From Stage to Studio

Accomplished dancer, singer, actress and PILATES INSTRUCTOR Kimberley Koop spills about her experiences as an instructor at the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre.

"Teaching Pilates Core Basic, was very 'basic' on the first night as I tried to get to know each individual which was a good challenge in such a large class. Each body has developed its own patterns, and it is my responsibility as the instructor to notice their patterns within each movement, so I can give corrections to help re-align their posture and move with ease and strength. The first class is usually overwhelming with all of the new technicalities they need to learn, but over time they will hear the cues within their own minds and apply, even into their everyday lives.

The 'Pilates Fusion' class starts off with cardio movements then we get down on the mat to do ab work, and the 'on the ball' class utilizes their abdominals the entire class whether it is sitting, kneeling, lying on your back, or lying on the ball. Each class works the abs throughout but is focused in a different way. There is such diversity in Pilates classes, either with incorporating props or combining other movements like boxing into the workout which we will do in the Pilates Fusion class. I am looking forward to this journey with each student."

Kimberley worked professionally in Toronto's musical theatre industry for 13 years. She performed in the original Toronto Cats production for 3 years, after which she performed at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Once returning to Toronto, she was featured in numerous roles in such shows as A Chorus Line, Durante, Me And My Girl, Anne of Green Gables, Nunsense, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Showboat, and Beauty and the Beast. Her voice can be heard on the CDs of Joseph (with Donny Osmond) as well as Showboat.

After the birth of her children, Kimberley discovered Pilates helped her re-condition her body to its optimum strength and health. As a professional performer, Kimberley developed several injuries and through the practice of Pilates she found her discomfort from the injuries subsided.

Kimberley has received her certification through Body Harmonics in Toronto on matwork, small apparatus, and large equipment (Reformer, Cadillac, and Chair). She continues to develop her skills through Pilates Manitoba Certification workshops. Kimberley works with clients privately in her home studio or in group sessions.

Pajama Partyin' with PTE!

Kids had a riot at our annual family show and pajama party on Friday, January 17! It was snowy outside, but inside the SRSS Theatre heartwarming tales by Robert Munsch were being told. First, kids enjoyed story book readings from some of our wonderful volunteers, then it was time for the main attraction - Prairie Theatre Exchange. Fits and giggles abounded as the professional theatre company from Winnipeg acted out five Robert Munsch stories. At first, the actors pretended they were lost... and as if they thought that the crowd was just a bunch of lost people like them! Robert Munsch classics were woven in and out of the story line as the actors decided to "practice" each story... eventually realizing that they had made it to Steinbach and they weren't lost!

Kids became a part of the stories, starring as pigs in "Pigs!" and Qallupilluit in "A Promise is a Promise," and even Lauretta's brother in "Zoom!"

After the show, the audience got to ask the actors from Prairie Theatre Exchange questions about acting and about the play. Then everybody enjoyed milk and cookies together!

This year's show was called "Portage & Munsch: 50 Below" and was one of the best yet! Thanks to our show sponsors Kelvin, Kim and Malachi Goertzen.

Here's the actors from this year\'s Robert Munsch family show: Kelci Stephenson, Murray Farnell and Aaron Pridham

This & That

The "This & That" exhibit by local artist Don Hoeppner is on now at the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre Hall Gallery! It's a beautiful display of watercolor paintings. Gorgeous flowers and landscapes are all up for sale. Come check it out!

Here is Don's speech, which he delivered at the Exhibit Opening for "This & That" on Wed, Jan 8, 2014 (some in point form):

"Good evening friends -- I don`t think my family showed up - so, friends it is only. Thanks to everyone for coming and the script say - 'thanks for coming and supporting the arts.' But if you just came to say 'hi' or for the snackies or for a glass of wine - that`s good too. Thanks to Cari Penner and the city council and all you taxpayers for your support. Thanks to the SAC board - the energetic people like Suke for all their work behind the scenes.

Don Hoeppner and Suke Koeuth Don with Suke Koeuth, S.A.C. Board Member and local business owner

Thanks to the SAC staff, to the SAC volunteers - for the snackies and refreshments.

And thanks to the good people who helped me hang my stuff on the walls.

For some reason, I was chosen to say a few things tonight. It was suggested that I say a bit about the 'why' and the 'what' of my hobby. Why do I do it and What inspires me -- In other words - why do I paint a picture of a flower one day and the next day I paint a picture of a dead tree. Why -- What - maybe signs of a split personality -- Its questions I think they might ask me at a therapy session - what do you feel like when you paint a flower picture? - why do you think you like to paint pictures of dead trees? - did you have a happy childhood? Someday I hope to have the answers. Can you imagine a cave man being asked about that picture of a wildebeest he scratched on the cave wall. What and Why -- He might have said - I hungry, I conquer, I kill and then woman said - go to your room and so I draw picture of wildebeest.

