Kevin Walters, Project Manager for Culture Days Manitoba passed away on June 23rd 2014 in Winnipeg, Manitoba after a year long battle with stomach cancer.
For over four years, the Culture Days Manitoba team has been privileged to work with Kevin. Caring and consistently positive, Kevin possessed the wonderful ability to say "yes" to every idea, project, artist, organizer and any far fetched activity that seemed unrealistic. But with Kevin guiding us, we knew we could make it a reality.
Even before Culture Days, Kevin was known to be a pillar in the Winnipeg cultural community. He began his career booking bands, and became a DJ and club manager at an early age. He was a booking agent. artist manager and was the merchandise manager for the Barenaked Ladies. He kick-started many musicians' careers during his 11 years at Manitoba Film and Music and continued to foster those relationships after he left to organize major events in Winnipeg including the Juno Awards, Canadian Country Music Awards, BreakOut West, the Grey Cup and Manitoba Homecoming 2010. He also helped found the Winnipeg BBQ and Blues Festival and continued to organize a variety of festivals in Manitoba throughout the year. His was a full plate.
But Kevin never seemed to be fazed by his busy schedule. He had an effervescence that made working with him an exciting process. Kevin was eager to bring people together and support all arts from established organizations, to emerging artists and performers.
It was Kevin who proposed a performance with fiddlers, ballerinas and an opera singer, at the half time of a Winnipeg Blue Bombers game. It was Kevin who organized a Winnipeg Jet's Hockey player and a Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancer to pose together for a photo with the caption stating "It's a Winnipeg Thing". It was Kevin who wanted a Nuit Blanche in Winnipeg. And it was Kevin who always said yes to the ideas put in front of him.
Kevin's memorial at the Walker Theatre proved how loved he was. With every seat filled, many of Kevin's friends spoke of his generosity, his good humour, of his silly shirts and of his uncanny ability to know that things would work out.
Kevin's presence will be missed in the Culture Days Manitoba office. We're trying our best to create an exciting celebration of Winnipeg and Manitoba's arts and culture, of which Kevin was the greatest champion.
Our thoughts are with Kevin's family and friends. He will be missed.
To honour his memory, the family has established the Kevin Walters' Memorial Fund through the Winnipeg Foundation.
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