The Classic Garden is a non-profit corporation formed in 2013.
A group of concerned citizens had a discussion how we might occupy a vacant building on our community`s main street to offer an opportunity for people to learn new skills and to inspire an interest in entrepreneurship, we decided to take this challenge head on. See more
RENOVATIONS, DEVELOPMENT and COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Our building at 671 Main St. in Birtle (known as The Centre) was acquired in 2014 and was in need of major repairs. In fall of 2014 we insulated the ceiling in the front part of this building and used this area for classes and workshops all winter. Since then we have been working and planning the major renovation which began in spring of 2016. Phase one is complete and new pottery wheels and kiln are in place. To celebrate we held our Grand Opening of the Art and Pottery Studio on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. Pics are on our Renovations Page.
We are now working on phase 2 and 3 and 4. Phase 2 involves installing a heating system adequate to heat the entire building, Phase 3 will see the completion of the carpentry studio and in phase 4 we look forward to having an outdoor classroom, landscaping and completion of the exterior of the building. These may sound like ambitious goals but we are very optimistic that all of this work is possible within a fairly compact timeline.
We were fundraising and accepting donations towards our new roof (It’s on now!! Hooray!) and renovatiins to wire, line and insulate to make the building functional and economical. (This is done too!!) Warm and dry was our first goal and two rooms are warm enough for now! Click here to follow our progress.
We have been so fortunate to have many people contribute their time and talents which has greatly reduced our costs. Grants and generous donations and sponsorships in addition to our fundraising efforts have allowed us to make exciting progress.
Keep an eye out for changes to our building as time goes on. Progress will be determined by our bank account as we have contractors and volunteers willing and able to do the work once the funding is in place.
CURRENT AND UPCOMING FUNDRAISERS and EVENTS:
The Classic Garden hosts many fundraising events including garden tours, plant sales, a gift shop featuring locally handmade items, and more. For a list of classes, special events and fundraisers, please view our Events Page.
If you would like to contribute to our cause with your time, talents or financial resources, please give us a call at 204-842-3846 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BENEFITS TO THE COMMUNITY
We are delighted with the interest in the classes being offered. It quickly became apparent we are filling a gap in our region. We have had registrants coming from every direction within about a 70 km radius and occasionally much further. Most classes are full well in advance of the start date.
We have had participants from age 5 to 90 years of age excited for this learning opportunity and have talented experienced teachers sharing their knowledge with eager students.
Seeing our senior population sharing their skills with the youth and in some cases all taking classes together is especially heartwarming as it offers an opportunity to foster mutual respect.
If you know of a class you would like to take or if you have a talent you are willing to share, please let us know and we will do our best to make it happen.
The Classic Garden has an constantly changing list of current and upcoming workshops. To see what’s currently being offered, follow this link to our Events Page . To date we have been able to offer a variety of pottery and art classes, after school craft and/or art programs, landscape design and on site garden classes, creating garden containers as well as hand crafting a knife with case and fabric art workshops. Once the remainder of our building can be used, we will be able to bring more of our tools to The Centre and will be able to offer an expanded lineup of activities.
As funds become available, renovations will continue, additional carpentry tools will be added and trades classes will be offered.
Open Studio dates will continue allowing anyone from the community to use the space, tools and equipment for a minimal drop in fee plus the costs of any supplies used.
As an added bonus, tools will be available for use at The Centre to local tradespeople starting out or wanting to enhance or try an entrepreneurial venture. We have knowledgeable volunteers willing to assist you with development of a small manufacturing effort.
Proceeds of classes and drop in fees will go to cover The Centre’s operating costs including heat, water, insurance and taxes for our building as well as supplies and equipment for programs.
THE FACES BEHIND THE CLASSIC GARDEN
Val Thomson is a visionary and our fearless leader. Val is the driving force behind this venture. Her enthusiasm and energy encourages, inspires and pushes just a little to keep our project moving forward. She has also instructed and assisted with classes. Val is a retired English teacher and vice principal who is more accurately redirected rather than retired. Her passion is gardening. Her 5 acre piece of paradise was created over 30 years of dedicated hard work. It has been featured in national and provincial magazines and is an attraction for visitors to the area. For more information on how you can see her gardening masterpiece or visit her gift shop, Moongate Gifts, see the details of this summer’s garden tour or call Val.
Pat Farquhar is a professional potter and owner operator of Spruce Garden Pottery. Her work has been available in several gift shops in western Manitoba. In her first career Pat was a registered nurse and served our community for many years. Now, potting and gardening are her passions and she has brought her talents and energy to The Classic Garden spending many hours developing and teaching pottery programs and contributing to all aspects of the project. Pat’s potting studio is located on their working farm. Pat’s garden including her must-see pottager can be viewed during our garden tour or you can give Pat a call.
Shonda Ashcroft’s contribution to The Classic Garden is often from her home office where she can be found updating the website, making a poster or posting to social media. Her background in community economic development has been helpful with our development. A horticulturist, Shonda has instructed garden classes and she is looking forward to being a student of many classes. Also a passionate gardener, Shonda’s garden is on their working farm. Contact her to view her garden.
Shirley Barteaux is in charge of the money. Thank goodness someone is! She keeps track of money, mail and other administrative duties. Shirley can be found volunteering in the community for numerous organizations. A talented seamstress, Shirley has instructed fabric classes and is often found behind a sewing machine at their farm home where her fabric creations come together. Shirley is a keen gardener and always ready to try something new.
Bill Wright was a shops teacher for our school division and though he retired from employment he never stops teaching. He volunteers his time generously for The Classic Garden and other organizations and people in the area. His innovative manufacturing skills have been the bones of our manufacturing process as we create items for sale to support The Classic Garden activities. When we arrive at The Centre and things have miraculously been done while we were gone, we know Bill has been there! He also instructs some of our workshops, assists with many others and is always contributing his energy, skills and often his tools to our renovation project.
For information on anything to do with The Classic Garden, call 204-842-3846 or email email@example.com