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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.

Shawna Dempsey | Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art

“If you make art, you are an artist. If you are committed to a creative practice, you are an artist. There are many different ways to be an artist, you could start at any point in your life. Whatever your goals are, they’re valuable and organizations like Creative Manitoba and MAWA can help you achieve them. We don’t dictate what those goals are, but we can help you reach them,”
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Ashley Bieniarz

“It’s a little overwhelming, to be honest. It’s very flattering and it’s really exciting. Especially during this conversation, I see how much Creative Manitoba has influenced and helped me grow as an artist but also a mentor. By providing a space that is so open and welcoming, it encourages you to want to do the same.”
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Julia Ulayok Davis

“When you graduate into a global pandemic and you’re like, ‘What am I going to do? I want to be an artist so bad.’ But coming out of that now and seeing that there are a lot of people that were in the same position, it’s nice to see all the cool things they’re doing. And see the way that they’re figuring out ways to support themselves as artists.”
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Crystal Kolt

“When you make the investment to educate artisans and give them the tools to be confident in their abilities to be small businesses or a functioning artist in the business world, then that is something that benefits not only artists but our province and society generally,”
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Alan Wong

“It’s exactly what that program trained me for. Not only are you managing finances and communicating at the executive level, you’re constantly advocating for the arts. Having that context and knowing the history of the arts and why it’s important is pretty essential to anyone in this career.”
Read More Alan Wong

Silas Presley

“I started finding my own sound, my own group of guys, and I decided that I really wanted to take my career to the next level. Take it from kind of a hobby thing and bring it to trying to make a career.”
Read More Silas Presley
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