Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Here are some more items of interest that have come in:

from Ann Tyre re the minutes for the Sunday MCC meeting:
A couple of revisions were necessary:1. Susan Styrchak made the first motion to form an interim board.2. Interim Board volunteered, and was "appointed" - rather than elected

Kathy Koop writes:
Art City (which is an art center in West Broadway, offering free quality art programming to children, youth and adults who otherwise could not afford it) is looking for artists and craftspeople interested in giving workshops.
There are several opportunities for those interested. One is for community artists from the West Broadway, Wolseley, and the West End areas, to do a 4 hour workshop for children for which an honourarium of $100.00 is offered. This is a great way to share your talent!
Another opportunity is for professional artists (from all over) to give longer workshops for children and youth which are generally structured in one week blocks, but other ideas will be considered. The salary for a 5 day workshop is $1200.
The deadline for this application is June 1, 2006.
For more information on these opportunities, you can visit Art City's web site at or contact Talia at 775-9856 or e-mail
If you would like to visit Art City and learn more about it, you are welcome to attend the half hour Annual General Meeting on Wed. May 3, 2006 at 12 noon. A brief power point presentation will be shown highlighting the past year's activities, and a light lunch will be served following the meeting.
The address is 616 Broadway Ave. It is open to the public.
Art City is also exhibiting the results of one of the current workshops called Huts and Hideaways. It will feature drawings, models, and sculptural works created by participants with artist in residence, Chris Cooper.
The opening is Friday, May 5, 2006 at 7pm, at The Label Gallery, 510 Portage Ave. It will continue from May 8-19, Mon. - Fri. noon - 5pm.

And Ann Tyre also sends this:
Marion Butler from the Manitoba Arts Council phoned this morning to be updated on MCC's status and to remind us of the share of a Bingo on Saturday April 29th - evening. I have yet to get the details of time, place, and the length of time volunteers are needed (I think it was two hours last time) but I wanted to see if there are five members who would volunteer. It would mean $1,500 and MCC back on the Lotteries list for future events. It may mean re-writing a Project Proposal - it was originally to be used for web-site development, which isn't our primary concern at the moment - though it could still be used for that.
Ann's e-mail is:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Here are the "official" minutes of the MCC meeting held this past Sunday to decide the future of the organization. Some of you will already have received them directly from Ann Tyre. This is for the benefit of those not on her list.

Minutes of special Manitoba Crafts Council meeting held on April 23rd, 2006 at 1:30 p.m. at Crossways in Common, 222, Furby Street, at Broadway, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Those attending:

A. Norberg J. K. Sokalska J. Kelly
P. Courtnage D. Krindle R. Mark
G. Roth G. De Neve D. Arbez- Chaput
V. Metcalfe S. Robinson J. Ryan
J. Jennings A. Tyre I. Lincoln
H. De Vries J. Bamford M. Stothers
S. Styrchak C. Loff A. Lacovetsky
K. Koop G. Sylvester M. Pagtakhan

Christine Loff consented to chair the meeting.
Ann Tyre took the minutes.

The group first addressed the criteria suggested by our funders before the meeting that only members take part in this process. The consensus of the participants was that interested non-members be allowed voting rights.

Discussion centred for a time on the current state of finances at MCC. The major people owed are MMP Architects, the Assiniboine Credit Union, D. Turner, then trade payables, consignees, and pay is owed to the staff. While Board members are not individually liable for the line of credit, they are, as Damyele clarified, liable under Manitoba law for the salaries and benefits of the staff. All funding has been received to date. No further monies are expected to be received prior to year – end.

Damyele also clarified that funding from Culture and Heritage is for the development of craftspeople in core training, professional development, widening crafters’ markets. That while the craft sector is an important economic sector within the Province; the $53,900 in 2006/07 funding for the Manitoba Crafts Council is in doubt at this juncture. In addition, the Manitoba Arts Council will not entertain any submission for funding from MCC as we are in no position to fulfil our obligations.

