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Three days and three girls in Winnipeg – worth 16 hours of driving! by Ann Treacy
March 27, 2019, 3:57 am
Filed under: Winnipeg

For spring break Aine and I went to Winnipeg to see Kate (at U of Manitoba) and Lily (at U of Winnipeg). The best thing about the visit was to see how nice the girls are to each other – when they’re not fighting about who is wearing whose clothes. And frankly if there were no fighting, I’d be worried.

Lilly invited us to stay at her place. So that was nice. Kate invited Aine to her dorm’s talent show on our last night. So that was nice. Few high school freshman are invited to the college freshman’s dorm for anything. Everyone posed for me under the lights of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, which is my favorite thing to do in Winnipeg – so that was nice too!

We had lots of good food. We met Lily’s boyfriend Sean – who is very easy to fit into the dinner table. Gotta like that in a guy. And he has awesome taste in music (and girls). Lily and I walked around her new, pretty upscale, neighborhood for a couple hours one day. We didn’t see as many murals as we saw in the old neighborhood but we didn’t hear as much yelling either.

We went to see some bands and maybe the worst comic ever at a coffee shop one night. That was fun. Again, few high school freshman get to hang with the big dogs until 11pm seeing bands. And we even went for crepes afterward. Few people older than 14 want crepes after 10pm but we managed it.

We all spent the day today at the Forks – a market of sorts by the River. It’s nice walk around that area – there’s a great view of the Human Rights Museum, St Boniface and the whole downtown. We had different kinds of food and mostly just hung out.

Tomorrow Aine and I will leave at the crack of down – two hours after Lily has started working her shift at the airport. And we’ll look forward to having them home with us for Easter!

Kate is launched at University of Manitoba – Aine at Nova Academy by Ann Treacy
September 1, 2018, 6:30 pm
Filed under: Winnipeg

­­It took a week in Winnipeg but we are on the road and Kate is now settled in her dorm and I’m so excited for her! The University of Manitoba is a big enough place. It’s not the size of the Twin Cities University of Minnesota campus, but it certainly compares to any University I’ve visited. And it is bordered on one side by the Red River, so it’s a pretty campus too.

Kate has her own room and she’s in a girls’ dorm – or at least the girls’ side of a co-ed dorm. And she’s with a lot of the international students. She is in the University One program, which means she hasn’t chosen a faculty/major yet. She’s good at a lot of things so making a decision may be difficult.

In our week in Winnipeg we got to visit Lily. In fact Lily had me on her radio show. (You can access the archive from Aug 31.) The good news is that we did an awesome 90 minutes on songs about places. I included many Minnesota bands, since I’m forever the Minnesota music pusher. The bad news is that 90 minute show didn’t get recorded. But we went back and did about 50 minutes, which did air.

I got in some good walks with my Dad (aka Grandpa) including a visit to the Assiniboine Park, which I think it lovely. And we (Kate, Lily, Grandpa and me) ate at several very nice restaurants in Winnipeg. If you ever need a recommendation, you know where to come!

And if this week wasn’t exciting enough  – Aine started high school at Nova. I was able to see her off – but she’s spent the week with grandma. So far though, she seems pretty happy with her choice and we’re so happy that she got into Nova. (It’s a lottery to get in, and initially she was on the wait list – but we got the good call a month ago that she was in!)

Intergenerational trip to Winnipeg – lots of art, walking and heat by Ann Treacy
June 23, 2018, 3:45 am
Filed under: Winnipeg

This week we took a trip to Winnipeg – Aine, Kate, me, Grandma and Grandpa. We went to check in on Lily and bring her home. And we went to check out University of Manitoba for Kate. (She is starting there this fall.)

It was great to see Lily and her apartment, which she took great care to clean for us!

Lily lives in the West End of Winnipeg – which has one of the largest collections of murals. I learned through the beauty of Google that the murals focus on heritage, local heroes, culture, community, commerce and cuisine. They do spruce up the area, which is pretty mixed. Lots of students and I’ve noticed community services and shelters in the area too.

I did a walk through St Boniface. I hadn’t been through that area before. In fact, I hadn’t actually crossed the bridge before. There is a gorgeous cathedral in the area with many very cool statutes and tombstones.

Otherwise there was a lot of walking and spying of lots of art in the city. We saw Indian City play at the Human Rights Museum for Summer Solstice and went to a Farmer’s Market. Otherwise it was a lot of getting to know Winnipeg.

