O-M-G. This might be it – the best week of the summer. Not only do the Canada Summer Games roll into town (you definitely won’t want to miss the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Festival), but there is also a super unique projection light show happening in Winnipeg’s Exchange District, a beachside film festival in Gimli and an indie music festival in Teulon. And those are only a FEW of the events happening this week. So buckle up, it’s going to be one wild ride. Here’s what’s hot…

Experience the hottest summer in half a century

2017 Canada Summer Games

Featuring over 16 sports, over 250 events and a major cultural festival, the 2017 Canada Summer Games is about to make this summer the HOTTEST in half a century! Join into the fun and welcome over 4000 athletes and coaches, and over 20,000 visitors to the country’s largest multi-sport event for young athletes. In addition to the sporting events happening in Winnipeg and Gimli, here’s what else is happening during the Games:

Opening Ceremonies | July 28, Bell MTS Place

Bell MTS Place comes alive on Friday with the “We are Canada!” opening ceremonies. The ceremony marks the 50th year of amateur sport at the Canada Games as well as Canada’s 150th anniversary, so it’s going to be HUGE. Hundreds of performers will make their way onto the stage, as well as feature sport celebrities and Canada Games alumni. Music headliners include Serena Ryder, Coeur de Pirate and The Bros. Landreth, who will perform with a youth chorus from StudioWorks and dancers in collaboration with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Closing Ceremonies | August 13, Investors Group Field

When the games come to a close, head to Investors Group Field to celebrate the achievements of Canada’s young athletes and pass the torch to the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta. With the theme “Grand Summer Party”, the Closing Ceremony will show off the natural beauty of the province and feature Fred Penner, Sierra Noble and Brett Kissel.

The Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Canada Games Festival | July 29 to August 12, The Forks

Celebrate the many facets of Canadian culture at the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Canada Games Festival. Enjoy family-friendly activities (you don’t want to miss the Icelandic games) and music by a variety of Canadian artists such as Kardinal Offishall, Serena Ryder, Coeur de Pirate and more. Oh, and did we mention all of this is completely FREE?

When the Wind is Right | On until August 31, New Iceland Heritage Museum, Gimli

If you find yourself in Gimli for the sailing events, drop into the New Iceland Heritage Museum to see a stunning photography exhibit by artist Linda Vermeulen. The exhibit tells the story of 10 years sailing on Lake Winnipeg, with a serious love for the water.

Canada Games Family Photo Hunt | July 29, FortWhyte Alive

FortWhyte Alive is not only the site of the Bison Butte Mountain Bike Course, it’s also host to the Canada Games Family Photo Hunt.

A Sporting Good Time | Wednesday to Sunday until August 13, Dalnavert Museum

In the spirit of the games, the Dalnavert Museum is hosting a special exhibit featuring sports equipment, attire, tools and more between the years of 1890 and 1930. The perfect activity for sports lovers and history buffs alike!

Paper Plane Games | Everyday from July 28 to August 13, Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada

Test an array of designs in the Paper Plane Factory, customize your plan and take part in a hanger-wide  Flags of Canada Scavenger Hunt.

See ghosts signs come back to life

Painted in Light: Ghost Sign Illumination in Winnipeg

July 29, 9 to 11 pm
Exchange District, Winnipeg

Want to see the faded signs in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District as they once were? See our capital city in a whole new light at Painted by Light, a one-night art and heritage event that will see five of our ghost signs illuminated back to their former glory by Portland-based experiential designer Craig Winslow.

Go full steam ahead at the Threshermen’s Reunion


July 27 to 30

Take a journey back in time to the good ol’ days at Canada’s largest pioneer heritage festival. Over 10,000 visitors each year journey across Canada to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum near Austin to see a Homesteaders’ Village, live farm demonstrations, vintage fashion, antique cars, live entertainment, a rodeo and more. If you’ve ever wanted to live like a pioneer, this is a darn good place to start!

Get your Fringe on

Winnipeg Fringe Festival

Photo by Leif Norman

July 19 to 30
Various venues, Winnipeg

How do you Fringe? Do you colour outside the lines? Are eccentricities your idea of normal? And idiosyncrasies things of fascination? Then you have a full week and then some to live life on the edge at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. Now in its 30th year, the Fringe Festival welcomes all to witness the talents of musicians, acrobats, and other unique performances, with events for all ages.

Feel the love at Real Love

Real Love Summer Fest

Photos by Chris P. Bakon and Amy Zinn.

July 28 to 30

After three incredibly successful years, it’s no surprise that Real Love Summer Fest is back again. With a growing fan base, this three-day music extravaganza has secured a new location in Teulon, Manitoba, with promises of beautiful scenery and shaded camping in the forest. This summer, watch performances by acts such as Widowspeak and The Radiation Flowers, wander through art installations from local artists and take in the experience that is Real Love.

Watch a movie on the beach

Gimli Film Festival

July 26 to 30

Widely recognized as the most successful film festival in Manitoba, The Gimli Film Festival  is a must-see for cinema enthusiasts and movie goers. Watch feature flicks, documentaries and short films under the stars on the beach or in one of four venues. Nothing is more relaxing than catching a movie with the soft sounds of the lake humming in the background.

