Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 23 at 6 pm CST via Zoom. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the meeting link. The agenda will be made available closer to the meeting date.
Many of you may have probably heard of the enormous loss in our community of Sigrid Dahle, a brilliant artist, writer, curator, teacher, mentor and friend.
During her long, prolific career, she wrote several essays and curated multiple exhibitions at aceart, including after the gleaners; me, me, me, and me; and Play, Precarity, and Survival.
As a way to honour her contributions to the community and offer our thanks, we invited Sigrid’s close friend and fellow artist, Jeanne Randolph, to write a short tribute. Jeanne then reached out to Sigrid’s daughter, Emma Kusch Dahle. Thank you Jeanne and Emma for sharing your reminiscences of your dear friend and mother. We’re with you in your time of grief.
EMMA KUSCH DAHLE Moon Child
My childhood moments with my mom meant more to me than most kids. Then again, I have no clue what other kids think. All I know is that my childhood was special thanks to my beautiful and loving mom. We never travelled far, she didn’t buy me a pony. I didn’t wear designer baby clothes. Why didn’t you buy me baby Ugg boots, mom? But she gave me everything I could have wanted and more— her love. I can’t find the words to describe the love I felt from my mom.
For me, love was taking me out in the rain and stomping through puddles together. Love was the story books she read over and over, until we both memorized the words. Love was the late night window shopping in Osborne Village, my eyes widened as the jewelry store windows seemed to dance and twinkle. Sometimes we would go to Baked Expectations and share a slice of strawberry pie that I only ate because it looked pretty. Love was the time and effort she put in to braiding my hair EXACTLY how I wanted, even when she was busy and had more important things to do like, I don’t know, organize an art show?? Love was letting me make messes and installations in the living room. Watching from afar as she gave me space to be creative. Love was protecting me from seeing the daily chaos of the world on TV, immediately switching channels at the first sight of traumatic news. Love was the Friday night movie nights we had when dad worked late. Vegetarian hot dogs wrapped in pillsbury crescent rolls were usually on the menu. Love was dragging me to Dim Sum Garden, even when I didn’t want to go. As a kid I resented my Asian heritage and culture and wanted nothing to do with it. Now that I’m older I’m glad I have memories of going to Chinatown and celebrating Chinese New Years each year. Love was the many shopping trips to the Gap Kids, when I was growing out of my clothes alongside the changing seasons. Picking out my outfit to see the Nutcracker ballet at Christmas gave me goosebumps. If the dress had sparkles on it, I was buying it.
I can’t stop thinking of all the times mom would just hold me, stroke my hair, and kiss my forehead. For no apparent reasons other than giving me her love. Our bond is one I wish all mothers and daughters would have. Then again, maybe I don’t because I want ours to be the most special and only ours.
Now we’re millions of miles apart, but connected by the moon. Each morning and evening I look for the moon, knowing somewhere my mom is too. I look up and smile at her, and sometimes it feels like I can hear her heartbeat along with mine.
JEANNE RANDOLPH Tribute to Sigrid Dahle
Sigrid championed many artists, inspired curators and writers; she participated and orchestrated. I am agog at her accomplishments. What I will forever miss is when Sigrid and I would unleash and intermingle imaginations, lounging of an evening at her place martinis in hand and potato chips nearby. Many sentences began with, “What if…..?” Inquiries, proclamations, insights – all to be enacted or assembled as art projects; they rolled from her expansive intelligence like cocktail olives from an overturned jar. Bright, fully formed, complementary colours, glistening – salty with just enough sour to prevent a saccharine effect. Honestly, we weren’t drinkin’ buddies. We were thinkin’ buddies.
Thank you to our members for putting yourselves forward for election as part of the new contingent of board directors. Nominees will be elected at the Special General Meeting on November 26 at 7PM CST. If you plan to attend the SGM, please send an RSVP to email@example.com and we will send you a meeting invitation when it is closer to the SGM date.
We look forward to embarking on this new chapter of aceartinc. See you at the SGM!
She is an alumni of the University of Winnipeg, with a political science and business administration degree, and brings a fresh focus to the business of arts administration. Allison returns to her hometown, Winnipeg, from the Banff Centre, where she was Program Manager at the Indigenous Arts Department. Previously, Allison served as Art and Business Manager at Yamaji Art, an Aboriginal art centre in Australia, and was the General Manager of Collective of Black Artists in Toronto. Allison was the Programming and Events Coordinator at the Northern Life Museum & Cultural Centre in Fort Smith, North West Territories, and was the first non-Indigenous staff member at Urban Shaman Gallery in Winnipeg. Allison advocates for racialized and disenfranchised groups to decolonize institutions of power from the ground up. She is exceptionally skilled on issues of equity and a powerful and transformative voice for anti-racism action. Allison’s institutional critique articulates the creation of safe spaces for underserved communities within the institution.
