40th-kevin-ramessarOn Friday November 2nd Imago hosted a full house at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio.

This 40th anniversary celebration included a variety of performing artists as well as visual artists. In my preparations for this event and for the fall newsletter I discovered a lot about the history of Imago and it influence both past and present. As part of the evening there was a video presentation with a dozen artists commenting about their connection with Imago.

The video can be viewed by clicking here. Also, we are putting together a disc which will include the video shown that evening, a full audio recording of all of the performances and a brief video interview with Imago’s Executive Director. As many of you were not able to attend we have asked a few of those who were there on November 2nd to provide some comments on their experience of the evening.40th-Joycelin-Ng

“My wife Sandra and I were delighted to attend the Imago 40th Anniversary celebration.

This was an inspiring event recognizing that the entire world of the creative arts belongs to God our creator, and recognizing that he wants his redeemed people to reflect his glory, grace and truth in this immensely important sphere of contemporary life and culture.

The mini biographies of the performers, and of 40 other artists, in the program notes, afforded a much appreciated insight into the lives of those whose gifts and dedication made the evening a time of admiration and joy. The history of European art and music reminds us that there was a time when the artistic expression of faith in Jesus Christ was not confined to a Christian subculture.

The forty years of Imago’s ministry gives us hope that we may be seeing the dawn of an era when that will again be true. Thank you John and your team, and the fourteen brilliant performers, we are deeply in your debt.” ~ Robin Guinness


“The 40th anniversary of Imago was a not-to-be-missed event!

Executive Director, John Franklin, brought together a variety of performances from dance to storytelling, from jazz to a visual arts display. Every artist was chosen for their connection with Imago and showed how this innovative organization has nurtured Christian artists in Canada and profiled their varied artistic expressions. The night was a tribute to the original vision of Imago’s founder, Wilbur Sutherland. It was also a trip down memory lane for those of us who have served on the board, or been involved as donors, or received encouragement and financial support from Imago.

After the performances, the audience gathered in the lobby for gourmet treats. They reunited with friends old and new to celebrate the arts. The last guests lingered long into the night –it was that kind of celebration. ~ Carolyn Dartnell40th-Trevor-Dick

“Imago’s 40th Anniversary event at Glenn Gould studio was a breathtaking celebration of Christians in the arts. Before that evening I had not appreciated the level of artistic accomplishment which they all displayed and wondered why we haven’t seen more of them in public performances. But that evening was one of sheer delight from opera to comedy, violin to guitar, jazz to classical and everything in between, with the common thread of doing everything for the glory of God. A wonderful experience!” ~ Bob Morris


“Wonder, the buzzword of the Christmas season, and the cumulative gift of each performance given at Imago’s 40th Birthday Celebration. Each offering gave witness to the astonishing work of the Creator – God in dance, in song, in laughter, in heartache, in perseverance, and in excellence. The importance of affirming artistic expression that penetrates our deepest fears, expresses our greatest joy, that poses difficult questions, that reveals our own hearts…is immeasurable. Imago’s gathering left me humbled, comforted and deeply grateful to see, hear and feel God’s presence through each unique performance. Many thanks, Imago.” ~ Jo-Ann Dell40th-Brad-Woods

“The November 2nd celebration of Imago’s 40th Anniversary was indeed a memorable occasion.

For me personally, it was an opportunity to reconnect with many people involved in the early days of Imago and to recall memories of those days. I marvel at how the meetings, first held in our living room forty years ago, were the beginning of this amazing ministry. It was uplifting to me to see what Gordon, my husband, had a part in so long ago is continuing as a vital organization. Throughout the evening there was a noticeable energy and excitement. I was not surprised that all the artists were very talented, skilled and professional.

However, I was surprised at the enormous number of artists Imago has supported over the years. I was surprised at the great variety of artistic expression. I was surprised that the reach of Imago extends across Canada and I was delighted to learn of the community, even family-like feeling existing among the artists. Imago’s influence has been both deep and extensive. I could not help reflecting how Wilbur’s vision for Imago has been fulfilled over and over again and how God continues to honour the dedication and good work of John Franklin and the Imago Board.” ~ Nancy McKye40th-Motus-O

“There are events that one attends and later forgets, and there are events that linger with delight in one’s memory; Imago’s 40th anniversary event was the latter. This event celebrated the arts and the artists’ God-given gifts and their stewardship of those gifts. It celebrated the community of faith and creativity that Imago has fostered. The evening was a feast of music, dance, visual arts, and word, all honouring 40 years of networking, support, education, patronage and donations, underpinned by God’s grace and faithfulness. Beyond the calibre of the arts, this delightful event was particularly significant on two levels; it demonstrated that Christian artists can rightfully claim their voices in any media, and it also demonstrated that Imago’s work is vital and needs to continue.

As each new generation of artists emerges and searches for its audience, these artists will need mentoring, support, and conversations about what it means to be Christian art-makers. May God continue to bring blessing on the arts, and may Imago continue to bless God’s creative children by providing a place for conversation, challenge and encouragement.” ~ Cindie Chaise