The $65-million Qaumajuq (Winnipeg Art Gallery Inuit art centre) is just one of several shiny new things ready to wow you in Winnipeg, where the roster of world-class attractions keeps growing.
The opening reception for Qaumajuq, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s (WAG) brand-new $65-million Inuit art centre could not have been better. There are numerous rave reviews to direct you too from the likes of Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, enRoute, Elle and The Globe and Mail, all of which praise it for its mandate, architect Michael Maltzan’s design that pays homage to the beauty and scope of the Arctic landscape and the building’s incredible addition to Winnipeg.
Qaumajuq houses the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art, something that is immediately evident after you enter and encounter its inviting three-storey high glass vault. It showcases hundreds of carvings from nearly every Arctic community, while its ever-curving glass contours—much like the shape of snowdrifts—allows visitors to be enveloped within the sculptures, making for a truly immersive viewing experience.
Within the galleries, this idea of snowdrifts and the Arctic landscape flows throughout, with walls that curve and expansive open spaces that utilize numerous skylights to bring plenty of natural light into the building. These round skylights also mimic holes in the ice that seals use to breathe. From afar, the building resembles a glacier that hugs the WAG’s original angular façade.
INUA, Qaumajuq’s first exhibit, was created by an all-Inuit curatorial team representing all four regions of the Inuit territories. It provides an incredible example of what Inuit art has become, with pieces ranging from tapestries to a seal skin space suit. Outside in the new plaza, you’ll encounter Time to Play by Abraham Anghik Ruben and Tuniigusiia/The Gift by Goota Ashoona, two large new sculptures, while the new glass façade at street level beckons you into the building.
This summer, the WAG is offering free admission to everyone 25 years and under, while people 26+ years can purchase an annual all-access pass for only $35. Free admissions are also being offered for Indigenous People.
Great gardens and what’s new at the zoo!
Assiniboine Park is getting even more colourful this summer with the addition of the Gardens at The Leaf.
Starting July 6, visitors can marvel within The Indigenous Peoples Garden, the Kitchen Garden, Sensory Garden, Performance Garden, Seasonal Garden and the Grove. This 30-acre setting surrounds The Leaf, a 90,000 sq. ft. all-glass building currently under construction that will house four distinct biomes, a restaurant (which will feature ingredients grown in the Kitchen Garden), a huge indoor waterfall and a butterfly garden at its summit. The Leaf is slated to open in 2022.
Assiniboine Park is also home to a multi-award-winning zoo that continues to grow with new attractions and exhibits. This summer, you can experience its newest addition, Aunt Sally’s Farm, which boasts large rainbow-coloured goat bridges that arch right over your head. Aunt Sally’s cute, hoofed inhabitants regularly traverse these bridges to get from one area of the farm to another (watching them use it is jolly good fun). The exhibition also includes pot-bellied pigs, llamas and adorable tiny donkeys. There’s also a lookout tower where you can spy many of the zoo’s famous inhabitants, including the polar bears, wolves and muskox that call Journey to Churchill home.
Aunt Sally’s is all covered under your general zoo admission, which this summer also includes the return of the smash hit, Dinosaurs Uncovered. This traveling exhibit features 17 life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs in the zoo’s forested trails, along with museum-quality fossils in the rotating exhibit gallery. The zoo is also home to the animal and human stars of CBC’s Arctic Vets, whom you’ll surely see when you are strolling amongst the 180 species that call this place home, including Amur tigers, snow leopards, monkeys and red pandas.
For more outdoor fun, check out Tourism Winnipeg’s Here for It page.