Because of the events that have lead to this meeting, Culture and Heritage will require the Manitoba Crafts Council to provide an audited statement, as will our other funders.

Manitoba Arts Council provides exhibition funding. Funding is not provided for retail space.

Ron Mark pointed out that the Manitoba Crafts Council plays a vital role in the crafts community. In two years it would celebrate its thirtieth anniversary. Next year, 2007 is designated the Year of Craft. In addition, we have invaluable charitable non-profit status, which may be impossible to regain once lost.

He also suggested that efforts be made to change the line of credit into long term debt so that it may be better managed, and that only core activity be undertaken; e.g. bulletin and programs be undertaken in the short term.

Considerable discussion took place over the need for retail space and the viability of operating a retail space. This led to consideration of other avenues for selling artists’ work.

Gaetanne Sylvester asked if it was feasible to set up an MCC web-site, and have catalogues available for those interested in purchasing craft, in lieu of retail space.

Gloria De Neve asked if it was possible to look at what other provinces are doing. It was mentioned that other provinces are also experiencing difficulties.

Judy Jennings suggested a hiatus of about six months would allow other members to take part in planning a future direction for the Crafts Council.

As MCC has substantial debt Ingrid Lincoln felt that there should be no retail space for the present.

Jo’Anne Kelly asked that we should not lose sight of a retail space in future plans – as it serves a twofold purpose, providing income for artists, and educating the public about the vibrant craft sector in Manitoba. She also felt that the current space was not suitable.

Joy Bamford was concerned about the ‘seasoned’ artists who seemed to make up this group. Youthful energy is badly needed to take on the tasks of running the Crafts Council. Gloria pointed out that there has been little or no communication in the past eighteen months, so there was no incentive for people to join the Council. In the past, the camraderie of workshops saw an increase in youthful members.

Marilyn talked about the history of the MCC and how it had grown – that marketing craft was difficult, nevertheless, the profile of MCC grew over time.

Many were concerned about the breakdown in trust - however it was not deemed advantageous to have a forensic audit carried out on the operations of MCC. It was generally felt that it was not constructive to look back; that we needed to address the current situation, and to that end participants voted on the following motions.

1) The legal entity known as the Manitoba Crafts Council will continue.

Moved by Herman De Vries

Seconded by David Krindle
Motion carried unanimously

2) Constitute an interim Board of at least five people today to take us forward and develop
a course of action for the future.
Moved by Jo’Anne Kelly

Seconded by Ron Mark
Motion carried unanimously

Board Members elected:

David Krindle Gaetanne Sylvester
Ingrid Lincoln Ann Tyre
Ron Mark Herman de Vries

This Board will stand for 60 days and its mandate is as follows:
To assess the current situation
Develop a plan to deal with the debt
Develop a feasibility study

Motion to adjourn the meeting
Moved by Joy Bamford

Seconded by ValerieMetcalfe


(Note by Jo'Anne Kelly - Damielle Arbez-Chaput attended on behalf of Cultural Affairs)

Monday, April 24, 2006


I need to add some interesting information to yesterday's post about the Craft Council meeting. I collected names from those who were interested in getting the blog and were not currently on my mailing list. A gentleman, whom I did not know, handed me his business card indicating he would like to receive the blog. I confess, I very briefly looked at it, without really reading it, and thought to myself, he looks like a potter.
Last night after writing up the post, I added all the new names to my list, including this gentleman's. Reading the card, I realized that its owner was Mike Pagtakhan, City Councillor for Point Douglas West, and Deputy Mayor.
So I would like to publicly thank Mr. Pagtakhan for taking enough time and interest to give up the enjoyment of a beautiful afternoon in exchange for attending MCC's meeting.
And I hasten to apologize for not taking in the relevant information right there at the meeting.

Reflecting on comments made at yesterday's meeting about there being a dearth of young people currently involved in the organization - I recalled the time, many years ago when MCC was first getting started, my late husband commenting that everyone seemed so young. He was worried that the occupation of craftsperson carried with it some danger that prevented a long life. (I think he was thinking about all the chemicals I was messing around with - he was a scientist). So I guess we can console ourselves with the thought that at least those of us still around haven't yet succumbed to these dangers.

