Each and every one of the nominees in the Charity and Not-for-Profit categories of the Spirit of Winnipeg Awards, including Immigrant Centre, were winners this year. All the guests at the gala dinner were surprised and moved when Boss Guitar Works, a nominee in the Not-For-Profit category, handed out amazing custom made guitars to be auctioned off for charity.
The Spirit of Winnipeg Awards are presented annually by The Chamber and BDO Chartered Accountants to six local companies, charities, and not-for-profits that have embraced change by taking a concept or idea and choosing to do things differently. This year, the Spirit of Winnipeg Awards were held March 2, 2012 at The Fairmont Winnipeg and although the Not-For-Profit award was won by the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, it was the kids from Ecole Selkirk Junior High that stole the show.
BOSS Guitar Works is a teacher-supervised, student-driven guitar-making program with a twist. The twist is that the guitars have been used to support 16 charities and community organizations to the tune of more than $53,000. Almost all the work is done at lunch hours, after school or on non‐instructional days, such as Spring Break. Inspired by the philanthropic activities of the band Rush, BOSS Guitar Works now has become a force all its own. Students have moved well beyond the traditional “bake sale” approach to where they donate a guitar that a charity can take and raise an almost unlimited amount of money. Winnipeg Harvest was able to realize $1,800 from having BOSS Guitar Works involved in its latest event. The students have also developed relationships with more than 35 corporate sponsors, well beyond the traditional realm of school fundraising.
Linda Lalande, Executive Director, and Keith Solmundson, Board President, (pictured front row, far right) accepted the beautiful guitar which has been designed in the Immigrant Centre colurs and is decorated with some key words to our mission and vision. It will be auctioned off at some point during this our 65th anniversary year.