Maybe drawing pictures is like trying to get control of life, to devour it (symbolically), organize it, to understand it. Maybe. Okay, whatever - I don’t know.

Anyway - I don’t want to infuse a whole lot of noble and philosophical thoughts into what I do as a hobby. I`ll leave that deep stuff to intellectual giants like John Neufeld. So I`ll just say - I paint when I`m in a good mood and when I`m not then I don’t paint.

Enough of that -- Thanks again for braving the cold and coming out - - stay awhile - help yourself to a glass of wine, refreshment, snackies - enjoy the good company - hope you have a good evening - hope you enjoy the show"

This & That Exhibit Opening Friends and supporters at the Exhibit Opening on Jan 8

Christmas Art Show & Sale

Leona Carnegie, a member of the Southeast Artists Group, shares about the Artists' Art Show & Sale at the Clearspring Mall on Nov 29 & 30:

"As I'm working in my studio I'm reflecting on our Southeast Artist Group Show and Sale that we participated in on Nov. 29th and 30th. I didn't sell a whole lot of art but that's not the point. To me the point is getting our art out there to the public, to those who may not get to an art gallery to see great works of art. This is our reward for all those hours spent in our studios creating and doing what we love. On behalf of the Southeast Artist's Group, I'd like to thank the management of Clearspring Centre for providing the venue for our Show and Sale and for printing our posters for us. I'd like to thank Kathryn Carnegie for designing our posters, Gary Holden for securing the venue and organizing the show, and I'd really like to thank all the artists who participated and spent two days of their busy lives to show their creations, to paint, and to meet the public. I hope all of you found it as positive and rewarding experience as I did.

And Thank You too to all members of the public who stopped by our tables to chat and view our works, to offer comments, compliments and encouragement. A special Thank You to those who bought some of our pieces. What a great feeling it is when someone pays an artist the ultimate compliment of purchasing their art to display in their home or to give as a gift. As the saying goes... 'you aren't just buying a thing, you are buying a piece of heart, part of a soul, a moment of one's life, and you are buying the artist more time to do something they are passionate about.'”

The Southeast Artists Group meets together every Tuesday morning, 9:30-11:30am to paint and create together at the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre. For more info, call Gary Holden (204) 346-9623.

Barn Dance at SAC

Lynda Toews' exhibit "Barn Dance" has been attracting a lot of positive attention! The exhibit, on display in the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre Hall Gallery until Dec 19th, showcases farm animal paintings, and spectators will be confronted with the straightforward gaze of fellow creatures who share the earth. Toews' says, "We are dependent on farm animals for countless things, and they depend on us for food and protection. This interdependence of life is a relationship like a DANCE..."

Below, Lynda Toews shares about the exhibit's opening reception:

"On November 13, 2013 approximately 60 people attended the new art exhibit opening reception of “Barn Dance” – paintings and stories celebrating farm animals by local artist Lynda Toews. Several people came from Winnipeg and even Winkler. 28 paintings of local farm animals are for sale in the hall gallery. They are based on photographs taken by Toews. She believes they are worthy of painting and celebrating because of all that they have provided throughout history from food and clothing to violin bows, artist brushes and even heart valves! There is a longer list at the exhibit. Organizers mentioned that this exhibit is quite unique because not only are there paintings to enjoy, there is also community participation. One of the paintings depicts a Holstein cow out in front with the rest of the herd running away. Toews provided the opportunity for viewers to suggest titles for this painting. Some suggestions so far include: “I Forgot My Purse”; “Who Farted?”; “Eck zee von Yantseed”.

Come in and suggest your title idea … just for fun!"

"There was also gospel bluegrass music at the reception provided by the artist and her husband Gary Brown (known to many as “LyndaRose & Gary”). Finally, there are stories! Toews collected several stories from Manitobans who grew up with farm animals, many from the past. She compiled these stories into a small booklet, given free of charge at the exhibit (there are copies remaining, and e-mail versions available if they run out). Four story contributors (Maria Toews, Bill Giesbrecht, Al Hamm and Len Penner) were in attendance at the reception and read their stories to a captive audience. Here is an excerpt: 'Maria Toews b. 1942 (Horndean MB 1940s-60s) We had four cows: Lily, Molly, Bossie, & Daisy. Ma didn’t let us kids milk because it was her only chance to get a break from the younger ones. I was the oldest so I used to milk Molly when I was about five. I used to sing to Molly too. Ma and pa were Sommerfelder at the time and I used to sing Loben Den Herren (Love the Lord). I used to sing to our tomcat, Peter too. I would sit on the chop pail and sing Sommerfelder chants to Peter. We had this rooster who used to chase me when I went to the outhouse. Then it would stand outside waiting for me. I used to be so scared! But one day I decided to get brave and I grabbed it by the legs, took it to the horse trough and baptized that rooster! After that he left me alone.'

