Alexander Mickelthwate and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (Keith Levit)
Several Winnipeg arts groups are happy about an announcement from the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, announced $283,000 in federal funding awarded to five Winnipeg arts groups: Kidsfest ($100,000); the Winnipeg Comedy Festival ($50,000); The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra ($75,000); Virtuosi Concerts ($18,000) and Storyline FX ($40,000), Freeze Frame's film festival for kids.
For the WSO it means that important initiatives like its Indigenous Festival and the New Music Festival will continue to thrive. "For programs that actually help us to reach out to a broader population, to do new things and particularly to actually highlight Canadian composition, to encourage new creation, to provide a forum in which new creation can be celebrated is truly splendid," said Trudy Schroeder, executive director of the WSO.
"It's a crucial part of everything that we do," said Neal Rempel, executive producer of The Winnipeg International Children's Festival (Kidsfest). The organization relies on funding from Canadian Heritage for its annual festival as well as a circus arts program for at-risk youth and a touring program to remote Northern Manitoba communities.
The funding comes under the Canada Arts Presentation Fund. It's a competitive process and organizations have to reapply every year for consideration. "It's something we cannot take for granted in any year," said Schroeder. "When the decision is made to continue these programs and to provide generous funding to us we are always very, very pleased."