Portage Avenue Infuses Aboriginal Arts, Culture & Entertainment With New Marketplace


Downtown Winnipeg – Coming to Portage Avenue is the first ever Aboriginal Arts, Culture, and Entertainment (AACE) Marketplace. Organized by the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Winnipeggers will see First Nations, Metis, and Inuit business owners set up along Portage Avenue at Air Canada Park to sell unique art, handmade crafts and many other types of traditional wares and services – full listing of vendors to be listed online  at www.downtownwinnipegbiz.com.

The AACE Marketplace will take place from 11-3PM:

  • August 20 & 28: Portage Avenue between Carlton Street and Hargrave Street
  • September 4, 11, & 18: Portage Avenue between Carlton Street and Hargrave Street
  • September 25: Portage Place (Edmonton Court)
  • October 2, 9 & 16: Portage Place (Edmonton Court)

“We are very excited to bring this style of business to our downtown community, our Aboriginal artists are our first Canadian entrepreneurs so this is our way of continuing to support the growth of Aboriginal Business,” said Jessica Dumas, Chair of the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce.

“With thousands of people coming downtown daily, we plan to line up diverse and inclusive programs and activities to make visitors’ experiences as enjoyable as possible,” said Stefano Grande, Executive Director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “This is a great way to get the downtown community engaged in their surroundings during their lunch breaks and on their way home. We want to create a positive energy along Winnipeg’s most iconic thoroughfare.”

Animating Portage Avenue All Summer
Every summer, the stretch of Portage Avenue from Portage Place to Mountain Equipment Co-op comes to life this summer with trendy bistro tables and chairs for people to enjoy concerts, the farmers’ market, and the warm summer weather. In addition to the AACE Marketplace, this August, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ will continue its efforts to make Portage Avenue the place to visit and hang – with curated acts of music and entertainment, free coffee giveaways (Thursdays), scoops of Cornell Crème ice cream (Tuesdays), and an art making station hosted by Graffiti Art Programming and Studio 393. Stormy Angeconeb and Rene Marriot, youth participants at Studio 393 located at Portage Place Shopping Centre, will also transform signal boxes along Portage Avenue into culturally rich and dynamic pieces of artwork.

Musicians of all types will also wow and dazzle downtown crowds two days a week from Monday to Friday. Cyclists coming to downtown will be given prizes from Sport Medicine Council if spotted using a helmet.

The Downtown BIZ Customer Service Ambassadors will line up along Portage Avenue this month to welcome visitors to downtown Winnipeg.  Positioned at information kiosks along the avenue, regular giveaways like coffee, flowers, and ice cream will be given out. Efforts to animate Portage Avenue have not gone unnoticed. This past summer, Portage Avenue saw enhanced cleaning and safety as well as multiple events.

Thank you to sponsors: Portage Place Shopping Centre, Air Canada, Studio 393, Starbucks (Kennedy & Graham), and Cornell Crème.  For more information, visit: www.downtownwinnipegbiz.com.

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For more information, please contact:

Jason Syvixay, Managing Director
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
Ph: (204) 958-4635; Cell: 997-3040

Jessica Dumas, Chair
Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce
Ph: (204) 770-7569