"There are several other stories about dogs predicting thunderstorms, pig-killing bees, stone-boats and caboose rides, “chased by bull” adventures, and of intelligent horses who take care of their caregivers. The reception was filled with warm hearts, lots of fun, and of course a fine aesthetic experience. Children who attend Steinbach Arts Council programs seem particularly drawn to the animal paintings, and the images combined with the story booklet can provide many teaching moments. The exhibit runs until December 19, 2013 so come in, pick up a story booklet, do some Christmas shopping, and enjoy!"

Toews will continue her theme of farm animal paintings and stories at a large solo exhibit scheduled for May 2015 at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery in Winnipeg. If you have a short farm animal story to submit for publication, please e-mail it to: [email protected]

Cartooning at the Arts Centre

Jason Doll, a professional animator who has completed projects for companies like Nikelodeon, shares the down low on his Cartooning class at the Steinbach Arts Centre:

"It is very rewarding being an instructor for the age group in my cartooning / illustration class. For the first class, I told everyone that we would work at whatever pace suited each person. I have a vast age range in my class and wanted everyone to feel comfortable in their drawing achievements. Little did I know, I would be blown away from the talent that was exhibited!

We did figure drawing, using both live models (students taking turns in gesture drawings) as well as working from references. Again, the artistic talent was really something to be admired – at all levels.

It is wonderful to see that the students in the class really take their art seriously and are there to further expand their artistic knowledge and skill. That’s how it has always been at

Steinbach Arts Council. The kids are there because they really love art and want to learn. Often the class is very quiet, because everyone is so focused.

I hope they enjoy the class and learn that they can do more than they thought they could artistically. I hope that attitude reflects whatever they attempt in the future – be it art or any goal they may have."

Our fall session for Cartooning is just wrapping up, but keep an eye out for Winter sessions! Cartoon Illustration is an excellent opportunity for ages 10-16 to learn how to "draw funny" as well as learn the principles of cartoon drawing. Call (204) 346-1077 to learn more about this class and more.

True Jive Pluckers

On Tuesday, November 5th, Steinbach Arts Council welcomed visitors to a memorable musical performance by the True Jive Pluckers at Grace Mennonite Church. The building was filled with anticipation and excitement. As I ushered and collected tickets, I observed the crowds of people and grew more curious about what I was about to experience. As the time came for the Pluckers to hit the stage, we all settled into our seats, I was amazed at the variety of music as Jack Semple, Ed Minevich and Stephen McLellan took turns debuting their skills on the guitar, fiddle and upright bass. They played several originals including Jaxx Jazz and Papa's Tango, as well as Blue Room, Moonglow, Pennies from Heaven and many more classics. What I enjoyed the most about their music was how emotional and unpredictable their songs were... with a favorite being when Ed serenaded several women in the room with his violin, presenting one lucky lady with a red carnation. The True Jive Pluckers displayed true musicianship and passion as they played.

Thanks to the Steinbach Arts Council for the opportunity to be a part of bringing fabulous music to Steinbach!

Submitted by Kulani Nkuna, Marketing Intern

Special Presentations to Special Folk

The Arts Council was pleased to recognize performing artists who have made a significant contribution to our community at our Café Night on Oct 25, 2013 at the Arts Centre. Special presentations were made to David Klassen, Jacqueline Brandt and Sheila Ardies.

David Klassen's tenor voice has become well-known throughout the Southeast and beyond. David’s been involved in a significant number of projects, including a sacred classics tour within Manitoba where he partnered with local choirs along the way. He has been engaged as a soloist with many prominent opera and ballet companies, including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Besides performing, David also adjudicates, and teaches at the Canadian Mennonite University and the University of Manitoba. David was the original artist who created the Young Artists in Concert series in 2003. He wanted to give our local emerging artists the experience of performing on a stage in a formal concert setting. Part of the opportunity was to learn how to negotiate a contract, learn the promotion aspects, and learn about the technical aspects...

Jacqueline Brandt has also been teaching voice, piano and theory for 25 years. She is also known as an accomplished accompanist, and as the president of our Southeastern Music Festival, an instructor for Kindermusik, and also very active in the community.

Sheila Ardies has been a voice teacher here for 15 years, a talented actor, and active member in our Arts community.

Kim Bestvater-Sidorchuk, the accompanist for our Young Artist in Concert on Oct 25, was also recognized. Kim keeps busy all over the Eastman region and Steinbach community by accompanying many vocalists, instrumentalists, musicals and choirs. She has her Associate in Music – Piano Performance from the Western Board, as well as her Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance from the University of Toronto. When she’s not teaching in her private studio or doing her own rehearsing, Kim enjoys hanging out with husband Rob and their two children, Julie and Rachel.

