Greg MacPherson - A 25 Year Retrospective

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With close to a thousand performances in his rear-view mirror, three-time Polaris Music Prize nominee Greg MacPherson returns to Winnipeg's West End Cultural Centre on May 16, the venue that hosted his first show back in May of 1994. This will be a celebration of 25 years of music, with new, unreleased material and a retrospective performance of select songs from his ten critically acclaimed studio albums.

The Nova Scotia born, Winnipeg-based MacPherson has toured the US with hardcore bands like Propagandhi, opened for multiple, Juno-winning rock bands across Western Canada, played main stages at folk music festivals in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands; he's a veteran of bars, basement shows, house concerts, and in-stores.

For more information or to purchase tickets, chick here.

Throwback Thursdays

The last two shows of our Throwback Thursdays concert series are coming up in just a few weeks. Our Artistic Associate, Kerji Stephens, has been working hard to bring some of our favourite bands back out of retirement.

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The Threepenny Opera

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s classic play with music is given a sick new twist. Featuring an integrated cast dominated by performers with disabilities, this Threepenny Opera will make you squirm in all the right ways. Capitalism, crime and corruption never looked so good.

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Tanya Tagaq

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Experimental vocalist and artist Tanya Tagaq won the Polaris Prize for best Canadian album in 2014, for Animism. Those who thought she had then made her definitive artistic statement are in for a surprise.

Also in for a shock are those who thought international success, playing to major festivals and packed houses all over the world, would lead to a mellower sound, or a more laid back approach.

Tagaq follows up Animism with Retribution, an even more musically aggressive, more aggressively political, more challenging, more spine tingling, more powerful masterpiece.

There are those who find comfort in the bland sweetness of middle of the road love songs designed to soothe. But then there are music fans that find comfort in honesty, blazing human talent and free, intelligent expression of passion. This album is not dinner party ambience music.

This album is a cohesive, whole statement. Why sugarcoat it? This album is about rape. Rape of women, rape of the land, rape of children, despoiling of traditional lands without consent. Hence the cover version of Nirvana’s song “Rape Me.” It’s at least a hundred times more chilling than the original.

Retribution is Tanya Tagaq’s portrait of a violent world in crisis, hovering on the brink of destruction. It’s a complex, exhilarating, howling protest that links lack of respect for women’s rights to lack of respect for the planet, to lack of respect for Indigenous rights. It’s an album about celebrating the great strength of women, it’s about rejecting the toxic, militaristic masculinity that’s taken over the world since the rise of Western industrial capitalism, and is rapidly destroying human life support systems through climate change and pollution. In a startling lyric from the title track, she observes, “Money has spent us.”

The Inuit people live on the cutting edge of the climate emergency. As sea ice dwindles at astonishing rates, they are witnessing the death of the entire Arctic ecosystem, as the colonialist machine rolls on, mining newly uncovered areas for diamonds. And the Inuit know the truth about the contemporary natures of the crimes at the center of Canada’s identity. Tagaq herself is a survivor of Canada’s infamous genocidal Residential School System, something most Canadians would rather imagine as a dealt-with thing of the distant past.

Tagaq is the leader of this project, and she uses the power of her voice, the power of her commitment to her performance, the power of her informed, uncompromising artistic standards, to draw other, similarly committed and talented people to her mission. Jesse Zubot collaborates as producer and lead violinist, creating a stunning array of sound, employing mastery over his instrument and an arsenal of digital and analogue effects. Jean Martin’s drumming builds dynamics and rolls devastatingly across the sonic landscape like a tank division of Tagaq Army, an army which also includes Tuvan throat singer Raddick Tulush, rapper Shad, traditional Inuk singer Ruben Komangapik, and Tagaq’s own young daughter, Inuuja, who is brought in on the first song, like a symbolic character in a novel, to represent both the hope of the future and also to elicit shame for the betrayals we are visiting on the generations to come.

We defy you to listen to this album without weeping, without shuddering, without feeling its intense power and immediacy. This is dramatic, relevant, stunning music. “Retribution will be swift.”

“Tagaq projects sounds that carry the imprint of the body’s secret contours and recesses, delving far beyond personal utterance, out beyond human identity, to summon voices from the flesh cavity haunts of animal spirits and primal energies.” – The Wire (UK)

To purchase tickets for her upcoming show, click here.

