Hi parents,

In light of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, Manitoba has recognized Sept 19 as a federal holiday. However, Manitoba schools and child care facilities will remain open as usual. That means the Arts4Tots Preschool Programs will still be welcoming your kids in class this coming Monday! We look forward to teaching your kids for the rest of the year.

Wellness is certainly a popular topic in society today – after two years of restrictions, limitations, and disappointments, it seems that everyone is very aware of their need to invest in themselves.  Surprisingly, many of us don’t know how to accomplish that, or how to find the opportunity!

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It’s all about wellness and The Steinbach Arts Council is singing this tune! I was privileged to be part of the founding group who created the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre in 1996. The Steinbach Arts Council had existed since 1979 as a group who presented concerts, and awarded funding to local artists and arts groups who were scattered around the community in schools, churches and homes.

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Last week, David had the opportunity to chat with Mike Janzen, who will be performing in our first live concert in over two years next Tuesday, April 5th. Mike calls Steinbach his hometown, and has had a successful career working and performing across Canada. The best musicians surround themselves with other talented musicians, which is how Mike has found himself collaborating with the likes of Steve Bell and Sarah Slean, and commissioning works for the CBC and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

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Every day I get to work, I know I’m opening doors to more than just a building.  For more than 40 years, The Steinbach Arts Council has been opening doors of opportunity and unlocking potential in kids and adults from across the region.  In fact, the Steinbach Arts Council opened their door to me over 25 years ago.

Right now, the world is opening its doors again, after two years of being closed due to the pandemic.  As a result, I’m lucky to say that I have recently been able to watch my kids participate in life again.  I watched my daughter play basketball and perform live with a choir, all in the same week.  It amazed me how her team moved together across the court, how they watched for each other, supported each other, and tried their hardest, for each other.  I was also blown away at how her choir moved together, listened to each other, and supported each other as they sang.  Both teams worked hard, showing me, as a parent, that the skills our kids are learning are the same in both activities. 

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The Gala is unique to SAC.  If ‘SAC’ was an artist, we would refer to the Gala as its own Signature Piece! Everyone in the region knows about ‘the SAC Gala’ and the excitement and artistic activity it stirs up in the community – and in the region.   I find it an honor to be a part of such an ‘artistic impact’.

The Gala is coming! The Gala is coming!  Yes, it will be the 21st ‘Celebrate the Arts! Fundraising Gala’ that The Steinbach Arts Council has presented.  And it is YOUR Gala. It’s everyone’s Gala.

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There are some incredible pieces of art on our wall at SAC right now. Artist, Frankie Hargreaves, has created a beautiful exhibit for our Hall Gallery, and she speaks eloquently about the inspiration for her works.  Each of the 21 watercolors on display tells of culture and folklore.  It is an exquisite example of visual storytelling.

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Through COVID (and as this pandemic continues), my work has required me to place the physical health and well-being of the kids and adults who come into our building at the top of my list of priorities.  While doing that, I’ve been working creatively to keep our community engaged, because health and well-being applies to emotional and mental states as well, which I accomplish through arts programming. 

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When we explore something as “simple” as a canoe from functional, cultural, and historical perspectives, we quickly realize that these vehicles served both function and  form.  Those who designed and built canoes over the last centuries were artists, too.  Their skills were functional and creative.  Life skills if you will. Even Carty said that “it is a marvel in design and technology.”

Though we’re disappointed to take down last month’s exhibit, we look forward to making way for 27 new artworks created by gouache and pencil artist, David Carty. November 5 will be the day we put up another full exhibit called The Canoe and Its People.

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