Dave Barber Birthday Bash!
Dave Barber’s Birthday Bash: A Fundraiser for Cinematheque
Saturday, October 30 at 7:00PM
You know him and you love him. Come and celebrate Dave’s birthday by bringing a pocket full of change to enjoy some fun Dave inspired activities (all activities will cost a toonie). Come dressed in your Halloween costume, bring a friend and come support the man behind Winnipeg’s most intimate theatre!
The night will include…
• Dave’s favourite foods: cheese, bread, pickles, mystery meat
• Contest for best Dave inspired Halloween costume
• Donation menu featuring WFG/Cinematheque memberships and merch
• Add your favourite Dave quote to the “S*it that Dave says” wall
• “Inside the Actors Studio” with David Barber and Darcy Fehr as James Lipton
• Film loop of Dave in local films
• Dave inspired Art Auction
• Dave birthday cake and pinata
• Prizes and so much more!
You won’t want to miss the grand finale. If our fundraising goal is reached by the end of the night, a local celebrity will shave off Dave’s beard.
From Uptown Magazine October 28, 2010
They say it’s your birthday
Winnipeg’s film and arts community celebrates local institution Dave Barber — and the institution he’s nurtured
Former Uptown movie critic Peter Vesuwalla wanted to ask: What does Dave Barber think Winnipeg would be without Cinematheque?
“Bereft of a diversity of cinema,” replies the Cinematheque programming coordinator, on his 57th birthday. (Well, the date was Oct. 26, to be precise. But that’s not stopping Cinematheque from using it as an excuse for a fundraiser this weekend.)
What’s equally clear is the city’s premier arthouse cinema might not be what it is without Barber. It’s appropriate that local auteurs Matthew Rankin and Walter Forsberg created a T-shirt for Cinematheque prominently featuring Barber’s own face.
It was in 1982 that Barber applied to a Winnipeg Free Press ad for a program coordinator at Cinema Main, the National Film Board’s former theatre; that’s where Cinematheque, as an organ of the Winnipeg Film Group, showed films before moving into the Artspace building in 1986. Barber’s run the show ever since.
From the beginning, he pursued fare “that otherwise wouldn’t be seen here” — like The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood, a pioneering, independent East Coast feature starring Mary Walsh (This Hour Has 22 Minutes) and a now-recognized milestone of Canadian cinema.
“We were the only Winnipeg theatre showing Atom Egoyan’s early films,” Barber says. “I remember reading him the local reviews over the phone from my apartment.”
Those days were also when the WFG, despite its founding in 1974, was only just amassing an overall body of definitive work. And showing that work, Barber says, was especially important.
“It was really instrumental for many people: Shereen Jerrett, Greg Hanec, Patrick Lowe, Leon Johnson, John Paizs and of course Guy Maddin,” says the Winnipeg born-and-raised Barber. “But Canadian work nationwide really needs to be championed.”
That belief is what’s made the greatest impression on Winnipeg producer/director Polly Washburn, of Positron Media.
“It seems whenever I’m watching Canadian shorts at a festival, I turn and there’s Dave, with something thoughtful to say about each,” she says. “He’s very generous with advice about independent distribution and marketing of Canadian features and shorts.”
“For almost 30 years, Dave’s been the godfather, the patron saint, the funny uncle, the babysitter of independent film in this town,” says Allison Gilmor, former Free Press film critic, now a movie reviewer for CBC Radio. “If you want to see or make indie film in Winnipeg, he’s your guy.”
It’s a sentiment Guy Maddin concurs with: “Dave’s always there for you.” And in 2007, the recognition became formal with Barber receiving a Winnipeg Arts Council Art Award, under the category of Making a Difference.
“There’s no equivalent to Cinematheque anywhere in the Maritimes,” says artist/programmer Amanda Dawn Christie, who recently appeared at Artspace for a series of screenings. “Winnipeg is extremely fortunate to have it.”
Of course, the arts community has formed its own affectionate recognition of Barber — whether it’s his love of cheese (“Bold cheddar is my favourite”) or his former affinity for plaid (“I switched to T-shirts — they’re comfier”). No wonder his birthday is a cause for celebration.