Pamela Rebello, O.M.
Call it kismet or fate, but Pamela (Godinho) Rebello was born to lead. Her trail began in India, continued to the United States and then to Canada. She is a lifelong volunteer and pioneer in the areas of arts, culture, education and race relations. She was the first woman to chair the Manitoba Intercultural Council, the first visible minority to be appointed to the Manitoba Arts Council and in the very first investiture of the Order of Manitoba – the first Asian woman to receive this great honour. A certified teacher with a graduate degree in Educational Administration and Foundation, she chose to use her knowledge, skills and vision to support and build Manitoba’s arts and cultural communities.
Rebello is an educator, author (script writer), public speaker and an advocate for women of all ages and cultural backgrounds. She headed to the United States to marry Dennis, a Fulbright Scholar, and then proceeded to Manitoba in the late 1960’s for a life of faithful volunteerism, cultural exchange and further education. Rebello made a conscious choice to make Winnipeg more than just a home, but a place where her heart, her talent and her dream for Canada could take root. She broke barriers, built bridges and scaled new heights as an immigrant, as a visible minority, and a woman in various organizations at the municipal, provincial and national levels. She has served and has held numerous appointments in the areas of race relations, multiculturalism, arts education and has been recognized for her volunteerism, mentorship and expertise in international education. However, she has never once rested on her achievements, but strives every day to demonstrate gratitude to her province by using her creativity, enthusiasm and community building skills to transform the landscape of Manitoba. This has allowed Winnipeg to set the stage for embracing cultural diversity and showcasing world-class performances.
She was the first and only executive director of the renowned India School of Dance, Music and Theatre Inc. (a non-profit cultural arts organization), which just celebrated 40 years of excellence in the Performing Arts of India in Canada. She has masterfully written scripts addressing the need for redress and reconciliation with our Indigenous Peoples and the need to respect climate change and the environment, through her collaboration with other artists in dance, music and multimedia. Rebello ensures that each performance is more than entertainment, but a soul-stirring experience of the body, mind and spirit through her guidance and inspiring leadership.
On top of being president, chair, and/or member of many provincial and national arts organizations in earlier years, she continues to remain committed to cross-cultural education, race relations and other initiatives to the present day. As mother of three children and grandmother of five, she believes that respect and courage are keys to unlock dreams. Rebello encourages everyone to blaze a path that leads to the empowerment of women around the world.