A new person is highlighted in each issue of the Reflector. If you know of a Riverview artist, please send your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Riverview Community Club is creating a registry of Lord Roberts, Riverview and Kingston Row residents working or volunteering in the arts. Our definition of the arts is very broad and is intended to include those working in "fine arts", "commercial arts" or for arts related organizations. Click here for more information.
Terry Welsh – Executive Director, Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts
Terry Welsh is more than a Riverview resident – he is also the Executive Director of the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts, founded in 1984 as a non-profit charitable school to promote music in Manitoba.
It is located at Main and Banatyne in the same building at the School of Contemporary Dancers, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Home Made Music and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. The Conservatory also has a branch in Steinback and programs in Gimli and Altona. There is even a program right here at Churchill Park United Church for parents and tots.
The Conservatory has about 1800 music students, with group and individual programs, for parents and infants to persons in their 80s and 90s. There is a music therapy program, social skills program, traditional music program, among others. The conservatory offers noon hour lessons and pay flexibility.
The Conservatory has children’s ensembles, and three music appreciation seres with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. It has jazz and Suzuki programs, summer camp for children and outreach programs for kids in institutional homes, in association with Long and McQuade.
Terry says the Conservatory is a really great place for people to begin their music exploration. For example, “people are really keen on exploring other cultures through music.” The first traditional music program teaches Irish Flute and Bohran Drum, as a group lesson.
One of the features of the Conservatory is the quality of its teachers.
Every teacher has a Bachelor’s degree in music or a Conservatory diploma from Europe or equivalent, plus a high level of training and peer review! www.mcma.ca
Oh yeah – what about Terry? Terry has a Master’s degree in dramatic theory from the University of Alberta. On his resume is Director of Outreach for Prairie Theatre Exchange, running the drama program at the International Peace Gardens and the adult summer theatre school at MTC, performing with Manitoba Theatre for Young People, and Executive Director of Community Support Programs and Sport. Terry joined the Conservatory in June 2004. And Terry is one of the people in your neighbourhood.
Bob Leigh - Big Bob's Big Band
Call me Bob! Bob Leigh is the head of Riverview's favourite local band, Big Bob's Big Band. The band was formed for a one-night special, three years ago. The occasion was Bob's 40th birthday, and the group providing the music for the night was Blues for a Living. Bob decided it would be fun to put together some friends to "open" for the band, and Big Bob's Big Band was born. The band members enjoyed themselves so much they just kept on playing. The band has nine members, three of whom live here in Riverview: Bob Leigh, the band's leader and drum player, Matt Ellis on rhythm guitar and Roger Colpitts on bass (actually, Roger lives in Lord Roberts). Janice Harding (formerly Sally Screw of Sally Screw and the Drivers in her younger years) used to live in Riverview and has a brother on Oakwood.
Bob has been playing for a long time. His mother played piano and his dad played guitar and banjo. Bob starting playing in elementary school and playing trumpet in junior high school. He never took drum lessons or learned to read music, but boy can he beat those skins! In his first five years of marriage, he played in a band call The Keep, which played all over the prairie provinces. In the first five years of his marriage, he played every weekend with the band, but when their first child was born he called it quits. It was not until his son wanted to take lessons that Bob picked up his passion again. Matt Ellis, on the other hand, had a 25 year hiatus from playing in a band, since he played in his high school band until he joined Big Bob. Another member of the band is Dave Schneider, who plays percussion in the band and runs the music store Music Cellar in St. Vital.
When we moved to Riverview and little more than a year ago, we were amazed at how many artists, dancers and musicians are in Riverview and Lord Roberts. Big Bob's Big Band was our first introduction to this exciting aspect of Riverview life. If you have not had a chance to hear Big Bob's Big Band, keep your eyes and ears open for them to play at a social sometime soon at the Riverview Community Centre.
Helen Lyons - St. Norbert's Farmers Market, Grey Matters, U of M Fine Arts, etc.
