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Ray Dirks receives award


Ray Dirks, curator of the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery

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October 4, 2011
-Deborah Froese with notes from Nadine Kampen

Winnipeg, MAN. — On September 30, 2011, Canadian Mennonite University honoured Ray Dirks as its 2011 CMU Blazer Distinguished Community Service Award winner.  Dirks is curator of Mennonite Church Canada’s Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery.

“Through this award, we offer a gesture of appreciation for his artistry, his vision, and his commitment to bridging cultural divides and fostering respect, for all people, in all that he does,” said CMU President Gerald Gerbrandt.

Dirks grew up in Abbotsford, British Columbia. After studying commercial art and design at Vancouver Community College, he embarked on a series of international experiences that helped to shape his life and ministry.

For the past several years, Dirks has been involved with In the Spirit of Humanity, a MHC Gallery project supported by the Winnipeg Foundation, Welcoming Communities Manitoba and Manitoba Education. Through the project, Dirks with Hindu artist, Manju Lodha and Muslim artist, Isam Aboud, meet with students of all ages across Manitoba to encourage sharing, respect and acceptance of one another across cultural and faith differences.

The CMU Blazer Distinguished Community Service Award was established in 2010 to recognize contributions of service through leadership, artistic, political, or volunteer contributions within the broader community.