Mentoring Artists for Women's Art (MAWA) is hosting its 19th annual Over the Top Art Auction and Cupcake Party fundraiser to continue supporting people in the community.

Founded in 1984, MAWA is a visual arts education centre that provides services to women and gender minority artists in working towards gender inequality in society and the visual arts community. They provide a wide range of programs such as mentorships, workshops and discussion groups.

"Visual art is a universal language, it's something we all respond to. It's part of the fabric of our daily lives," says Shawna Dempsey, co-executive director, of MAWA. "It can inspire us, it can comfort us. We're really an interface between artists and the larger community. By helping to create a creative community by helping to support artists, we think we help Winnipeg at large be a more interesting place and especially here on Main Street we're a positive, creative safe space."

MAWA offers various types of artistic programs, often from different cultures. Dempsey says this is to attract a large demographic into their welcoming and safe environment.

Over the Top Art Auction and Cupcake Party Fundraiser

On April 14-16, MAWA will be celebrating its 19th annual Over the Top Art Auction and Cupcake Party fundraiser in support of women and gender minorities.

"It's a very much anticipated event because it's a chance for people to purchase work by established artists and up-and-coming artists. They need to discover the next Wanda Coupe is going to come out of Winnipeg."

Dempsey says they have received around 170 donations from artists and over 700 cupcakes from local businesses for visitors upon arrival to the auction.

"I really believe that art can change the world, that art can create positive change and I see that every day in the artists we work with. I see that here on Main Street, i and I see it in Winnipeg. We are a really creative place in many ways. Winnipeg is the visual art capital of Canada, despite its small size, because our community values the visual arts."

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door, 611 Main St.

For any artist out there interested in donating their work, or a local business or passionate baker willing to bake some cupcakes for the crowd, they are encouraged to contact MAWA at