The Blog

Follow along as we work towards systems change and help create better outcomes for kids in our community.

New Possibilities Through the Arts

January 25, 2016

We’ve been talking a lot about arts-based research and programming at #wpgboldness lately, and for good reason. It has been proven that access to meaningful arts-based programming at an early age can have significant positive effects on a child including increased feelings of self-confidence and belonging, decreased amounts of stress, and can even promote academic success.

It is precisely for these reasons that The Winnipeg Boldness Project has embraced a new and exciting idea developed through a partnership with National Leasing that focuses on providing opportunities for exposure to arts and theatre for Point Douglas families and children.

Through the support of National Leasing and their strong connections with organizations such as Prairie Theatre Exchange, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, families involved with The Winnipeg Boldness Project are able to not only attend certain theatre and music productions free of charge, but are also given the VIP treatment with backstage tours, workshops, free acting classes, and other exciting opportunities for learning and skill building.

As we have discussed in the past, The Winnipeg Boldness Project is looking at Early Childhood Development in the North End of Winnipeg and working to raise outcomes for young children in this neighbourhood area. We believe that experiences with arts and music, especially when provided at an early age, can be a critical influence in human development, and the connections made through this program can open doors to new possibilities for community families and their children.

We held our first activity at the beginning of January, which included free tickets to ‘Mission: Munschpossible’ as performed by the Prairie Theatre Exchange. A backstage tour hosted by one of the actors that provided a look into set production and costume design created a feeling of wonderment as the children in attendance asked lots of questions, while trying on different costumes. By the end of the day, they were super excited and mimicking the performers by pretending to act on stage.

Throughout the next year or so we’ll be posting updates regarding the various events that the families attend, so follow along here on our blog or on social media to see photos and keep up-to-date on this great program made possible by National Leasing!

Land Acknowledgement

The Winnipeg Boldness Project resides in and works on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), Anishinabewaki (Oji-Cree), Dené, Michif Piyii (Métis), Nêhiyawak (Cree), and Očhéthi Sakowin (Dakota). We recognize that we have benefited from and continue to benefit from colonization on the Treaty 1, Treaty 3, and Treaty 5 Territories.

It is important to also acknowledge how we benefit in this territory at the cost to Indigenous Peoples. Winnipeg has been drinking clean water for over a century via an aqueduct from Shoal Lake. In 1917, 3000 acres of Treaty 3 was declared property of the city of Winnipeg to build the aqueduct. This aqueduct was built over ancestral burial ground, to build these structures, the ancestors were disinterred and reburied. Construction of the aqueduct changed the waters significantly, causing the peninsula to become a man-made island. This now isolated Nation faced many challenges as a direct result from this aqueduct; Necessities like water, groceries, schools, and mail were only accessible via the dangerous trek to the mainland. Lives of adults and children were lost crossing to and from the mainland. Freedom Road, an all-weather road access finally opened summer 2019, over a century after displacement. This road, a testament to the success of Indigenous-led solutions, helps bring materials to build schools and a water treatment plant.

“I always think of it, even when I turn on the tap I’m like this comes from our community and this water probably contains our ancestors and the spirits of our ancestor. I think about the hardships of the people from Shoal Lake 40 who have gone through so many things for the benefit of Winnipeg’s drinking water,” says Angelina McLeod.1

Another benefit we reap in Winnipeg at a cost to Indigenous Peoples and land is the Hydro Electricity Development in Treaty 5. To optimize water movement for greatest power production the Province of Manitoba increased waterflow by creating the Churchill River Diversion in 1976. The modification of the waterflow caused flooding, shoreline erosion, and changes to water quality. This destruction of habitat has caused disruption to waterway travel, fishing, and hunting.