Albyn Carias is an interdisciplinary artist living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He immigrated to Canada from El Salvador at the age of 13 and has a BFA from Brandon University Ishkabatens waasa Gaa inaabateg, Visual and Aboriginal Arts Department. Carias’ process focuses on experimentation with unconventional materials, pushing against imposed social and artistic borders. This is achieved through meaningful engagement with his Latino community in Manitoba. The collaborative nature of community-based artwork addresses the barriers that Latino immigrants face every day. Carias served as Vice-President and Arts Coordinator for Brandon’s Latin based organization, Hispanic Association of Manitoba Inc. (HAMI). He developed intercultural art programs that created space to raise the voices of his community. He worked as Gathering Helper for the Beading Symposium: Ziigimineshin, complimenting his ability to navigate the responsibilities he holds as an ally and person living on these territories.
I am an alumnus of aceartinc.’s Cartae Open School and have spent years attending aceartinc.’s shows and engaging with its community. I understand that aceartinc. is in a period of transition and intends to move forward with a commitment to dismantle the systemic oppression that has long been a part of our artistic community. I understand that this will not be a quick or simple issue to address, and as a queer white artist who has benefitted from ace’s programming and community, I hope to be a part of this new direction.
In my work as a manager of the local cafe Fools & Horses, I have attended anti-oppression training hosted by the Red Tent. I also worked with the management team to consult on the development of anti-oppression policy as part of their employee and management handbooks. I have spent years volunteering my time as a photographer with local festivals such as send + receive and Synonym’s Wall-to-Wall Mural and Cultural Festival. Through these experiences, I have come to understand the vital role that art can play in the development of community. I also know that in any community organization, the failure to address unchecked power and privilege can fundamentally undermine its aims.
I believe I would be a good board member due to my strong work ethic, communication skills, and attention to detail. Thank you for your time in considering my nomination.
I am the Development Coordinator at Graffiti Art Programming, where I have worked for over a decade. During my time with GAP, I have delivered and supported youth arts programming, handled grant writing and reporting, and worked as a gallery technician. This wide range of experiences has given me a thorough understanding of the challenges that arts organizations face. A year ago, I joined the Board of Directors at CKUW where I have participated in subcommittees dealing with issues such as: finding a more accessible space for the station; organizing an in-person SGM during the pandemic; and planning the annual fundraising drive in a way that respects the necessity for physical distancing. As a musician, I believe that one’s art should be the reflection of their community engagement, not the extent of it. Until COVID-19, I volunteered in English classes at Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Centre. I am also involved with various grassroots groups organizing for the universal right to housing, fighting against evictions, and the privatization of social housing. It’s often taken for granted that artists and arts organizations improve the lives of everyone equally. What is perhaps less easily accepted is the potentially conservative or even reactionary role they can play, if not acting with intention. The position aceartinc. finds itself in today holds a lot of potential. I believe that I have a skill set that would be of value to the staff in achieving its vision for a new kind of arts organization.
Darryl Nepinak is an Indian, writer, film maker, committed youth mentor and educator, occasional curator and performer. Darryl is interested in education and using personal experience when creating work. Primarily known for his playful and pointed videos, Nepinak was introduced to filmmaking at the Winnipeg Film Group and his first short was Last of the Nepinaks, 2005. Since then his work has been shown from Aotearoa all the way to New Zealand. Darryl is currently intrigued by studying and experimenting with pinhole photography. And lives in the Courtyard Village in Winnipeg.
As part of our commitment to engage in broad community consultations as we work to define a new organization vision for the future of aceartinc., we have launched an online survey and one-on-one confidential feedback appointments with an external consultant. The information gathered through these consultation mechanisms will serve to guide the new incoming board that will be elected at a Special General Meeting to be held on November 26.
Cecilia Araneda (see bio below) has been contracted by aceartinc. to provide one-on-one confidential appointments. Araneda will review and analyze the feedback presented, and will prepare a document for aceartinc. that will capture a summary of this feedback, without identifying names.
Those interested in booking a half-hour video call appointment with Araneda can email her at:
firstname.lastname@example.org by Fri Nov 6 at 5 PM (CST).
