Date: Thursday, May 13
Time: 5:00PM CDT
Join artist Chris Reid in conversation with Heather Bolech, Florence Halcrow, and Sandy Trudel, who have decades of experience between them working with and for people in Brandon who have experienced homeslessness. The panelists will offer the insight of their experience, adding a bit of nuance to the surreality of the world depicted in Nothing Smells in Absolute Zero.
Heather Bolech started working at Samaritan Housing Ministries as a support worker in 2018. She then moved to Clearing the Path, where she held workshops that share skills to declutter to maintain residences. She remained involved with the shelter, and is now the site supervisor. Born in Brandon, Heather holds a degree in Recreation Management from the University of Ottawa, and an Applied Counselling diploma from ACC. Heather was also the head coach for the swimming team in the Special Olympics from 1993-2006, competing at the local, provincial, and national levels.
Florence Halcrow has been instrumental in providing unique programming designed to empower individuals and families facing homelessness in Brandon for close to 10 years. Florence began her career as the coordinator of Fresh Start, a social enterprise, that provided training while employing people. In 2021, she initiated the Ask Auntie program in response to gaps in providing basic services for marginalized people. This included establishing a mailing address and getting documents (such as a birth certificate) required to access benefits.
Sandy Trudel has worked in the field of economic development for 27 years. As Director of Economic Development for the City of Brandon, her responsibilities include growing the local economy and population as well as overseeing the City of Brandon’s Affordable Housing, Tourism and Immigration Portfolios. She is very active in efforts to revitalize downtown Brandon. Born and raised in Northern Saskatchewan and the wife of a now retired military spouse, she has experienced the pleasure and headaches associated with frequently having to establish a new home across Canada and in Europe.
Installation View, Nothing Smells in Absolute Zero April 8 - May 29, 2021. Left to right: Abacus 1, 2, and 3, Wood and mixed media, 2017; Oral history installation, permanent marker on plastic sheeting, 2021.