Prairie Voices – Tasting Notes


Spring time is in full swing here in Winnipeg, and with the arrival of spring various arts groups are winding down their seasons and are also entering fundraising event season. Last weekend I attended Theatre by the River’s, Wine and Words, thanks to a ticket from Mel Marginet TBTR’s artistic director. Then, last night I was out at Tasting Notes, the annual dessert concert fundraiser for Prairie Voices.

Before I get into last night’s concert I want to mention to upcoming events. Next Friday and Saturday, Horizon, the other choir in the choir in the Prairie Voices family, will be holding their fundraiser, Lyrics and Lager. I went last year and it was  a lot of fun.

Then, on Saturday, afternoon June 9th, at 3:30 pm, both choirs will be presenting Summersing, a free choral event being held at Coronation Park.

Praire Voices Pistachio

The Pistachio Mousse, one of the many fine desserts available at the Prairie Voices Tasting Notes Dessert concert.

Prairie Voices is an award winning choir for singers between the ages of 18-25(though in typically modest, Winnipeg fashion, none of those awards are listed on their website). The choir was founded in 2000 by Elroy Friesen, who is currently the director of choral music studies at the University of Manitoba. There have been several conductors since then, with the group’s current conductor being Geung Kroeker-Lee.

I’ve known Elroy for years, attended the inaugural Prairie Voices concert and have continued to attend their concerts off and on ever since. I run into Geung every so often at Fools & Horses, my coffee hangout, where his partner Lauren is one of the owners. In the past couple of years I’ve also had another connection to the choir, as St. Philip’s, the parish where I serve as priest, has been used by both Prairie Voices and their alumni choir, Horizon, as a rehearsal space, when they need somewhere to practice, on short notice.  Continue reading

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Pastry Castle – Edmonton Street


A couple of months ago, I was walking down Edmonton Street, and noticed that the storefront next door to the Magic Room had brown paper up on the windows and that there writing suggesting that the Pastry Castle would be opening soon. After I posted a picture of this, I discovered that it was a new location for the cafe, as it had originally existed in St. Vital.

I kept my eyes open, and one evening I was walking by the building and noticed that the open sign was lit. I walked in, and couldn’t see anyone around. I thought maybe I had walked in a couple of minutes after closing time, and that they just hadn’t turned out the lights and locked the door.

Pastry Castle Biscotti.

An almond biscotti from Pastry Castle. How it got the green colour I’m not quite sure, but the flavour wasn’t affected.

I waited for 4 or 5 minutes and still no one showed. So, I looked up the number on the website, and phoned. The phoned was answered and when I said I was in the cafe and wondering whether or not it was open, It turned out it was and a woman came out of the back area of the store to serve me.

Pastry Castle Oatmeal Date Cookie

A date filled oatmeal cookie. The top view doesn’t show the date, but it was nicely filled.

On subsequent visits, I noticed there is an electronic announcement that informs the staff that someone has entered the building. I guess it wasn’t working on my first visit.

I decided to stay and so I took a look at what was on display. There is a good variety of baked goods in the cabinet. One of the things that I noticed was there was a good selection of little cookies, which I really liked. Continue reading