Cirque du Soleil lands in Winnipeg this summer (photo: Martin Girard)

Things to Do in Manitoba: Summer 2017

By AMA Staff

Eat, drink, run and row to celebrate summer during a visit to Manitoba.

Cirque du Soleil’s latest show brings 19th-century gadgets to life. Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities follows the time-travelling adventures of an eccentric inventor. Marvel at this spectacle featuring acrobats, jugglers and death-defying performers, under the blue-and-yellow big top at Sterling Lyon Parkway and Kenaston Boulevard in Winnipeg. Opens June 2

Since 1990, country music fans have flocked to the Selo Ukraina site, south of Dauphin, to celebrate summer and listen to some first-rate country music. Dauphin’s Countryfest—Canada’s longest-running country music festival—this year welcomes headliners Johnny Reid and Keith Urban to a stage that has seen Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw and Dwight Yoakam thrill audiences of the past. Book a campsite and immerse yourself in a weekend that includes beach volleyball, a competitive flip-cup tournament and mechanical bulls. June 29–July 2

Experience the Canadian Shield on the epic 240-kilometre Canada 150 Ultramarathon. This one-time Canada Day event at Great Falls on the Winnipeg River celebrates our milestone birthday and covers some of Manitoba’s varied terrains—gravel roads, moss-covered paths, groomed trails and pre-Cambrian granite outcroppings. While there are aid stations along the route stocked with snacks, you might want to take a breather to bend down and pick a few wild blueberries along the bush-lined portions of the route. July 1

things to do in manitoba summer 2017 canadian shield ultramarathon
Run an ultramarathon to celebrate Canada 150 (photo: Scott Senior)

To bring local and sustainable to a whole new level, forage for your dinner. Prairie Shore Botanicals in Gardenton, east of Emerson, offers a one-day Wild Edibles Adventure. During the workshop, botanist Laura Reeves guides would-be foragers through fields, forests and riverbeds in search of edible plants. You’ll learn to distinguish between safe-to-eat species and their poisonous lookalikes. After the nine-hour trek, guests will collect enough edible flowers, leaves, tubers and seeds to prepare a multi-course meal. July 8

Check out what’s happening this summer in Alberta

With oars weighing 22 kilos, piloting a York boat through the waters of Manitoba’s northern rivers is no easy task. But every August in the town of Norway House, teams compete for bragging rights and calloused hands during the Treaty and York Boat Days Festival. The weeklong event highlights the community’s place in history: Norway House was once the crossroads of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s fur trading network. Hearty voyageurs rowed boats, loaded with furs, to the northern port of York Factory. The festival also includes a flour-packing event: Competitors are loaded with hundreds of kilograms of flour and challenged to cross the finish line. July 31–Aug. 6

To experience that je ne sais quoi quality of French culture, go for a stroll on the streets of Winnipeg’s St. Boniface neighbourhood. A walking tour of the historic area includes stops at St. Boniface Museum, Le Cercle Molière and Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain, the hub of artistic events in the community. Once you’ve built up an appetite, stop for a snack at La Belle Baguette bakery or sit down for boeuf à la bourguignon at Resto Gare. Victoria Day to Labour Day

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Making the cut at Winnipeg’s Bouchée Boucher (photo: Dallas Black)

The guiding principle at Bouchée Boucher is “things we like to eat.” And judging by the popularity of this St. Boniface eatery, we also like to eat what they like to eat! Influenced largely by the attached butcher shop, owners and veteran Winnipeg restaurateurs Alex Svenne and Danielle Carignan Svenne change the menu weekly. They employ a tip-to-tail philosophy, transforming humble cuts into mouth-watering sharable plates. One day might feature a wild rice casserole and mushroom gratin with pickled asparagus while another menu includes saffron chicken salad with butter lettuce and pickled rutabaga. There’s brunch every Sunday featuring a DIY Caesar bar, and cooking and butchery classes happen weekly in the cozy butcher-shop storefront.

What does your vision of Canada look like? This summer, visitors to the Winnipeg Art Gallery will have a chance to express themselves through Art Express’d. The travelling exhibit will visit 15 cities, including Winnipeg, as part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. Pop into one of three shipping containers converted into art studios to collaborate with an artist and videographer. You can create and share your vision for the next 150 years of our country.