Tag Archives: exchange district

Preserving indigenous languages one app at a time

Ogoki Learning Inc. is the world leader when it comes to language apps

Canada’s Aboriginal languages are many and diverse, and their importance to indigenous people immense. During the past 100 years or more, nearly ten, once flourishing languages have become extinct; at least a dozen more are on the brink of extinction. When these languages vanish, they take with them unique ways of looking at the world.

Ogoki Learning Inc. is trying to preserve indigenous languages one app at a time.

It all started when Darrick Baxter, President of Ogoki Learning, created an Ojibwe language app for smartphones and tablets. Soon after the release, he noticed the app was doing what he hoped it would, teaching kids the Ojibwe language while keeping them engaged through mobile devices.

From that moment Baxter, who grew up in Winnipeg’s North End, knew he had to share the app with everyone, so he released the app for free.

Continue reading Preserving indigenous languages one app at a time

Family Jewels: The Next Generation of Sutton Smithworks Leaders

by Tanya Misseghers
Photo Credit: Flashbound Photography

Tom Sutton started working as a goldsmith at the age of 19.

Now, 38 years later, Tom and his wife Peggy are developing their young staff as the next generation of Sutton Smithworks leadership.

Assistant manager Holly Knight began her association with Sutton as a teenage client.

“In 2012, I needed a stone replaced in a ring. Every jeweller I visited treated me with disrespect,” said Holly. Continue reading Family Jewels: The Next Generation of Sutton Smithworks Leaders

Steeped in history, the Exchange District is the Place to Be in Winnipeg.

Located just north of Portage and Main, the 20-block Exchange District National Historic Site encompasses over 130 historical buildings that display an innovative and functional approach to architecture. Massive cut-stone terracotta and brick warehouses, elegant skyscrapers and covered alleyways recall the period when Winnipeg was a large commercial centre, and the “Gateway to the West”.

In 1905, Winnipeg was the fastest growing city of its size in North America. As the city flourished, the Exchange became home to dozens of financial institutions, warehouses and manufacturing empires.

After experiencing a boom period between the 1880s and 1920s, World War I and the Great Depression left the district to age virtually intact. Over a century later, against a backdrop that never changes, The Exchange is in the midst of a renaissance; where locals have converged to curate one of the most dynamic and unique cultural experiences. Today, The Exchange is a vibrant community known for its specialty boutiques, antique shops, restaurants and pulsing culture.

With over 500 businesses, nothing here is more exciting than the burgeoning creative scene which includes film, art, culinary arts, design, digital innovation and more. What was built on the tradition of industrious creativity, the Exchange has become home to world-class businesses that have attracted the attention of the globe. With exquisite cuisine, the finest taste in design and innovative digital technology; nothing here is pre-fabricated, as no two businesses are the same.

While the Exchange is quickly becoming a culinary destination with recent additions including Deer + Almond, Cibo Waterfront Café and King and Bannatyne the Sandwich Shop on the Corner; even the boutiques, shops and galleries pride themselves on sharing ideas and style that are hand-picked and selected with a specific artistry.
Once known as Newspaper Row, McDermot Avenue West of Main Street used to be an iconic spot where Winnipeggers gathered to learn the news of the sinking of the Titanic, and onset of the Great War. Today, McDermot is littered with over 10 boutique shops like Tiny Feast, Paperdoll Clothing and world-renowned Hilary Druxman Jewellery. Without a doubt, creativity was born and bred here.
Even though a pulse is beating year round behind the historic walls, it is truly the summer season when everyone comes to play. Festivals, concerts, walking tours and so much more enliven the streets and bring people out of the woodwork to celebrate.

Every year, Old Market Square transforms into The Exchange hub. The Cube Stage in Old Market Square plays hosts to world renowned festivals including the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival and Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition.

These festivals and events attract visitors from all over the City, but they are also a great meeting point for residents, of which the Exchange has about 800. With recent and ongoing developments, it is estimated the Exchange will be home to over 1,600 residents by 2017.

The Exchange truly is the place to be. As the renaissance continues, the BIZ invites you to explore and enjoy all it has to offer. We are an all-season district, with events, creativity and connection happening year round. For more information on the district, its businesses and events, visit http://www.exchangedistrict.org.

Stephanie Scherbain is Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Exchange District Biz.

Hometown musicians share bill with jazz legends

By Michael Falk (photo by Darren Bastecky)

