Winnipeg Art Gallery Relaunches Art & Soul Theme

Hot and Cold: 4 Seasons at the WAG

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - February 12, 2014: The Winnipeg Art Gallery today will relaunch the 2014 edition of Art & Soul with a "Hot and Cold" theme. This occurred after the initial theme of "Big in Japan" which rolled out in January was met with mixed reactions in the community.

Art & Soul is in its 25th year as an annual fundraiser for the WAG. The event takes place throughout the entire building and centers on a particular theme which changes every year. The event is intended to celebrate creativity and imagination through the creation of innovative décor and costumes inspired by the theme. Past themes have included Eco-Chic, Manitoba Overboard, 15 Minutes of Fame, Aprés Ski, Shiver, Red and One Hundred. In some years the theme has focused on destinations such as London Calling, New York New York, and Viva Las Vegas.

Art & Soul is run almost entirely through volunteers and raises funds for the various programs at the Gallery.

"Through social media and emails, several people have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Big in Japan theme," says Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO. "It became clear over the course of the last few days that the event itself was being overshadowed by the issues at hand. However, when the community speaks up, we listen."

"We've heard opinions expressed across the spectrum, many who wanted to stay with the theme who believed in the event as a cultural celebration, but at the end of the day we needed to do the right thing," continues Borys. "The WAG would never want to reduce any culture to stereotypes and we thank those who contacted us directly with their concerns, and we are sorry for any offense that was caused. We had several people speak to the issue of cultural appropriation and the offense that this theme was causing. The dialogue around what is respectful and beneficial to everyone is important to the WAG, and that's why we've decided to choose an alternative theme."

The new Art & Soul theme will be Hot and Cold: 4 Seasons at the WAG, and will feature four floors of décor and entertainment reflecting Manitoba's distinctive seasons.


The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate - a lens and forum - helping people see and experience more through art. Playing a vital role in the community, engaging and enriching people of all ages and backgrounds through art and culture, the Winnipeg Art Gallery thrives as a creative, innovative, and accessible place for learning, discovery and inspiration.

For more information please contact:

Debra Fehr, Manager, Communications and Marketing, 204.789.1767,
Izzy Goluch, Public Relations Coordinator, 204.789.1295,



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