And recently Don Burroughs e-mailed me with a site looking for input from interested people. It's called Creative Clusters and the web site is .

Artisans Market
A sale of Manitoba Craft at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory will take place this coming Saturday, April 29th from 9:00 am - 4 pm. This sale is sponsored by The Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library and Hosted by the friends of the Assiniboine Park Conservatory. The following are showing work:
David Brownlee, Chantal Bishop, Teresa Carey, Cloverleaf Gallery,
Pat Courtnage, Catherine Gates, Sandra Gowan,
Karen Johannsson, Dianne Leatherdale Johnson,
Jo'Anne Kelly, Valerie Olsen, Sarah Sanderson,
Barbara Smith, Edna Stimpson, Jane Wood.
Tell your friends about this blog. I am looking to reach as many interested people as possible, all around the province. Encourage others to send me their e-mail address so I can include them in my mailings. Also I look forward to hearing about relevant happenings - shows, opportunities, new work, workshops, etc. I will undertake to include all relevant info and post it on this blog.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


The View From My Studio
Eureka! I think I have learned how to add pictures to my Blog.
This is the real view from my studio. I look out over the Assiniboine River and as you all know, it's in flood, so there's a lot of water in my view.
Manitoba Crafts Council Meeting, April 23, 2006
This afternoon, I attended an historic meeting of the Manitoba Crafts Council. It was a meeting called to address the current situation of the Council and to decide if it is possible to continue the life of this organization, and to find a group of people who would take on the responsibility of finding a direction.
By my count, 22 people attended. In addition, an observer, Damyele Arbez-Chaput, from Cultural Affairs attended.
I hope to publish the minutes taken at the meeting shortly. But in the meantime, I am sending along my impressions of what took place.
Since there was no longer an official board in place, and no formal agenda, it was necessary to find someone to conduct the meeting. Christine Loff agreed to do so. Ann Tyre agreed to take minutes.
To begin with, Ann Tyre ( a former board member, and the volunteer finance person) was asked to explain the purpose of the meeting. She spoke to the request of the funders that members make the decision to either wind up the affairs of the organization or to continue functioning as the present organization and to elect a new board to set in place some forward planning. It was made clear that any new generation of MCC would carry with it the responsibilty of the debt load. Questions were asked to clarify the situation.
Re membership. What is the status of membership records? answer: the list of current membership is incomplete and not up to date, because of missing and incompete records. This being the case, it was the will of the meeting that all present persons had a legitimate voice for speaking and voting at this meeting.
What is the current financial status of the organization?
The best guess at this point in time is a debt of $50,000.00 or more.
There are no past grant moneys to come in.
The Department of Manitoba Cultural Affairs and Tourism may commit to about $53,000 in the next period if the organization shows itself to be vital and committed to the future. (this will depend on a board being struck and a viable business plan put in place).
Continue MCC
It was clear that the will of those present was to continue the organization. It was pointed out that any new organization as a different legal entity would lose the precious charitable tax status that MCC presently
possesses, and that it would be next to impossible to get another such designation under a new name. In addition, there was close to 30 years of history and profile to keep alive - years of hard work and significant achievements in the cultural community of this province.
At the same time there were concerns expressed that past mistakes not be repeated, and some calls for investigation into what created the present crisis.
The rep from cultural affairs mentioned that there would have to be an audit in order to continue support for the organization, which would help establish some indication of poor management.
Finally there was a consensus expressed that it was worth trying to keep the organization alive and functioning in some form. To this end it was agreed that an interim board be struck to develop a course of action for the organization's future.
Six people agreed to form an interim board: They are: Gaetanne Sylvester, Ron Mark, Dave Krindle, Ingrid Lincoln, Ann Tyre and Herman de Vries.
These people agreed to work to develop a course of action in determining the future of the organization. The time-line for this was indicated as being quite finite: 30-60 days.
I have agreed to publish on this blog any information that the interim board wishes to send to the community, and am hoping to be able to soon send out a report back from the board.
Two Days of Fibre Art
As a consequence of the closing of MCC's exhibition gallery, the exhibition of Alison Norberg's work was sadly curtailed.
Thus a reprise of Alison's art quilts together with the threadwork and machine embroidery of Ingrid Lincoln will be shown as an exhibition and sale of work at
Crossways in Common, 222 Furby St. at Broadway
on Thursday, April 27 and Friday, April 28 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. (both days).

