Skip to content

Dupas takes over as NorVA Centre's new gallery manager

The NorVA Centre has its new leader. The new face running the place is Megan Dupas, and she hopes her own past as an artist and with the gallery will help guide it into the future.
N26 NorVA New Boss
New NorVA Centre gallery manager Megan Dupas stands outside of the centre. After two periods as a summer student at the gallery, Dupas will now be tasked with overseeing the gallery and its studio, as well as hosting events, classes and new exhibits.

The NorVA Centre has its new leader. The new face running the place is Megan Dupas, and she hopes her own past as an artist and with the gallery will help guide it into the future.

Dupas has taken over as the centre’s gallery manager - she started her new post May 9. She is now the person in charge of arranging exhibits and artists and hosting events and clinics at the centre, as well as overseeing the studio in the back of the centre.

The 31-year-old is Flin Flon-born and raised, a graduate of Hapnot Collegiate and an acclaimed artist in her own right. Dupas is taking over management duties of the gallery from outgoing manager Mike Spencer, who recently left after a decade leading the gallery.

It’s a big undertaking, but Dupas plans on getting by with a little help from her friends - namely NorVA summer student Leanna Koop and the centre’s established base of artists and volunteers.

“It’s a lot, but luckily, we have a very strong group of core volunteers and board members. They all have their different strengths and unique skill sets that they bring to the table,” Dupas said.

“I have them at my disposal, if you will, to say, ‘You know what, we really should get on this.’”

Dupas has plenty of experience with the centre, having spent two summers in 2015 and 2016 as the centre’s summer student while working on a degree in rhetoric, writing and communications from the University of Winnipeg. Dupas had also taken part in writing grant applications for the centre as a volunteer and took part in some of the centre’s courses.

“I worked here for two summers and that's when I realized how much I really do love artwork. I loved being here at NorVA because the other artists were very encouraging and supportive,” Dupas said.

“It makes a difference to have a space like this where artists can meet and collaborate, even just talk really casually about their artwork and their struggles and sharing experiences.”

Dupas is also an artist herself, mostly focusing on watercolour, acrylic and oil painting, as well as tie-dye, which she plans to host a clinic in doing later this summer. Having an artist as the manager for the gallery is something Dupas considers important for the centre - and a responsibility she’s proud to take on, even if it still takes some getting-used-to when coming in to work.

“It's still going to take time, but it also feels really good. I think it's a great fit for me and for NorVA, because I am myself am an artist too,” she said.

“I did know generally the tasks that would be thrown at me. Nothing's come as a major surprise so far.”

The space will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays, though Dupas said she has often come in on off times. While the position has a flexible schedule, Dupas said often at least some work needs to be done at the centre almost every day.

The centre’s next exhibition will take place next month, bringing in local artist and musician CC Trubiak’s Honky Tonk Angels project for a month-long exhibit, as well as an artist’s talk midway through the month. The project is based on the work of seven women who serve as pioneers in the country music world and personal heroes of Trubiak. NorVA will also host its annual artists’ retreat at Denare Beach July 17-23, concluding with a casual arts showcase at the Denareplex following the retreat. The centre will host a series of children’s classes throughout summer break, including the tie-dye class Dupas plans on leading herself.

All told, Dupas hopes to make the centre a more inclusive space and bring in more artists to take part within it.

“I hope I can go out and meet people and stuff and get more people to come and just check us out,” she said.

“I just really hope to see that I can see it grow even more and I want more people who don't know about NorVA to become members. I'm surprised that I do still run into people who say, ‘What's NorVA?’ You think it's a small town and everybody’s got to know what NorVA is, but they don't. I definitely think we can get the word out even more.”