Where: Portage & Main Every corner. OUTSIDE!
When: Saturday, October 20th from 2-11pm

Show some love, Winnipeg. Come down to OpenFest on Saturday, October 20th and support the opening of Portage & Main to people. This volunteer-run event is made possible thanks to musicians, artists and speakers donating their time.

An impressive lineup of local bands featuring the likes of Royal Canoe, Mahogany Frog, JP Hoe, Sweet Alibi, and more + your favourite local DJs, an open mic, craft beer, local food & drink, dancing, art, and poetry.

Admission is FREE.

To find out more about Vote Open and why it’s important, click here.

To share the Facebook event with your friends and family, click here.

View the FAQ.

See what P&M could be!






Where is it? 

Portage and Main.
Richardson Plaza – Main Stage.Bands and speakers. Hot coffee, fresh doughnuts.
201 Portage – Beer. Stage Two. Open mic by The Purple Room. DJs. Info.
BMO and Scotiabank – Art, sound, stoically providing the backdrop of beautiful architecture…

When is it?

Saturday October 20th. Set up is around noon. Live music acts from 2pm until 11pm.

What is it?

A celebration of Winnipeg’s most important landmark and a reason to get together.

How much is it?


Feeling generous? If you’d like, you are welcome to make a donation to the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation (A donation setup will be located on site near “Tree Children” Leo Mol sculpture at Richardson Plaza. In addition, any funds raised during the event will be donated.)

Who is playing/speaking?

Thanks to the generosity of dozens of musicians, the lineup includes:

Royal Canoe
JP Hoe
Mahogany Frog
JD & The Sunshine Band
Red Moon Road
Sweet Alibi
The O.B.
Matt Foster
and more.

Also features poetry and speeches by
Di Brandt
Michael Champagne
And more.

Can I play? 

Yes! The Purple Room is organizing an open mic from 5pm to 9pm.

Can I come if I am voting no?

Of course!! Especially if you can dance…. Kidding. Everyone is welcome. Seriously. Winnipeggers are a collaborative, friendly bunch. Let’s party.

Are you…closing the intersection?

No. The party is happening on the existing plazas and sidewalks.

Who is organizing?

This is fun and exciting initiative of the Vote Open campaign. The most instrumental people are the musicians and artists donating their time. We can’t say enough about that.

Individuals who’ve stepped up to lead the concert planning include Will Belford (who helps put on the Rainbow Trout Music Festival) and Anders Swanson (ED of Winnipeg Trails). The entire Vote Open campaign is involved, including the many local businesses, biz associations and non-profits coming together to make it happen, plus a whole bunch of event-day volunteers. You can be involved too!

Is there food?

We’ve invited a few food trucks and there are all kinds of great restaurants and pubs a short walk away including, but not limited to Hy’s and Bailey’s almost on site, as well as dozens of restaurants in the Exchange District and Downtown.

Are there public washrooms?


What other snacks and drinks are there?

Coffee will be available on site. Grey Owl, which is also just nearby will be on site and Thom Bargen in the underground said they’d bring up some coffee if they can and so did Fools and Horses and we talked to Parlour on Twitter and well, who knows?
There are at least a couple kinds of doughnuts happening too, including Oh Doughnuts, who has been bringing donuts to the Vote Open campaign office every single day.

Phew. So many great establishments have supported this in a very short time, we are losing track. They are also a short walk away should you wish to grab anything.

Is there beer?

Yes! Nearby favourites Little Brown Jug and the soon-to-be-open-nearby Nonsuch Brewing Co. and Lake of the Woods brewing company are all banding together to ensure you can be merry. There are the aforementioned pubs within walking distance too.

Will the event be accessible?

As accessible as Portage and Main is now. As events are slated for multiple corners, please note that wheelchair users, people pushing strollers and those with limited mobility or vision currently have significant difficulties navigating the underground, especially at night and on weekends when various elevators are closed. If you have not been downtown in a while, and haven’t thought about this perspective, we strongly urge you to see it first hand.

How to get there?

(Yes. We suspect everyone in Winnipeg knows where this is – its what makes it iconic – but just in case…and especially for folks from out of town looking to join.)

On foot. The cheapest and simplest way to get there is to walk especially if you are lucky to live nearby. If you find yourself walking after parking, it is worth noting the accessibility info above and the fact that building and elevator access on weekends differs from weekdays due to closures. People with mobility issues may find it easier or necessary to walk all the way around. The underground can be confusing to navigate, but there should be lots of activity on this day and helpful people. (Yes, it would be alot easier if we could all just cross the street but we won’t go there now..)

By bike. Expect a Bike valet thanks to Bike Valet Winnipeg. Brand new protected bike lanes on McDermot & Bannatyne. If coming from the east, try the path on Waterfront.

By bus. Visit Winnipeg Transit’s awesome Navigo tool for up-to-the-minute info on routes.

By car.  Numerous parkades are located within walking distance. There is a Jets game on that day. You may wish to consider that in your planning.

How can I help?

Quick. Share this Facebook event with your friends and family right now, click here.

To volunteer for this very special event please fill out the volunteer availability form.

For general information, contact the volunteers organizing the festival here.

openfest poster 2.jpg


search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close