34 hour trip to Winnipeg – Lily’s digs, CKUW and the Jets by Ann Treacy
May 9, 2018, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Winnipeg

We had the quickest international visit ever this week – Grandpa and I brought Lily and her roommate back to the University of Winnipeg. (We are super thankful to have a grandpa that would drive so far so quickly!) First – the rumor of it being cold in Canada – wrong. It was 86 degrees, which was a pleasant surprise. Second – it was really fun to see how well Lily is doing in Winnipeg. I’m so proud of her!

We got to see her apartment. It’s definitely a place for students but a nice place. She has her own room and it’s big. And there’s a fire escape-type porch on the roof. She has two roommates right now – and a big fat cat. They’re done a nice job decorating the place, including some really awesome art by Lily. (I snuck a couple pictures of her art here – without permission!)

I got a fun tour of the U of Winnipeg radio station, where Lily has a regular radio show Friday afternoons (2-3:30). They have about 32,000 CDs/Albums/cassettes and add about 1,000 each year.  Turns out they don’t have a lot of younger students with shows so that made me especially proud of her show.

We had a nice dinner with grandpa and got to walk by a number of Lily’s regular haunts – her yoga place, her old job, her current job, favorite restaurants. At night Lily and I took a walk around town. Turns out there was a Jet’s hockey game. Wow! There were thousands of fans happily watching. Well, happily at the start, kind of sad at the end of the game.

The city had set up 6 (or so) giant TV screens set up around town in a spoke a wheel pattern near the hockey arena. And they hosted a “white out” – which means everyone dressed in white. Apparently it costs the city $60,000 – but it a great investment for local businesses. My favorite moment was the guy (post loss) who chucked everyone on the arm and say – we’ll get them next time. The game tied up the series. I think the final game is tomorrow night.

Lily starts first year at University of Winnipeg by Ann Treacy
September 3, 2017, 2:12 am
Filed under: Canada, Winnipeg

This week grandpa and I dropped Lily off to school at the University of Winnipeg. It’s kind of amazing how excited you can be for someone else. Lily is so ready for college. She’s going to rock it. She’s going to love it!

She’s so brave. She went assuming she’d know no one. Turns out she knows one person and I think she’s grateful for that. She’s taking Rhetoric and Communication. Classes don’t start for a few days. She would prefer if they would have started a week ago. You know that feeling that you just want the start to be over.

We got her settled into her down – a single en suite! We did a quick trip to Ikea of Winnipeg to help fix it up. We got her sorted with a bank and wire transfers. (Pro tip – don’t wire money to people. Double pro tip: if you do and it’s a large sun find a Walmart. They could not have been nicer about helping us despite the fact that it took at least an hour. Yup – the other people in the Walmart line were wishing us into the cornfields!)

She thinks she got a job – not bad for 48 hours in the country. It’s at a hot dog joint attached to what we assume it the college bar hang out. (Pro tip for college seekers: drinking age in Canada is 18.) With reciprocity for Minnesota students the tuition (and board) at U of Winnipeg is not crazy. It includes some great perks – like a bus pass. Yet, it doesn’t include broadband access. (At $30 bucks a month per student I’m hoping the provider will use some of that crash to invest in rural areas!)

The people we encountered were unbelievably nice. Friendly Manitoba is more than a catch phrase.

We already miss her. Lily is the voice of calm and reason. She watches out for her sisters and she is a super pleasant person – especially after 10 am. We are already planning our first visit.

And here are some of our non-school pictures from the trip. Winnipeg is beautiful. Our weather was perfect. Lily may want to look back at this in January.

Art of Winnipeg – museums and murals by Ann Treacy
April 9, 2016, 4:19 am
Filed under: Winnipeg

Winnipeg has a host of great street art. We saw some of it in the neighborhoods we visited – Osborn Village, The Forks and driving around downtown, walking around the skyways and underground and the area around the University.

We also got to see some great art indoors. One treat for me – we visited an on-campus gallery at the University of Winnipeg. There was an exhibit called Cafeteria by Elvira Finnegan and Lisa Wood. .They invited students in to have lunch. The took pictures during lunch and used them to piece together pictures/collages, which became models for drawings. They also maintained the lunch tables and food as part of the installation. I think they used a brine crystallization process to preserve the food.

