All programs at Winnipeg's Art City are back up and running after the centre raised more than $50,000 in less than a month to fill a major funding gap.

More than 450 donors contributed to an online crowdfunding campaign in the past two weeks to support Art City, which has offered free art workshops for kids for 19 years. Various fundraising events for the organization were also held.

Until recently, the centre received a lump funding sum of $86,000 each spring. This year, that funding got "wrapped up in red tape," according to director Eddie Ayoub, and Art City issued a plea for help. Ayoub didn't identify the funder for fear of jeopardizing the relationship.

"This unprecedented effort to keep our outreach programming alive in neighbourhoods across the city was a complete success," Art City wrote in a news release on Friday.

Before the fundraising efforts, the centre was forced to place its community programming on hold indefinitely for the first time in its history.

"The children Art City serves already face a lot of uncertainty in their lives, so Art City is committed to providing sustained, consistent programs," the centre wrote in its news release.

"Support received from people who believe in the power of art to transform lives means that Art City can continue to fulfil this important mandate."

Local groups, businesses pitch in

On top of individual donations from artists, volunteers and others, multiple businesses and local groups got involved to support Art City.

Jeremy Regan, owner of Hunter & Gunn barbershop, donated his tips last week to the centre. Winnipeg photographer Adam Kelly donated proceeds from his print sales. Clementine Cafe, Good Will Social Club and Tiny Feast all pitched in as well.

As of Friday, four events to support Art City were still on the calendar:

  • Nov. 17, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.: Fundraiser 4 Art City at the Handsome Daughter with Mahogany Frog, Ultra Mega, and Marshall & Some Buddies.
  • Nov. 19, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Minipeg kids' art exhibition and art-making party at Forth Gallery.
  • Nov. 25, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Niu Vision Media "Love Grows with Me" family art-making event for Winnipeg's Chinese community at Grace Church.
  • Nov. 25, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Afternoon tea at the Tallest Poppy.