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The Winnipeg if… Improv Festival Is Back!
on October 8,2017 by jared

Edition #18 includes first all-women sketch ensemble & THIN AIR collaboration!

The 18th edition of Winnipeg if... Improv Festival is back with a week of completely unprepared hilarity! This year, we have performers from New York City, Seattle, Victoria, Minneapolis and Montreal. We will also be showcasing our tradition of inter-disciplinary collaboration with a spot of sketch comedy, as well as a show where writers and poets mingle on-stage with improvisers!

We’re especially excited present a collaboration between writers and improvisers. Spontaneous observations collide with pre-written musings on the world we live in. Poetry from improvisers, improv from poets and the wonderful space between profound and profunny. This is a live collaboration between the Winnipeg if... Improv Festival and Winnipeg's International Writer's Festival THIN AIR.

The talent at this year’s festival includes:

  • Megan Grey, Artistic Director of the Magnet Theater in New York City.
  • Tony Beeman, Associate Artistic Director of Unexpected Productions in Seattle.
  • Dave Morris, Artistic Director and founder of the Paper Street Theatre in Victoria.
  • Meags Fitzgerald, Montreal improviser and award-winning illustrator.
  • Dr Joel Carter, a medical doctor who just happens to be one heck of a storyteller.
  • Stephen Hunter, an improviser from Halifax

In addition to the out-of-town guests, the Winnipeg if… Improv Festival boasts so much homegrown talent, we’ve had to create three ensembles to keep track of them all. Throw in some sketch comedy from HUNKS and President Bear and we have ourselves a FESTIVAL!

Once again, the festival will be offering passes for you to see every show! Tickets and passes for the Winnipeg if… Improv Festival are available through the Gas Station Arts Centre by calling (204) 284-9477 or online at www.gsac.ca or www.winnipegimprov.com. Get your tickets early – shows this funny tend to sell out faster than you can laugh at a meme on the internet!

For an up-to-date list of performers, hi-res photos and ticket information, go to www.WinnipegImprov.com

UMFM says ‘goodbye’ to a long-time host and welcomes an old host back.
on October 5,2017 by michael

For well over a decade, Sunday mornings have found Sacred Space host George Rideout exploring “One’s way to Spirit.” UMFM is sad to announce that the journey has come to an end and the 8-10 AM timeslot will no longer feature Rideout’s inquisitive spiritual pursuits, nor provide the shared sanctuary for listener and host alike.

We would like to thank George – and his producer Lynne – for all their efforts at and on behalf of the station during the entire run of Sacred Space. Their absence from the station will certainly leave a hole in the collective heart of UMFM.

Likely no surprise to the spiritual sojourner, the end of one thing often marks the beginning of another so at the same time, UMFM is pleased to announce the return of former programmer Nathan Zassman, whose new program Zassman Plays the Classics will take over the Sunday morning timeslot.

We say “former programmer” because while Zassman has not been involved with the current run of UMFM, he spent several years at the former CJUM back in the late seventies. Zassman brings not only his experiences from those years, but also a wealth of knowledge about Classical music and a strong desire to share that passion for the form with listeners.

As a special wrinkle, the first episode tackles the second letter of the alphabet as Zassman shares some of his “B sides.” Tune in every Sunday at 8am for Zassman Plays the Classics, followed by our classic Jazz program Fascinatin’ Rhythm at 10am.

The Manitoba X Minnesota Music Exchange Is Back!
on September 21,2017 by michael

UMFM is proud to once again be the local media partner in the Manitoba X Minnesota Music Exchange running all next week.

Manitoba Music is teaming up with Minnesota Public Radio's The Current for the third edition of its music exchange aiming to continue deepening connections with Minnesota-based industry and media. Minnesota is one of Manitoba’s closest and largest music markets. Just over the border, the Twin Cities alone is home to over 3.2 million people. Manitoba X Minnesota Music Exchange offers the chance for four export-ready acts to expand their audience base and network with key industry players.

Manitoba’s own hip hop triumvirate 3PEAT and electronic pop outfit VIKINGS will trek south for some Midwestern fun at Minneapolis’ Icehouse on September 27 along with Minnesota’s grunge punk trio Bruise Violet and indie folk rock act Fathom Lane. The four bands will hit Fargo’s Red Raven Espresso Parlor on September 28 and then head across the border for a night of music and fun at The Good Will Social Club in Winnipeg on September 29. Between shows, each act will have the opportunity to network with key industry players, offering a chance to share and develop their audiences.

