The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Metropolitan Event Centre
Thursday, December 6, 2018 – 5:00 p.m.
Creators, nurturers and lovers of music, friends of the Winnipeg Music Festival, it’s a pleasure to join you in celebrating a cultural institution that has been enriching our community for a century.
We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.
All this year, we have been commemorating a series of 100th anniversaries – for the final battles of the First World War and in November the armistice that ended that long, horrible conflict.
I believe it says something about the healing power of music that just a few months after the guns were finally silenced in that long war, people in this community held the first Winnipeg Music Festival.
Music has such power to express human emotion. That first festival would have offered a way to express the pain and grief of Winnipeggers who had lost loved ones. It would also have inspired hope for a better and more peaceful world.
When that first Winnipeg Music Festival was held, Winnipeg was on the edge of the general strike – an event that polarized this still young city.
Music would have held out the possibility of common understanding and shared joy. It would have offered a bridge of sounds between divided communities.
Throughout the century that followed, the Winnipeg Music Festival has inspired young musicians to hone their talents, to dedicate themselves to practice, to put themselves forward in front of an audience.
It has also provided countless hours of beauty for audiences who let music wash over them.
Generations of performers, conductors, teachers, judges and volunteers have nurtured this festival for the past century.
They have brought Manitobans together. They have kept the spirit of music alive. And they have added to the beauty of our province.
To all who have made this festival possible, I offer congratulations on this milestone anniversary. May your contribution to our province continue to echo in our hearts throughout your second century.
Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.