Manitoba Legislature annual open house, holiday show goes virtual

The annual open house and holiday show at the Manitoba Legislature is moving online this year, to keep the tradition alive while following pandemic public health orders.

“For 99 years, we’ve welcomed Manitobans into our beautiful legislature,” said Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage Cathy Cox.

“This year, we wanted to make sure that Manitobans have the opportunity to still experience the … Manitoba Legislature open house, but safe at home from the comfort of their couch or their favourite chair.”

Starting at 6 p.m. CT, the province will share a virtual tour and concert featuring Manitoba artists performing inside the legislature itself. You can find the live stream on the Manitoba government’s YouTube channel.

The featured performers include Manitoba musicians like William Prince, The Lytics, Rayannah and JP Hoe.

“It’s nice to participate in something joyful during this year,” Hoe said Friday.

“I’d never had a chance to sing or perform or play inside of the Ledge and it’s a beautiful, beautiful building, so they did a great job, it looked really nice.… It felt really special,” said Hoe, who is well known for hosting his own annual holiday show.

Santa on his way

The event will also feature performances by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Sweet Alibi, Al Simmons and Duncan Mercredi.

In addition to musical performances, Manitoba politicians and public figures will make appearances. Those include Premier Brian Pallister, NDP Leader Wab Kinew and Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont.

Others set to be featured are the Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon, Legislative Assembly Speaker Myrna Driedger, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Shared Health Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa.

“We’re also going to be having a visit from the big guy — and I don’t mean the premier,” Cox said. “I mean Santa Claus.”

After the event is over Friday evening, the video will be available online for Manitobans to watch over the holidays.

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