Then funny enough – I saw another work by Elvira Finnegan at the Winnipeg Art Gallery – a tea cup with the same process. The WAG featured a lot of local artists and a lot of Native artists. There were number of small-ish statues that looked like they were sculpted boxes of stone. The figures are very roundy and have a cute edge to them. They are playful. I’ll just include a couple of examples.

There were a few pictures by KC Adams – she explores a “dualism of human life and intelligent machines, reflecting on her own mixed Euro-Indigenous ancestry and her dependence on technology for communicating and art production.” The series included four pictures of stereotypes of women.

Another favorite was a work by Rosalie Favell – a take on a familiar image from the Wizard of Oz with text from Louis David Riel’s statement – My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.

University of Winnipeg – urban, friendly but cold by Ann Treacy
April 9, 2016, 12:35 am
Filed under: Winnipeg

Our reason for visiting Winnipeg was a tour of the University of Winnipeg. So we came, we saw, we conquered. University of Winnipeg is an urban campus. In the middle of town, the campus spans a few buildings but it seems like there’s one main building for most of the classes, a fitness center/gym, a high school and a shared building for student administrative stuff.

We got a tour from a senior studying political science from Winnipeg. He was nice and knew a lot about the school. Although having gone to a neighborhood school myself, I know you have different questions when you’re going away to an urban campus.

I think it was fun for Lily to see what a college is like. Not that she hasn’t spent tons of times on the St Catherine’s campus as a little kid, time in the child care at Normandale Community College or walking through Macalester on the way to work these days. BUT walking through when you’re thinking about attending is a different experience.

I need to note that Winnipeg is cold this weekend – well mostly it’s been brutally windy. Shopkeepers have been commenting at the terrible change of weather. So my guess is that Lily may not actually choose the cold winds of Winnipeg but I think this has been great opportunity for Lily to see the difference between college and high school. This is actually an off-week of UWinnipeg; they have finals next week but still kids are lounging everywhere. It’s a ready-built community or series of communities – and there’s a lot of appeal to something like that.

Winnipeg – The Canadian Museum of Human Rights by Ann Treacy
April 8, 2016, 3:51 pm
Filed under: Winnipeg

Lily and I are in Winnipeg looking at colleges. Yay! It’s only a 7 hour drive from home. It’s a very easy drive so here we are. We’re going to check out the universities today – but yesterday we went to check out the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. First impressions – the people are so kind and the building is amazing.

We only had an hour so we had to rush but we started at the top – the palm-sweat inducing top of tower of the glass building and made our way down. I think we found the sections on the Native communities most striking. There’s a Witness Blanket, which isn’t really a blanket, it’s a like a shelf of favorite, lost or forgotten items that is inspired by a woven blanket. It’s includes patterns like a quit and has the feeling of memory that you might get looking at a family quilt.

It is created in memory of the Native children who were taken from their homes and sent to boarding schools. A terrible atrocity that tears apart families and causes a people to lose a language, which I think is a big step toward erasing a memory of a people. How do you remember when your words are gone?

Contributions to The Witness Blanket were donated by residential school survivors and their families, band offices, friendship centers and governments. Other items were reclaimed from former residential school sites. Those responsible for the school system – churches and the Canadian federal government – have also donated pieces for this installation as a gesture towards reconciliation.

The museum itself is filled with tremendous information – mostly the brave people who speak up and act up for human rights. Lily asked a good question about why we know so much about the Holocaust and so little about terrible events in other parts of the world – generally non-Western areas. It’s a god question that answers itself. This museum is clearly one step in changing that. With the advent of the Internet and increasing access to broadband I think we have no excuse to learn more about what has happened in different parts of the world and sadly what is still going on.

On a lighter note, the people were amazing. We talked to one museum worker who met Hillary Clinton at the Museum. He gave Lily some tips on how to get a job there when she comes up for school. And one very lovely young women gave us a bird eye tour of the city from the tower. I asked if she would give us the 2-minute rundown of what we were seeing. She did much better and pointed out everything a future student might need to know – from where to hand deliver your water payment if your bill was late to where to get a tattoo or fun dinner. Which led us to a very tasty dinner at Deseo Bistro. They found a way to split the gnocchi so that Lily (veggie) and I (meat lover) were both happen. (Also a tribute to the power of bacon!)

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