So Proud of our Preschoolers!

The Arts4Tots Graduation ceremonies took place Monday and Tuesday this week. The preschoolers made a grand entrance dressed like two Chinese Dragons who shook their heads and moved up and down to the music. Friends and family were able to watch their 3-5 year olds said some patriotic words, and fill them in on various "Did you Know's"... (Did you know we can say our ABCs and 123s? Did you know that we were on Global News this year...? etc) Each graduate was awarded a certificate and a pail of sidewalk chalk, after which they threw their graduation hats up into the air. After hugs and congratulations, all our preschoolers and their families enjoyed a buffet of sweets and goodies, animal balloons, face painting, bubbles, hoola hoops, a bouncer and a dress up photo corner.

Way to go class of 2012! Many of you are now ready for kindergarten. Congratulations!

View Arts4Tots program information at

Submitted by Shannon Neufeld

Tots Attend Jubilee Book Signing

This morning was quite an adventure for the Wednesday morning Arts4Tots class. There was a buzz of excitement as our preschool donned hats and each child received a special flag in celebration of the Queen of England's Diamond Jubilee. The tots journeyed the few blocks down the street from our Centre to City Hall, where they were greeted and welcomed in to the Main Atrium where the Jubilee Book Signing Ceremony would be taking place. As Steinbach Arts Council's current Marketing Coordinator, I went along to take photographs of the special event. I was intrigued by the vintage photographs that were on display, and one in particular caught my attention. It was of a darling little girl with ringlets like Shirley Temple (my grandmother raised me on those videos) presenting flowers to the Queen. The caption read that the Queen had visited Steinbach, Manitoba in 1970. The four year old was Lisa Epp, daughter of Jake and Lydia Epp. Mr Epp was a member of town council and chairman of the centennial committee at the time. Mayor L.A. Barkman was also in the photograph, smiling at the scene before him.

The Queen was not here this time, but once again there would be children present at another special ceremony - we were celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 60th year as Queen Sovereign. Mayor Chris Goertzen and MLA Kelvin Goertzen both brought greetings, thanking the Arts4Tots class, who played a major part in why we were all together that day (please view our earlier blogs to see how the story has unfolded). Those gathered took the opportunity to sign the Jubilee Book, and also met outside where a tree was planted to commemmorate the occasion.

The Arts4Tots children each received a special commemorative pin and a treat from City Hall staff. Then after some photographs, we headed back down the street in a celebrative mood. I was so pleased to be a part of the Jubilee Book Signing festivities and excited at the opportunity to sign the very first page of the Jubilee Book. I wrote, "Thanks for inspiring us."

Submitted by Shannon Neufeld

Thanks for your Support of the Arts

This year's Gala was a huge success. Friedensfeld Community Centre was absolutely transformed - from the iron gates and horses at the entrance, to the absolutely beautiful interior.

Guests were invited to participate in a jewelry tombola, and also had an opportunity to bid on five beautiful artworks by local artists. New this year, there was a western wear auction that included fine western boots and hats. Ron Klippenstein and Teri Fuchs entertained guests with a Texas Two Step and a Night Club Two Step. Corny Rempel and Michelle Sawatzky from Golden West Radio performed a special duet as Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton and emcee'd the evening (in character). Guests were especially delighted by the surprise flash mob line dance as performed by gala committee members, Mayor Chris Goertzen and members of the community. To conclude the evening, all guests were invited to dance the night away on our biggest dance floor yet.

We were very pleased to have Douglas and Leona Riske from the Manitoba Arts Council join us this year, and City of Winnipeg Councillor Russ Wyatt, along with his wife.

Thank you to all who made this night such a success. Over $22,000 was raised towards funding arts programs and concerts for the community.

Submitted by Shannon Neufeld, Marketing Coordinator

Creative Youth to Launch Youth-Oriented Events in Steinbach

Hi! This is Alicia! I generally don’t consider myself a very creative person, but here I am one of four volunteers on the new Creative Youth Council at the Steinbach Arts Council. How then did I get here? Well. During fall registration, I was signing up for Creative Cooking classes and was approached by Cindi, the director at SAC, to volunteer for a new initiative to get youth and young adults more involved at the Arts Centre. I said yes! We had a slow start but this past February it really took off. We decided on the name Creative Youth Council (CYC) because we will be working together with the Steinbach Arts Council to reach creative youth in Steinbach and area. The goal of the CYC is to bring together creative youth and young adults to share and grow as artists. To do this, we have created a core of enthusiastic and community-oriented individuals, whom I now also consider good friends.

