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WAG Director & CEO Stephen Borys Receives Order of Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 Territory, July 15, 2020: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is pleased to announce that Director & CEO Dr. Stephen Borys has been selected to receive the Order of Manitoba in 2020, the province’s 150th year.

The official announcement was made this morning by The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, at Government House.

Borys has been director of the WAG since 2008, where he is overseeing the development of a national Inuit Art Centre, the first of its kind in the world. Under his leadership, the WAG has strengthened its financial operations and foundation, and expanded its role and profile in the community, as well as in the cultural and museum landscape in Canada with particular attention to Indigenous art and artmaking.

At the core of his directorship is the goal of advancing a meaningful and sustained dialogue with the public, and creating in both physical and virtual spaces, a welcoming forum where art and artmaking is at the forefront, bringing people together. Borys strongly believes that art is a voice, a universal language that has the power to build understanding, respect, and reconciliation. The impact the WAG has in the community and across the country will be expanded in the coming months with the opening of the Inuit Art Centre.

About the Order of Manitoba

  • Since 1999, the Order of Manitoba recognizes individuals each year who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavor benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents.
  • It is the province’s highest honour and takes precedence over all other orders, decorations, and medals confirmed by the Crown in right of Manitoba.
  • In 2020, 12 individuals will be invested into the Order of Manitoba.

About the Recipient

  • Borys has organized numerous exhibitions, including the Gallery’s centennial exhibition, 100 Masters: Only in Canada, the most successful show in WAG history; and selected the curators for INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE, the Gallery’s largest-ever contemporary Indigenous art exhibition, which won the Tourism Winnipeg Innovation Award in 2018, to name but two. He has also spearheaded major events and programs reaching far into the community, from CRAFTED: Show + Sale and Nuit Blanche@WAG to Art in Bloom and satellite locations at two of Winnipeg’s most popular destinations, WAG@ThePark at Assiniboine Park and WAG@The Forks in Johnston Terminal.
  • He has taken important strides to see greater Indigenous representation in leadership roles at the WAG, including developing new positions, such as Manager of Indigenous Initiatives, Curator of Indigenous & Contemporary Art, and Assistant Curator of Inuit Art, all supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as the establishment of the national WAG Indigenous Advisory Circle.
  • Borys holds an adjunct professorship at the University of Winnipeg where he teaches in the History and Business & Administration departments. He was previously chief curator at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida, at which time he held teaching posts at Florida State University and New College.
  • He has also served as senior curator and lecturer at the Allen Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio; and held assistant curatorial posts at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal.
  • He holds an Executive MBA, a PhD in Art and Architectural History from McGill University, a MA in Art History from the University of Toronto, and a BA Honours from the University of Winnipeg.
  • He was awarded Tourism Winnipeg’s Leader of the Year and Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Leadership in the Arts award in 2015, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
  • Borys is a board director of the Canadian Museums Association, member of the CMA Reconciliation Council, past board trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors, past president and board director of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization, and an honorary member of the WAG National Indigenous Advisory Circle.


“On behalf of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, I thank The Honourable Janice C. Filmon and the advisory council for recognizing Stephen Borys’ outstanding work benefitting all Manitobans through the province’s leading art museum. Stephen came to the Gallery with a mission to build the Inuit Art Centre, and under his incredible leadership this new cultural landmark will soon open here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the heart of the country. I am constantly inspired by Stephen’s tireless efforts to share the power of art to make the world a better place, and congratulate him on this well-deserved honour.”
—Dr. Ernest Cholakis, Chair, Board of Governors, Winnipeg Art Gallery

Associated Links`

Winnipeg Art Gallery
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

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For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Amy Rebecca Harrison
Engagement Supervisor
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Amber O’Reilly
Engagement Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. The WAG holds in trust the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. To celebrate the art and to honour the Inuit, the WAG is building the Inuit Art Centre, the first of its kind. Opening in the coming months, the Centre will bridge Canada’s North and South through exhibitions, research, education, and art making. To learn more visit


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