Winners of the second annual Winnipeg Arts Council awards pictured with Mayor Sam Katz (from left to right): aboriginal rock band leader Vince Fontaine who received the Making a Mark award; theatrical writer and producer Rory Runnells who received the Making a Difference award for fostering growth in the arts community; Dee Buchwald, widow of Harold Buchwald, who accepted the special Arts Champion award on his behalf; and Randa Stewart, Vice-President of Marketing and Brand Management, who accepted the Arts Champion award on behalf of Assiniboine Credit Union. Not pictured is experimental filmmaker Victoria Prince who received the On the Rise award.
JUNE 12, 2008 - Assiniboine Credit Union was recognized today as one of Winnipeg’s great patrons of the arts with the Winnipeg Arts Council “Arts Champion” Award.
The award, created last year, acknowledges individuals or corporations that have demonstrated sustained support for the arts in Winnipeg. In its inaugural year the award went to respected and long-standing Winnipeg arts patron Kathleen Richardson.
Three highly respected arts groups in Winnipeg – The Winnipeg Folk Festival, the West End Cultural Centre and Art City – joined together to nominate Assiniboine for the award. Together they echoed a similar motivation for their nomination, “ACU is a community builder through its support for the arts”.
“Assiniboine Credit Union’s commitment to making a difference has been demonstrated by the tremendous support offered to the West End Cultural Centre through good and hard times,” said Nan Colledge, the centre’s general manager.
“I doubt we would have survived had Assiniboine not kept the faith during some difficult financial years,” Colledge said.
“When the structural problems of the WECC’s building could no longer be ignored, Assiniboine staff encouraged our own commitment to making a difference by staying in a troubled neighbourhood. They were excited by our plans to undertake a major redevelopment to create an environmentally sustainable urban cultural centre that will serve artists, audiences and the surrounding community for decades to come,” Colledge said.
ACU showed the same patience and support for the Winnipeg Folk Festival in big ways and small ways, said Carolyn Basha, Folk Festival manager of sponsorship development.
ACU has supported the Folk Festival for over 25 years with everything from creating special financial accounts and providing cash services at the Folk Festival site to sponsoring t-shirts and selling tickets at the branches. As with WECC and Art City, Assiniboine staff also volunteer at Folk Festival events.
When the Folk Festival needed to help a group of refugee youth attend a concert by Samalian born hip hop artist K’naan, ACU did not hesitate to sponsor the children, Basha said.
“It’s a little example but it’s a typical example of how ACU was always there for us,” she added.
Art City Executive Director Jason Granger said his organization believes ACU, “truly understands our community and community initiatives.”
“ACU also thinks creatively and conscientiously in providing opportunities for people to access banking services,”, said Granger.
In addition to supporting WECC, the Winnipeg Folk Festival and Art City, Assiniboine sponsored or provided grants to 24 other community arts groups in 2007 ranging from the children’s film program Freeze Frame to the adult Winnipeg International Writer’s Festival.
Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz presented the Arts Champion Award to ACU Vice-President of Marketing and Brand Management Randa Stewart during the Mayor’s Luncheon for the Arts today at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Winnipeg.
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Assiniboine Credit Union was recognized as one of Winnipeg's great patrons of the arts with the Winnipeg Arts Council "Arts Champion" Award, June 12. Created two years ago, the award acknowledges individuals or corporations that have demonstrated sustained support for the arts in Winnipeg.