About the Ambassadors:
As part of the Winnipeg Cultural Capital of Canada 2010 ARTS FOR ALL program, Winnipeg’s Arts Ambassadors will advocate for their art forms within the city and beyond. Representing the fields of theatre, visual arts, music, dance, and literary arts, the Ambassadors will raise the status of their disciplines in the everyday consciousness of the public.
“This is a very innovative project that expands upon our Cultural Capital theme of Arts for All,” said Carol Phillips, Executive Director of the Winnipeg Arts Council. “These Ambassadors will not only raise the profile of arts in our city, they will also help bring in new audiences and patrons for their art forms.”
Nominated by peers and chosen by juries of experts within their fields, the Winnipeg Arts Ambassadors represent the wide range of talent this city has to offer. In addition to their public appearances and advocacy, each Ambassador will also work on a legacy project that will celebrate the arts in Winnipeg and the Cultural Capital designation.
Winnipeg's Arts Ambassadors
Theatre - Debbie Patterson
Debbie Patterson is a Winnipeg playwright, director and actor. Currently she is serving as Artistic Associate at Prairie Theatre Exchange and sits on the Arts Advisory Panel of the Manitoba Arts Council. She is an alumnus of the National Theatre School of Canada and a founding member of Shakespeare in the Ruins (SIR).
Visual Arts- Dominique Rey
Dominique Rey is a painter, a photographer, a video artist, and a performance artist. She completed an MFA in photography at Bard College in 2007 and is currently working on an MFA in New Media at the Transart Institute in Berlin. She has shown her work across North America with solo exhibitions at Plug In ICA, Clark Gallery, Michael Gibson Gallery, Alternator Gallery, Gallery TPW, Truck Gallery, Gallery One One One and La Maison des artistes.
Music - John K. Samson
John K. Samson is the singer and songwriter for The Weakerthans, whose five albums have been universally praised by fans and critics alike. John’s poetry and prose has appeared in Matrix Magazine, Geist, The Believer, and Post-Prairie—an Anthology of New Poetry. He’s also the managing editor and co-founder of a small publishing house, Arbeiter Ring Publishing.
Dance- Natasha Torres-Garner
As an accomplished Winnipeg dance performer, Natasha Torres-Garner worked with Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers as a company dancer for 6 years and has performed in a number of projects as an independent dancer. Torres-Garner is also a founding member and the Organization Director of Young Lungs Dance Exchange, a Winnipeg-based community organization offering performance and choreographic opportunity to emerging dance artists.
Literary Arts- Michael Van Rooy
Michael Neelak Van Rooy is an author, administrator, and teacher. He has written three books in the critically acclaimed Monty Haaviko thriller series set in Winnipeg. Michael is the Program Coordinator for the Writers’ Collective for Professional and Developing Writers, a mentor for the Arts and Cultural Industries Fiction program, the publicist for the THIN AIR Winnipeg International Writers Festival and the Administrator for the Canadian Mennonite University School of Writing. He is also the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Prairie Fire Press.