forum art centre building

The Forum Art Centre was established in 1964 to provide educational and cultural enrichment for the art community in and around Manitoba. Founded by Nikola Bjelajac and Steve Repa who worked diligently to create a non-credit art organization with instruction available to anyone willing to learn. Their dedication in making art education accessible to all in the community remains a foundational value of Forum Art Centre.

Nikola Bjelajac believed in a school that would be inclusive of anyone wanting to learn about art. He was a university professor in the School of Art at the University of Manitoba and was disenchanted with the politics, qualifications and grading that was required. He didn’t believe that anyone could be a juror to decide if someone was qualified to take an art class, that often grades were subjective and stunted exploration and creativity. He wanted to cultivate an enquiring mind on all things not only in the visual arts but those other related subjects such as history, philosophy, writing and science. All would help in the growth of an artist to see and explore the visual arts. The community of the day wanted a place where students and instructors alike would learn from each other through instruction, conversation, and the collective experience of artists together in one Forum.

The organization has been passionately cared for by a robust contingent of volunteers over the years. The board especially has an impressive history of volunteerism. Over 60 years of community service.

The Forum Art Centre has benefitted from the contributions of these dedicated administrative and artistic leaders:

  • Nikola Bjelajac – Founder and Director
  • Daryl Dumanski – ED
  • Dan Gregg – Art Director
  • Tom Andrich – Art Director

Today, Forum Art Centre has weathered many storms, but remains a bustling, welcoming and committed community art centre. It currently offers over 75 classes and workshops each year that are taught by professional artists and educators from the Winnipeg community.

2024 will mark Forum Art Centre’s 60th Anniversary

The Forum Art Centre (Institute) endeavours to develop and encourage art appreciation and artistic enlightenment. As a registered charitable organization, we provide this service to the community through various approaches of art instruction and awareness.

Forum Art Centre’s board, staff and instructors are committed to developing the full artistic potential of each student. Students’ innovative and experimental work is encouraged, nurtured, and promoted with enthusiasm for creating art .

We are dedicated to enhancing art comprehension by exposure to the expansive cultural histories and variety of visual art styles around the world.

The Forum offers an expanding range of classes in mediums such as painting, drawing, and clay. We also program workshops that explore a variety of mediums including craft, textiles, multimedia and more!

10 Week Sessions (with one 2-to-2.5-hour class per week) run in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Summer classes, workshops and camps are offered in July and August. Open Studio time is available on various days and times during each session.

Classes are designed specifically for Children ages 7 to 11, Teens ages 12 to 16 and Adults of all ages.​

collage of hands doing art
Ardith Boxall
Shawna Culleton
Programming & Outreach
Hailey Van Elslander
Programming &
Facility Assistant
Belinda Bontle Roy
Programming &
Facility Manager (on leave)


James Culleton
Frank Martin
Diana Fred
Bob Dann
Alison Wadge
Jim Corbett
Pamela Jeffrey
Alison RL


Embrace the arts and support Forum Art Centre with your generosity! Your contributions play a crucial role in ensuring our creative endeavours thrive. Together, let’s keep the Forum Art Centre thriving as a hub of artistic discovery and inspiration for all.

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Forum Art Centre is a proud member of the Manitoba Artist Run Centres Coalition

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that we gather on ancestral lands, on Treaty One Territory. These lands are the heartland of the Métis people. We acknowledge that our water is sourced from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation. Forum Art Centre is committed to moving forward in a spirit of gratitude and reconciliation.

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