The 2015 TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival is ready to explode. Music fans of all stripes take over the Exchange District, turning it into The Jazz District from June 11 to 21.
This year’s festival is headlined by soul icon Mavis Staples, life-redemption-story Charles Bradley, Grammy-winning Esperanza Spalding and the legendary Dave Holland, Miles Davis’ bassist. It also features Otis Brown III, sure to become a crowd favourite, and piano legends Fred Hersch and Kenny Baron.
While those artists may grab the headlines, it’s Winnipeg’s local artists that are the foundation of the festival. There are over 50 artists from right here at home performing on stages from Old Market Square’s big opening weekend bash to clubs large and small. And it’s not just jazz: indie rock, soul, blues, hip hop and jazz artists all find a home at the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival.
Free opening weekend
The always-popular opening weekend features local acts over all four nights, including headliners The Lytics, Moses Mayes and Papa Mambo. They’re joined by up-and-comers Joanna Majoko, French Press and The Mariachi Ghost. CBC host, Ismaila Alfa, rolls out his awesome live-band hip hop project Alfa. The Dirty Catfish Brass Band bring the party from the streets to the stage, and Edmonton’s The Wet Secrets infuse a horn-drenched bop into Saturday night’s party.
“Winnipeg has a really vibrant music scene,” says executive producer of the festival, Paul Nolin. “I regard the festival as an opportunity to celebrate it and, hopefully, heighten awareness of it locally, nationally and internationally.”
Winnipeg expat JAN has made records with members of Sonic Youth and John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Blonde Redhead). They’re opening up for Deerhoof at Union Sound Hall on Wednesday, June 17.
Atlaas, DJ Hunnicutt and Hana Lulu are other revered locals featured at Union Sound Hall.
Curtis Nowosad has been a mainstay on the Winnipeg jazz scene, recently released his second album, and is now studying in New York. He’s coming home for a show at Maw’s Beer Hall on Friday, June 19, and local legend Ron Paley brings his band to Maw’s on Monday, June 16.
Cinematheque, The Cube Lounge and Winnipeg Free Press Cafe feature shows predominantly from local artists such as Grace Hrabi, Amber Epp, The Keith Price Trio, and Sunny Roseland.
Beyond the festival itself, Jazz Winnipeg produces the NuSounds series. NuSounds features local artists doing one-of-a-kind collaborative concerts at The Park Theatre. This season’s shows including a live remix concert by Keith Price, a composition workshop showcase by Jocelyn Gould, and Flock Of Bards – a unique, jazzy marriage of poetry and music from Winnipeg writer Charlene Diehl and jazz scene catalyst Steve Kirby.
Jazz Winnipeg and Steve Kirby also run Jazz On Wheels, a mobile concert featuring high-level musicians who bring jazz into neighborhoods that aren’t likely to have access to live music.
The full schedule for the 2015 TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival can be found at http://www.jazzwinnipeg.com.

Started from the bottle now they’re here: bros see lineups for dough

By Brenlee Coates

Brett Zahari has a little advice for anyone who wants to start a business: “Start small; don’t try to dive into it – and don’t have a baby at the same time,” he jokes.
In the best way possible, his new baby, Emelyn Zahari, affects everyone in his business.
Bronuts, the new doughnut shop that has taken the Exchange District and all of Winnipeg by storm, is already steeped in family tradition.
Obviously, the name gives two of the members away – yes, the owners Brett and Dylan Zahari are brothers – but Brett’s wife, Meghan Zahari, is also a part-owner.
“All the way along, our (whole) family helped us,” says Brett. “Between my dad and ourselves, we did all the construction.”
The hole idea
What started as a joke – “It was actually my girlfriend who proposed the name ‘Bronuts,’ and we just thought it was hilarious,” says Dylan – turned into a really viable business once all the pieces came together.
Brett and Meghan took a vacation to Portland, and without intending on it, studied a bunch of doughnut shops. They came back convinced they had to bring the concept to Winnipeg.
“We knew that Winnipeg would do well with them and really wanted them,” says Dylan.

The clean and modern Bronuts space is being put up for award consideration by its architects.
The clean and modern Bronuts space is being put up for award consideration by its architects.

So, Dylan, with only a computer science background, went to work learning to bake some really tasty doughnuts. “Need-based learning,” laughs Brett.
When they shared their idea with friends and family in Winnipeg, they discovered people were not only jazzed to frequent the place, but were willing to pitch in however they could to help make it happen.
“The amount of people that helped us build the dream…People like Joelle (Foster, of Futurpreneur), or people like our banker, or our real estate agent felt like our mom,” says Brett.
Love thy neighbour
The Zaharis already feel right at home in the Exchange District, especially thanks to their neighbouring tenant, King + Bannatyne. “Mike (Del Buono) has been the best neighbour ever,” says Brett, of the sandwich shop owner next door.
He recounts the story of his daughter’s birth, and although not many outside his family knew where he was, he was notified someone had sent an Edible Arrangement. It was Mike.
There is still a space next to King + Bannatyne and Bronuts up for grabs, and the Zaharis say their landlord is very protective of who joins them. “She wants to make sure it complements us,” says Brett.
Worth the wait
Though most people’s experience of Bronuts in the first couple weeks of it opening was either braving a lineup to get their hands on some of the illustrious pastries, or hearing doughnuts were sold out, the shop is finally starting to see things taper off.
“I think some of the hype has subsided-ish,” says Brett. “And I think hype is different than a customer base.”
One of Brett’s least favourite parts about the start of the business was telling a lineup of people who had been waiting that the doughnuts were all sold out.
The only thing that consoled him was that many who got a taste of their goods took to social media to say the wait was worth it.
“We’ve talked to doughnut shops we really respect, and we’re feeling really good about the number (we make). That’s the number that they’re usually hitting,” says Brett.
While they are taking measures to make more doughnuts and fine-tune their process, the idea is these aren’t just any doughnuts – they are special, and take time to make with care.
That said, Bronuts isn’t reinventing the wheel. Familiar tastes like peanut butter and chocolate, Nutella, sugar doughnuts and glazed inhabit the menu – but you can taste the efforts put in to making the glazes buttery smooth, and the pastries mega-fresh.

Classics like Nutella and peanut butter anchor the menu.
Classics like Nutella and peanut butter anchor the menu.

They offer accessible doughnuts done well to be sure they’re appeasing Joe Blow as well as the pastry connoisseurs.
“Our doughnuts need to be simple and approachable, and then we can build on that,” says Brett.
Visit Bronuts at 3-100 King St. in the Exchange.