The Creative Youth Council core consists of; me - I’ve been in SAC programs like dance and art as a child and now work at a local Credit Union; Lindsay Banman - student and Student Council member at the University of Manitoba; Jaylyn Loewen - student at the SRSS and finalist at this year’s Southeast Manitoba Piano competition; and Amanda Bordun - employee at GoldenWest Radio and contestant in Miss Universe Canada 2012. The funny thing about the core of CYC is that the four of us don’t consider ourselves too creative, but we all really enjoy leading and volunteering. We look forward to organizing events where youth and young adults can get together to paint or draw or just jam (term for having fun while making music!). I am also very excited about the upcoming Battle of the Bands concert on June 1st! Battle of the Bands is an emerging artist showdown which we are hosting together with GoldenWest Radio and Mix 96, to share the talent of local youth bands and musicians with the community. For more information or if you want to be involved in the CYC, please visit our Facebook page!

Submitted by Alicia Loewen, Creative Youth Council member

Please call 346-1077 for information about the Battle of the Bands

An Adventure in Neverland

The hustle and bustle of year long classes at SAC is coming to an end. This includes dance and theatre classes. Backyard Theatre Company is taking a new direction this year by combining the talent of all three classes into one play.

This year the play will be "An Adventure in Neverland" based on the old familiar tale Peter Pan, by J. M Barrie. The students have been busy memorizing lines and practicing, so now they are more than excited to show it all off to their family and friends.

In addition to the traditional favorites, there are some new characters added to the play. This includes a new lost boy named Ryder and his sister, a pirate named Clara. There will also be appearances by Tinkerbell's fairy friends.

Tickets go on sale this week and they are 8 dollars each. This is a family friendly play where the actors are ages 5 - 14.

If you are interested or need more information call SAC at 346 - 1077.

Art Exhibit Extravaganza - this year's Southeast Open Judged Art Exhibit

Two days of art openings - the Southeast Open Judged Exhibit, well what can I say? Wow! This was an exciting event. As the Visual Arts Coordinator I get to see what all goes into putting on an event like this. Between myself and our dedicated group of volunteers that make up the Exhibit Committee, we were all very busy getting this exhibit ready. In the end, all the hard work truly paid off. The Juvenile opening on Monday April 2nd was great. Seeing how proud all of these kids were to see their work on display in our gallery really made it all worth it to me. It's nights like that that make me proud of what I am trying to do at the Steinbach Arts Council. On Tuesday April 3rd, we opened the adult exhibit. The best part of the whole night was seeing the shock on Edmund Raguindin’s face when he spotted the first place ribbon on his beautiful work of art. A big thank you goes out to the volunteers who came in to give us a hand with refreshments and even a little bit of entertainment.

Submitted by Chelsea Beaudoin, Visual Arts Coordinator

Steinbach Arts Council

The juvenile entrants for this year's Southeast Open Judged Art Exhibit

The adult entrants

Francis - a Katima-volunteer


So, what can I say? When I arrived in Steinbach, I was almost unable to communicate in English, a little lost in a city bigger than mine, but excited to meet new people. After the first week in Katimavik*, we began to visit diverse places where we could work. At this moment, I discovered Steinbach Art Council, and immediately I wanted to work there.

It was neither the colors painted on the walls, neither the paintings by a local artist exposed nor the warm smile of the children. I just have felt a strong mood here, a place where I could and can have pleasure to work, help and change a little the Steinbach art’s culture.

Right now, I’m a kind of Jack-of-all-trades in Steinbach Art Council; one day I create props for a play, the next day I’m with the children, the next day after I fold brochures or set up the chairs for a recital or decorate! Every single day is a new experience; every single day puts on my face a tremendous smile.

But now, I see the end of this first rotation coming too soon and even if I’m excited to leave for Chisasibi at the end of March and to meet the native people in their reserve, one thing will stay in my mind when the curtains will be pulled on Steinbach: All of these unbelievable people, warm too, that I maybe could not meet again, but give me strong souvenir-like memories that I will remember all of my life.