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I am forwarding this information from Ann Tyre for the benefit of those not on her e-mail list.........

A reminder that a meeting is to take place at Crossways in Common, 222 Furby at Broadway, on Sunday April 23, 2006 at 1:30pm.This message is being sent solely to update.It is in no way an attempt to constitute an agenda.Culture and Heritage will NOT be providing a facilitator for the meeting- they cannot be involved with the management of an organization which they fund.So, someone will have to chair the meeting, and someone will have to take minutes.As former members who have an interest in the future of MCC may wish to attend - what standing will current members afford them at this meeting?The meeting was called for the purpose of deciding whether or not to continue operating the Manitoba Crafts Council.If the decision is to continue - a Board should be elected, and a plan of action developed.Should the decision be to cease operations - (as mentioned before) the landlord has first rights to the fixed assets. Whether he wants them or not is unknown at this time. The credit union holds the other major debt, so would have second claim to them.People have expressed an interest in the fixed assets, either buying, or short term lease, and others have offered to accept items in exchange for what MCC owes them.I will provide a list of contacts - landlord, credit union manager, etc. so that members/ a new Board(?) can continue, finalize, or otherwise deal with MCC's contractual relationships.Regards,Ann Tyre

Friday, April 14, 2006


Hi there: Some news about opportunities:
Charlie Johnston, Winnipeg mural painter, phoned to say he is planning to open a Gallery at 2181 Portage Ave. at Moorgate. He writes:
We're offering our space as an exhibition venue for the artists who were planning to participate in the Craftspace spring exhibit. Our Gallery is called "Vault Gallery" and is located at 2181 Portage ave. & Moorgate. We have 1800 sq. ft. of show space with tons of natural light and two vaults, a glass foyer, kitchen and parking! We're planning our grand opening for May 17, with an exhibit of our recent works.We do not have display cases or pedestals currently, but that can change quickly as we're in the process of moving in & seting up our studio gallery environment. If any of you have such items for setting up the show, please bring it in.A June show of your 'group' would be perfect! In terms of the business end of things, we would ask for a 25% commision on sales for the show. We cannot insure the artwork with our policy, but what with our gallery being a former bank we have great security! Sarah & Charles Johnston C5 Artworks/ Vault Gallery
They can be reached at 204-795-1393. Their website is:

Valerie Metcalf sends this on:
A fellow approached us last week at the gallery. He and his partners have just purchased a building on Princess St. and are looking for artists, preferably potters, to rent space in the basement. His name is Jeff McKay and his business is called Edgeland Films inc. He can be contacted by phoneat 775-4092 or e-mail at
Also, the members of the Stoneware Gallery would like to invite everyone to come and see our newly re-decorated space. We're all very excited about it. Please note that we'll be having our annual spring sale this May from Thursday the 11th, beginning at 6:00 PM through Sunday the14th. Anyone interested in our hours or in being included on our mailing list can contact the Gallery at 475-8088.

My hairdresser's establishment is called "Hair Xetra" and the et cetera is more than pedicures and waxing. Robert has dedicated one long wall space to showcasing the work of local artists. And last week when I went to get a haircut, I received a pleasant surprise. As I walked in, I instantly recognized the work of Jolanta and Zbigniew Sokalski on the wall and in the window. Last month, Nancy Hall exhibited work at Robert's.
Robert has asked that I inform artists that he is interested in showing two-dimensional work in his space. His shop is located in a small mall at 101-912 Portage Ave., just west of Arlington.
Although the work is for sale, and Robert says a fair number of pieces have sold, at this point in time, he has not asked for a commission. He just likes to have nice art on his walls. His phone number is 779-2121.

