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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
June 12, 2013

Artbeat Studio

Mr. Speaker, the Winnipeg core is a community full of creative and innovative residents that care about one another. Artbeat Studio perfectly exemplifies this point. This urban arts centre provides accessible arts programming for the citizens of the North Portage and Central Park areas who receive mental health services. This socially progressive organization strengthens the community by promoting dialogue and creative endeavours. It also provides healing services and supports a unique communal cultural fabric.

Mr. Speaker, I've had the pleasure of visiting Artbeat Studios and I'm always impressed by the compassionate and collaborative atmosphere. This is due in no small part to the vision and dedication of its founder, Nigel Bart, and his mother, Lucille Bart, who serves as executive director. I'm very pleased that they are here with us today, as is Ernie Bart and Ethan Bart, a hard-working grade 1 student who also happens to be Nigel's son.

In 2005, they established Artbeat Studio with the goal of enabling consumers of mental health services to engage in artistic expression that promotes recovery, empowerment and community. Having referred numerous citizens to Artbeat's unique services since becoming an MLA, Mr. Speaker, I can personally attest that they have more than achieved this ambitious target.

Artbeat's core program is a six-month period that accommodates nine artistic applicants at a time for intense access to a wide range of artistic forms and supportive healing. Additionally, Artbeat Studio also runs Studio Central, which is developed by Ernie Bart, and it serves Manitoba Housing residents in a volunteer-run artistic setting. Suffice to say, Mr. Speaker, that the artists' lives are often greatly improved through their studio experiences.

Notably, the display at the recently opened Mental Health Crisis Response Centre boasts artwork by Artbeat Studio alumni and Studio Central. I'm so proud to be part of a government that supports this vital organization.

Mr. Speaker, urban residents are, indeed, fortunate to have Artbeat Studio serving the needs of the community. I am deeply moved by the work that they do and ask that all Members present here today applaud their life-changing efforts.

Thank you so much.