Are You Interested In Being A City Councillor Or Mayor?

Visit the Civic Centre or call 204-822-4434 to find out more.

Two of Manitoba's artists have been presented with a prestigious award.

Manju Lodha and Ray Dirks received the 2017 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding. The award was presented by Lieutenant-Governor Janice Filmon at a ceremony at the Government House.

Lodha and Dirks have worked together to promote understanding, respect and acceptance for over 10 years. They have worked in classrooms and places of worship, and use the universal language of art to bring faiths together.

"It was an honour to receive the award, and I think especially an honour to receive it with Manju," said Dirks. "Before we knew each other we were both working regularly on interfaith (and) multifaith kind of issues and projects. But I think when we got to know each other, suddenly we opened up doors for each other."

Dirks said he was in a Shiite mosque with people of different faiths, including Muslim, Hindu and Christian, when he missed the call from Lt.-Gov. Filmon.

"It was a good time for that call to come through, as that was a little snap shot of what we do," said Dirks.

Lodha and Dirks both use art for cultural expression. Their collaborative project, 'In the Spirit of Humanity,' allowed students to explore religious and cultural diversity and to express their experiences through visual art and other forms.  

"We've done a lot with students and also a lot with English as an Additional Language," said Dirks. "Art, I think, opens expression that doesn't have to be based in language."

Dirks said Lodha wanted to express herself as an artist who is Canadian, Indian and Hindu.

"She wanted to feel at home in a country that she loved," he said.

Dirks is the founder and curator of the MHC (Mennonite Heritage Centre) Gallery on the campus of Canadian Mennonite University.

"I thought it was a place where we could get to know each other, across cultures and faiths, and I thought that was important because we are increasingly diverse and we need to get to know each other and there needs to be safe spaces where people of various faiths can get to know each other in an atmosphere of respect."

Dirks noted knowing Lodha opened up opportunities for him. He began working more in Manitoba rather than overseas.

Another collaborative project he and Lodha worked on is a DVD called 'Leap in Faith,' used in Manitoba schools. They are currently working on a book in relation to the DVD, which may be finished by the end of this year.

"It all will be about Manitobans and how they live and what they believe, and as we've run this past various teachers and administrators, we're been told they're not aware of anything like this anywhere else in the country really," said Dirks.

He believes knowledge and education about different religions and cultures is the key to respect.

"You will know people, and so when you hear something bad about a particular group, what will come into your mind is someone who you actually know, and you will see them as opposed to the stereotype."

More Local News

Fuel Leak Forces Overnight Shutdown of Highway 75 Through Morris

A fuel leak caused traffic along Highway 75 through Morris to be diverted Wednesday night. According to Morris Fire Chief, Wes Zilkie, something malfunctioned or punctured the fuel system on a…

Having A Bear-y Good Time in the Valley

It's not every day you see a black bear out for a stroll in the Pembina Valley, so it's definitely a picture worthy occasion when the seldom seen animal is spotted during the day. Marsha Godard…

Manitoba's Only Pro Rodeo Kicks Up Dust Starting Today

Manitoba's only professional rodeo is starting up again July 19 to 22. This year the gate admission will be free again, but there will still be a cost to get into the rodeo and to enjoy the midway…

Hot Temperatures Help Open Kin Splash Park In Carman

With a daytime high reaching into the 30s Wednesday, the conditions couldn't have been better for opening day of the Kin Splash Park in Carman. A handful of kids were ready to splash around and cool…

Winkler Leads Region's Growth With $11.5 Million In New Industrial Construction

June was another huge month of growth for Winkler, with permit values more than doubling those of its neighbouring communities combined. Last month Winkler saw 34 permits taken out with a combined…

Cannabis Retailers Will Be Expected To Pay Annual Social Responsibilty Fee

The Manitoba government would like to eliminate the illegal marijuana market and promote safety with the implementation of new components in its recreational cannabis regulatory regime, according to…

Winkler Gardeners To Be Featured In Provincial Magazine

A number of local greenthumbs will have their backyard masterpieces showcased in a magazine. Margaret Penner, the Director of the Winkler Horticulture Society, notes she was approached by the…

Persistant Dry Conditions Giveway to Crop/Livestock Watering Worries

Concern over water levels is starting to grow as dry conditions persist across the region, according to Justin Reid, manager of the LaSalle/Redboine Conservation District. Reid said he hasn't heard…

Liberal Win Important For Party

Last night saw the provincial Liberal Party regain party status in the legislature, as leader Dougald Lamont won the by-election in the St. Boniface riding. Portage-Lisgar Liberal riding association…

Winkler Man Charged In Assault/Shooting In Portage, Other Suspects At Large

A Winkler man has been charged in a shooting and aggravated assault in Portage. Tyler Tukundum, a 26-year-old from Winkler, has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault that occurred in…

PembinaValleyOnline.com is your only local source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login