What a week…


Last night I fell asleep at 7 pm and today I woke up at 11 am. Sixteen hours. After this crazy week I was exhausted, mentally and physically.

I’m having a really hard time processing everything that’s happened in the news this week. Dead infants found in a storage locker, the Ottawa shooting and Winnipeg’s civic election. Sleep helped, but everything still feels surreal.

On Wednesday October 22nd, I had a radio assignment. In the morning I went to the polling station near my house and interviewed Daniel McIntyre residents about voting. In the evening I was set to hang out with River Heights – Fort Garry councillor hopeful Taz Stuart at The Pemby.

After chatting with people, I got into my car and called Red River’s radio station to perform my “rant’ about the morning’s scene at Robert A Steen Community Centre. I talked about voter turnout, who people were voting for and what could be expected for the rest of the day. I was giddy when I hung up, live radio reporting was more fun than I had expected.

I started the car and turned on the radio hoping to hear election coverage. Instead, CBC was relaying the events unfolding in Ottawa. It was about 10 am. I sat there in total disbelief while the car idled.

I kept the radio on for the rest of the day while I rushed around doing errands and working on other assignments. The last time I had followed a news story for an entire day was 9/11 and it was hard to understand that this time the act of terrorism was happening in my country.

CBC has been praised by other news outlets, like Mother Jones, for the excellent reporting during the shooting. The reports were calm, honest and factual. It made me proud to be a journalism student.

I was thinking about breaking news while I read Homicide today. When a reporter or a detective gets “the call” (a breaking story or a crime in progress ) they have to react immediately — without speculation and without jumping to conclusions. Chapter five revolves around getting that call and the implications of picking up the phone.

Detective Rick James closes a 2 month-old case thanks to a phone tip, Tom Pellegrini wishes for a call about the Latonya Wallace case, Donald Worden takes a call about an open and closed domestic dispute and Harry Edgerton jumps on every ring hoping to finally land a murder.

Good news, bad news and otherwise, each call requires a different reaction. In detective work, and in journalism, you never know what’s going to be on the other end of the line, the important thing is how you respond to the call.

I’d like to think that I could do a decent job if I was faced with a breaking news story, I don’t know if I’ll ever find out.

Boiler Magazine – Meet Your Makers

Handmade, Recipes, Winnipeg

BoilerMagazineCoverContributor EvaMe!



Contributor---Amy-Jean-ResizeAmy Jean



So, that little magazine project I posted about a few months ago is coming to an end and we’re going out with a bang! In case you’ve forgotten Boiler Magazine is Winnipeg’s first men’s food magazine. Our first issue covers a range of topics from junk food cravings to making moonshine, with a whole lot of feel-good food in between.

Boiler Magazine is holding a launch party on Friday April 4 from 12 – 4 pm at The Roblin Centre (Red River College’s Exchange District campus). We have awesome prizes to give away, an eating contest for some brave bellies, and a ton of delicious free food that you can help us eat!

Our magazine is one of 14 student created magazines being featured at the Creative Communications Magazine Trade Fair (check the Facebook page for more info). There’s a lot of interesting topics being explored if you’re not into guiltlessly celebrating indulgent, delicious food— but stop by our booth and say “Hi” anyways!

I thought I would put some friendly faces to Boiler Magazine’s creative team, and share with you the people I’ve spent more time with in the last 3 months than my own family:

Photo Editor – Eva Wasney (Me)
Copy Editor – Adriana Mingo
Copy Editor – Trevin Thomas
Editor-in-chief – Amy Jean MacLean
Layout Editor – Jordan Welwood

So come by on Friday and see what some very creative people have been working their tails off for, or to eat a bunch of free food. Stay hungry Winnipeg, lunch is on us.




Festival Deux Voyageur


Festival1 Festival3 Festival2 Festival4 Festival 5Yesterday, I spent my evening in a gymnasium filled with ceinture flèche’s, hot pea soup and some of the best beards in Winnipeg. I’m, of course, talking about the Festival Du Voyageur’s annual beard competition!