Winter Workshop Series

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Sunday, December 2, 2018 @ 2pm - Beginner Ukulele w/ Kate Ferris

Saturday, January 12, 2019 @ 2pm - Inuktitut Songwriting w/ Kelly Fraser

Sunday, February 3, 2019 @ 2pm - Songwriting w/ Keri Latimer

Saturday, March 9, 2019 @ 2pm - African Percussion & Dance w/ Casimiro Nhussi

All ages welcome
All events are free to attend

For more information and/or to register,
please contact Jessee at community@wecc.ca or 204.783.6918


Kate Ferris (Beginner Ukulele)

Manitoba musician Kate Ferris has been performing since - at the age of 5 - the bus she and her Ma were traveling in got stuck in a snowstorm and Kate proceeded to entertain the passengers (including 3 very nice Nuns) with her own songs and stories. (She would like to think that her material has improved greatly since then, but she DID get a chocolate bar from one of the Nuns, so who knows . . .)

After teaching Elementary Music in Thompson, MB for 11 years, Kate held her breath and quit her job to pursue her dream of performing. She's been chasing that dream ever since - at concerts and festivals across Canada, on lanais in Hawai`i, in pubs in the UK, and for an appreciative crowd in Puerto Rico (although none of them understood English!)

She's performed with groups as diverse as the Blarney Band, Critter Family, Rodeo Riders, Canadian Content Theatre, and folk trio Small Rooms. She's played gigs that range from being the act right after the local fair's pet contest to twice being guest storyteller with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra,to opening for Valdy, Ritchie Havens, and performing for the Prime Minister of Iceland!

Discovering the mighty `ukulele in 2003, Kate fell in love with this wonderful instrument and since 2012 has been the `ukulele instructor for the Winnipeg Folk Festival's Folk School.

Before retiring from almost 30 years with the Manitoba "Artists in the Schools" program, Kate conducted workshops in over 200 Manitoba schools, has appeared nationally on television, CBC Radio and as a guest artist on various recordings. As well, she is a popular MC for conferences and public events, using humour and songs written specifically for the occasion.

Kate spent time in the studio working with award-winning producer Dan Donahue, and in September of 2015 was thrilled to release her first solo CD, "Marie's Forest" to a sold-out crowd at The Park Theatre. (It only took thirty years . . .)

Now, one of the songs - "Prairie Girl's Song" - has been illustrated by artist Mary Ann Tully and published by Friesen Printing as a children's picture book.

 

Kelly Fraser (Inuktitut Songwriting)

Originally from Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, Kelly Fraser has performed countless concerts across Canada, especially in the Arctic (Nunavut/Nunavik), where she is extremely well-known.

Like many Inuit, Kelly has been through many personal struggles, ranging from substance abuse, the loss of her father and others to suicide, to name only a few. Kelly uses her pain as inspiration to make art that can positively impact other native youths. She seeks to spread her messages of joy, healing, and cultural pride through a blend of traditional Inuit music and modern production.

Her new album is influenced by contemporary pop, EDM, and hip-hop. Kelly sings and raps in both English and Inuktitut, seamlessly blending the two languages with her powerful, insightful, and politically-relevant lyrics. Her goal is to make the music speak to both Inuit and Qallunaat (“southerners”).

Besides her busy schedule as a recording and performing artist, Kelly teaches Inuktitut language lessons, does cultural and motivational speaking, teaches songwriting, and helps to organize Nunavut Hitmakerz, a project which aims to give underprivileged Nunavummiut youth opportunities to learn creative expression and technical skills. She recently completed her degree in Native Studies at NVIT in British Columbia and is currently living in Winnipeg.

 

 Keri Latimer (Songwriting)

Keri Latimer is a musician from Winnipeg, Manitoba. With her alt-folk group Leaf Rapids and previous band Nathan she has been touring internationally for 15 years. Aside from crooning about vultures and barbershop stabbings, she plays the theremin and scores music for film.

Career highlights include featured solo performances with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, most notably in 2018 for the Canadian premiere of Bjork's composition, Family for strings. She has contributed music for films including Academy Award nominated feature film Frozen River by Courtney Hunt, Only Dream Things by Guy Maddin, and Shelagh Carter’s feature film, Before Anything You Say.

With the help of Canada Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts Council Keri is currently composing an album of music for theremin which will be released in 2019.

Casimiro Nhussi (African Percussion & Dance)

 Casimiro is a professional African dancer, choreographer, dance instructor and musician based in Winnipeg Canada. Born in Mozambique, Africa, he has been a dance professional since 1982. Starting his career as dancer, Casimiro then became the Principal Dancer, and then the Artistic Director of the Mozambique National Song and Dance Company. 

 Casimiro is the Artistic Director and Founder of NAfro Dance Productions in Winnipeg, Canada. Although Casimiro is an African contemporary artist, his artistic inspirations are from African traditional culture & traditions where dance & music come from the same pot.

As a musician, Casimiro is leader of the Kalahari drumming group, and the NAfro Band as well being a member of Bafana drumming group, the Million Civilian Band and Afri-Can Band. He has composed music that has been played on Radio Mozambique and CBC Radio. He was commissioned by the National Film Board of Canada to compose music for the animated short “Mind Me Good Now”.

