Eastern Manitoba Concert Association

History of EMCA

The Eastern Manitoba Concert Association (EMCA) is a community presenter of professional musical entertainment in the Eastman Region. An incorporated non-profit, volunteer organization, EMCA has maintained a professional venue for artists, provided educational opportunities for students and enriched the cultural life of Eastern Manitobans for 44 years.

The EMCA formula is simple: quality concerts and a rewarding community volunteer experience. EMCA has presented over 200 professional performances of Manitoban, Canadian and International artists. More than 25 Juno Award Winners, numerous Prairie and East Coast Music Award winners and even Grammy and Oscar Winners have performed on the EMCA Stage. Examples are Buffy Ste. Marie, Leona Boyd, Ian Tyson, The Borodin String Quartet, Finjan, Stan Rogers, Lois Marshall, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Natalie McMaster. With volunteer production and local business sponsors, almost every dollar of ticket revenues goes to artist fees. EMCA gives Eastern Manitobans A-list performances at affordable prices.

EMCA subscribers are from a large area, including Pinawa, Lac du Bonnet, Whitemouth, Seven Sisters, Pine Falls, Powerview, Beausejour, Nopiming and Whiteshell Parks and the surrounding countryside. EMCA is also a customer for equipment (more than $100,000 has been invested in sound, lights and stage hardware), services (advertising, publishing, agencies, equipment rentals) and hospitality (hotels, restaurants, events), contributing to the Eastern Manitoba economy.

EMCA provides many services to the community. These include technical support with lighting and sound to other community groups such as theatre and band, a music scholarship, music education support to area schools, and a volunteer recognition program. EMCA also provides fundraising opportunities for other non-profit community groups, for example, to supply refreshments during intermission to raise funds for their particular activities.

A volunteer Board of Directors runs EMCA, responsible for Administration, Publicity, Advertising, Membership, Staging, Lighting, Sound and Artist Liaison. It takes intensive on-the-job training to master these positions at the level demanded for professional presentations. Volunteers train for a full year and turn over their position every three years. As a result EMCA has grown deep roots in the community - in its 44-year history, more than 200 citizens of the region have been a volunteer Director at one time or another - combining fun, achievement, community enrichment, a quality venue, an audience for artists . and of course, enjoyment of the concerts.

That is the substance and value of EMCA to cultural life in Eastern Manitoba. After 44 years of hard work and careful spending - attracting a faithful audience and paying its bills, EMCA is a favourite destination for performing artists across the country. EMCA is a valuable and popular institution in Eastern Manitoba.