Winnipeg Arts Council


Paula Kelly was selected as Artist-in-Residence at the City of Winnipeg Archives through the Winnipeg Art Council’s Public Art Program. Paula spent six months at the Archives, exploring the rich collections, engaging with the public and adding to the archival record with new film and sound recordings to create three films that are constructed as dialogues between the archival record of the City of Winnipeg and the selected memories of citizens who have lived, worked, suffered and celebrated here. Together, these films ( Sand and Stone (6 min.), Watermarks (11 min.) and Waiting for the Parade (7 min.)) sift through the accumulated layers of history, experience and identity of a place which we, collectively, call home.
Sand and Stone explores the history of hard labour and the urban landscape—the workers who sweated its surfaces and shapes, and the primary materials they used to construct a city. Watermarks investigates the experience of flooding in the lives of city dwellers, and looks for the imprints left behind after the waters recede. Waiting for the Parade  transforms the 75th anniversary celebration of Winnipeg in 1948 into a discourse on the city's shifting identities through decades of progress and regress, cynicism and hope.
“I think that Paula’s work will shed new light on the nature of municipal records.  Far from a dry accounting of the building of streets and lanes, the laying of sewers and water lines, the assessment and collection of taxes, Winnipeg’s archival records reveal to the perceptive and patient researcher the very human drama that is at the core of building and living in this city”, adds Jody Baltessen, City Archivist and Records Manager, City of Winnipeg Archives.

Paula Kelly

Winnipeg filmmaker Paula Kelly studied history and literature at the University of Manitoba. Her dramatic short films and documentaries have screened at many international festivals, including her recent feature-length arts docudrama Appassionata: The Extraordinary Life and Music of Sonia Eckhardt-Gramatté, for CBC’s “Opening Night” which screened at festivals in Montreal, Rome and Winnipeg, and was winner of a Gold Chris Award from the Columbus Film and Video Festival. Her documentary film The Notorious Mrs. Armstrong won three Blizzard Awards for best writing, directing and editing, as well as a Gemini nomination for best editing. Her non-fiction article “Looking for Mrs. Armstrong” (The Beaver magazine) was nominated for two Western Magazine Awards. A recent essay, "Sonia and the Bear: Madame Eckhardt-Gramatté meets the New Canadian Frontier," appears in The Winnipeg Connection: Writing Lives at Mid-Century (Prairie Fire Press).

Souvenirs - Sand and Stone

Souvenirs - Waiting for the Parade

Souvenirs - Watermarks

More Public Art

Visit the gallery