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 since 1973.
The EMCA formula is simple: deliver quality concerts and a rewarding community volunteer experience. EMCA has presented over 300 professional performances of Manitoban, Canadian and International artists. More than 25 Juno Award Winners, numerous Prairie and East Coast Music Awardees, and even Grammy or Oscar recipients have performed on the EMCA stage. Examples are Buffy Sainte Marie, Leona Boyd, John Allan Cameron, The Borodin String Quartet, Finjan, Ian Tyson, Stan Rogers, Lois Marshall, The Rankins, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Natalie McMaster. With volunteer production and local business/government sponsors to help cover operating costs, almost every dollar of ticket revenue goes directly to artist fees. EMCA gives Eastern Manitobans A-list performances at very affordable prices.
EMCA subscribers come from a large area, including Pinawa, Lac du Bonnet, Beausejour, Whitemouth, Winnipeg, Seven Sisters, Pine Falls, Powerview, Whiteshell/Nopiming 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, and music education support to area schools. EMCA also provides fundraising opportunities for other non-profit community groups supplying refreshments during intermission to raise funds for their activities.
A volunteer Board of Directors runs EMCA. The Board is responsible for Administration, Publicity, Advertising, Membership, Staging, Lighting, Sound and Hospitality. It takes extensive on-the-job training to master these positions at the level demanded for professional presentations. Volunteers train for a full year and have their position replaced or renewed every three years. As a result, EMCA has grown deep roots in the community. In its long 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.
This is the contribution of EMCA to cultural life in Eastern Manitoba. After many 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.