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PAL Winnipeg – Performing Arts Lodges

PAL Winnipeg is a not-for-profit, charitable organization dedicated to providing affordable housing for members of our community particularly those individuals in the performing and allied professions. Our goal is to create vibrant, vital residence, so that our PAL members – ranging from actors to opera singers, indy filmmakers, designers and visual artists to musicians at the Folk Fest and Times Changed – can all and always have a home.

PAL Winnipeg is excited to be partnering with UWCRC to provide affordable housing in the new Arts District beside the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2020. 

If you are interested in supporting PAL Winnipeg by becoming a Member and / or making a donation, please go to for more information.


The board of PAL has recently acquired new members and had an election of officers.  We have a well qualified, hard working board and I want to introduce them to you.  Since the plans for a residential component in the new Gas Station Arts and Cultural Centre have been cancelled, the board has been looking at other possibilities. We will present our findings to interested parties in the coming weeks.

Here is the Board of PAL.


Co-chairs: John Myers and Joan Stephens:

John Myers is a lawyer, currently working for Taylor McCaffrey Law Office. He practices primarily in the areas of intellectual property protection and enforcement. He served as a member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba Board of Directors (1987-2007)  and was President from 2000-2002. He was also on the board of directors of the Manitoba Institute of Child Health from 2002-2014. John was admitted to the bar in 1991. Prior to his law career, he worked  in theatre as a stage-manager.

Joan Stephens has spent over 25 years in Manitoba’s not-for-profit sector, including 15 years as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Some of the numerous boards on which she has served include the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir (President) the United Way Cabinet (Marketing Co-chair) and the West End Cultural Centre (Marketing Committee).

Past Chair: Rea Kavanaugh

Rea has been working in film and television and the performing arts for 15 years as a producer, writer, actor and musician.  She was the Artistic Associate of Theatre Projects Manitoba from 2005-2011 and then became its General Manager and still works in that capacity.  She is a founding member of PAL Winnipeg. She was chair from 2010 to 2016.

Secretary: Cherry Karpyshin

Cherry has worked in Winnipeg in the performing arts for over 40 years.  Cherry joined Prairie Theatre Exchange in 1981 and was appointed General Manager in 1992.  She held this position until 2015 when she retired.  Cherry has been on the PAL board since 2010 .

Treasurer: Carman Johnston

Carman has been on the PAL board for just over a year.  He worked at PTE for fourteen years as Marketing and Development Manager.  He was absconded to work at Canadian Heritage in order to help arts groups who need funding for buildings, renovations, or specialized equipment.  He will return to PTE in 2018.


Kerry Dangerfield

Kerry is a Certified Marketing and Research Professional and has a Master’s Degree in Political Science. He has extensive experience in the analysis of all types of social and market research data. Kerry served on the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Board for (about) 20 years.  He was chair of various committees, most often Community Relations/Audience Development.  He served as chair from 2013-2014.  He is currently on the board (and was President for 5 years) of Virtuosi Concerts, a non-profit chamber music presenter.  He joined PAL in 2015.

Zaz Bajon

Zaz is a graduate of the National Theatre School.  He has worked as a stage manager, production manager and tech director in several Canadian theatres before joining RMTC (at that time MTC) as General Manager. Zaz held that position for over 30 years until his retirement in 2011.

Jeff Palmer has Bachelor degrees in Design (Environmental Planning) and Arts (Economics, Political Studies) and a Master’s Degree in City Planning. He currently works for the University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation.

While a senior development Officer of CentreVenture Development Corporation (2007-2011) Jeff was directly involved in managing the conversion of the former Bell Hotel into a 42 unit supportive housing project for residents with mental health issues, and co-ordinating the construction and operation of Centre Village Housing, a 25 unit affordable housing project.

Harry Nelken

Harry is in his 4th 2-year term on the Board of PAL.  He has a breadth of experience in the performing arts, spanning thirty-five years and through much of Canada.  He is a career artist who embodies the membership we strive to serve.

Richard Walls

Richard Walls has been a member of PAL Manitoba since it began.  He graduated with Honours from the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Interior Design.  He has successfully developed a number of buildings in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.  He also worked on the conversion of the former New Occidental Hotel into The Red Road Lodge – Home for Recovery, a transitional housing facility for “at risk” individuals who are in recovery from substance abuse and were previously homeless.

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS: Appointed by interested organizations.  They can vote, but not hold office

Dave Brown (IATSE)

Dave is the Vice-President of iATSE Local 856 representing the motion picture technicians of Manitoba.  He has been in the television and film industry for almost 20 years .  Part of his job is overseeing the safety of cast and crew on set. He has been of the board of PAL “at least seven years or more”.

Ti Hallas (CAEA)

Ti has recently recently rejoined the board of PAL as an Equity Ex Officio representative. She has worked as an actor, writer and director in film, video and theatre.

Ti served as Treasurer for ACTRA Manitoba for several years and was previously ACTRA’s ex-officio representative to PAL. Her involvement with PAL goes back at least as far as September 2006 when it was called the PAL steering Committee.  She has the distinction of being the first Winnipeger to lay down $20 for a membership.

Megan McArton (ACTRA)

Megan joined the PAL board in 2015 as ACTRA’s Ex-officio member upon being elected to the ACTRA Manitoba Council.  She had previously served on the council years ago, and also served on the local Equity Advisory in the good old days when we had one. She has been a working actor since 1987 with a ten year hiatus in beautiful Thailand.

September 1, 2016

Here is the latest news from PAL.  As some of you already know, the Gas Station Arts Centre has decided not to go ahead with its plan to build a residence.  Because it received significantly less than the amount requested from the city as a TIF (tax increment financing) grant, the GSAC board has determined that they cannot afford the residential component. It plans to continue building the commercial and theatre spaces only.  PAL requested and received the return of the money it had given the GSAC as down payment on its units. If you have paid for a membership in the housing co-op, or made a share deposit, you may request a refund through Kamillah at the Gas Station.

The PAL board has met to discuss options and some of our board members are looking for other properties. We are hoping to have a meeting in October with PAL members to look at other residential models and receive feedback from those who are interested.  PAL members will be notified of the meeting by email.

This is disappointing for those who were hoping make a move into the proposed project, however we are actively working to find a suitable alternative and look forward to input from our membership and community. If you have questions or comments feel free to get in touch with me at  – Megan McArton

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