Meet Audrey, MAC’s Director of Granting

Last July, Audrey Dwyer joined the MAC team as our Director of Granting. We sat down with Audrey to learn more about her previous work in the arts sector, her role here at MAC, and some fun facts about our newest member of the MAC Management Team!

Before coming to MAC, Audrey worked in the film and theatre industries both locally and nationally as a playwright, screenwriter, actor, director, dramaturge, mentor, teacher, and artistic leader. She was the Artistic Director of Cow Over Moon Children’s Theatre, the Assistant Artistic Director of the Tarragon Theatre and the Associate Artistic Director of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

MAC: What brought you to the Manitoba Arts Council?

AD: Two things have brought me to MAC: my love of the arts and my love of the granting process. I believe in the transformative power of the arts and arts funding plays an important role in that transformation. I come from an artistic background. I have spent years as an artistic leader. I’ve spent years advocating for artists and arts organizations. Before arriving at MAC, I examined my artistic career. I spent a great amount of time considering my experience and where I could be in service in the most impactful way.

I’ve been an artist for over twenty-five years. I love the granting process. I consider myself a granting nerd. I’ve loved sitting in front of a laptop and answering application questions. I enjoyed the focused time to think about how to bring my ideas to fruition and articulate my plans with clarity. I was thrilled to find that sweet spot between passion and intellect. I have had the pleasure of participating in numerous assessment panels. It has been an honor to participate, to listen and learn. It was so satisfying to support communities through assessment. I’ve loved learning about what artists are working on, what they need and what organizations have planned for the communities they serve. It was wonderful to learn what we, as a people, are grappling with creatively.  To be honest, there is so much I love about the granting process. I could go on for hours.

What is your role at MAC as our Director of Granting?

As the Director of Granting, I manage MAC’s grant activity. I work with the program consultants, the program administrators, the finance department, the communications department, and the digital systems department. I serve as a bridge connecting and supporting all those teams. My responsibilities are robust – from analyzing and evaluating our programs to creating schedules and executing awards, participating in budget and policy development, and working on outreach plans.

How has your experience as an artist and arts professional helped you at MAC?

AD: My experience as an artist and as an arts leader allows me to understand where people are coming from when it comes to creation, community building, funding, and more. This understanding also helps me to advocate.

Throughout many stages in my career, I’ve worked on grant applications. I know what it is like to write them, to be awarded and to be declined. I know what it feels like to receive feedback and to start all over again. I have worked within numerous organizations and institutions – as a mentor, teacher, guest artist and writer. I’ve also worked with many arts organizations created to serve the marginalized and the socially isolated.

I have a deep appreciation for everyone who contributes to arts and culture. To listen to their experiences and plans is a pleasure and a privilege. I’m thankful to be able to connect with them.

What excites you most about your role?

Well, I will say, the team here has brought me a lot of excitement. Everyone here is so kind, generous and intelligent. There is a strong foundation of knowledge and service at MAC. I’m excited to be a part of this passionate and committed team.

It has been exhilarating to get to know the artists and the arts organizations throughout Manitoba. It has been nearly a year for me as the Director of Granting. I’ve met with numerous artists and have spent time visiting organizations here in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba. It has been wonderful to get to know people, to hear their needs, what they are celebrating and what they are concerned about. I feel excited to meet more people, to see more of their work and to connect with them.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I love karaoke. My signature song is “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and learned a little more about Audrey! To connect with Audrey, you can email her at

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