The year was 1970. Anne and Keith Love were twentysomething teachers working at different schools. “We met at the coke machine in the bowling alley during the teacher’s bowling league,” says Anne, with a mischievous smile. “We try never to make the same mistake again; we have never bowled in a league since.” That was in September and the couple were married in July.

Now the educators are retired. Both have spent the better part of their lives giving back to their community, by offering both their time and support as donors. They currently volunteer for many Winnipeg performing arts organizations as well as at their church, Westworth United.

Twice a week, the Loves make the twenty minute walk from their house in Norwood to MTYP at the Forks, where they usher during school performances.

“When I stopped teaching twenty years ago, I started volunteering at MTYP,” says Anne, fresh from working a school performance of What if Romeo and Juliet… “It’s the satisfaction of giving something back,” says Keith. “We know that by volunteering we are helping many Winnipeg’s arts organizations to flourish.”

The couple get a kick out of introducing children to live theatre. “The joy is in seeing the student’s faces when they really get into a show,” says Keith. “It’s always fascinating to see what kids see when they watch a play. At the Q and A during the last show, Torn Through Time, the questions were really insightful.”

It might be easier to list the Winnipeg cultural organizations that the Loves don’t volunteer for. Keith and Anne have been volunteering at the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra for more than 40 years! The dynamic duo currently donate their time to Royal MTC, Dry Cold Productions, Rainbow Stage, the Winnipeg Music Festival, the Manitoba Choral Associations annual ChoralFest, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Winnipeg and the Manitoba Branch of Royal Lifesaving Society. Anne is a hugger at the Manitoba Marathon.

They do try and keep their weekends free. But that can’t be easy.

What’s one of the biggest changes they’ve noticed over the years about attending cultural events? “People no longer have to get dressed up to go to the arts. They can really just come as they are.”

They say their loyalty to MTYP comes from always feeling welcome. “The staff have always been so friendly. They have always made a specific point of thanking us.”

Adds Keith, “If our volunteering can encourage other people to get involved, that’s great.” 

To volunteer at MTYP, contact Susan at [email protected]