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Mapping out Winnipeg: New group highlights 'great design' of city's core

Design Quarter Winnipeg is made up of those in the city’s centre who represent everything from the arts community to shops and restaurants in Winnipeg's core.

Zephyra Vun, executive director of Design Quarter Winnipeg in Winnipeg Manitoba, May 11, 2017.

Lyle Stafford/For Metro

Zephyra Vun, executive director of Design Quarter Winnipeg in Winnipeg Manitoba, May 11, 2017.

Five years ago, the word "design" might not have been easily associated with the Exchange District or downtown.

But a new non-profit organization is seeking out all the nooks in those neighbourhoods where "great design" is to be found.

Design Quarter Winnipeg is made up of those in the city’s centre who represent everything from the arts community to shops and restaurants in Winnipeg's core. 

The concept, being launched Friday, involves a curated walkable area that connects the Exchange District, downtown and The Forks. Maps will be handed out that indicate just how closely situated unique shops, studios, and eateries are to each other.

“Some people don’t realize, for example, that it only takes 12 minutes to walk from the east side of the Exchange to The Forks,” said Design Quarter Winnipeg Executive Director Zephrya Vun. “It’s not far at all and there’s so much to see and do in between.”

“Great design, whether in spaces, fashion or consumer goods, and the creative energy of Winnipeg, is something to celebrate,” said District Quarter Winnipeg Board Chair Johanna Hurme, whose hails from Helsinki, Finland where they have a similar design district.

“We want to highlight and curate these areas in Winnipeg to locals and visitors because appreciation for design contributing to experience is a growing trend, locally and globally.

Winnipeg fashion designer and founder/owner of Friday Knights, Eric Olek, is one of those who has happily gravitated to this part of the city to operate his clothing business.

“When I started going to school (at Red River College Princess campus) in 2011, this area was just really beginning to flourish and has done so in a short period of time.”

For more information about Design Quarter and Design Quarter Winnipeg, go to www.designquarterwinnipeg.ca

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