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My journey to joining the Associates

Amanda Stevens, Communications Co-Chair, WAG Associates

“How can I make a difference in my community, for an organization that aligns with a passion of mine?”

That was the question I asked myself when I moved back to my hometown, Winnipeg, MB, in early 2018.

I had been living in Melbourne, Australia for a few years and that old age proverb held true, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.’ A community, my community, the one that I grew up in for most of my life, was not there anymore, and I had to create a new one in my new city.

I made a promise to myself that when I eventually would move back to Winnipeg, I would get involved in an organization where I could not only donate my time, but at a place that would allow me to share my ideas, and turn them into meaningful actions.

But the million-dollar question was, where?

If we take a step back, back to a much younger me, I loved to draw. So much so that I would doodle on the margins of school assignments, which my teachers did not appreciate. In fact my 5th Grade teacher even gave me a separate notebook for Christmas, on the condition that I only draw in there and away from any work that would be handed in to him.

This doodling led me to art and art history classes in high school. My brilliant teacher Ms. Nickel taught us techniques but opened our eyes into the exceptionally important history of art. How it has been around since the beginning of time, as we know it.

What I love about art most is, there is no one way to interpret it, to admire it, to have feelings towards it. It’s whatever you want it to be, and it can make you feel things unexpectedly. I was the kid that would walk right up to a painting just so I could see its brush strokes. The brush strokes that held the history, the story within them. The tiny details that may be often missed by onlookers.

So here I was, back in my hometown, wondering where I could make an impact, for a Not For Profit that was connected to something that I have always loved. It didn’t take long for me to think of the WAG and I immediately signed up to volunteer at Crafted in 2018. I will admit that I had not heard about the WAG Associates before but on one of the event days, I saw a familiar face who I wanted to say a quick hello to. Andrea Cibinel, the Co-Chair of the WAG Associates (unbeknownst to me at the time) recognized me and immediately told me about the organization and that they were keen to recruit.

After submitting an application, I was welcomed with open arms by members and soon learned the wonderful, important, and impactful work that the WAG Associates do, and have been doing for the last 72 years. The events at the WAG that I loved, like Art in Bloom, Crafted, and the Home Tours, have been put on by them.

In the short time I have been a member, I have enjoyed every moment of getting to know our Associates, some who have been dedicated for decades, and others who’ve joined just this year.

Despite our original programming being cancelled or postponed this year, we are so excited to be moving forward with a reimagined Art in Bloom in 2022. We are currently looking for volunteers to help organize this fan-favourite event, along with volunteers needed for event days. Contact us at if you have any questions or would like to volunteer.

If you love meeting new people, having a platform where your ideas are heard, and the opportunity to make the WAG a more engaging, accessible, and exciting place, then I think you will really thrive in being a part of the WAG Associates.

Amanda Stevens
Communications Co-Chair, WAG Associates


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WAG-Qaumajuq recognizes that land acknowledgements are part of an ongoing dialogue with Indigenous Nations, and we are grateful to live and work on these lands and waters. Institutionally, WAG-Qaumajuq is committed to acknowledging our colonial history and we are actively working to interrogate the Gallery’s colonial ways of being.

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