Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A Minion Farewell

Article by Laura McKay and Roshanie Balkaran, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

Roshanie (and Laura) finished work at Heritage Winnipeg the last week of August
Roshanie (and Laura) finished work at Heritage Winnipeg the last week of August.
Well the time has come for us to say goodbye - this week we will be returning to university, but first we wanted to leave you with a little tidbit of what it was like to work for Heritage Winnipeg this summer.

Laura: So just as a reminder, I was hired at the end of May 2014 through the Young Canada Works program.

Roshanie: And I started at Heritage Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Foundation's Summer Internship Program at the beginning of July. This week I will be starting my first year at the University of Manitoba's Asper School of Business. 

Laura: And I will be returning for my fourth year in the Honours English Program through the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Arts. 

Laura at work in the Heritage Winnipeg office
Laura working in the Heritage Winnipeg office.
Laura: I can honestly say that working for Cindy at Heritage Winnipeg has been a very unique experience - I had worked both in the historical/non-profit sector before, but never on this scale. The sheer amount of organizing involved with putting on Doors Open Winnipeg completely blew my mind. And I was only there for the last two weeks of the prep work! It's very different from working in a little museum in a small town, where my previous experience lay.

Roshanie: I would have to agree with you - working with Heritage Winnipeg was my first opportunity to work for a non-profit, which was very different for me. It is a much more relaxed atmosphere, which made me a lot more independent - instead of someone always telling me exactly what I had to do, I needed to figure it out for myself. It was also different being in the office every day with only two other people, instead of a whole team of people you barely know. You get to know one another and become very comfortable with each other. 

HW Executive Director Cindy Tugwell, Roshanie, and Laura at the Millennium Centre.
HW Executive Director Cindy Tugwell, Roshanie, and Laura at the Millennium Centre.
Laura: Yeah, non-profits have very different priorities. It isn't about how much money you can make but rather about the relationships and the ways you can benefit the community, which is a totally different attitude from a business. Because of this, we were able to do some really unique things this summer - tours, events, a membership drive, and even starting this blog. 

Roshanie: We also got the chance to meet some really cool people, from people who work at city hall to passionate caretakers of our local heritage. For example, I got the chance to meet Rina Ricci and Murray Peterson from the city's Urban Design Division on a trip with one of my mentors, Giles Bugailiskis. 

Laura: Another example would be the tours we were privileged to go on - we did several that were really interesting but hands down, my favourite was Ralph Connor House (blog post to come). As an aspiring writer, it was inspiring to be in a place that was built with the wealth acquired by a successful author. I just love the vibes in that place.

Cindy, Laura, and Roshanie at Armstrong's Point, before the tour of Ralph Connor House.
Cindy, Laura, and Roshanie at Armstrong's Point, before the tour of Ralph Connor House.
Roshanie: You and your vibes. I adored the scenery along Waterfront Drive that we saw while on our East Exchange District BIZ Walking Tour. It was relaxing and there weren't a ton of cars - you really didn't feel like you were downtown. It's kind of hard to believe that the area used to be part of the rail system in Winnipeg.

Roshanie and Laura with Exchange District BIZ tour guide, Maddi.
Roshanie and Laura with Exchange District BIZ tour guide, Maddi.
Laura: Some other places we went included McBeth House Centre, the West End BIZ Mural Tour, the Millennium Centre and the Music at the Millennium that was held on Tuesdays at noon.

Roshanie: Don't forget City Hall, the Manitoba Archives, the city's Planning Property & Development Department, and our explorations of the Exchange District for the Membership Drive.

Laura: By the way, if you haven't renewed, there will be another draw on September 30, 2014 - we were perhaps a little over-enthusiastic gathering donations and the businesses in the Exchange were so generous, we were able to extend the drive for one more month!

Roshanie: A little over-enthusiastic? We went to town! It was amazing to see that the local businesses were so willing to contribute to our organization. However, visiting all of those businesses to ask for donations made me much more comfortable in a part of the city that I didn't really know before. I was quite shy when it came to actually speaking to the owners but with Laura's help, we were successful in our mission.

Roshanie poses with the "Explore the Exchange" Membership Drive prize packs for August and September
Roshanie poses with the "Explore the Exchange" Membership Drive prize packs for August & September.
Laura: You make it sound like we went to outer space or something haha. On a totally different note, I must say that we really lucked out this summer - sometimes you end up with coworkers that you don't really click with very well, and that can make two months drag on forever. We had the opposite problem. We clicked and now we can't believe the summer is already over! Where did those two months go?

Roshanie: Like peanut butter and jelly!   

Laura: I prefer peas in a pod. Less creepy. 

Roshanie: Anyway... In all seriousness, this summer was one of the best and most productive for me. Now do not fear - you will still see posts from us throughout the winter months because we've archived many of our experiences for future posts. 

Laura: I will also be volunteering this fall writing more posts, to carry the blog up to the arrival of next year's student(s). 

So cheers from both of us and thanks for a great summer!


Yours Truly, 
The Minions

The Minions, Roshanie and Laura, in front of McBeth House
The Minions, aka Roshanie and Laura, in front of McBeth House
What was your favourite post this summer? 
Tell us in the comments! 

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