richard for performances in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. May 21 - June 9, 2008