 Casimiro was nominated twice for the Western Canadian Music awards - for his first album “Makonde", and for his second album "Gweka". In 2011, Casimiro had the opportunity to perform for the opening of the 2011 African Games, Maputo Mozambique. Throughout his career Casimiro has performed in 28 countries. In Winnipeg he has performed at numerous festivals including the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival and the Winnipeg Folk Festival Friday Series.

Throwback Thursdays II featuring The Bonaduces & The Details

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The West End Cultural Centre, in partnership with Torque Brewing Co., is thrilled to announce a new music series called Throwback Thursdays, which consists of the reuniting of past Winnipeg bands! The first show of the series takes place on Thursday, September 13th.

A few months ago, we ran a Facebook post asking which Winnipeg bands our followers would like to see reunite the most. Well, we listened! List upon list was made and endless calls and emails to track down past members of bands were sent.

On Thursday, September 13th we brought our first show of the series to our stage with Novillero. This time, we’re thrilled to welcome The Bonaduces and The Details back to The WECC.

For more info or to by tickets, click here.

WECC Brings Home Two Awards From The Western Canadian Music Awards

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The West End Cultural Centre is thrilled to have won two awards this past weekend at the 2018 Western Canadian Music Awards in Kelowna, BC. The awards included ‘Impact in Music Marketing’ and ‘Community Excellence Award’. The WECC would like to that all the staff and volunteers who give their time to our and the patrons that continue to support the venue.

Other Manitoba friends that won awards last weekend include…

Excellence in Visual Design: Roberta Landreth, Treehouse Design
Recording of the Year: Attica Riots
Children's Artist of the Year: Fred Penner
Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year: Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Instrumental Artist of the Year: Apollo Suns
Visual Media Composer of the Year: Keri Latimer, This is Not Paris
World Artist of the Year: Kelly Bado
Impact in Live Music: Interstellar Rodeo — Alberta/Manitoba

Queer Songbook Orchestra - October 6th

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The West End Cultural Centre in partnership with Pride Winnipeg is thrilled to present the Queer Songbook Orchestra on October 6th.

"Sensational... a superb pop ensemble" - NOW Magazine 

"9 out of 10... unleashing the unifying power of music" - Exclaim Magazine 

"The open and loving nature of this show became it's most impactful element" - The Queen's Journal

The Queer Songbook Orchestra are a Toronto based 12-piece chamber pop ensemble, dedicated to exploring and uplifting queer narrative in pop music.  With the queer lens intact they are looking through the last century of popular music and bringing forward obscured LGBTQ2S historical narratives, as well as the personal stories of members of the community and the songs connected to them. 

Website - www.queersongbook.com
Twitter - @queersongbook
Instagram - @queersongbook

Click here to purchase tickets.

 

2018 Winnipeg Fringe Festival

The 2018 Winnipeg Fringe Festival kicks off this week, and we're thrilled to be hosting four shows in our venue this year. For more information about the Winnipeg Fringe Festival or to purchase tickets to these or any other shows, please go to the Winnipeg Fringe Festival website here.

 

Bad Habits
[A Little Bit Off]

From the 20-time award-winning company that brought you Beau & Aero and Bella Culpa (Edmonton Fringe Best of Fest 2015, 2016) - a show about two sisters of faith struggling to find the light...and stay in it. An absurd comedic look at the lives and habits of Sisters Florence and Margarine and the temptations they face.

SINsational! NUNsensical! POPEular! Mind ALTARing! The Holy Grail of Comedy! We pray you'll join us.

4 1/2 STARS - Fourth Wall Media
4 1/2 STARS - Saskatoon StarPhoenix
4 STARS - Edmonton Journal
4 STARS - Winnipeg Free Press

Caws & Effect
[Mind of a Snail Puppet Co.]

Large-scale shadow theatre from a bird's-eye view. Crows are re-dreaming the world. Is the future all it's cracked up to be? This modern fable is told using handmade layered projections, puppetry, masks and an original musical score. Mind of a Snail's large-scale shadow puppetry is quirky, colourful and beautiful, like early animation performed live before your eyes. The critics are RAVEN!

5 STARS “a gorgeous and wondrous work of art” - CBC
5 STARS “a fantastical, unique experience” - Torontoist
5 STARS “stunning and hilarious” - VUE Weekly

See No Evil
[Looking Glass Productions]

Montreal, 1966: After enjoying an evening celebrating their first anniversary with friends, psychiatrist Russell Partridge informs his wife, Mary, that within 48 hours, he plans to murder her as he's murdered seven times before. Or does he? Is Russell a serial killer or is it all in Mary's mind? Marc A. Moir (Padre X, The Hunting Party) brings this radio adaptation of his stage play See No Evil to the Fringe. Full of charm and chills in equal measure, See No Evil is a must see.

