For this month, the Winnipeg River Arts Council features the Edgewater Recreation Commission, with its goal of providing quality recreation and opportunities that encourage and promote healthy living.
Although it is located in Powerview-Pine Falls, it also serves people from adjoining regions: the Beaches, Great Falls, Stead, St. Georges, and other areas on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. In fact, forty to fifty per cent of participants in their programs come from outside the town.
Edgewater Recreation Commission started out on July 30, 1981, as the Pine Falls Recreation Association. The present Recreation Director, Lori Vialoux, has worked for the commission since 2007. She lives in Traverse Bay, and her family ran the Birchwood Motor Hotel for twenty years, so she knows the people and the area well.
Edgewater Recreation joined WRAC because many of their programs include arts activities. They hold PHAT Camp for kids, with dance, theatre, and creative movement. At various times, they’ve offered guitar and fiddle lessons. In the annual Fall Fest, they hold photography and scarecrow decorating contests. In summer day camps, the kids make lots of art, mixed in with exercise and competitions.
Edgewater also offered a special program called “Creative Families,” in partnership with Wings of Power. Every week, adults and kids of various ages got together to work on a specific art project. One week, they took water colour lessons from Victoria Beach artist, Nancy Lou Ateah. In other sessions, they created tie-dye tee-shirts, beaded necklaces, soap, and lamps.
Vialoux also helped organize the Beaches Drama Club. Actors of all ages would meet at the Victoria Beach Sports Club, start rehearsing in January, and put on productions in June. Vialoux says, “This group is still interested in performing, but we haven’t got the energy to put on a show right now.”
In 2014, Edgewater Recreation organized “Fall in Love with Art.” For four weeks in the fall, students met in Powerview School art room, after regular classes ended, and worked with visual artist, Roberta Laliberte, creating mini-collages (“Junk Journaling”) in old books. For another four weeks, they worked with Nancy Lou Ateah.
For 2015 Winter Fest, Vialoux hired a professional snow sculptor to give lessons. He carved a giant snow horse for the festival and taught kids how to make snow sculptures.
In addition to arts, Edgewater coordinates and promotes local sports, recreation, and fitness programs. Examples of their unique programs include: dog obedience, Kids in the Kitchen, Earth Day activities, Growing Your Own Mushrooms, science camps. They distribute a wide-ranging annual publication listing dozens of activities, events, and groups.
Please note an upcoming opportunity to make art with Edgewater – on April 18, Nancy Lou Ateah will be teaching a water colour workshop from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The venue will be announced at a later date.