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This article was published 4/10/2019 (237 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
HER Sunday school years are long gone, but Sally Ito considers her childhood experience in an evangelical church crucial to her career as a writer.
"The word became imprinted on me," the Winnipeg poet and creative-writing teacher says about memorizing Christian scripture at a Pentecostal church in Hay River, N.W.T.
Ito will read from her recent memoir, The Emperor’s Orphans, at the inaugural Faith in Form arts festival at Douglas Mennonite Church, 1517 Rothesay St., on Saturday.
Selkirk writer Burl Horniachek conceived of the festival concept to showcase works by Christian artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians in Manitoba.
"It’s the celebration of the intersection between Christianity and art," he says of the free, one-day festival, which runs from noon to 6 p.m.
The afternoon includes readings, talks, art displays, films and a guided tour of stained glass by artist Anthony Chiarella at nearby Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Parish, 264 Donwood Dr.
"It’s still a rarity to find Christian artists who do Christian subject matter," said Chiarella, who recently designed a large stained-glass installation for Mary, Mother of the Church Roman Catholic parish.
Horniachek said the purpose of the festival is to provide a platform for established Manitoba artists with a faith perspective to share their work with the community.
"We’re not subordinating the quality to the Christian message," he said.
The festival provides a great opportunity for artists to demonstrate how faith and their art merge together, said a West End visual artist who will have paintings at the festival.
"Everyone will have a different voice, and to have them all together makes a great show," Danielle Fontaine Koslowsky said.
"There isn’t another festival that brings art and faith together that is only (for) Winnipeg artists."
The festival is privately funded this year, and Horniachek hopes to broaden the support in the future. Although this one has a tight budget, he said, artists agreed to attend the event without guarantee of payment.
"Everyone is coming together to see what will happen," he said. "Experimentation is a big part of the arts."
The festival ends with an evening concert, featuring compositions by musician and instrument builder Jesse Krause and a performance by Carlos and the Suspiroes. Admission is $15 at the door.
For a complete schedule of festival events, go to faithinformwinnipeg.com.
Brenda Suderman has been a columnist in the Saturday paper since 2000, first writing about family entertainment, and about faith and religion since 2006.
The Free Press acknowledges the financial support it receives from members of the city’s faith community, which makes our coverage of religion possible.