Helen Lyons has put her nursing career on hold, maybe for good. She is just too busy being an artist! She is both a potter and a painter - pottery in spring and summer, and painting in the winter. Aside from small pots, mugs and bowls, she also makes "joy pots", vases shaped like kimonos, shirts or smocks, and decorated. When asked "what are they good for?", Helen replies: "They make you smile. That's the disadvantage of working in clay, people ask 'what's it good for?' But they don't ask that about paintings." For painting, Helen works in oil, some water colours and some acrylic. She really likes painting and scuplting people, especially portraits and busts.
This past summer was Helen's first selling her art at the St. Norbert's Farmers Market, and she expects to return again this upcoming year. She says it is a good way to make personal contact with people and to develop interest in her art. Helen also sells her work at The Lion and the Rose on Corydon and Craftspace in the Exchange District.
Helen is also a student at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Fine Arts, where she is working towards her Bachelor in Fine Arts, although she is waiting until she turns 65 to do her thesis work (tuition is free at 65). Helen has participated in student art shows, with the next one coming up on March 10, when she hopes to have 49 paintings of the faces of her fellow students and professors to show. Helen has had some of her small sculptures auctioned to raise funds for Chairities, sponsored by the Association for Community Living. She is also a member of Grey Matters, a collective of women artists over 40 in Winnipeg, most of whom are at the University of Manitoba. Grey Matters next show will be this May.
Helen has recently had two commissions to sculpt pregnant madonnas, one at St. Alban's Church, the other for All Saints Anglican. She is currently working on 14 prints for 3 churches, depicting the Way of the Cross. These should be on display at St. Alban's by the end of February.
Helen grew up in Neepawa, lived in Thompson for 8 years (the City of Thompson presented Prince Philip with one of Helen's works - a sculpture of a miner) and after 16 years in Oakville, Helen and her husband Martin (originally from the Peg) returned to Manitoba and bought a house on Fisher Park. Helen says that "Riverview is a wonderful little village, that's what Riverview feels like to us". (Helen's prior connection to Riverview is that her cousin Ingimar Ingaldson, who lived on Ashland and was formerly involved in community activities in Riverview.) Helen says that Winnipeg "is the kind of community if you're willing to get involved, you can; if you take some risks and get out and get to know the local artists and artisans, you can do this in a way that is not as easy in a larger city." We're certainly happy that Helen has brought her art to Riverview!
Jesse Warkentin and his band Mahogany Frog
Mahogany Frog is the name of a local band. Jesse Warkentin is one of the band leaders, having grown up in Riverview and has recently returned to Riverview after spending a few years in Saskatchewan.
The band is Jesse (keyboard/guitar), Graham Epp (keyboard/guitar), J.P. Perron (drums) and Scott Ellenberger (bass/trumpet). Jesse and Graham met at a Mennonite boarding school in Saskatchewan and after high school went to Saskatoon. “We’re huge in Saskatoon” they enthusiastically state, regularly attracting crowds of up to 150 people. Their biggest event was at this year’s Flin Flon Trout Festival, where they played before 500 people.
After having played in all of the available venues in Saskatoon, the band decided to come to Winnipeg and expand their fan base.
The band has been playing shows together since 1998, they have produced 3 CDs, and have toured various places to promote their band, such as Toronto, Montreal and Sudbury.
The band is a member of the Teargas Recording Tree music collective www.teargasrecordingtree.com , an independently run, non-profit artistic collective based in the heart on the Canadian Prairies. We are comprised of musicians, composers, painters, sculptors, and writers who all believe that we can get a lot more done if we work together to achieve common goals than trying to succeed alone.
The description of Mahogany Frog on the Teargas Recording Tree web site is as follows: Mahogany Frog are legends on the prairie progressive space synth rock landscape. Their songs intricately shift from serene sound textures to intense psychedelic freak outs, with brilliant execution throughout. With an incredibly tight rhythm section and duelling wizards fervently casting hooks and solos at each other, this illegitimate offspring of Yes, Miles Davis, and Dave Brubeck carves out a whole new dimension of music.
You can find out more about Mahogany Frog on their web site www.mahoganyfrog.ca.
Josée (aka Josie) Tremblay, Murals
At 4 years of age, Josée proclaimed her future career in permanent marker drawings all over the doors her parents’ house. As she grew older, Josée changed her bedroom colour every 6 months. As an adult, Josée is often found with her partner Michael Schultz cheering her 7 year old daughter Lola on the soccer field. Little Maya (2) toddles in tow.
