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Remembering Dave Barber

Remembering Dave Barber, image
Photo of Dave Barber courtesy of the Winnipeg Cinematheque.

Remembering Dave Barber
Staff Editors

(July 29, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Northernstars has learned of the passing of one of the more important people in Canadian film and in particular to the filmmaking community in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Dave Barber was a crucial figure in the development of independent cinema in Winnipeg and an ally to generations of Winnipeg filmmakers. Part of the Winnipeg film group Cinematheque, Barber was a senior programmer there since 1982. The organization’s Interim Executive Director David Knipe confirmed that Barber passed away Monday night peacefully and surrounded by family. He had been extremely ill in hospital and was receiving care at the time of his death.

His reach was wide. We were alerted to his passing by someone in Québec and this statement, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of our colleague and dear friend Dave Barber,” came in a Twitter Post from The Cinematheque in Vancouver. “He was a kind, generous, and unpretentious man who was much-loved by the communities he served and the many filmmakers he encouraged. He made a difference and he will be missed.”

In addition to his work with Winnipeg’s film community, Barber played an important role in the formation of the Gimli Film Festival and was a senior film programmer there for six years. He was the recipient of many awards for his efforts including the Winnipeg Arts Council’s first ever ‘Making a Difference’ award in 2007, which highlights art professionals who contribute to the growth and development of the arts in Winnipeg.

A friend and mentor to all, Winnipeg-based writer-director Sean Garrity, quoted in an article by CBC News, said “He made time for everybody and was happy to help filmmakers at every level.”