culture days recap

It was a gorgeous weekend. As winter approaches, I increasingly feel the need to soak up as much warm weather as nature provides so I spent two days almost entirely in the yard… taking in the garden, hanging laundry, basking in the sun. We did make it to the WAG for Nuit Blanche on Saturday night, however, and it was amazing!

Started the evening at 8 p.m. with a panel discussion featuring Guy Madden, Sarah Anne Johnson, Paul Butler and Michael Dudeck. We hadn’t been to the exhibition yet and it was interesting to hear the artists speak about their installations before actually viewing it. Michael Dudeck pretty much stole my heart. I had heard him on the radio in the morning and thought he seemed lovely and charming. That was even more true in person. The last question to the artists was about why Winnipeg was such a great place for art. The low cost of living, the supportive community and the long cold winters that forced you to work because there was nothing else to do were a few of the answers. And then Michael ended the discussion by saying (I’m paraphrasing and really wish I could remember his exact quote) that people in Winnipeg were less concerned about owning yachts and more concerned with living poetically. *swoon* I’m sure our illustrious mayor would disagree with this, and in all honestly I don’t think it’s true; I think we’re plenty concerned about material goods. But it is a beautiful thing to strive for and something I will keep in mind next time I’m worrying about my lack of money.

We then headed up to the galleries. Totally blown away by some of the art, totally underwhelmed by some. What truly impressed me was the sheer numbers of people who turned up for this event. And the diversity. Young and old; hipsters and the not-so-hip; the thrift store crowd and the high heels, dripping in jewels crowd; girls who brought their girlfriends, boys who brought their boyfriends, families who brought their kids; and black, white and everything in between. What impressed the love of my life was how old some of the art is. How has it survived, in such good shape, for 500 or 1000 years?!? Will people in 2512 be looking at art from this exhibition and marveling at it?

When we left after about 3 hours the line-up to get in was a block long. Maybe Winnipegers are concerned about living poetically after all!


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