Josée still plays with markers, only now her drawings do not stop with doors. Full wall murals are Josée’s specialty and her favourite projects. She also works in clay, makes hand painted boxes (the Yo-gi-oh! card boxes are a favourite with the kids) and does rosemaling (Norweigian Folk painting). Josée and Mike moved to Riverview in winter 2001 and their home is becoming a studio/gallery as they settle in.
Josée’s « jungle room » (a room attached to her garage painted in monkeys and plants) in famous in the hood.
Josée has done commercial murals (such as the one in the foyer of the Canadian Lutheran World Relief office. Her last project was the upper floor at 262 Baltimore Rd. Each of our 3 kids have a bedroom designed especially for them by Josée. Our daughter’s room boasts clusters of animals set within a pink and purple sky with leopard print baseboards.
Our older son’s room is crowded with favorite sports heroes and logos. And we have to go deep sea diving (watch out for the shark!) if we wish to converse with our second son.They share a universe, with stars and planets, that also happens to have bathroom fixtures (they can literally have a shower of stars).
Some of Josée’s work can be seen on her web site http://www.81x.com/knottyjosie/murals or call her at 453-0152.
Her work is very reasonably priced and pricing varies by the project. We love Josée’s work and wanted you to know of her talent.
Terry Vatrt, Sheri Arnason, Tracy Marshal, pottery
In keeping with the Halloween spirit, here is a little riddle; What lurks around in the basement, plays in the mud and carves patterns in the insulation? Answer : three Riverview mothers who have found their passions making art in their basements!
Any mother who has tried to find time and space for herself can understand how a small corner in the basement can become a refuge. Terry Vatrt, Sheri Arnason and Tracy Marshal have each created beautiful works of art in their respective basements.
Sheri and Tracy are the two who play in the mud-they produce lovely pottery pieces that look great in any room in the house. While Sheri’s pieces are high fired functional wear, Tracy’s are low fired hand built treasures.
Terri uses carved Styrofoam in her printmaking and her gift cards include those made with sponges and cookie cutters! Terri also has made cards out of photos she has taken, many of them taken in our neighborhood – I think I recognized our fence!
Terri, Sheri and Tracy are putting their basement wonders on show and sale November 22 and 23. Come to Terri’s house at 714 Fisher between 11 and 4 on Sat the 22nd, or between 1 and 4 on the 23rd and see for yourself that basements, and what lurks in them, can be the source of fabulous artwork that can rival any professional studio or gallery.
This is an on going article in the Review and if you know of any other basement, backyard or out of this world artist in our neighborhood, I would sure like to interview them for upcoming issues!
Remembering Bill Mason by Don Munro
The painting “After the Game” was the work of the most talented artist that ever came out of Riverview or Winnipeg. Not only could Bill Mason paint, but he produced movies such as “Death of a Legend,” “Paddle to the Sea,” and many more. He was nominated twice for Academy Awards. Bill was also an excellent teacher and paddler in white water canoeing. His accomplishments are world renown. The Canadian government honoured him by commemorating a postal stamp in his honour in 1998. The picture “After the Game” was painted by Bill when he was in his early twenties about 55 years ago. His models were his nephew Bob Tipping and Don Munro. Both Bill and Bob are now deceased but Bill’s art is still in demand. Recently in an art sale in eastern Canada, his paintings were sold out within an hour. One could look up additional information on this gifted and talented man by going online to www.paddle.mb.ca/MRCA/Mason/Mason.html or www.redcanoes.ca/bill/index.html the Bill Mason Scholarship Fund annual scholarship of $1,000 to a worthy outdoor recreational or environmental studies student at a Canadian college or university www.paddlingcanada.com/scholarship.
"After the Game"
Lyndo Peto - artists' representative
Lynda Peto has a really cool job that is about art! Her business is Prairie Artscape, and she represents artists. For a number of years, she sold materials such as ceramic tiles on behalf of distributors to interior designers, commercial and residential clients. Then, at Christmas 2001, she got together with a couple of friends and brainstormed a new direction. She wanted more than her job at that time was giving her. After a lot of laughter, wine and a wall covered with yellow stickers, Lynda discovered it: she wanted to represent artists!
