For this month, the Winnipeg River Arts Council features theatre, film, and broadcast technician, Ward Wotton. In October, he moved to the Leisure Falls area, in the RM of Alexander.
Wotton grew up in Deloraine, Manitoba. He attended Saskatchewan Technical College in Saskatoon and then worked as a recreation director in Creelman-Fillmore area in rural Saskatchewan, and as a tour guide and promotions specialist in British Columbia. After moving back to Manitoba, he worked for CKX television in Brandon, Valley Cable Vision in Morden, and CKY in Winnipeg.
In early 90’s, he founded Lucky Dog Network, filming amateur football, soccer, dance, and figure skating events. He went on to create television commercials for Parker Jarvis ad agency in Winnipeg and Partners agency in Toronto, creating ads for clients such as MTS, Walmart, Manitoba Hydro, and tourism.
When asked, he says, “I like having different jobs and acquiring new skills. I’ve taken courses with Film Manitoba, from the industry and my union. I’m also self-taught, constantly learning on the job.”
In 1997, he joined International Association of Theatre, Stage, and Film Employees – Local 63 Winnipeg, and worked in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Toronto on television series (Tracker, Doc, Shirley Holmes), movies (Chicago, Shall We Dance, Harvest, Jesse James), and the mini-series Avro Arrow. After that, he did technical stage work at various venues, including Rainbow Stage, Pantages, MTC Concert Hall, ballets, operas, and touring shows including War Horse, Wicked, Wizard of Oz, West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, and Evita.
Wotton says, “My proudest achievements: a video on the National Women’s Hockey Championship, now displayed in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and a video on the Royal Winnipeg Ballet dance school’s National Championships.”
Wotton has coached various sports, including hockey and baseball. These days, he wants to share the technical skills he has acquired over the years. He hopes to mentor young people in the area, through Creative Manitoba’s rural youth mentorship program, in partnership with Winnipeg River Arts Council.
Wotton’s motto: “Try your best and enjoy life.”