Express Yourself



Attend the Home Expressions Show

By J.A. Shapira

After 40 years running, the Home Expressions Show is back – and it’s glorious!

Organized by the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association, this year the show will take place March 27 to 29 at the RBC Convention Centre in downtown Winnipeg, featuring all things home and garden related under the convenience of one roof.

For many local shoppers, the Home Expressions Show is a sign of spring. “People come,” says show manager Jan Currier, “they’re ready to get out into their yards, they’ve been inside for months on end and this is a good place for them to come for a jump off point where they can start dreaming about what they want.”

When you go into the storefronts of many of the show’s exhibitors, you really only get to talk to the salesperson and rarely get to touch or see the product you’re interested in. At the show, it’s the owners themselves and the top reps from their companies who are able to show you exactly what you’ve been looking for and give you a chance to actually touch it.

“You can shop and compare,” says Currier. “It’s a really great tool to use.”

While Currier wishes every exhibitor was a member of the Home Builders’ Association, unfortunately not all of them are. Despite a very stringent vetting process for each exhibitor that isn’t a member of the association, guests are encouraged to use their best judgment before hiring any contractor to work on their home or any company to supply it with furnishings.

According to Currier, one of the biggest benefits of the show, aside from seeing all of the great items on display, is that within an hour, you can speak to three people about what you want in your home and have prices by the time you’re done. At the home show, exhibitors are “at the top of their game,” says Currier, and they make an effort to compete with the other presenters who may be able to offer you a similar product.

Currier stresses that people should come to the show with at least an idea of what they’re looking for. Often when she hears people say they didn’t find what they were seeking, Currier will ask them what it was they wanted. Most of the time, they really had no idea.

This is why it can be so important to bring in inspirational pictures, samples of products you already have or even a child’s stuffed animal to show the colour or pattern you’re looking for in an item. By coming prepared, guests can ensure they walk away from the huge event happy with the information they sought out in the first place. “It’s hard to to find it if you don’t know what you want,” says Currier with a laugh.

At the time of the interview, Currier was still selling space to exhibitors and didn’t have a clear indication of how many exhibitors would be at this year’s show. However, she did say that in past years, they always sell out and she seemed to believe that this year would be no exception.

One of the many highlights this year will be an incredible mini-market on the second floor of the show featuring taste testing and sales of many locally grown foods and beverages that come exclusively from the Manitoba Food Processors’ Association.

Of course, Currier expects that the biggest hit this year is that Scott McGillivray from HGTV’s hit show Income Property will be on hand at the show. McGillivray, an incredibly popular and successful real estate investor, will be presenting on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. in the theatre at the Convention Centre.

Currier makes it clear that when it comes to the exhibits, they’re all very popular and that she’d have difficulty rating them on a scale. However, one very big draw to the show is the massive $10,000 grand prize from the annual raffle held for charity. The charity of choice this year is Special Olympics Manitoba and all of the proceeds will go to benefit them directly.

While still in planning stages at the time this article was written, it sounds like there will be a lot of new surprises at this year’s show, with many of the popular exhibitors from past years.

Tickets are available for advanced purchase through Ticketmaster, however Currier says “I always recommend that tickets be bought at the door,” as opposed to advanced sales since she claims that Ticketmaster charges a fee that makes them more expensive. Tickets are $12 per person to the show, or $20 if you want to see Scott McGillivray from HGTV’s Income Property.