 

Sound & Fury's Cyranose
[Sound & Fury]

Fringe favourites S&F bring back their Fringe award-winning hit show: the classic tale of Cyranose de Bivouac's perfectly normal love for his cousin Roxanne. 5 STARS "This musical parody is a vaudevillian treat performed at lightning pace and with rapier-like wit. Cyranose is a deliciously silly play, a song-and-dance treat, and a Fringe highlight." - Fest Magazine (Edinburgh)

5 STARS - Winnipeg Free Press
5 STARS - Edinburgh Evening News
5 STARS - FringeReview.co.uk
5 STARS - Hairline (UK)
4 STARS - The Scotsman, ThreeWeeks, One4Review

Musical Notes & Lunch Totes

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The West End Cultural Centre's annual free, summer lunchtime concert series will once again take place every Thursday between July 12 and September 6th, from 12-1pm, at Siagon Park. We encourage everyone to bring their lunch and a friend to enjoy the music.

July 12 - Leaf Rapids
July 19 - Spruce & The Meadowlark
July 26 - Chenoa McKelvey
August 2 - Nic Dyson
August 9 - Haitia
August 16 - A La Mode
August 23 - Abigail Lapell
August 30 - Double The Trouble
September 6 - Hay Fever

For more information, please contact Jessee at 204-783-6918 or community@wecc.ca.

Musical Notes & Lunch Totes and the West End Cultural Centre are grateful for the support of the West End Biz.

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2018 Winnipeg Jazz Festival

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We're pleased to be hosting four events for the 2018 Jazz Winnipeg Festival here at the West End Cultural Centre. 

June 17 - Marquis Hill Blacktet w/ Karly Epp & Karl Kohut
June 19 - Lido Pimenta w/ Marisolle Negash
June 23 - Manitoba High School Honour Jazz Bands
June 24 - GoGo Penguin w/ Guillaume Perret

For tickets to these shows or any of their other shows, contact the festival at 204.989-4656.

2018 Ellice Street Festival - June 8th & 9th

The 2018 Ellice Street Festival takes place Friday & Saturday, June 8th & 9th.

 

Friday night starts at 8pm includes a performance by JD & The Sunshine Band along with Drag Queen Bingo hosted by Sunshine House.

Saturday's outdoor activities run noon-4pm and include performances by Shanley Spence, Madame Diva, Trampoline, The Deeds, and Silence Kit. There will be vendors and community groups with tables set up and kids activities throughout the afternoon.

 

For more information, please contact Jessee at 204-783-6918 or community@wecc.ca.

 

WECC Nominated For 3 WMCA Awards

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The West End Cultural Centre is thrilled to be nominated for three awards Western Canadian Music Awards at the 2018 Breakout West Conference.

Below is a list of nominated artists an industry members we've worked with in the past.

Attica Riots - Breakout Artist of the Year
Attica Riots - Recording of the Year
Close Talker - Rock Artist of the Year
Fred Penner - Children's Artist of the Year
Ghost Twin - Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year
Interstellar Rodeo - Impact in Live Music
Jeff Presslaff & Julian Bradford - Jazz Artist of the Year
Jereme & The Delicious Hounds - Francophone Artist of the Year
JustTV - Community Excellence Award
Kacy & Clayton - Recording of the Year
Kacy & Clayton - Rock/Duo Group of the Year
Kacy & Clayton - Songwriter of the Year
Keri Latimer - Visual Media Composer of the Year
Kelly Bado - World Artist of the Year
Lanikai - Pop Artist of the Year
Little Miss Higgins - Roots Solo Artist of the Year
Matt Patershuk - Roots Solo Artist of the Year
Michael Kaeshammer - Jazz Artist of the Year
Olivia Lunny - Pop Artist of the Year
Pipe & Hat - Impact in Marketing
Roberta Landreth - Excellence in Visual Design
Shred Kelly - Breakout Artist of the Year
Slow Leaves - Roots Solo Artist of the Year
The Deep DarkWoods - Rock/Duo Group of the Year
The Fugitives - Songwriter of the Year
The Jerry Cans - Breakout Artist of the Year
The Jerry Cans - Rock/Duo Group of the Year
The Jerry Cans - Songwriter of the Year
Winnipeg Folk Festival - Community Excellence Award
Winnipeg Folk Festival - Impact in Live Music
Yes We Mystic - Songwriter of the Year

The 2018 Western Canadian Music Awards take place during the Breakout West Conference in Kelowna, BC, Octobe 10-14, 2018. For more information, please see their website at www.breakoutwest.ca.