For those of you who celebrate Easter and Passover - Enjoy. And for those who do not, have a nice spring weekend.

Friday, April 07, 2006


Alison Norberg forwards this:

Contemporary Fine Craft and Decorative Art Artists of Manitoba.

Exhibition Artful Divergence
Exhibit Dates January 2007 – April 2008

With the demise of the Manitoba Crafts Council we say goodbye to an organization that will be sorely missed. The Manitoba Arts Network is taking over the project of a provincial-touring exhibit celebrating 2007 Year of the Craft. This exhibit will still visit venues throughout Manitoba and will feature a juried show of selected works of Contemporary Fine Craft by Manitoba Artists.
Here is the info from the website:

Call for Submissions
Contemporary Fine Craft and Decorative Art Artists of Manitoba.
Exhibition: Artful Divergence
Exhibition Dates: January 2007 – April 2008
The Manitoba Arts Network is hosting a provincial touring exhibit to celebrate 2007 Year of the Craft. This exhibit will visit venues throughout Manitoba and will feature a juried show of selected works of Contemporary Fine Craft by Manitoba artists.
All works submitted must be new or have not been on previously exhibited. Submissions must demonstrate new and/or unusual construction of craft, stretch the boundaries of craft, combine science and technology, skill and tactility. All works must demonstrate professionalism, excellence, and cultural awareness.
Packages must include: Artist contact information, CV and Artist Statement, slides and/or JPEG images of current work on CD
Submitted work should not exceed 2’X3’X3’ or weigh more than 40lbs. Jurors will select work based on technical standards, artistic merit, and relevance to theme. Only complete submission packages will be accepted.
Deadline: April 28,2006
Send submissions to:
Manitoba Arts Network, #203 - 100 Arthur St., Winnipeg, MB R3B 1H3, or email:
Selected work must be in the possession of the sponsoring organization from October 2006 until April 2008. CARFAC rates will apply should sponsorship/ funding permit. A catalogue will be produced should sponsorship/funding permit.
for further information contact or call Karen Wardle at 943-0036.
or go to: Website: .

Monday, April 03, 2006


More news to catch everybody up on. I' m still learning as I go, so please bear with me. Here are some items passed on to me for distribution.

Coming to the Lion and the Rose Gallery
210-70 Albert Street Winnipeg, ManitobaR3B 1E8 (204) 452-5350

EARTH & SKY April 20 - May 5
Opening reception: Thursday, April 20 at 7 pm
sculpture by Helen Lyons paintings by Sheldon Dawson
A celebration of the universality and timelessness of work and wonderment.

Women of Clay - Statement by Helen Lyons
"Women of Clay" celebrates clay, the process of working with it, and women who execute the process. For me as an artist, the clay continues to be the most responsive media I have worked with. Clay artefacts have survived all the earliest art forms. Cloth and canvas rot. Metal is melted to cast different things. One society’s molten image becomes part of another society’s ammunition. Only clay vessels or shards give archaeologists clues to the ancient past.
Methods of working the material have not changed since antiquity. A child in an art class will be taught to pinch, coil or slab the clay, the same way the first potters did. When I hold a lump of mud in my hand, I feel connected to the earth, and to all the clay artisans and artists that have gone before me.
This series of women of clay is based on photographs of women.. The women identified only by country represent the universality of clay. These are women at work. I see the dignity and beauty in them the same way the Realist painters such as Gustave Courbet and Millet portrayed the workers rather than the gentry in the nineteenth century.
I chose the specific women because I liked their work, but more importantly because they achieved recognition as women artists. Helen Lyons

Inga Torfadottir sent along this petition re a living wage for artists:

