Iconic WAG Spaces Take on New Life for Gallery Ball 2011

Dust off that little black dress, break out the black tie and tux, and prepare for an extraordinary night at the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s annual Gallery Ball on Saturday, October 15. This year’s theme, inspired by the WAG’s permanent collection, comes to life through the deft skills and creative acumen of Winnipeg’s celebrated artist and architectural designer Ben Wasylyshen.

Director Stephen Borys is thrilled to have Ben Wasylyshen on board to design the spaces for the Gallery Ball. “Ben brings such a creative drive, coupled with extensive experience with designing and finishing iconic spaces, it is a collaboration that was both exciting and intriguing. He understands the Gallery is not only a signature architectural gem, but is also renowned for its remarkable fine art collection from which he has drawn his inspiration. Whenever we can, we want to highlight and give opportunity to local artists and designers who bring a high standard of excellence in all they do. I can assure our Gallery Ball visitors that they’ve never seen the WAG like this before!”

The evening will mark the first time guests will dine in the galleries which house masterpieces from the last five-hundred years. When asked about his vision and inspiration, Wasylyshen says, “The evening promises to be a visual feast, where for the first time the galleries will be transformed into five lush dining spaces, separate in theme, yet joined to allow flowing movement throughout the building. Visitors will tour the centuries of art while sipping on wine, strolling through the Renaissance period, the 18th century salon, the Inuit gallery, and the Canadian works including the Group of Seven. Every turn will give you a new experience in color texture and light! The October 15th date points us toward an elegant fall setting with historic references in art along with avant garde presentations at the same time.”

On the floral arrangements, Wasylyshen comments, “The dining galleries and halls will be appointed by seven of the city’s leading floral designers who will create magical floral displays to counterpoint the fine art on the vast walls. Fine food, wine, champagne and on-going music will compliment the grand visual and social experience. Not an event to be missed. And not to be forgotten!”

Ben Wasylyshen, whose career spans three decades, has seen his work continually lift the hearts and lives of Manitobans. His art, which includes large scale glass commissions for cathedrals and chapels, is recognized and celebrated. Canadian and European museums and galleries, along with local governments, have collected his work. Noted architectural spaces include the martyr’s shrine and museum in Winnipeg. He has diligently worked to include fine art for important corporate addresses including Manitoba Hydro Place, Manitoba Blue Cross, as well as Cambrian Credit Union and Steinbach Credit Union. The fine art collections of these, and other locations, showcase the skill and creativity of Manitoba’s art community. In 1992 the Government of Canada presented Wasylyshen with the Governor General’s medal, in recognition of his commitment to design and the arts .

The Ball is the WAG’s largest fundraiser of the year, raising money for educational programs, works of art acquisitions, and exhibitions. Individual tickets are $225, corporate tables of 8 are $2,500. Buy your tickets at wag.ca/events/gallery ball, or contact Doren Roberts at events@wag.ca or call 789-1765.


Thanks to our sponsors: Goodman Private Wealth Management, Storm Catering, Winnipeg Free Press, Doowah Design, Esdale Printing, MLCC, Florists Supply Ltd. and Lawton Partners.



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