It’s that special time of year when men from all over the city gather in St. Boniface to celebrate their robust facial hair. While the event isn’t particularly glamourous, the competition is pretty stiff (I’m so punny).

This probably has something to do with the amount of testosterone in the room, and the number of Manitoba Facial Hair Club members that enter the contest — the club where the most serious beards hobbyists hang out. Aside from some mean mugging and friendly jabs, the competition is really fantastic to watch, especially if you’re into guys that look like Voyageurs.

For the second year in a row, my handsome boyfriend took home the top prize in the novelty beard category. The novelty beards aren’t necessarily the biggest beards but they are the fanciest thanks to some expert hot ironing and a generous amount of hairspray.

The other categories include a beard race to see who can grow the best beard in two months, the Voyageur or wild and wooly beards, and an open category for those of us who can’t grow magnificent face manes, i.e. women.

The last category is a new addition this year which made for some pretty creative entrants. My favourite was a faux beard equipped with a handle that, when turned, made a canoe full of miniature Voyageurs start rowing!

Now that the beard competition is fully inclusive I think it would be hilarious if I entered next year, but until then I’m proud to call myself Mrs. Beardyman 2014.

A LOVE-ly Month

Happy, Photos, Travel

KatAl KatAl2 KatAl3

Screw February, October is now officially the month of love.

Last weekend I went to a beautiful wedding in Toronto for two wonderful people. Neal’s brother and, now, sister in-law got hitched at a lovely old heritage house in the outskirts of Toronto proper. It was a whirlwind of heartfelt toasts, fantastic speeches, tears of joy, and lots and lots of dancing.

The whole evening absolutely reconfirmed why I love weddings so much. It’s a celebration that brings two people, two families, and all their friends together to celebrate the love that they’ve found with one another. And it’s the kind of party that makes people feel loved and honoured to have been invited to.

Congratulations Kat and Alex! Your love is inspiring and you are two of the coolest peeps I’ve ever met.


White Night

Photos, Winnipeg


Winnipeg’s third annual Nuit Blanche celebration lit up parts of downtown this past weekend. The all night party started in France in 1984 and has since spread across the globe as a celebration of contemporary art.

As usual, the Winnipeg Art Gallery was a hub for most partygoers, with a steady stream of people wandering through the gallery from 6 pm to 6 am. Unfortunately, rain all day Saturday made the WAG’s rooftop venue was less appealing than in years past.

Inside, a DJ was playing on the third floor, while a contemporary dance performance happened in one of the galleries, and the main foyer was filled with a projected light installation. Exploring the galleries with a drink in my hand was pretty magical.

My friends and I stopped in at Stella’s momentarily but the place was overflowing, so we turned our attention to the Exchange District. The short walk down Portage Avenue led us Old Market Square, which was sparsely populated, again because of the crummy weather.

There was however, a line-up of hungry art enthusiasts spilling out of Smoke’s Poutinerie. Famished from our walk, we joined the line and waited patiently for our bacon cheeseburger poutine.

While we were enjoying our gooey mess of fries a police officer came up to us and asked if a beer can on the table next to us was ours. It wasn’t, and we watched as the officers approached a handful of others who were enjoying an installation in The Cube. I know a public event is not a free for all, but it was strange to see them harassing the 20 people that were wandering about.

We didn’t end up partying all night but Nuit Blanche is a nice opportunity to get Winnipeggers out enjoying art. The fact that it’s free makes it all the more appealing to us cheapskates.

Winnipeg Thin Air Festival

Reviews, Uncategorized


Image from here.

This year is the 17th annual Thin Air Writers Festival. It’s eight days of readings and discussions led by renowned writers, as well as author-led writers workshops for anyone who’s interested. During classes this week, I got the pleasure of listening to three readings by four very different authors.