Leading up to the shows, The Current and UMFM 101.5 will also be spinning tunes from a cross section of Manitoba and Minnesota acts. The Current's Jim McGuinn, David Safar, Jesse Wiza, and Jade will join Vitriol Independent Promotion’s Jesse Stensby and Modern Radio Record Label’s Tom Loftus at a MusicWorks roundtable lunch on September 30 at Manitoba Music exploring strategies artists can use to make Minneapolis and St. Paul a launch pad to tour this thriving market and open other regions in the U.S.

TUNE IN NIGHTLY TO FREE RANGE ON UMFM AT 7PM FOR UMFM'S SIMULCAST WITH THE CURRENT FEATURING LOCAL AND MINNESOTA SELECTIONS.

Sarasvàti Productions to Announce a Transformative 17th Season!
on September 4,2017 by jared

Sarasvàti Productions 17th season in Winnipeg will envision new realities, tolerance, and overcoming challenges. The full force of the Envision… season line-up will be announced on Friday, August 4th at 7:00 pm at The Saddlery on Market (114 Market Avenue). Guests at the event will be treated to a sneak preview of the 2017-2018 theatre season, which will include teasers from Sarasvàti’s fall festival, FemFest.

Events are part of First Fridays in the Exchange, allowing people to stop in and catch the action. As a way to put in to action a theme about seeing new possibilities, Sarasvàti Productions has teamed up with ArtsJunktion mb for a build-your-own kaleidoscope with recycled materials station at the launch.  

 “Although seventeen years is an odd milestone, what we are most excited about this year is our 15th FemFest. The festival has changed so much since 2003,” says Artistic Director Hope McIntyre, “We are attracting big names with Ivan Coyote’s Tomboy Survival Guide and celebrated Canadian playwright Judith Thompson. Plus we have thrilling news about our next large-scale community project and this year’s International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues.”

Sarasvàti Productions will continue to provide Winnipeg with engaging, unique and inspiring theatre. As Winnipeg’s only theatre company with a mandate of social change, Sarasvàti’s 17th season will focus on access, inclusion and building bridges. First-time partnerships with the Winnipeg Public Library and West End Cultural Centre will allow for an expansion of programming. In its 2017-2018 season Sarasvàti will produce FemFest 2017 with touring shows from across Canada, including the Human Library initiative and new conversation cafes. This will be followed by a community tour and a world premiere in May. Details will be announced on August 4th!

In its history, Sarasvàti Productions has created new works addressing the issues of mental health, youth in care, racism, violence in schools, bullying, poverty and immigration. Last season FemFest featured its first play by a trans artist and popular clowns Morro and Jasp; the high school tour of Shattered had over 6,000 youth experience this powerful and interactive performance; the Cabaret of Monologues were performed in a record number of communities across Manitoba; and the world premiere of Breaking Through was a huge success.

Sarasvàti Productions’ 2017/18 Season Launch – Envision… takes place on Friday, August 4, 2017 at The Saddlery (114 Market Avenue) at 7:00 pm. Refreshments generously donated by Cake-ology. All are welcome.

You Down With the BIG FUN?
on September 3,2017 by jared

Since it's inception we've been a proud supporter of the BIG FUN festival, an annual, five day music festival showcasing multiple genres of music in several venues in downtown Winnipeg every January.   Using Winnipeg’s prairie winter as the backdrop, the festival showcases the best of Manitoba’s current and upcoming artists as well as some hand picked acts from across Canada.

The festival runs from Wednesday evening to Sunday afternoon.  There are a variety of events taking place throughout the weekend in close proximity to each other so that festivalgoers can travel between the shows. . Shows on the same evening are staggered and are distinct in sound and delivery so that you can have many different experiences all in one Big Fun weekend.

Submissions for #BIGFUN2018 are now open! From June 1st to September 15th submit your band to play the 7th instalment of the Big Fun Festival, running January 24th-28th.

Think you or your band would be a good fit for the festival?  You can apply by heading over to the festival's submission's page and following the easy steps - it's just that simple!