We invite you to complete this survey by Fri Dec 11 at 12 PM (CST) or meet with Araneda to share your thoughts and experiences. We thank you in advance for your participation as your comments will be invaluable in informing the future direction of aceartinc.
About Cecilia Araneda
Chilean-born filmmaker and media art curator Cecilia Araneda is a well-known member of the Latinx art community nationally. She holds a BFA hons from York University (Toronto) and an MFA from UBC (Vancouver). In 2018, she became the first ever recipient from the prairies to receive the Joan Lowndes Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, a national prize recognizing excellence in independent curatorial practice in the visual and media arts. Araneda served as Executive Director of the Winnipeg Film Group / Winnipeg Cinematheque from 2006 to 2017, transforming the $1M organization into a new era of artistic clarity, financial stability, facility and technology modernization, and significantly increased diversity, inclusion and participation. She was additionally co-founder and President of the WNDX festival from 2005-2014, and has sat on the boards of Artspace, the Independent Media Arts Alliance and the Elmwood Community Resource Centre. Araneda currently works as an independent filmmaker, curator and cultural worker, with a strong focus on community-based approaches that serve as interventions against the Institution.
A message from aceartinc.’s current staff members
Dear aceartinc. community,
As many of you are aware, aceartinc. has been in an active work-in-progress state throughout most of 2020. The intersection of a building move, COVID-19 and–most importantly–feedback from the community that we needed to take time to listen to, process and learn from, required us to temporarily suspend public activities in June.
Since that time, we have been working on our organizational processes and policies, seeking to develop ways to help build a new iteration that is more capable of truly listening, hearing and learning from community feedback; one that provides true equity of opportunity; and one that offers a safe meeting place for the discussion and analysis of ideas surrounding what a contemporary art space should be in 2020 and beyond. Most importantly, we have been considering how we can better support a community of artists and cultural workers for whom social justice is the framing backbone of their activities.
We have found no quick and clear answers; and we do not wish to make a statement that suggests we’re confident in how the organization can move forward in this regard. The truth is, we’re not. And it is for this reason we’ve decided to release this message now: ace needs your help.
In light of the dispersal of aceartinc.’s board of directors, we are calling a Special General Meeting to obtain a completely new contingent of volunteer board members who are aware they are entering an organization at a crossroads: one in need of addressing complex values questions in a manner that incorporates as much community feedback and dialogue mechanisms as possible. And although we have worked hard with the previous board of directors to develop a Community Code of Conduct and related frameworks to support the safety of future important dialogues, the work to come will nonetheless likely be challenging.
The upcoming SGM will serve as a line drawn between an old iteration of aceart and the future that might be possible, and will be focused mostly on the logistical processes needed to facilitate this transition. This, in combination with the meeting’s online nature, means we are aware it may not be the best venue for a truly robust community conversation about the future of aceart. As a result, we have put in place some general community feedback and consultation mechanisms prior to the SGM to help inform and guide the new incoming board, via an online survey and one-on-one confidential feedback appointments with an external consultant. More information on these upcoming processes will be released very shortly. We anticipate this will be just the first of many consultation and feedback mechanisms to come in the very near future. In particular, aceart is very aware of the need to engage in a robust consultation series dedicated to Indigenous and racialized members of our artistic community as soon as is logistically feasible, once we are certain of a mechanism to ensure the integrity of this process.
The date of the upcoming SGM is set for Thurs Nov. 26, 2020, 7 PM to 9 PM. The meeting will be held online given the uncertainty posed by Winnipeg’s current COVID-19 situation. A formal agenda and other related reading materials will be circulated as they become available.
Any interested potential new board members are requested to apply via the nomination form by Mon Nov. 9 at 11:59 PM. Per ace’s bylaws, the organization must publicly release board nominee names two weeks in advance, on Thurs Nov 12, and this timeline will ensure that all interested parties can be included. By law, board members must be 18 years of age or older and cannot be bankrupt. Nominees must also be current, paid members of ace.
While all eligible nominee candidates will be included in the released slate, we believe the organization will be able to move forward in the most efficient manner if candidates include those with legal, accounting, HR management or community non-profit executive directorship experience as well as artists and cultural workers with a prior history of volunteerism on community non-profit boards. To this end, we enlist the aceart community to assist us in ensuring we have the strongest and widest representative slate of nominees possible.
More information will be released shortly as we work towards the SGM and upcoming initial consultation series. We appreciate your patience and understanding with us.
Tani Miki, Director of Finance and Administration
Brianna Wentz, Special Projects Coordinator