Monthly Archives: November 2014

Getting to Know Kevin Chief- My MLA

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kevin chiefMonday night we got to meet Kevin Chief in person at a Residents of the Exchange meeting. Kevin is our member of the Manitoba legislature and represents the Point Douglas riding. The people who live in the Exchange District were invited to the Across the Board Cafe to meet Kevin, listen to him give a talk and ask him questions. kevin chiefKevin told us his growing up years hadn’t been easy but he succeeded because all along the way he had people who looked at him and saw potential, who made him believe anything was possible.  Kevin played basketball for the University of Winnipeg and he talked about a lesson he learned from his coach Bill Wedlake. The coach told him it was okay to make mistakes as long as he was making mistakes while trying to get something done. kevin chief square dancer

Something interesting I learned about Kevin at our meeting is that…

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Categories: Point Douglas, Politics | Tags: | Leave a comment

Holocaust Memorial- A Broken Star

I was biking past the Manitoba Legislative Buildings and saw a monument I’d never noticed before. It was in the shape of a broken Star of David.holocaust memorial winnipeg legislatureTaking a closer look I discovered it was a monument built in remembrance of victims of the Holocaust. It was dedicated in 1990.  

holocaust memorial winnipeg legilature groundsThe walls were designed to reflect the sunlight since the monument was to be a sign of hope, rebirth and the rebuilding of lives. names on holocaust memorial winnipegThe names of the 3,700 victims, memorialized on the monument’s walls, all had surviving family members living in Manitoba. 

holocaust memorial in winnipegThe legislature of Manitoba was the first in Canada to provide a designated space for a Holocaust Memorial. Philip Weiss, an award-winning Winnipeg furniture maker and craftsman, led the campaign to have the memorial built. Weiss was a Holocaust survivor who was seized from his parents home in Poland by the Nazis when he was just 15 years old and sent to two different concentration camps. holocaust memorial winnipeg legislature groundsThe names of  various concentration camps are engraved at the base of the monument. 

monument to holocaust winnipegThe monument also includes a menorah and the words These we do remember and our hearts are grieved.  Some people had left memory candles in the space below the menorah. 

holocaust memorial winnipegI’ve learned that each year on Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Memorial Day there is a service of remembrance at this monument during which each name inscribed on it is read aloud. 

Other posts about the Holocaust………

Meeting a Holocaust Survivor in Hong Kong

Brundibar- More Than It Seems

Taking Teens to Israel and Palestine

Categories: Historical Events, Politics, Statues | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Living In An Art Gallery

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Winnipeg is a breath away from Canada’s heart. I live at the city’s center in The Exchange District. In 1887 when wheat was prairie gold, savvy entrepreneurs organized a grain exchange and turned this area into a thriving business district. We own a condo in a century old warehouse built by hardware merchant and Winnipeg mayor James Ashdown.

Many of the Exchange District’s corporate residents have been devoted art patrons, so our streets are studded with larger than life public art pieces. I see three when I walk out my front door.

caribou crossing portage and mainStraight ahead eleven massive caribou ford a river. A trio scales the steep bank while the others battle for their lives in the rushing water. Their antlers sprawl like bony tree branches in silhouette against the downtown skyscrapers. The sculpture Seal River Crossing by Peter Sawatsky reminds me that my city stands on land that was once home…

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Categories: Art, Exchange District, History, Sculptures | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Parfleches For the Last Supper

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I interviewed artist Robert Houle when I worked as a columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press.

Robert Houle- Photo- University of ManitobaRobert Houle- Photo- University of Manitoba

“Look after this gift which has been given to you”.

Robert Houle’s mother offered her son that advice when she realized he was serious about painting. Houle is an Ojibway artist whose work can be found in many major museums and gallery in Canada. His Parfleches for theLast Supper are part of the Winnipeg Art Gallery collection.       

Jesus- Parfleches for the Last Supper by Robert Houle- Winnipeg Art GalleryJesus- Parfleches for the Last Supper
by Robert Houle- Winnipeg Art Gallery

  A parfleche is a decorated rawhide pouch which was used by people of Plains cultures to carry personal and sacred objects. “A seer or sage came to our family home on the Sandy Bay Reservation for each of my eight younger sisters’ naming ceremonies,” said Houle, speaking to me from Toronto. “I was…

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Categories: Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

On the Evening News- Story Train

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From CTV Winnipeg 6 o'clock news report- Sunday November 2From CTV Winnipeg 6 o’clock news report- Sunday November 2

I was on TV and didn’t even know it. On Sunday I got to do something I love…….tell stories.  I spent part of my afternoon telling stories to children visiting the Winnipeg Art Gallery for our special Family Sunday program. I had chosen five paintings from the Beaverbrook Collection currently on display and together with the kids acted out, told, or created sound effects for a story connected to each painting. 

From the CTV six o'clock news report Sunday November 2, 2014From the CTV six o’clock news report Sunday November 2, 2014

I didn’t realize TV crews had been filming, but one of my fellow art gallery tour guides told me on Monday they had seen me and the children on CTV News on Sunday night and sure enough when I checked it out there I was in the news item handing out instruments and creating a musical accompaniment with the…

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Categories: Winnipeg Art Gallery | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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