The first was a discussion led by Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan who are primarily performance artists, who also work in film, installations and evidently the written word. The two work have worked together for over 25 years and co-create everything that they make. It was interesting to hear how collaboration works, especially since writing is often seen as a solo-mission. They read several short stories from their book Bedtime Stories for the Edge of the World which is an imagining of common stories, such as Tonto and the Lone Ranger, from a female and a lesbian point of view. Their spin is an interesting look into gender and sexuality hierarchies throughout history.

The second discussion was led by Michel Cormier, who is a world-travelled journalis. His new book The Legacy of Tiananmen Square is a look into the lives of those involved in the Tiananmen Square protests in China, 20 years later. Cormier had an interesting take on journalism and described feeling embarrassed about the way news stories attempt to capture their subjects whole story in a 2 minute window. Yet as a journalist himself he has had many profound interviews with people in war torn and politically stratified counties.

Lastly we got to listen to a reading by Jim Nason from his book I Though I’d Be Happy, which is a fictional story about several characters who climb Mount Olympus and confront the various ideas of happiness throughout their journey. Nason’s talked about how he creates characters and what he puts them through in order to seem authentic, he also described how interesting and rewarding research can be. His take on inspiration and its unexpected nature  was very interesting. My take away was that characters and stories can take start with real life inspiration and that dedicating time to writing everyday can be fruitful.

These readings couldn’t have come at a better time for me personally. Since starting school I’ve had a hard time feeling creative, especially since I’m in such a creativity based program. I’m getting used to the demands but I find myself questioning my ideas and even my abilities as a writer. I feel slightly more confident listening to other writers and their personal struggles with writing and techniques for being creative!

Here is a video about the 2011 Thin Air Festival:

Folk Fest ’13

Happy, Photos

Festival festival2 campground Tentcity barn Barn2 lounging homeward BikerideMy very first Winnipeg Folk Festival was a blur of music, laughter, and naked dancing. In the twenty-three years since then not much has changed, except for the attendance (and maybe the naked part).

This year was the Festival’s 40th anniversary, and the first time I’ve noticed a marked expansion in the size of the weekend’s operations. I got a little choked up walking onto the grounds this year as I was met with a giant food area and a sprawling beer tent instead of the intimate stages that previously lined the trees. It was startling at first, but I eventually came to terms with the fact that the festival’s numbers have ballooned in recent years, making it necessary for them to cater to every kind of folkie. Sadly the days of topless hippies and naked babies might be over.

To celebrate 40 years the festival pulled in some larger main stage acts such as The Avett Brothers, Serena Ryder, and City and Colour. As well as bringing back fan favourites like Cat Empire and Xavier Rudd. Unfortunately I didn’t check out that many new bands this year because I was having too much fun back at the campsite!

For years my boyfriend and his friends have been blessed with one of the most coveted campsites of the campground. Dubbed “Shady Glen,” it’s a beautiful spot in the trees with room for lots of friends (this year it was close to 30 people), a fire pit, as well as several hammocks. I’m a total piggy-backer, but I’m proud to say I help cinch the spot this year by getting up early on Wednesday and biking out to Birds Hill Park. The bike ride itself was an adventure as I ran into a pole and went over my handle bars early on, then because of  route confusion we ended up leading the pack for the latter part of the ride. After all those flukes I still feel like we deserved our spot and the eight am mimosas we celebrated with.

I feel like I say this every year, but this past folk fest was one of the best. The company was wonderful, the jokes were hysterical, and the party was continuos. It was a whirlwind of sing-alongs, campground wandering, early morning soccer games, yoshi costumes, pepto bismal, big games, glowsticks and music. I couldn’t have asked for more.

Like every other year, the weekend was over before I knew it. The week following the festival is always an uncomfortable attempt at showering off the weekend’s grime and re-emerging into the real world. Thank god there’s only 328 days until next year.