In early 2020, Lana Winterhalt and Christian Higham launched Good + Plenty WPG to address the lack of diversity in Winnipeg’s art and music scene. Good + Plenty is a promotional company for artists and musicians who are “women, non-binary, LGBTQ2S+, living with a disability, BIPOC, and beyond,” according to their website.
Winterhalt says the music scene in Winnipeg often showcases not only the same performers, but also sound and light technicians.
“What could we do to change that, or to make the Winnipeg music scene more reflective of Winnipeg?” Winterhalt says.
She says Good + Plenty aims to focus on creating diverse and accessible shows.
“We want to be really creative with the venues we’re picking and how we’re putting an event together, that it really amplifies everyone’s art together and can continue to weave the community together,” Winterhalt says.
The company will involve younger members of the community through all-ages events and also tries to focus on older musicians and artists.
Live events planned for March 2020 fell through due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Good + Plenty has taken the time to focus on their action plan and policies.
Winterhalt says they plan to conduct research by talking to people in the industry and host round-table informational events to talk to communities and better understand the issues they face.
The educational component will include offering workshops to the community and creating resources to share with venues outlining how to make their spaces and shows more inclusive.
One existing resource is a growing directory, compiling both performers and people who are trained in sound, lights and tech, currently available on the Good + Plenty website.
Olivia Onuk is an event organizer involved with Good + Plenty.
“Many of my events were birthed from the need to see more people who looked like me in the arts and music scene in Winnipeg sharing their talents comfortably, going far and being well-promoted,” Onuk says in an email statement. “I knew that if I was really tired of not seeing something, I was going to have to make it happen.”
Onuk is a co-founder of The Black Label WPG, which is "a space for emerging & professional artists of all disciplines, idea generators, and creative thinkers," according to their Facebook page.
"(It) serves as Winnipeg’s Black Creatives Collective," Onuk says. The project has been stalled due to funding and COVID-related reasons, but Onuk is hopeful it will soon resume and notes they are open to partnerships.
“The plan is a platform where people can learn more about BIPOC artists in Winnipeg, view their work, attend events, workshops, classes, groups or talks led by them and hire their services,” Onuk says.
“People know we’re here, they know we exist, and they know we do good work, but we’re not top-of-mind,” Onuk says. “Where ... diverse ideas and varied perspectives are welcomed, everyone feels valued, and everyone grows.”
Published in Volume 75, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 4, 2021)