About Louise May

Français au-dessous

Louise with her mother, Shirley Loewen

I have lived in St. Norbert most of my life. I grew up here, moved away for some university and young adult years and then moved back in my early thirties. I have always enjoyed our community and have watched it develop keenly, participated wherever and whenever I could.

I am currently Executive Director of the St. Norbert Arts Centre where I have been involved in various capacities for 24 years. I have initiated and participated in many different projects, committees, boards and community negotiations around land use. My favorite events at SNAC (although there were many!) are the Tibetan Opera, R. Murray Schaffer’s Spirit Garden, Rita McKeough’s Tower of Silence. My favorite project was working with the Trappist Monks to create the extensive archival website, A Day in the Life of a Trappist Monk. I have enjoyed seeing this important historical site preserved and developed in a way that serves the community while also keeping to the values of artistic integrity, ecological stewardship, and historical preservation. In the past few years, the spiritual aspect of the site has taken on more of a significant role – a beautiful sharing of cultures and beliefs is developing with community folks like the Keepers of the Sanctuary, Strongheart Teaching Lodge and the Buddhist community’s Peace Pagoda.

For the past 5 years, working in a completely different setting, my adult daughter Zona May and I have developed a successful farm, Aurora Farm based on the concepts of diversity and ecology. Our farm is located within the city limits on Waverley Street, just south of the Perimeter Highway. For my part, I have most enjoyed breeding a herd of alpacas an using their fleece to make all sorts of mittens, hats, shawls, socks, etc for family and for sale. As well, our small herd of dairy goats has grown into a significant force on the farm. I enjoy making all of our own dairy products including cheese, butter and yogurt. As well, I have begun teaching a “Home Goat Dairying” workshop in our barn and kitchen and have sold good milking goats to numerous families who wish to become more food self-sufficient. I have always enjoyed gardening and preserving our family’s food. We sell our goods at the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market, various craft sales and at our farm. Our farm is part of the international organization World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) and we have hosted over 30 interns from all over the world in the past two years.

I have enjoyed the entrepreneurial creativity at the St. Norbert Arts Centre and at Aurora Farm. I feel that I have developed a solid base in strategic planning, financial management, marketing, community relations and creative facilitation. This past year, I participated in the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Manitoba and a Masters’ Degree in Fine Arts from the Norwich University in Vermont. I have attended many workshops and training seminars on cultural diversity, financial management, small business development, volunteer management, etc. My daughter Zona May is studying Education at the University of Winnipeg.

In 2002, I was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for Community Service.

Au sujet de Louise May

Louise with her father, Bill Loewen

J’ai vécu à St. Norbert presque toute ma vie. J’ai grandi ici, puis je suis partie vivre ailleurs pendant mes années universitaires et de jeune adulte. Je suis redéménagée à St. Norbert au début de la trentaine. J’ai toujours aimé vivre dans cette communauté. J’ai observé son développement attentivement, y participant quand je le pouvais.
À l’heure actuelle, j’occupe le poste de directrice exécutive du centre des arts de St. Norbert, où j’ai assumé diverses responsabilités au cours des 23 dernières années. C’est avec ravissement que j’ai observé la préservation ainsi que le développement de ce site historique important qui dessert la communauté tout en respectant les valeurs d’intégrité artistique, de gérance de l’environnement et de préservation historique.
Depuis les cinq dernières années, je travaille également dans un milieu complètement différent, côtoyée par ma fille adulte, Zona May. Nous avons démarré, avec succès, l’exploitation agricole Aurora Farm fondée sur les principes de la diversité et de l’écologie. Notre exploitation agricole se situe à l’intérieur des limites de la ville, sur la rue Waverley, au sud du périmètre.

J’ai beaucoup aimé avoir recours à la créativité de l’entrepreneuriat au centre des arts de St. Norbert et dans notre exploitation agricole Aurora Farm. Grâce à ces expériences, j’ai acquis de solides connaissances en planification stratégique, en gestion financière, en marketing, en relations communautaires et en facilitation créative. Au cours de la dernière année, j’ai également participé aux activités liées au Centre d’entreprise des femmes du Manitoba.

Je suis détentrice d’un baccalauréat en études environnementales de l’Université du Manitoba et d’une maîtrise en beaux arts de la Norwich University, au Vermont. J’ai participé à de nombreux ateliers et colloques de formation sur la diversité, la gestion financière, le démarrage de petites entreprises, la gestion de bénévoles, et bien plus encore.