WINNIPEG - As Manitoba cautiously crawls back to its pre-pandemic self, so too are the leisure events Manitobans sorely miss — as well as the large audiences those events can draw. Foremost in the minds of many is competitive entertainment. We’re tired of fighting and shielding ourselves from an invisible foe. We can finally watch our sports heroes battle an adversary that success in 2018 and 2019 shows they have a chance of beating.
But that slow return to normal also signals the end of the long lamented loss of another form of entertainment, also bound to draw some heavy crowds: live music. It’s ethereally uplifting to share space with an artist expressing a piece of their soul. Songs sung face to face also bring solace to countless Manitoba musicians who lost a livelihood and outlet to lockdowns.
Now that summer is well underway, the return of outdoor music in Manitoba couldn't have come at a better time. Here are some upcoming musical events to look forward to this month to kick-start a song-filled season:
1. Next to downtown Winnipeg’s Burton Cummings Theatre, The Burt Block Party invites attendees to bring their own lawn chairs to the festival atmosphere and enjoy food, drink, and performances from some of Canada’s most popular rock bands. The concert series will happen in two weekends this month: August 20 to 21, and August 27 to 28. They expect to welcome 4,000 fans each night.
2. Jazz Winnipeg is presenting a series of Garden Parties at the Dalnavert Museum this summer. Enjoy good grooves, refreshments, and cocktails at the downtown Winnipeg Victorian mansion.
3. The Summer Music Series at Assiniboine Park’s at the Lyric Theatre is back, starting this Tuesday and running until September 9. All events are free and start at 7 pm. The entertainment series also features Movies in the Park, Yoga in the Park, and art exhibitions at The Pavilion.
4. Unite 150, a major concert to celebrate Manitoba’s 150th birthday, will happen at Winnipeg’s Shaw Park on August 28, with a great lineup of Manitoba musicians. Originally planned as one big show, organizers split it up into one at noon and another at 6:30. Tickets will be available on August 10, with all proceeds to be donated to the Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres.
Note that Manitoba Public Health has approved these events, and public health orders permit Manitobans who can show proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter large-scale outdoor performing arts events. The provincial government has info on how to request proof of immunization on its website.