WAG Centennial Birthday Celebrations Huge Success
The Winnipeg Art Gallery kicked off its 100th anniversary celebrations in style this Culture Days weekend with the help of over 7,500 happy visitors.
The day began with a free birthday party at which 2,500 people laughed with Al Simmons, gasped in awe at the tricks of magician Brian Glow, and sang along with children’s entertainer Madame Diva. The crowds made birthday party hats, played games on the rooftop, visited the exhibitions, shopped at the artist village, enjoyed clowns and jugglers, ate birthday cupcakes, admired the 100 pound replica of the WAG building created by Dessert Sinsations, and took part in the 100-year skip-off, along with star skippers Ace Burpee (Virgin 103.1), Kate Gajdosik (Global TV Winnipeg), Tracy Koga (Shaw TV), Janet Stewart (CBC Manitoba) and Jillian Taylor (CTV Winnipeg)
With Joyce Bateman, M. P., Winnipeg South Centre; Honourable Flor Marcelino, Manitoba Minister of Culture, Heritage and Tourism; and His Worship Sam Katz, Mayor of the City of Winnipeg in attendance, the Gallery was awarded a Community Service Award from the City of Winnipeg, while Executive Director Stephen Borys received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Nuit Blanche at the WAG started off at 6pm on Saturday with the public opening of Winnipeg Now, the WAG’s inaugural Centennial exhibition. Running until 6am Sunday morning, it drew in 5,000 people for activities in and outside the building. Live bands, a midnight fashion show on the rooftop, opera performances, interactive installations, film screenings, and a Guy Maddin film shoot kept everyone entertained.
“This is a very special year for us and we are very pleased that so many Winnipeggers chose to celebrate with us,” says WAG Executive Director Stephen Borys. “It was tremendously exciting to see the Gallery come alive with thousands of people of all ages—we couldn’t have asked for a better launch to our Centennial anniversary year.”
“It was just an amazing weekend,” adds Anna Wiebe, Head of Education. “All the WAG staff worked incredibly hard to pull it all together and we are so pleased with the results. And we must thank the volunteers from Manitoba Lotteries, Balmoral Hall, the Volunteer Associates of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and our own growing pool of volunteers. They were helping out everywhere that day—we couldn’t have done it without them!”
The Birthday Party was made possible with the support of the Assiniboine Credit Union, the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, and Planned Perfectly.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery is grateful for the support of the following Centennial sponsors: BMO, The Winnipeg Foundation, the Department of Canadian Heritage, TD Bank, James Richardson & Sons Ltd., MTS Allstream, Johnston Group, Air Canada, RBC Royal Bank, PACART, Great-West Life, Friesens, Manitoba Culture Heritage and Tourism, City of Winnipeg, Investors Group, Volunteer Associates - Winnipeg Art Gallery, Storm Bistro, Manitoba Lotteries Corporation, Ernst & Young, Fort Garry Hotel, KPMG, Lawton Partners, Loewen, Parrish & Heinbecker, Aikins, AON, Cambrian Credit Union, Manitoba Blue Cross, National Leasing, CP Loewen, North West Company, NRG Management. Media sponsors: Winnipeg Free Press, CTV, CBC, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, 103.1 Virgin Radio, 99.9 BOB FM, Doowah Design, Visual Lizard, Esdale Printing, Radio-Canada, Travel Manitoba, Tourism Winnipeg, Midcan Production Technologies.
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The Winnipeg Art Gallery is celebrating its Centennial year with an unparalleled series of exhibitions, programs, and events promoting the power of art in life. As Manitoba's leading art museum, the WAG is home to over 26,000 works of art spanning ten centuries, including the world's preeminent collection of contemporary Inuit art.
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