Posts filed under ‘Summer’

Canada Day Jazz Festival Wrap-Up


The 2007 Jazz Winnipeg Festival wrapped up its annual season with a series of free jazz and pop concerts at the TD Canada Trust Stage in Old Market Square on Sunday, Canada Day. 

canada flag 

It was a rainy day.  No heavy downpour but showers here and there.  You’d see people open up their umbrellas when it started raining, and then after a while, the rain would stop and then later on start again.  There were quite a few of those big dark green Canada Trust umbrellas handed out so people were kept dry.

That’s my mother and her friend Tessie in their denims sitting at the front. 


There are a couple of restaurants around and there were also food stands, just in case anybody got hungry. 


The event started at 11:00 a.m. and ended at midnight.

Reggie performed with the Manitoba High School Honour Band on this event.  As conductor Richard Gillis mentioned a few times, you don’t just get into this band.  You audition for this.  Every end of May, Richard Gillis auditions students from different schools in Manitoba and he also picks which of the students will make it to the band composed of around 20 performers.  This year, they had five rehearsals, which were held at the University of Manitoba.


Here are two video clips from last Sunday’s event.  Please excuse the jerky movements especially in the second video.  I was holding the camcorder in one hand and the digicam in another.  I placed myself at the front of the crowd, but I couldn’t quite get a good spot because Reggie would be concealed either by the microphone or the soloist at the front.  Besides, people kept passing by in front of me.

In the first video clip, the band played The More I See You featuring Sophie in vocals.

In this one, they played Duke Ellington’s Things Ain’t What They Used To Be featuring saxophonist Christine Jensen.  The tune was quite catchy and there were three couples that danced not too far from the stage.  I videotaped them too.


July 2, 2007 at 10:30 pm 15 comments

Manitoba Summer and Mosquitoes


Summer here in Manitoba is almost synonymous to mosquitoes.  I grew up in the Philippines where mosquitoes are a-plenty, but the skeeters here are big, as in huge.  Summer last year was very dry and hot and I hardly noticed them skeeters.  But this summer, it’s been humid so far and raining a lot.  I guess standing water is being left in everyone’s yards – perfect breeding ground for these West Nile virus carriers.

Last week, my nine-year old son, Ryland, would come home from school scratching from his mosquito bites.  I think it was on Tuesday when he asked me to put cream on the bumps on his legs.  The following morning, he was still itchy and the bumps were a little bigger and he came home that afternoon with more mosquito bites.  Then I remember that it’s Vicks Vaporub Ointment that works best on mosquito bites.  Ryan, my 13-year old, was laughing at me.  But it’s true my dear readers.  Vicks Vaporub is not just a cough suppressant.  When I was still in the Philippines, I would apply Vicks Vaporub on my bites and they’d work.  It worked on Ryland’s bites, too.  His bumps had decreased in size even before he went to bed that night.  But those pesky mosquitoes kept biting him and he’d always come home with bumps on his legs.

Vicks Vaporub Ointment 

I remember when he was two years old.  I used to bring him to daycare.  The caregivers would bring the kids outside to play and Ryland loved going in the bushes and he’d always be covered with mosquito bites.  One time he was bitten on the right eye and it got swollen.  His eye was shut close for a few days.  Of course I didn’t want to apply the Vicks ointment on his eye.  I brought him to the pediatrician and that’s when I learned that he was allergic to mosquito bites.  Benadryl did the job.

The houses here in Winnipeg are built with screen windows and doors.  So we don’t really need to put up mosquito nets at night like we used to do in the Philippines. 

These past two days though, we’ve been seeing a few mosquitoes in the house.  I don’t know how they managed to get in.  Upon inspection, I saw a couple of tiny holes in our screen windows.  But they could also have sneaked in through the open doors when we come in and out of the house.

It’s a good thing that the City has started night fogging.  City crews get on their trucks and spray the insecticide malathion around the city at night when people are asleep.  And although the amount of malathion being sprayed is not large enough to affect organisms much bigger than mosquitoes, there are always protesters to fogging.  A couple of years ago, folks in the Wolseley area put up a barrier to block the fogging trucks.  Now, Winnipeggers who don’t want their homes fogged can call the City and ask for a no-malathion buffer zone.

