Winnipeg Nightlife and Lifestyle Awards emphasizes Winnipeg talent

By: Sofia Reimer

The MET hosts exclusive Winnipeg award show./SOFIA REIMER

The Winnipeg Nightlife and Lifestyle Awards (WNLAS) is celebrating their fifth annual show this year on April 23, focusing on the resilience of Winnipeg individuals and companies instead of the “best” business or person in each category.

The WNLAS celebrates Winnipeg’s broad talents with categories ranging from “Social Media Presence,” to “Local Craft Beer,” to “Venue.” You can vote for your favourite in each category on their website.

“It’s the only one of its kind in Canada,” said Tracy Koga, the WNLAS Chair.

The awards show started as a way to celebrate Winnipeg’s hospitality sector, but when Koga became the WNLAS Chair, they expanded to include lifestyle.

“We went from 10 or 12 categories to 38 in 2019, which was huge,” Koga said. “We’re honouring the people that have pivoted, survived, reinvented themselves, and really made Winnipeg stronger.”

The public awards show is back for the first time in two years since the pandemic started. Koga said she wants to assure the public that the awards show will follow all regulations put in place.

“We’re going to make this year the most fun, but we also want to make sure everyone is safe and feels comfortable,” Koga said.

The provincial mask mandate and COVID-19 restrictions are over, and RRC Polytech students like Jason Moore are excited to get back to events like this awards show.

“As long as there’s still some sort of mask or vaccination guidelines for people attending, I’m definitely ready to go to larger events and gatherings,” Moore said.

Koga said after two years of social distancing, the WNLAS will be a great night of festivity and a way to highlight the resilience of Winnipeg businesses and individuals.

“I think honouring Winnipeg’s creativity and sharing people’s voices is worth celebrating,” Moore said.

VIP tickets to the event include admission to the Absolut red carpet reception, appetizers and craft cocktails, special access to both floors of the MET, and free access to the exclusive afterparty at LOCAL Public Eatery.

Both regular admission tickets to the main event and VIP tickets can be purchased on the WNLAS website. The ceremony will take place at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre on April 23 at 7 p.m.