So, I love you, I love this experience, I love Steinbach and I’m glad, I have enjoyed all of the time I’ve spent in Steinbach Art Council.

P.S: Thanks to Becky to help with my spelling and my sentence structure, French-speaker after all!


Becky & Francis

Trio Bembe

After working with Trio Bembe for last years Summer in the City festival, I can't tell you how excited I am to see them performing again here in Steinbach. The first thing I did when Trio Bembe applied to perform, was I went to their website to check out their music, this is something I encourage all of you to do. Click Here to view their website. After that first time, I would often find myself at their website just to hear their music.

Their music combines a flare of exotic lyrics with latin jazz. For all of you who didn't make it to a tropical destination this winter like myself - Trio Bembe will take you there.

For more information call SAC 346-1077. The concert is this Friday March 16th, SRSS theatre at 7:30.

New Trio Bembe Tracks by Trio Bembe

And to read native Steinbacher and Trio Bembe member Amber Epp's Blog Click here

Open Studio for the Marginalized

Our Marketing and Visual Arts departments, as well as Director Cindi Rempel Patrick, attended the Artists + Community symposium put on by The Arts and Cultural Industries Association of Manitoba (ACI) The two-day conference consisted of a keynote speaker (Rick Lowe) and other presenters (Leah Decter, Jeff Nachtigall, Columpa Bobb and Jana Mckee – Zach Kunuk from Isuma Productions was supposed to do a conference call, but there were technical difficulties). There were also round-table discussions and an excellent lunch as provided by the Fort Garry Hotel.

I was absolutely inspired, and touched, by Jeff Nachtigall’s presentation and would like to share some highlights with you.

Jeff was a professional studio artist based out of Saskatchewan - you can see a selection of his works on Newzones - before he became involved in the program that changed everything for him. In 2006, Jeff became artist-in-residence at Sherbrooke Community Centre, a long-term care facility in Saskatoon. He headed up a team that created a studio program for people who had limited mobility and cognitive disorders. As Jeff talked, pictures flashed across the screen behind him – motorized wheelchairs carrying paint across huge canvases using the wheels themselves, folks with lifeless limbs, but with paintbrushes in their mouths, crutches with fabric wads tied to the ends that were also dripping with bright paint colors. He remarked that many residents were skeptical at first, including Dennis Anderson. Dennis didn’t want to paint…he didn’t really want to live, and talked often of suicide. But eventually, as the energy in the art room was infectious, he tried it. One of his pieces is a series that shows him, Dennis, in his wheelchair. Then the Sherbrooke workers come to put him to bed. Dennis doesn’t look like a person anymore – he becomes a football. In the next sequence, the workers put football Dennis in a mechanical lift and transport him into his bed. It is only after the workers leave, and Dennis is alone, that he is human again. This is a commentary that expresses how Dennis feels at Sherbrooke – like an inanimate object.

Dennis went on to paint more pieces, many of which were quite controversial - and cheeky! He glued an adult ‘incontinence pad’ to a canvas and painted in big, bold letters “DIAPER”, with an arrow pointing to the pad. The painting was called “Misplaced Sensitivity.” Dennis had found his voice, and he began to gain recognition. Jeff said the breaking point for Dennis was when Jeff delivered a stack of letters to Dennis from his ‘fans.’ Dennis, who had considered himself “175 pounds of stinking desperation,” was a role model again. People looked up to him. (At the conference Jeff joked, “All of the sudden people started listening because they were afraid he would do a painting of them.” – and I laughed!)

In a two-page paper called The Insiders Jeff says, “This project has been a profound and humbling experience. In these few short months, lives have changed. Individuals who once found themselves on the margins of society have reclaimed their voices. I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with such an inspiring and talented group of people, and for everything they have taught me. It is my goal to see an artist in every long-term care facility. This is only the beginning” (

See videos online at

Dennis Anderson represented Manitoba and Saskatchwan at the Paralympics.

Submitted by Shannon Neufeld

Tea Party with Corny Rempel

The Arts for Tots preschool class continues to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. Today they celebrated by having a tea party, and were joined by none other than Corny Rempel from Golden West Radio. The kids laughed as Corny entertained them by toasting their water bottles and yogurt cups.

It was 'summer day' - so Corny dawned some flowers and pearls in honor of the day's theme.

Radio announcer Corny Rempel joins the preschool class for tea is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

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