The Classic Garden is a non-profit corporation formed in 2013.
A group of concerned citizens had a discussion how we might occupy a vacant building on our community`s main street to offer an opportunity for people to learn new skills and to inspire an interest in entrepreneurship. We decided to take this challenge head on. See more
RENOVATIONS and DEVELOPMENT
Our building at 671 Main St. in Birtle (known as The Centre) was acquired and was in need of major repairs. Warm and dry was our first goal. In fall of 2014 we insulated the ceiling in the front part of this building and used this area for classes and workshops all winter. Since then we have been working and planning the major renovation which began in spring of 2016. Phase one saw a new roof, wiring, insulation and drywall. With this complete, new pottery wheels were gradually purchased along with a kiln. We had a craft room and a pottery room fully functional. To celebrate we held our Grand Opening of the Art and Pottery Studio on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. Pics are on our Renovations Page.
Next was a proper heating system that served all three rooms, the completion of the carpentry studio and landscaping complete with space for an outdoor classroom. These were ambitious but we were optimistic that it would all be possible although it happened even faster than we imagined.
We have been so fortunate to have many people contribute their time and talents which has greatly reduced our costs. Funding from provincial and federal grants, generous donations from the Birtle Value Shoppe, Birtle & District Foundation, Birtle Lions Club, Tundra Oil and Gas, local businesses and individuals, and in kind labour from local trades people, in addition to our fundraising efforts have allowed us to make this exciting progress that was determined by availability of funds, contractors and volunteers. We could not have made these improvements without the support of so many.
CURRENT AND UPCOMING FUNDRAISERS and EVENTS:
The Classic Garden hosts many fundraising events including garden tours, plant sales, country markets in summer and a gift shop featuring locally handmade items. For a list of classes, special events and fundraisers, please view our Events Page.
If you would like to contribute to our cause with your time, skills or financial resources, please give us a call at 204-842-3846 or email email@example.com.
BENEFITS TO THE COMMUNITY
We are delighted with the interest in the classes being offered. It quickly became apparent we are filling a gap in our region. The classes are offering arts, crafts and trade skills to all ages. They offer an opportunity for social interaction and are some are intergenerational.
Seeing many of our classes having our senior population sharing their skills with the youth and in some cases all taking classes together is especially heartwarming as it offers an opportunity to foster mutual respect.
Most classes are full well in advance of the start date. We have had participants from age 5 to 90 years of age coming from every direction within about a 70 km radius and occasionally much further. They are excited for this learning opportunity and we are very fortunate to have skilled and experienced teachers sharing their knowledge with eager students.
If you know of a class you would like to take or if you have a talent you are willing to share, please let us know and we will do our best to make it happen.
The Classic Garden has a constantly changing list of current and upcoming classes workshops. To date we have been able to offer a variety of pottery and art classes, after school arts and crafts, landscape and gardening classes, knife making, carpentry, as well as sewing and fibre arts classes and workshops. Fundraisers and special events happen annually and we are always looking to add something new.
To see all current activities, follow this link to our Events Page .
The Classic Garden committee is always looking for volunteers to sit on the board or to assist with classes, social media, website, building and landscape maintenance, special events, or any other area where your are willing help out. This volunteer non-profit organization was created to serve the community. Community support is the key to long term sustainability of The Centre.
Open Studio dates will continue allowing anyone from the community to use the space, tools and equipment for a minimal drop in fee plus the costs of any supplies used. Tools at The Centre will be available for use by local tradespeople starting out or others wanting to try an entrepreneurial venture. We have knowledgeable volunteers willing to assist you with development of a small manufacturing effort.
Proceeds of classes and drop in fees will go to cover The Centre’s building operating costs (heat, water, insurance and taxes) as well as supplies, equipment and program instructors.
THE TEAM BEHIND THE CLASSIC GARDEN
Val Thomson is a visionary and our fearless leader. Val is the driving force behind this venture. Her enthusiasm and energy encourages, inspires and pushes just a little to keep our project moving forward. She has also instructed and assisted with classes. Val is a retired English teacher and vice principal who is more accurately redirected rather than retired. Her passion is gardening. Her 5 acre piece of paradise was created over 30 years of dedicated hard work. It has been featured in national and provincial magazines and is an attraction for visitors to the area. For more information on how you can see her gardening masterpiece or visit her framing workshop, visit her website.
Pat Farquhar is a professional potter and owner operator of Spruce Garden Pottery. Her work has been available in several gift shops in western Manitoba. In her first career Pat was a registered nurse and served our community for many years. Now, potting and gardening are her passions and she has brought her talents and energy to The Classic Garden spending many hours developing and teaching pottery programs and contributing to all aspects of the project. Pat’s potting studio is located on their working farm. Pat’s garden including her must-see potager can be viewed during our garden tour or you can give Pat a call.
Shonda Ashcroft’s contribution to The Classic Garden is often from her home office where she can be found updating the website, making a poster or posting to social media. Her background in community development has been helpful with sourcing resources. Shonda has developed basic hand building pottery skills through opportunities at The Centre. She has instructed and assisted with classes. Also a passionate gardener, Shonda’s garden is on their working farm.
Shirley Barteaux is in charge of the money. Thank goodness someone is! She keeps track of money coming in and out, mail and other administrative duties. Shirley can be found volunteering in the community for numerous organizations. A talented seamstress, Shirley instructs our sewing classes and assists with many others. Shirley is often found behind a sewing machine at their farm home where her fabric creations come together. Shirley is a keen gardener and always ready to try something new.
Bill Wright was a shops teacher for our school division and though he retired from employment he never stops teaching. He volunteers his time generously for The Classic Garden and other organizations and people in the area. His innovative manufacturing skills have been the bones of our manufacturing process as we create items for sale to support The Classic Garden activities. When we arrive at The Centre and things have miraculously been done while we were gone, we know Bill has been there! He also instructs some of our workshops, assists with many others and is always contributing his energy, skills and often his tools to our renovation project.
Laurelle volunteers for The Classic Garden. She shares her accounting skills by entering and accurately recording information for all our financial activities. She files our taxes, creates our financial statements, and we couldn’t manage without her.
For information on anything to do with The Classic Garden, call 204-842-3846 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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