I personally want to have my neighbourhood sprayed, because those mosquito bites are annoying.  I also want my family to be protected from the West Nile Virus.  Although, I learned that it’s only the Culex mosquito that could carry this virus.  I also learned from this website that “Most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito do not become ill and for those who do, the symptoms are usually mild. In some cases, the virus causes serious illness and sometimes death.

OFF Skintastic Insect Repellant 

I was talking to my friend Dorothy last week and she said she knew somebody who died from West Nile Virus last year.  Alright, the guy was in his 80’s and he was also diabetic.  But I think it wouldn’t hurt to take precautions, right? So I better make sure that I spray the kids (that goes for me as well) with OFF Skintastic Insect Repellant before I send them off out there in the battlefield of these blood-sucking creatures.

June 24, 2007 at 11:50 am 19 comments

Jazz in the Courtyard

It’s summer once again here in Winnipeg and there are free outdoor concerts here and there.

jazz in the courtyard

One of this is Jazz in the Courtyard every Friday noons starting June 1 to August 24 at the CanWest Global Place.  This concert series will feature musicians from our local high school jazz bands.  The River East Collegiate Senior Jazz Band performed in one of these concerts two weeks ago. 

noon hour jazz 

Of course, I invited my friends who work downtown so that they could see Reggie play.  They were teasing me and calling me a stage mother.  That’s okay. I guess I am. 🙂

jazz in the courtyard

reggie with clay and sam

Aside from the local jazz bands, there are also two special professional performances on July 6th and July 13th.

There are hotdog stands nearby, so you can eat your lunch while enjoying the live music.

Jazz in the Courtyard

From Friday, June 1 2007 – 12:00pm
To Friday, August 24 2007 –  1:30pm
Friday of each week
Location CanWest Global Place
Address 201 Portage Ave.
Tickets Free

Reggie has also auditioned and made it to the Manitoba High School Honour Band.  He is now busy rehearsing with the band in preparation for the Canada Day Wrap-up weekend of the Jazz Festival at the TD Canada Trust Stage in Old Market Square at the Exchange District.  If you are a music fan, you can check out the list of performers on this link.

Also, the recordings of the finalists to the 12th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival are now up on the Jazz at Lincoln Center website.  You can listen to the three selections each of the 15 band finalists played at the competition, including River East Collegiate.

June 20, 2007 at 9:59 pm 14 comments

Father’s Day at The Ex

 bumper cars

My nine-year old son, Ryland, received another Read & Win Pass again from his school.  This pass entitles him to a free admission and three free rides on the Red River Exhibition.  The Ex, as we simply call it, is an annual fair that comes here in Winnipeg around the third week of June.

It’s good that we decided to go last Sunday, Father’s Day, because admission for dads were only half price.  My two older boys didn’t want to go, so we asked their cousins if they wanted to come with us since I knew that they also had free passes.  The more, the merrier, right?

glass house  cuckoo haus

mardi gras  slide

If you had read my post last year, Getting dizzy at the Ex, you’ll remember my note to self: Don’t ride the Tilt-a-whirl, because it made Ryland and me dizzy and it gave me a pounding headache.  It’s a good thing that the kids also didn’t want to go on the extreme rides.  They went to the kiddie rides: the Glass House, The Cuckoo Haus, Mardi Gras, the Carousel, and the Bumper Cars.  My six-year old nephew wanted to ride by himself but he couldn’t reach the pedals.  He had to ride with Ryland.  But then Ryland had a hard time maneuvering the wheel, so they were mostly stuck in the same place.

Well, anyway, the kids had fun.  And before we left, we dropped by the petting zoo.  And we saw these baby chicks, baby cow, and newborn piglets and the kids got to touch them.

baby chicks  piglets

And of course, we brought home mini-donuts and cotton candy even for the big kids that were left at home. 

The Red River Ex is in town from June 15 to 24, 2007.  If you are here in Winnipeg, you still have time to go.

June 18, 2007 at 9:59 pm 13 comments