Manitoba

Winnipeg cultural institutions celebrate milestones

A who's who of Manitoba artists and musicians celebrated the major milestones of two longtime institutions, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the West End Cultural Centre.

West End Cultural Centre turns 25; Winnipeg Art Gallery turns 100

The Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrated its 100th anniversary on Saturday evening with its Centennial Ball. (CBC)

A who's who of Manitoba artists and musicians celebrated the major milestones of two longtime institutions, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the West End Cultural Centre.

The West End Cultural Centre celebrated its 25th anniversary on Saturday night with a collaboration between local musicians, who covered some of the acts that have performed at the popular music venue over the years.

"The life of any organization, any individual, there's lots of struggles, and certainly we've had those," said Jason Hooper, the centre's artistic director.

"So we're celebrating the life of the place, and overcoming those obstacles, and becoming a successful arts organization."

Local musicians perform at the West End Cultural Centre's 25th anniversary show on Saturday evening. (CBC)

Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrated its 100th anniversary that same night with the Centennial Ball, which raised money for the gallery's children's programs.

Winnipeg artist Wanda Koop said she benefitted from the WAG's art classes when she was a child.

"My life has very much been influenced, and I wouldn't be where I am today if I had not had that opportunity," she said.

Koop said her parents couldn't afford to enroll her in those classes on their own. She recalled taking a bus to the gallery to see Ferdinand Eckhardt, the director at the time.

"[I] knocked on the door and he said, 'Yes, little girl?' And he pulled his glasses down and looked at me [and said], 'Can I help you?'" she said.

"I said, 'Yes, I need art classes,' and he said: 'Well, well, we'll see what we can do.'"

Organizers expect to raise about $250,000 from the ball.

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