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Creative Manitoba is celebrating our 20th anniversary! To highlight our history and excitement about continuing to support Manitoba’s arts community, we spoke with community members who have made a particularly special mark throughout our past twenty years. These are their stories.

Rose-Anne Harder | Manitoba Arts Network

Laughing while she does it, Rose-Ann Harder traces the roots of her career. 

“I’m going to jump all over the place. That’s okay. That’s what arts people do.”

Harder got a theatre degree and worked as an artistic painter for the Royal Manitoba Theater Center and Prairie Theater Exchange. When arts administration piqued her interest, she completed the Arts and Cultural Management Certificate Program at the University of Winnipeg.

At age 33, Harder landed the executive director position at Manitoba Arts Network. A position she says Creative Manitoba and the certificate helped to give her credibility.

“When I first started, I think it probably took me two or three years to gain the confidence to do the job and picking up courses along the way through Creative Manitoba helped with that,” said Harder. 

Ten years later, she continues to lead an organization dedicated to visual and performing artists throughout Manitoba. Harder says the most immediate challenge for many arts administrators in rural Northern Manitoba is access to professional development. 

“They’re usually someone who’s passionate about the arts, which is the most important thing. Having an organization like Creative Manitoba and ourselves, we can strengthen those qualities, increase confidence, help with problem solving, and increase leadership development with training programs.”

Both organizations host an annual conference dedicated to developing the rural and northern art ecosystem. Coming out of COVID-19, Harder says it’s critical for arts administrators to receive training and support to embrace change and technology, including a focus on websites and social media.

“Sometimes they’re just small results, but those results are magnificent.”

On the horizon, Harder is excited about the Manitoba Digital Portal for the Arts. Led by Creative Manitoba, the portal will give artists and arts organizations throughout the province a centralized online space to access opportunities and build community.

“It’s going to network and connect so many people in rural and urban and northern Manitoba. The other quality that we share is the connections function. Networking and connecting people so that they can do their jobs better.”

Amanda Emms is a freelance writer and activist living in Winnipeg, Treaty 1 territory. Her work includes collaborations with art organizations, non-profits, public health and media outlets. The library is her favourite space.

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