THE GARRISON - A Group Pilot Project and Partnership


CBC Future 40 and Winnipeg Arts Council "Making a Mark" award nominee, Lindsey White is partnering to expand the creative community in Winnipeg with new, free programming.  Along with working as a Manitoba Arts Council "Artist in the Schools" and collaborating with "G.R.O.W." toward a Winnipeg Arts Council "WITH ART" project, White creates and facilitates music programs in many locations including The Peaceful Village, Valour Rocks (at Valour Community Centre), Children of the Earth High School (now partnering with R.B. Russell School) and many others.

"I believe that Red Road Lodge and The Edge Gallery are ideal locations to host the Pilot phase of our project which has the potential to serve to many musicians, artists, singers, writers and other creatives who currently do not have access to consistent programming." - Lindsey White

The Garrison is a place of arts eduction and musical engagement, building a community among youth and adults participating in collective, creative expression with varied skill levels and talents. Participants will learn, write and play music, sing, jam, compose written works including poetry and also create various forms of visual art. Long term plans also include open mic and art exhibition events as well as artistic workshops for many disciplines including music theory, dance, writing and recording.

An inspiring local and beloved musician, the late BJ Garrison, said this in 2012 during his final interview:

“With all the unused real estate downtown… why not use the buildings and do it in such a way … that the artists can work here? So this could be an area for all kinds of artists; so that the kids can be artists. Use it as media space for whatever medium people are using in their art. Have money come back through the selling of the art… and that would help with not only supplies but refurbishing different things downtown as well. You’ve now got a place downtown that’s safe. All it takes is one person to say ‘I’ll do that - I’ll jump on that’ and that’s all it would take to see some kind of artistic force.”

"I experience music changing lives every day.  The observable difference that music instruction and artistic coaching has made is evident as participants become more bold in their exploration of concepts and ideas, which directly translates into increased confidence in making valuable choices concerning their own lives and futures, based on individual preference and experience.

I’ve also repeatedly seen engaged individuals lose their ability to participate in music programming due to age, location or other restrictions. Particularly dear to me are students of Children of the Earth High School who largely hail from reserve communities and do not have regular music programming available to them in their school day. I’ve been partnering with Jackie Dolynchuk (Community Support Worker) since 2012 to offer drop-in, after school music programming that has grown exponentially since inception and now falls under the umbrella of the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts’ “Music Equals” outreach programming, but continues to only occur once weekly and does not allow for participation of adults who are age 18 or older. Graduates or transferred students can also no longer participate in COTE’s art co-op, "OMAZINIBII'IGEG Artist Collective" which allows young artists to sell their work and support each other by giving back.

This new programming will allow for increased self expression in artistic programming for these extremely creative youth and adults, as well as their families.  More importantly, a safe and inclusive artistic community becomes a place where many feel welcome and comfortably express themselves.

The Music For All Alliance (MFAA) is dedicated to making music education available at any level through collaborative effort; with a vision that “All Manitobans can easily access quality music education” . As such, MFAA is poised to become a strong community support in this regard and is proud to support this project.

The Garrison has the potential to involve so many current and former participants of several communities, programs, Schools and underserved groups. As this potential also includes increased opportunities for creative artistic expression of Children of the Earth High School’s arts co-op students, the excitement for these possibilities is palpable. There is truly no limit to the great things that are possible, or the positive and lasting impact of this artistic force."

Garrison Group gatherings will provide a creative outlet in the form of a unique musical playground with acoustic and electric instruments, percussive elements, pianos, singing and other instruments. All present will be encouraged to suggest, request and contribute toward song selection as well as create, play and sing together. Programming will also include visual art projects, embellished by materials on hand. The Garrison will be a safe space where all are welcome and respected, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, mistakes, skill, talent, or any other barrier. 

We're also seeking additional instruments and facilitators for our sessions and special workshops!
To donate or for more information, please visit the contact page at: