Hi. Former bookstore owner Kelly Hughes here.
Rocky was a great story. The bum with the heart of gold that gave it everything he had. The problem was that they kept telling it over and over again. Eventually, audience fatigue set in. (Although they redeemed the series at the end of Rocky VI, when Rocky flies into oblivion riding a nuclear warhead. Sorry….spoiler alert.) So, it seems a good idea not to fatigue you with the same story over and over.
Let’s just say that Fringe Festival was another false start for us, and we are still not open. Or not open again. (Google aqua fringe winnipeg if you must have your details.) The good news is that we will be open sometime. We have to be.
To get there, we are currently working on a couple of things. One is our paperwork issue with the City. (Not sure who needs the paper-training.) The other thing that we are addressing is money. (Hello money. Remember me? Hello? Hello?) Admittedly, making an unused-for-decades space usable has proved a challenge. Throw in unexpected issues and being closed for two months, and you have a recipe. (For what, I don’t know.)
So, we really want to open. And really, we’re almost there. (We’re just one bad Norwegian ref’s call away from gold so to speak.) Now let me just say that many have donated their money (where available) and/or their time. Thank you for recognizing the value in Winnipeg’s Cultural City Hall as a community space. We have a ton of great things coming up - new works by Carolyn Gray, Bruce Clark and Daniel Thau-Eleff; the new Aboriginal Writers Festival; U of M Jazz Studies Master Classes - and you can help make sure these things happen. (If this sounds like a PBS fund drive, Bob Ross and his happy little trees will be back in a moment.)
As I have mentioned before, the new Aqua Books is being run by the non-profit Winnipeg’s Cultural City Hall Inc., which has a stellar group of boardmembers, plus me (whatever). This City Hall (which is far more useful and benevolent than the one a mere half-block away) is accepting donations via PayPal. (The button is here: http://culturalcityhall.ca/ Cheques can be sent to the below address.) Now we’re aware that not everyone is on Tumblr. We also know that not everyone has a bunch of disposable income. But if you’re reading this, you can definitely do something. You can help us spread the word.
In the next week or so, we’re launching a crowdfunding video. For those of you hanging onto your acid-wash just in case, crowdfunding is not a new dance craze that’s sweeping the nation. It’s a way of using the Internet to reach people that care. Sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter help creative people launch ideas and projects. Board member Chris Charney of Farpoint Films is putting our little video together, and soon you will be able to send it to all of your friends like a terrible meme starring the Dos Equis man. (For those of you who can’t bear to throw out your shoulder pads, a meme is….oh never mind.)
And there’s one more thing. Since everyone (including me) is tired of me, we want to feature you in our crowdfunding video. So many people have emailed kind words of support for what we do. But don’t tell me. I already know. Get in front of your iPad, your iPhone, your Android or your $10 QuickCam taped to your 2004 Dell, right now. Next, say your name, and what you do if you like, and why Aqua Books/Winnipeg’s Cultural City Hall is important to you. Why it’s important for Winnipeg. Help us tell the world why it matters if we ever get open. And we’ll tell them how they can can help. Keep it 15 seconds or so. It’s a short video, so we’ll edit everything down. If we get a bunch, we may not be able to use them all. If we get none, I do have experience pumping gas, so no worries. Seriously, we’d love to hear and include what you have to say. Or sing, you can sing. If you do a song, we’ll play the whole thing. Maybe.
Thanks so much for your continued support. I look forward to seeing your submissions. One more thing. I haven’t shaved in three weeks and have vowed to remain unshaven until we’re open with all of our ducks in a row. Please help us get open. I look even worse than usual and my face is so very, very itchy.
123 Princess Street (opening sometime) Winnipeg MB R3B IK8
(This has been cribbed from This Week at Aqua Books. If you want to receive TWAB in your inbox, let me know.)