Manitoba Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

The Honourable Anita R. Neville, P.C., O.M.

Plug In ICA’s Manitoba Premiere of “Purple City” in Celebration of 50 years

Remarks by

The Honourable Anita Neville, P.C., O.M.

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba


Government House

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

(please check against delivery)

Fellow Manitobans, welcome to an evening of story-telling, imagination and sharing a special place.

As Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, I honour and acknowledge that we are gathered on Treaty One land, and in the heartland of the Red River Metis.

This beautiful and diverse province is also the ancestral and the present-day home of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples.

I also recognize that northern Manitoba includes lands that were, and are, the ancestral lands of the Inuit.

Together, we will continue to work to hear truths, and to advance understanding, opportunity, and healing for all.

I am delighted to welcome to this historic residence a group of artists who have dedicated their talents and creativity to reimagining one of the symbols of our province.

Like other lifelong Winnipeggers, I’ve passed below the gaze of Manitoba’s most famous statue so many times that I sometimes have to consciously look up to notice the Golden Boy.

And when I do, like you, I think about what he represented to the artists who made him and the first generation that saw him take his post atop the Legislative Building, and I think as well about what he might mean today.

So I am looking forward to seeing how Michael Walker, Noam Gonick and their talented cast and crew – many of whom live in the shadow of the Golden Boy at Lincoln Towers apartments – have brought this statue to life.

This Manitoba premiere of their film “Purple City” reminds us what the arts can do. Artists have the power to lend us their eyes or their ears so we can see or hear something as if for the first time. They can take us into the life of another person – even a person who weighs 1600 kilograms and is covered in gold leaf.

Through film, music, dance, theatre, literature, painting, sculpture and more, Manitoba’s artists inspire, entertain, educate and challenge us. They invite us to shake off the cobwebs and experience the world anew.

For 50 years, the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art has been doing just that by exhibiting art, nurturing artists, and acting as an incubator of new creation in a wide range of media. I cannot think of a better way of celebrating that anniversary than this Manitoba premiere of a film combining multiple voices, music, dance, animation … and the Golden Boy.

As Manitobans, we can be proud of the artistic excellence and creativity that have deep roots in our prairie soil, and tonight we’ll get to see how a group of Manitoban filmmakers thrilled audiences this spring at the International Festival of Films on Art.

Enjoy your trip to Purple City. May it make your imagination soar.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.