There's always something new to discover at FortWhyte Alive.
Photo by Mike Latschislaw
Local blues-inspired act The Reverend Rambler (AKA Matt Colpitts) is a bona fide one-man band -- and whether performing as a one-man or joined by sister Karli Colpitts, Greg Arcade and Sean Multan -- his live shows are a guaranteed good time. The Reverend Rambler has captured the attention of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and is set to play the 2015 festival, announced this past week. But first things first: The Rev will playing FortWhyte Alive's "cabin fever reliever" to a sold-out crowd at The Lake Shaker, Saturday, March 14th. We caught up with The Reverend Rambler for a few questions in advance of his first show at FortWhyte Alive this upcoming weekend.
RR: The Reverend Rambler is a son, brother, husband, teacher singer, songwriter, musician and friend to all who like good people and good music.
I guess its a feeling of inspiration that you're overtaken by, something that makes you want to stop whatever you're doing and pick up a guitar and just play. Also just getting to play with people that I love and admire, there’s no better feeling for me than losing yourself in a song, especially with a group of people whether they're friends, other performers or an audience.
RR: Playing the Rainbow Trout Music Festival a couple years back. We were a new act, still wasn’t quite sure or confident in what the heck I was doing, but looking out in the crowd I got a true sense of support and this amazing feeling that we were all enjoying some sort of moment. I think the ultimate goal for me is to try and create a similar feeling every time we play.
Just being surrounded by my wife, friends and family and not having to worry about the typical stresses of every day life. Really could be anywhere as long as these conditions are applied to them.
RR: I hate to sound repetitive but it’s the people, friends and family. Winnipeg gets a bad rap, it's cold and frigid and flat as hell but I don’t think there’s anywhere else I’d want to live.
RR: Skateboarding, snowboarding, hockey, pretty much anything and everything.
RR: Playing guitar and writing good songs. It’s a never ending lifelong pursuit... I think that’s why I love it so much.
RR: I think a wolf. That howl send shivers down my spine... very musical.They can also travel in packs or be the lone wolf which I can relate to.
RR: I can remember the large aquariums as a kid and it reminding me of Fraggle Rock. I also recently went to wedding there... what a beautiful location to get married.
Arctic Science Day at FortWhyte Alive has been offered since 2009, catering to 150-200 high school and middle year students from 10-15 schools each year. Positively described by educators as a motivating, high-energy, unique, authentic, experiential, and fun learning experience, this day makes science come alive.
With spring on the horizon, Winnipeggers are on the lookout for the long-awaited signs in nature that offer a promise of warmth, colour and life. The migratory return of the wood duck is perhaps the most lively and colourful sign of all. Wood ducks are cavity nesters, making their nests in the cavities of hollow trees near water.
At the turn of the century, wood duck populations across North America were critically low as a result of overhunting and clearing of the mature forests that they call home. This wide spread habitat destruction was further exacerbated by the selective removal of dead and dying trees that most likely offered nesting cavities. To re-establish our wood duck population, FortWhyte launched the Winnipeg Wood Duck Project in the early 1970’s, resulting in the deployment of over 100 nest boxes along our city’s waterways.
In springs past, you may have noticed our dedicated FortWhyte volunteers climbing a ladder against a tree in a neighbour’s yard, preparing another nest box for its new tenants. Watch for them again this spring as we continue our ambitious nest box campaign. Since female wood ducks return faithfully to nest in the area where they themselves were raised, you will notice a marked increase in their numbers in just two to three years!
If you are a riverbank resident and would like to enhance your backyard habitat for this unique wildlife viewing opportunity, become a FortWhyte Alive Wood Duck Naturescape Member. A FortWhyte volunteer will come to your home to install a duck box to encourage nesting and help maintain the Wood Duck population in Manitoba! If you are interested in becoming a Wood Duck Watcher, sign up for membership today. Please register by Wednesday, March 18th to ensure your best chances for attracting wood ducks this spring.
If you're interested in learning more about wood ducks, FortWhyte Alive is holding an information session 'The Way of the Wood Duck' on Sunday, March 15th at 1pm. The session is free with regular admission, if you are not already a member.
Spring is coming and so are the wood ducks!
Al Ross spent a year catching up on all his jobs around the house after being employed for 22 years at Bristol Aerospace as a Process Planner. It was then that he realized a need for something new to do because he was retired from work, not life. A Metro One ad for a School Program Leader at FortWhyte caught his eye. He had no experience with public speaking, but loved the outdoors and enjoyed working with youth. After some training and shadowing, he soon fit comfortably into the new volunteer role of School Program Leader.
After 22 years of volunteering and leading over 700 school programs, Al still enjoys seeing the childrens’ excitement as they stop and watch a caterpillar inch across the path. His favorite school programs are “Getting Ready for Winter” and “People of the Prairies.” Al gets satisfaction from sharing his experience and helping the children learn the different ways that plants and animals cope with changing seasons. He has continued to learn about the connection between the people of Manitoba’s past and the prairie ecosystem during yearly update training with the education staff. Volunteers then share ideas and teaching techniques with each other and with new volunteers that shadow their programs. Al Ross is a calm, natural leader, ready with a good story and big smile. “Make everything a game,” Al says, “especially if you want the group to be quiet at the bird feeding station.”
“If you are thinking of volunteering at FortWhyte,” Al says, “Go for it! It’s wonderful to feel appreciated by the staff and you always have good resources to provide assistance for unforeseen questions or concerns.”
Because I’m retired from work, not life.
Because I have experience to share.
Because I like learning.
Because the exercise is good for me.
Because I’m appreciated!
...and because it’s fun!
Manitoba Music and FortWhyte Alive are teaming up to present the Manitoba Music Winter Songwriter Retreat 2015. The three-day co-writing retreat will bring together nine local songwriters to write inspired songs through collaboration... all among the forests of FortWhyte Alive. The retreat will culminate into a one-time-only performance of new works by the artists in Fort Whyte Alive's Alloway Reception Centre on April 9th, 2015 at 7 pm.
FortWhyte Alive is excited to unveil this new partnership with Manitoba Music. Creating opportunities for others to become enchanted by snow packed trails, roaming bison and aspen forests is an important part of our mission. We look forward to engaging with other groups in the local arts community looking for tranquil a retreat setting close to home.