This special edition of our annual fundraising gala celebrated the opening of the Inuit art centre. The event was a huge success, raising close to $300,000 benefitting young people in the community! Check out some of the photos by Jason Halstead below, and save the date for next year’s Gallery Ball: Saturday, October 15, 2022.
Good evening and welcome. On behalf of the WAG Board of Governors, thank you for supporting the Qaumajuq Ball! By being here tonight, you are making a difference to thousands of children who will, because of you, take part in fun, creative programming at WAG-Qaumajuq.
Thank you to the generous sponsors for their contributions to this evening’s event. Our Partner Circa Catering and Radiant Sponsor the Settlers Foundation.
Thank you to our Glow Sponsors: Birchwood Automotive, MacDon Industries, Manitoba Building Trades, and PCL Constructors. Thank you to our Floral Partner Petals West, Lounge Sponsor EQ3, Wine Sponsor Manitoba Liquor Mart, donors Mary Lou Albrechtsen, Ruth Hastings, The Asper Foundation, Joyce Berry, Ritza & Dean Lambos, and Drew Salter & Hartley Klapman. Thank you to our event sponsors Doowah Design, Esdale Printing, Planned Perfectly, The Sign Source, Ken’s Carpets, and Media Sponsor the Winnipeg Free Press.
Thank you to all of the Sparkle Sponsors, auction donors, floral and scotch bar sponsors, patrons, and to all the generous supporters who are listed in the program. And finally we thank some anonymous donors who gave in support of tonight’s wine selection.
Many of you had a hand in building Qaumajuq. Thank you to all the families, businesses, and individuals, as well as the three levels of government, who invested to make Qaumajuq a reality. We now have just more than $1 million left to raise of our $70 million goal. We still need your help to reach the finish line! Please consider making a donation, or maybe another one, or adopting a shelf in the Visible Vault tonight. With your support, you are creating a legacy for all Manitobans and Inuit everywhere.
Thank you again.
Dr. Ernest Cholakis
Chair, WAG Board of Governors
Thank you all for joining us to celebrate the opening of this extraordinary new building, and to support young people our community. This Ball has been a long time coming, having missed 2019 due to the pandemic. Seeing you all in front of me now, it has been well worth the wait!
Thank you to all of tonight’s sponsors and donors for your generosity. We also extend our appreciation to former Winnipegger Maria den Oudsten for the donation of the beautiful necklaces you will receive when you exit the Ball tonight, and to Sandra Hasenack for facilitating this gift. Maria is determined to make Winnipeg the snowman capital of the world, so let’s all get out this winter and make one!
Ritza Lambos, Chair of the Qaumajuq Ball, and her dedicated committee have been unwavering in their commitment to reimagining a Ball that would be safe, welcoming and glamorous. A sincere thanks to you Ritza, and to everyone on the Ball committee.
In addition to the auction, tonight in Eckhardt Hall you will find a very special piece on display by renowned artist Goota Ashoona. Goota and Bob Kussy of Ashoona Studios have generously donated this work for a raffle launching at CRAFTED on November 5 and we are thrilled they are here with us this evening. All proceeds of the raffle go towards Inuit and Indigenous programming for youth in the community. Thank you Ashoona Studios.
It is so wonderful to be able to gather in person finally, in celebration of the Inuit art centre. Because of you, our donors, members, and partners, WAG-Qaumajuq has been here for the community and remained a place that unites us, even through one of the most isolating periods in modern history.
Thank you to everyone who helped out this year with the historic Qaumajuq Ball, including all the volunteers and WAG staff who bring the Ball to life. Thank you all again for joining us. You are making a difference everyday here at the Gallery and out in the community. Now is the time to celebrate. It is bright, it is lit. Have fun tonight!
Dr. Stephen Borys
WAG-Qaumajuq Director & CEO
What an honour to be part of this landmark celebration.
First, I must thank the Qaumajuq Ball Committee: Sylvia Apostolakis, Joyce Berry, Harinder & JP Chahal, Susan Knox, and Drew Salter. The committee has worked tirelessly over the past two years to bring you a unique and memorable experience, while following all safety protocols.
I also want to thank WAG staff, the group I refer to as the unsung heros, the board, the development committee, the Associates and all volunteers for their hard work in making sure everything runs smoothly this evening. And shout out to my family Dean and Krisi for their loving support as I navigated through the madness of figuring out how to create an in-person ball while covid was still prevalent in our world.
Most importantly, I want to thank each and every one of you for being here. The funds raised this evening will expand opportunities for young people in our community. You’re making a meaningful contribution while having fun tonight!
Please make sure to visit the silent auction by visiting the Skylight Gallery, or by scanning the QR on the back of your program. I encourage you and hope that you will bid generously and often. Remember that you are enabling more youth to experience the joys of art right here in Winnipeg and across Manitoba.
We are all so grateful that we can celebrate in person with you this evening. Thank you again and have a wonderful night!
Qaumajuq Ball Chair