Catch a dream

The Dream Catchers Musical

July 26 to 29
Various locations

Some of the most diverse and exciting young performers are on route to Manitoba to take audiences on a quest to find hope and chase dreams. The Dream Catchers is a musical that blends hip hop, spoken word and folk and combines it with Indigenous and contemporary dance in a performance that explores the dreams of young Canadians. The Dream Catchers is a Canada150 Signature project and will make stops at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg on July 26, Pinawa’s Community Centre on July 27, Winkler’s Concert Hall on July 28 and the International Peace Garden in Boissevain on July 29.

Get hands on with Gimli’s aviation heritage

Gimli Glider Exhibit

Daily from May to mid-September, 11 am to 5 pm

The Gimli Glider Exhibit preserves the history of the famous Gimli Glider that was landed successfully on July 23rd, 1983 without fuel or controls. The gallery focuses on the pieces, memorabilia and aircraft parts from Guan 604, including the BMX bikes of the boys who watched the plane come down, a full scale Gimli Glider cockpit mockup (with a computer generated simulator of a landing experience) and a 3 window panel fuselage section from the original plane. Watch a variety of stories and films about the event from the comfort of a real Boeing seat in the gallery theatre and get to know more about this iconic moment in Gimli’s history.

Zip through Pembina Valley


Open daily

Fly through the air and take in a killer view on a ziplining adventure. Hy-Wire Zipline Adventures will take you into the Pembina Valley from 200 feet above with their signature 5 or 8 line tour. The tour includes 1 km of hiking with the average outing lasting just over an hour.

Turn toward the sun at the Manitoba Sunflower Festival


July 28 to 30

The sunflower capital of Canada is in full bloom at this highly anticipated festival in rural Manitoba. The festival brings in all the usual suspects – a petting zoo, stage entertainment, car shows, vendors, face painting and of course, a giant parade. Watch Manitoba’s Sunflower Queen be crowned or try authentic Mennonite food – there is something for every flavour!

Go wild at the Zoo


Open daily
Assiniboine Park Zoo, Winnipeg

Polar bears and monkeys and leopards, oh my! Say hello to all the beautiful wild animals at Assiniboine Park Zoo. The Zoo has over 80 park-like acres for you to explore and interact with wildlife species from around the world.

Hike the Spirit Sands


Spruce Woods Provincial Park

Explore sand dunes up to 30 metres high in the unique Spirit Sands. The desert is said to be close to the Kiche Manitou — the great spirit — in Aboriginal lore. Follow a self-guided trail to the oasis known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl.

Take a glimpse into history


On until September 4
Fort la Reine Museum, Portage la Prairie

Visit the Fort la Reine Museum to see the international travelling exhibition from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Learn about Anne Frank’s time in hiding during the Holocaust and of the Canadian participation in WW2.

Swim with the canaries of the sea



A visit to Churchill offers an unparalleled ability to get close to docile beluga whales during the summer months of July and August. A natural phenomenon to witness, each year thousands of whales make their way to the chilly waters of the Hudson Bay’s Churchill River, to birth their calves. Get ready to sputter out a blitz of oohs and ahhs!

Head out on a day trip to Steep Rock


Steep Rock, sometimes referred to as the Jewel of Lake Manitoba, is a picturesque spot for explorers, photographers and everybody in between. Formed over thousands of years, the cliffs of Steep Rock are made of limestone, with waves forming the rock into usual drops, caves and geological formations over time. Here, you can set out on a photo shoot to capture the perfect landscape, or drop into the water on a kayak for a day of exploration. The Steep Rock Beach campground is nearby for overnight stays.

Road trip through the heartland


Pick a road you’ve never been on and ramble along our rolling farmlands that stretch to the horizon in every direction. There’s a reason the National Geographic listed a tour through Manitoba’s farm country as one of their Drives of a Lifetime.

Take a culinary tour in the West End


July 27
West End, Winnipeg

What’s on the menu for dinner? On this mouth-watering food tour, you’ll head out in the West End of Winnipeg to explore some of Winnipeg’s favourite eateries. Start with Pho Kim Tuong before heading to India Palace, De Luca’s and Jonnie’s Sticky Buns.

Dance in the park

Ballet in the Park, Assiniboine Park

July 26 to 28
Assiniboine Park

Be exposed to the grace, beauty and artistry of classical ballet and modern dance at Ballet in the Park. This year’s FREE event will feature a special performance of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company Dancers (TBA) as well as a pas de trois performance of The Fairy Doll by RWB School Professional Division students and a Grease medley by the Recreational Division students.

Dig your toes in sand at the beach


Hot sand, cool water and bare feet are an unbeatable combination. Every Manitoban has a favourite go-to beach, but with a province that boasts over 100,000 lakes, there are so many new ones for you to discover and enjoy. And you’re in luck because Buzzfeed posted a list of 14 Manitoba beaches you must explore this summer.

Beach festivals

What’s more fun than a party at the beach? How about two parties only 3o minutes away from each other? This weekend, Winnipeg Beach hosts their classic Boardwalk Days featuring a BIG midway, outdoor markets, pancake breakfast, parade and fireworks.