The corporate clients did not want to hunt down artists, spend time visiting galleries, exhibits and cultivating their own networks of artists, and the artists wanted to be in their studios creating art, not peddling their wares to the corporate world. So Lynda fills the needs of both groups.
She developed a network of artists. As she discovered one artist, that artist would tell her about others. Lynda concentrates on artists who produce large-scale paintings (6' x 6'), and has also sold handmade tiles, fabric art pieces, and traditional prints by local printmakers.
Her first major sale was in April 2002. A more recent sale involves watercolour streetscapes of Winnipeg by Sharon Cory, sold to the new Inn at the Forks. Owner Bob Sparrow (who also owns the Norwood Hotel) is buying more than 130 of Sharon's paintings. You can see Sharon's work now at "Framing and Art Centre" at the Grant Park Shopping Centre. There will be a public exhibition of Sharon's work for the Inn at the Forks coming up in May. Watch the Riverview Bugle for dates and location.
Lynda finds working with artists to be inspirational because of their dedication to the art of creation. She finds that supporting local artists can be exceptionally rewarding for clients, because they can visit the artist in studio, and develop a personal connection with the artist whose work they are purchasing.
Lynda notes it can be very difficult for Manitoba artists to showcase their work, with the few private galleries in Winnipeg featuring primarily non-Manitoban works. Lynda mentioned Judy Jennings, a local Riverview resident and stain glass artist, as being particularly noteworthy for being an artist who was also nominated for entrepreneur of the year (in 1992 for the Women's Business Association award for home based business). Three cheers to Lynda for helping promote Manitoba artists!
Judy Jennings, stained glass
Slump, fuse, warm, color, paint, cut, kiln, melt, create. Just a few words in the dictionary of stained glass that this month’s artist, Judy Jennings, deals with on a daily basis.
Working out of her Riverview home studio, Judy sends her creations around the world. She delighted me with her stories of transporting large stained glass window panels in her car into the states, training and learning new techniques in Mexico and touring Europe with like minded artists.
Some of Judy’s latest pieces include playful checkerboard plates with a fried egg fused onto them all created with a technique called warmed glass. These have been selling well in Japan.
Judy also does the more traditional lead glass windows and has panes in such places as churches, synagogues, private homes and commercial buildings throughout Winnipeg.
The most striking aspect of Judy’s work is the movement that she creates out of mixing dazzling colors and shapes of glass. Butterflies grace the panels of some of her pieces, while others are created in response to the wishes of the person or group who has commissioned the piece. Her largest installment was 256 windows in a church in Minnesota. This project was finished over a six year period. It started as one small memorial panel and blossomed into a beautiful three sided stained glass sanctuary that illustrates certain biblical stories and the seasons of the church.
Judy’s latest piece is installed in the Charleswood United Church. Her smaller pieces can be seen at the Lion and Rose Gallery on Corydon and Craftspace on King.
Judy usually works on commissioned pieces, but has lately been out of the studio working full time for the Crafts Council. She is eager to get back into the studio. And with so much talent I can understand why she might want to, as she says “fiddle around with glass.”
Danny Schur - Composer of musical theatre, record producer
Riverview resident Danny Schur is a composer, producer, playright.
He is the resident composer-producer at Platinum Gold Studios http://www.platinumgoldstudios.com/, Winnipeg’s only studio nominated twice as Canadian Recording Studio of the Year, Platinum Gold recordings have been nominated for and/or won Junos, Prairie Music Awards, Aboriginal Music Awards and Manitoba Country Music Association Awards. Danny was the chief architect and designer of the current studio. A composer, keyboardist and producer, Danny is noted for his association with the Double Platinum career of Chantal Kreviazuk, Tara-Lyn Hart and McMaster & James.
Danny is also the composer of the 1999 Pan Am Games Official Theme Song, "Americas, Come & Play" and the full-length musicals, "The Bridge" and "The Tree." Danny’s work has been nominated for eight Juno Awards and has won numerous Prairie Music, Aboriginal Music and Manitoba Country Music Association Awards.
