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The Residents of the Exchange District, or R:ED, held their first Secret Dinner on Tuesday night. Executive Director John Giavedoni said that the December R:ED event is always a dinner party, but this year he wanted to create a truly extraordinary New York style experience.

He enlisted the talented Alejandro More to cater the event. Alejandro will be GM for the new Carnaval Brazilian BBQ restaurant on Waterfront Drive, opening in January. Thirty six residents paid in advance, not knowing where the dinner was to be, what they would eat, or how they would get there -- only that they would depart from the lobby at the Fairmont.

Eight taxi cabs, snaked through the Exchange District to ensure that everyone was lost or confused before pulling up to a deserted looking building on Higgins. Residents stepped inside with a chorus of "wow!" to discover what is by day the The Graffiti Gallery, had been transformed into an elegant dining room. Armed with Prosecco and hors d'oeuvres, guests wandered the amazingly intimate two story high warehouse, to discover white linen covered tables, candles and an 8 piece orchestra playing Christmas music.

Tables were arranged between large scale structural art installations, some 25 feet tall, by emerging Winnipeg artists. Residents enjoying the amazing 5 course dinner (with wine pairings by De Luca Fine Wines) included Tia Provici (Provici Cosmetics), City Councillor Mike Pagtakhan, Cynthia Brick (Bricks Fine Furniture) and local artist Christian Worthington.

John Giavedoni said the evening went as planned: a fantastic combination of food and drink in a one-time location surrounded by an air of mystery and adventure.