Other mentions were given to Bucky Driedger, Byron Dueck, Jocelyn Dueck, Valerie Dueck, Naomi Forman, Darryl Friesen, Matt Schellenberg, Tammy Schroeder, Jodie Stenekes, Carrie Wiebe and Matt Zimmerman. Many of these folks have participated in our Young Artists series in past years. To all of them - thank you for your contribution to our Arts community!

Cafe Night with Rebecca Woodmass

Over 70 guests joined us for Café Night at the Arts Centre on Fri, Oct 25, 2013. The Arts Centre was pleased to welcome talented soprano Rebecca Woodmass back to the home stage. Her fearless and versatile voice has taken Rebecca from Canada's concert halls to the Montreal metro stations. Last year, Rebecca joined the 'Trinity Wall Street Choir' to sing backup for the Rolling Stones' 50th anniversary concert tour in New York. And earlier this year, Rebecca was awarded the Encouragement Award at the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Rebecca was accompanied by local pianist Kim Bestvater-Sidorchuk.

Two other presenters graced the stage - local students Erica Wiebe, accompanied by Jacqueline Brandt, and Kelsey Houska. Both girls are students at the Steinbach Regional Secondary School. Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

The Young Artists in Concert series began 10 years ago, in 2003, with the goal of nurturing and encouraging local emerging artists as they develop a professional career. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Stirring Words from After School Art Program Staff

The After School Art Program is about creating a safe environment for teens to explore their creativity... and we're not talking the conventional paint-by-numbers kind of exploration. After its conception on Sept 18 of this year, the After School Art Program... or ASAP... has featured everything from "leaf" art to painting outside, to a 'NON-paper chain' of human silhouettes using sidewalk chalk! What a great chance to explore.

Recently, in a speech delivered to Hanover School Division teachers and trustees, instructor Kyra Guenther shared her vision for the program in a moving, well-worded speech:

Look around you. Who do you think looks like an artist?

I can tell you right now that everyone in this room does art of some form. Whether that is painting, sculpting, photography, knitting, poetry, music, word vomit… everyone creates on some level.

I’ve never delivered a ‘speech’ before, which is why I said yes to doing this today, I wanted to do something I didn’t know how to do, and offer you the experience of watching someone fumble, because I think maybe that’s what art should offer. An opportunity to recognize our common humanity and vulnerability. As teachers, principals, superintendents you do that every day. You offer the students a chance to see someone be real, raw, someone full of courage, vulnerability, and honesty. And with that, the stuff we put into this world can serve a better purpose and you as educators can really begin to make a difference in the lives of your students.

Tony Donkersloot was such an educator! He is one of those teachers who will be remembered by his students’ years later. Mr. D was able to impact even the hard and cold students. My brother was one of those, but he saw something in Mr.D. He saw a man that was genuine, someone who really wanted to understand his students, and a man who wasn’t afraid to be open and vulnerable. My brother respected Mr. D more than anyone and the impact he had on my brother’s life will be remembered for years to come. Mr. D and the impact he’s had on students is something we should all aspire to.

Art is not just a subject you take in school; it’s a way of viewing everyday life, to be able to see the beauty in the world around you. As humans we get to think about things, we get to wonder. It seems like quite a privileged position in the universe. I believe teaching students to see the world this way is important, it gives us an appreciation for things and for others talents. Art and the process of creating is bringing something into existence, birthing it. And you can’t do that well without putting a little piece of yourself into your art. Art is also very therapeutic, it allows you to express whatever is inside you, whether that be a feeling, dream, experience you may have had, it allows you to get these things out from inside of you.

I have the privilege of running the After School Art Program or as we like to call it ASAP. This is a program we developed specifically to reach the youth of our community. I believe, and the staff here at the Steinbach Arts Council, believe that everyone needs to be given a chance to create and bring to life the things we have engulfing our minds.

This program strives to do that, to provide a safe place where teens can come discover new and fun ways to express themselves. We run Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4:15- 6 and it’s for anyone ages 13-17, and we need your help promoting this. So if you know of any students who need a safe place to create and express themselves, this would be the place for them!"

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About the Steinbach Arts Council

The Steinbach Arts Council, an umbrella organization for performing and visual arts groups, enriches the lives of our community through development of local artists and musicians and exposure to professional art forms. The Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre is a home for all these groups and their programs. It’s purpose is to create an environment where all arts disciplines can work together under one roof and share their resources and their talents with each other, and the entire Arts Community!

For more info, visit steinbachartscouncil.ca.

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