Danny is especially interested in producing full-length musicals, telling local stories in a manner that can have appeal beyond Manitoba. “The Bridge” is a story about a Ukrainian rock band from Winnipeg touring the Ukraine, 100 years after the first Ukrainians arrived in Winnipeg. “The Tree” is a story that combines the campaign to save the Wolsely elm tree in 1957 and what is possibly the oldest (and biggest) tree in Winnipeg – in Whittier Park, on what was once Louis Riel’s mother’s vegetable farm.
"Strike!” is about the Winnipeg General Strike, and in particular about the forgotten man of the Strike – Mike Sokolowski, who was killed in front of City Hall, June 21, 1919. It is a major challenge not only to write a musical, but to get the musical performed on stage. So far, only “The Bridge” has made it to stage (Burton Cummings Theatre), and it took $250,000 to produce.
Three cheers for Danny in all his contributions to Manitoba’s music and history. If you want to make a CD, get down to Platinum Gold studios and let Danny help give you a professional CD. (And the studio is right next to Gunn’s Bakery – just perfect for a little break.)
Brenda Gorlick, musical theatre choreographer
Brenda Gorlick is a choreographer and musical theatre instructor at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. More importantly, Brenda will be "artist in residence" at Riverview School in June, sponsored by the Manitoba Arts Council. She will be going from class to class, and working with the whole school, teaching creative ways for children to express themselves, to the theme of Le Petit Prince.
Last year, Brenda choreographed approximately 40 Riverview students for the Festival of Lights Parade, and the entry won a prize for best school entry! Brenda has also choreographed the Canadian Gymnastics Championship with Riverview kids. (Did I mention Brenda has two children at Riverview School?)
Brenda's career is like a dream for those of us less artistically-inclined. She began ballet, piano and voice lessons as a little girl, went to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet general school at age 11, then on to the professional division at age 15, and her first professional job was with a Toronto Children's Theatre Company.
In 1981, she applied for the Miss Manitoba contest, and a condition of winning the title was that she move back to Manitoba. She enrolled at the University of Winnipeg Theatre Program, went to the Banff School of Fine Arts (where she played in Anita in West Side Story), Stratford for two seasons (1989-90) and back as head of the Musical Theatre Program at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for the past 13 years.
Brenda was Assistant Dance Crew Liaison for the movie Shall We Dance, which was all the rage in Winnipeg last summer, with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez in town.
Brenda choreographed the opening and closing ceremonies for the 1999 PanAm games and for the 2003 Western Canada Summer Games in Selkirk. Her various efforts for charitable causes includes being a member of the United Way Special Events Committee. (And her list of performances and choreography goes on and on.
Brenda finds that the South Osborne area is a wonderful community. She loves the community spirit and family orientation. Brenda notes that while Wolseley has been known as the "actors' ghetto", she knows a half dozen dancers on her street alone, so South Osborne is really a place to kick up your heels! Brenda reminds all the kids - keep practicing your piano, it will pay off! (Brenda's first paying job was playing piano at RWB teaching session.)
When you are looking for a great way to spend a summer’s evening this year, check out Rainbow Stage’s The King and I – and you guessed it, Brenda is the choreographer! Can you be an artist and earn your living at it? Why not - Brenda did!
Mark Cameron, children's entertainer
Mark Cameron is Mr. Mark, family entertainer. He started playing drums in high school, later was part of a duo celtic band called Tarry Trousers, has been playing drums for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet dance school for more than 15 years, and has played with Fred Penner and Jake Chenier. Mr. Mark started out with a degree in kinesiology and doing research in a hospital, but decided he wanted to do something more people-oriented. He got his first job in show business at Nite Out Entertainment and has been making his living in entertainment ever since.
He left Tarry Trousers and became Mr. Mark a little more than two years ago, and is now working more than ever. He is artist in residence at different schools with his “found sound” program – teaching students to find sound in everyday objects, such as playing jingle bells on a turkey baster. He also gets kids to play musical pizza, where he gets kids to shout out the name of a pizza ingredient and then sets a rhythm for the kids to play with that word, so the whole class plays musical pizza.
