Dear Members and Friends of the Winnipeg Film Group and Dave Barber Cinematheque,
It is with profound sorrow that we share the news of the sudden passing of our dear friend, collaborator and coworker Jaimz Asmundson: a beloved member of the film, music and arts community on January 1, 2024. Jaimz’s untimely departure has left us all with a deep sense of loss and an irreplaceable void in our hearts. Our thoughts are with Karen Asmundson, Graham Asmundson, Jackie, and all of his family, friends and colleagues.
Jaimz has been involved in the arts scene in Winnipeg since the age of 15. He was an extraordinary, gleefully transgressive, award-winning filmmaker, talented musician, film programmer and brilliant graphic designer known for his iconic original VHS covers.
Jaimz’s short films screened worldwide at festivals such as Hot Docs, Antimatter, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Ann Arbor, Lausanne Underground, Dawson City, BFI, Queer City Cinema, POP Montreal and Fantasia. He created the cult Super 8 favorite “Goths! On The Bus!” (2010) which went viral for a time and led to a comprehensive federal ban on crows on public transit in Canada. Other notable, beautiful works include “The Magus” (2011), a film that documents his father, visual artist C. Graham Asmundson’s body of work over a rigorous six-month period using cinematography and editing as magical weapons to ritualistically birth, destroy and resurrect his father’s work; and “Echoes” (2015), a rich, process-based visual meditation about his memories and dreams prior to his mother’s death.
Jaimz was a devoted cultural worker and dedicated much of his energy to the Film Group as the Programming Director of the Cinematheque in collaboration with Dave Barber for many years until Dave’s untimely passing. Jaimz took over subsequently. Jaimz was also an early curatorial member of the WNDX Festival of Moving Image and took over the responsibility of producing multiple successful editions of the Gimme Some Truth documentary festival in Winnipeg.
Jaimz was a gifted film editor who became in demand in the local film industry, but he preferred to work with his friends in the arts community and mentor new talent. As a member of the dark synthwave duo Ghost Twin, along with Karen, he was a fixture of the local music scene and toured extensively.
Beyond his professional achievements, Jaimz was a thoughtful, empathetic, kind-hearted soul known for his generosity, warmth and unwavering support for fellow artists. He was a true cinephile and beacon of creativity and passion, constantly encouraging others to pursue their artistic visions with courage and authenticity.
He was a devoted collector of VHS tapes, with peerless curatorial instincts and an almost frightening knowledge of the history and outer limits of these misbegotten formats. His passion was so great he modified the dashboard screen in his car to be able to play them. He was a well-known, respected, and much-loved member of the VHS community.
Above all, Jaimz was beloved by his colleagues. He was always most enthusiastic about creating commercials for Cinematheque, involving all the skills he had accrued from the many stations he had held in his life, his beloved coworkers and the comedic instincts he was raised with and knew instinctively.
He could also bench press over 500 hundred pounds (on a machine).
Any future student interested in the Winnipeg Film Group will deeply miss Jaimz’s presence, his sense of comedy is present in all of the films produced during his tenure there and is already deeply missed.
In honor of Jaimz’s legacy, the WFG is planning a gathering to celebrate his life. All are invited to share and remember him together.
Dave Barber Cinematheque
Friday, January 5th, 2024
3:00pm to 8:00pm
100 Arthur Street
Light refreshments will be available.
May we all find comfort in the memories we shared with Jaimz and the beautiful art he left behind. His spirit and love will continue to live on through his films and the countless lives he touched.
Accessibility Info: The main entrances of the Art Space Building at Arthur St. and King St. have automatic door push triggers. The West side entrance off King St. has a wheelchair lift to access the main lobby. Washrooms on the 1st floor have wheelchair accessible stalls with handrails, but do not have automatic doors.