After a stint as gallery host for Winkler Arts and Culture, (WAC) Gwen Freeheart has now taken on the role of administrative assistant, on the way to becoming the center's next director.

The announcement was made at the organization's annual general meeting on June 21st.

WAC Board Vice President, Jenessa Kehler says they're very excited to work with Gwen. She says they've all seen what Gwen is capable of and their passion for creating a space.

"Because of my family relationship, (Gwen's mom) I had to excuse myself from those discussions and from that interview, and for that whole process...But now I'm coming in to help mentor, and we have a few other board members that are helping mentor as well. Jennifer Penner, our previous director, has done, and is continuing to do a lot of work with Gwen."

Kehler says the goal is to support Gwen and allow them to find their way to the director position in a few months' time.

A younger perspective, exceptional organizational skills, social media savvy and creativity. Those are some of the unique skill sets that Gwen brings to the position, noted Kehler, and other members of the board.

"There'll be more to see [on the center's website, Instagram and Facebook accounts] than there has been in the last two years. There already has been in the last few weeks for anyone who's following, just showing what's going on, engaging people with the gift shop and stuff like that."

Gwen's appointment was the highlight of the meeting. After a bad two years due to COVID, board President Ray Derksen says the organization is in a good place now.

"At one point you almost think this place was just going to not exist anymore because we couldn't raise any funds, we couldn't have any events. I am so happy with where everyone is placed right now: we have a great board; we have a great future director with great focus but also seeing outside of the box what we can do from a younger perspective now. I'm excited for this year to see where this all goes."

While admitting that art is a great by-product of the facility, Derksen says the long-range goal is to bring a diverse community together through socializing, communicating, and sharing of ideas and life stories befitting a cultural center.