Mr. Mark conducted an interactive rhythm session at family Sunday witth the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra last year and will be doing two more sessions in the next family Sunday series. He also appeared in an episode the popular TV show The Toy Castle.
For the past 7 or 8 years, he has performed with the Circus and Magic Camp, put on by the Children’s Festival, specifically designed for Winnipeg youth at risk, for a week long camp each spring break. The goal is show the kids “if you can do this much in a week, just think what you can do in a year”.
Mr. Mark says his “I’m an artist, that’s what I do” moment occurred one night when the Ballet was performing at the Concert Hall and the choreographer asked him to leave his drums and say a line to the audience. That was it – “the giant ‘yes’ sign went on”.
Mr. Mark’s family is very artistic. His wife, Arlene Minkhorst, is the School Director at the RWB, his 11 year old son plays violin and his 9 year old son is taking ballet lessons and playing drums. The boys help Mr. Mark by suggesting improvements on his compositions.
Mr. Mark is composing his first CD and expects it to be finished (arranged and recorded) in 2005.
Mr. Mark says children request songs from him all the time, and the three most requested – the “holy trinity of children’s requests” – are O Canada, Jingle Bells and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
Mr. Mark’s first favourite song was Songs of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel, and the CD he’s listening to right now is Joe Jackson’s Jumping Jive.
You can see Mr. Mark perform on Canada Day at Assinboine Park at 2:15 p.m., and at the Children’s Museum on Aug. 5 and 11 at 1:00 p.m.
Janelle Cancade-White, belly caster
You've heard of belly-dancing? What about belly casting? That what local artist Janelle Cancade-White does. When Janelle was pregnant with her first child, she let her husband apply medical gauze all over her belly. (Don is not employed in the medical profession, he just has broken a lot of his own bones, so he knows the routine.) Janelle painted her cast for decoration and then a girlfriend said she could do this as a business. The rest is history!
Janelle loves working with her hands, and touching other people. She was a hairdresser for 11 years, and now her belly-casting allows her to be creative in a tactile way. Janelle comes from an artistic-crafty family, and enjoyed painting before shed discovered her new career. Her first customer was a woman who already had a belly cast, but wanted someone to decorate it, and that someone was Janelle. By this time, Janelle had had quite a bit of experience, having done belly casts for various friends just for fun and practice.
Janelle got her big break when a producer at the A Channel "Big Breakfast" show saw an item on belly casting from another city and researched to see if anyone in Winnipeg was doing belly casting. With a little word of mouth, the producer found Janelle, and a TV interview was on, followed by another one at CKY, a Free Press feature, and participation in a Welcome Wagon Baby Shower. Janelle is not aware of anyone else in Winnipeg who does bellycasting as a business.
Janelle likes to work with many materials, including spray paint, acrylic paint, house paint (the latex strengthens the plaster), sharpie markers, latex glaze, coloured tissue paper, metal, rocks and gemstones.
Typically, Janelle will meet the pregnant woman, encourage the belly cast to be done close to the end of the pregnancy, the woman will review Janelle's photos and web site in order to give Janelle some idea of what she wants. Janelle prefers to do the casting in the woman's home, preferably in the kitchen (the cast can be quite messy) with the woman standing (standing gives the belly better definition). The woman removes her clothes from the waist up, oil is applied (so the gauze does not stick), three or four layers of gauze are applied (starting from the belly and moving up). Within 20 minutes the cast is hardened and removed, although it take 3-4 days to dry completely, and then Janelle will begin decorating it. An undecorated belly cast costs approximately $70, and a decorated one approximately $130 (although price depends on various factors - adding wings to the back of the cast will add costs). Janelle will look around the woman's house to get ideas for decorating the cast that are more personal to the woman.
These days, Janelle is interested in diversifying, so she is also looking for women who are willing to let her make a cast and then give Janelle complete freedom to decorate it as Janelle chooses.
Janelle feels very honoured to be invited into women's home to share such an incredibly meaningful event in a family's life. You can see Janelle's work at www.members.shaw.ca/bellycast and you can contact Janelle at email@example.com