Is it just me, or is the Manitoba Craft Council floating a little higher this week? In case you haven’t heard, last Thursday, June 6, was the annual Mayor’s Luncheon for the Arts organized by the Winnipeg Arts Council. It’s a chance for the Who’s Who (and Who’s Sort Of) of Winnipeg’s Art Scene to get out, celebrate our achievements and make good on Stephen Harper’s “artists and black tie galas” quip of long ago. (Don’t tell me that doesn’t still sting?!)
While the luncheon may have been short on black ties and ball gowns, it was, as always, a good meal and a fun time. Hosted by the always sweet, funny and self-deprecating Bill Richardson, the programme was engaging, amusing and full of inspiring stories of Winnipeg’s artists and supporters. But of course, for those of us seated at MCC’s table (#39), there was an extra sense of excitement and anticipation: Who would win the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Outstanding Volunteer Award? We had nominated our very own board president, Ms. Alison Norberg, for the prize and were thus glued to the afternoon’s proceedings, dearly hoping for a positive result.
A brief glimpse into the nomination letter gives a sense of why the MCC board put Alison’s name forward for this important award:
“In the first four years of Ms. Norberg’s terms as board president, the responsibilities of her role were many and the time required to fulfill them was, at times, equivalent to a half-time job. Meeting with funders and potential partners, writing grant submissions, overseeing consultants, contract staff and employees, building and guiding the board, continuing to tackle debt incurred prior to her arrival, and often acting as defacto treasurer kept her busy at the MCC office 2-3 days a week.
Ms. Norberg had a hand in many of the day-to-day operations of the organization in the early years of its renewal, embodying the “working board” model that was required during this period. She did the work required to regain regular operational funds and hire part-time programme staff to carry out the board’s vision, and served as a key member on the two functioning committees of the board. She has often been the public face of the MCC, speaking articulately on the organization’s behalf at openings and lectures, writing introductions to catalogues and publications, and attending conferences, openings and events on MCC’s behalf.
Seeing the Manitoba Craft Council and its members survive and thrive is Ms. Norberg’s passion. Her love for craft and its makers is a driving force in her life and a huge asset to the MCC. Ms. Norberg truly believes in the importance of community building and always prioritizes attending exhibition openings, lectures and events to show support for local artists and craftspeople.
Ms. Norberg has brought many gifts to the board: wisdom, perspective, historical memory, a deep understanding of issues related to contemporary craft, a good sense of humour, warmth and interest in others, organizational skills, the language and expertise to communicate well with funders and other stakeholders, and the willingness to give of her time and energy in such a generous manner. As an enthusiastic, well-informed and articulate advocate, Ms. Norberg has supported and enriched the professional lives of Manitoba’s craft artists and artisans immensely. This kind of commitment inevitably means self-sacrifice; how many art and textile projects lie half-finished under a massive pile of grant submissions, board minutes and financial statements we may never know!”
So, with lots of love and gratitude for Alison’s work with the MCC, we are thrilled to announce that she was selected as the recipient of the 2013 Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Outstanding Volunteer Award.
Alison receiving the award from Mayor Sam Katz and the MLCC’s representative, Janine Hanson.
If you, like me, wish to bask in the glory of this news a little more, check out the posts here and here. And if you see Alison around town, feel free to warmly congratulate her (and tease her a bit about finally getting to meet the Mayor!)
Thanks to Karen Schlichting for these images.