As you may have heard by now, CARFAC/ RAAV have launched an online petition in support of their campaign for a living wage for artists >>and their negotiations with the National Gallery. We now need to >>gather as much support as we can. . CARFAC needs the support of all >>Canadian artists for this initiative to be succesful. CARFAC >>requests that you please sign the petition, say where your from, >>add your comments and forward this appeal to all artists and art >>supporters that you know. We need your help to spread the word! >>These changes are extremely significant for artists and will impact >>on our ability to earn a reasonable income for years to come. You >>can read the text of the petition the site. The petition for supporters to sign that can be found at this link

More information about the problems at MCC have come from Ann Tyre, who has single-handedly been working tirelessly and selflessly trying to unravel the mess left behind, and who has an accounting background. Some of you may have already received this info, but I am including this for those who haven't.

Update: March 31, 2006
As of today the locks have been changed at the gallery. The landlord has chosen to take the last month’s (April) rent against additional expenses of approx. $2,000, over and above the monthly rent.

(These expenses are related to taxes and operating the building, and were not identified by the former Executive Director as being something we would have to pay in addition to the monthly rent.)

The landlord has first claim against the assets of MCC, because we currently are unable to honour the lease. He has said that all our assets will remain as they are until he rents the space, or, MCC decides on Apr. 23rd that they will continue to operate the gallery, whichever comes first. In the meantime, we may have access when accompanied by someone from MMP.

The Credit Union will wait until our meeting on April 23rd before sending our line of credit to collections.

No one will be liable for the $15,000 line of credit.

If MCC had not owed the $2000 to the landlord, the Credit Union could have stepped in; had an appraiser come down to evaluate the assets; auctioned them off; then paid down the line of credit with the proceeds.

They would rather have members continuing to run MCC that’s why they’re willing to wait until after the meeting.

If there are 200 MCC members, and they each donated $100 (tax deductible) there would be enough to address the line of credit.

As mentioned in the Notice of Meeting, Culture and Heritage will fund the operation of MCC as soon as members elect a Full Board and determine a focus for the organisation.

Looking to the future, in order to safeguard the records I have contacted the Provincial Archives.
I have also contacted the installer of the File Manager software installed in November at a cost of $1750. He has a copy of the database that he will keep until such time as MCC needs it, and he will provide another copy of the software, as I can’t find one at the MCC office. This is in case MCC loses the computers to creditors. Other than that the accountant has the latest financial records, but she has not been paid for February’s work.

Estimate of indebtedness 31-Mar-06

Staff salaries & deductions payable 7126.53 includes vacation accruals

Consignees - estimate (Oct - Mar 6,06) 7700.00

Expenses paid by D. Turner 5593.26 will accept tax receipt

Other payables 6066.83

Minister of Finance 209.46

Trancontinental 428.00

Tetro 372.96 business card

Insight Electric 1607.47 lighting

Owed to landlord 2000.00

Accounting fees 940.50

Nardella Photography 500.00 SOFA


Line of credit $15,000.00


Conservative estimate of indebtedness:

$50,000.00 additional items keep cropping up

The View From My Studio - by Jo'Anne Kelly

I'm going to use this opportunity to quash erroneous information that keeps cropping up (I think from interested parties who are wanting to gloss over what has happened at MCC in the past year and a half.) I was still on the board as fundraising chair until Sept 2004, when I resigned in frustration over the direction that was being taken and what I considered to be inadequate and reckless financial planning and lack of oversight. I keep hearing that when the recently retired executive director first took office in April 2004, that the deficit was about $35,000. It wasn't. I have a balance sheet date Apr. 30, 04 which places the deficit at 14,600. Furthermore I have the treasurers financial report referring to the statements of earnings for the end of the third quarter April 30, 2004 which states "we are on target with the amended budget figures for this period. ...and have the income to meet the year end expenses. Our projections for the final quarter are within reach and barring any unforeseen expenses we will finish the year in good standing maintaining the hard work and achievements of Paul (Nolin - former executive director) and the Board in addressing the deficit." In other words at this point in time we were in pretty good shape and were paying down the deficit.