Gifted Ninette artist found slain in her home

Nicholas Mass now facing a charge of second-degree murder


A young man, currently held in custody, is now facing a charge of second-degree murder, following a shocking homicide in Ninette last week.

Police had been called out on Friday morning to carry out a well-being check on a woman in her Ninette home, they said. 

The two RCMP members who attended the call at the lakeside town then found the deceased body of Catherine Mass, a well-known artist in the community. 

Her alleged assailant, aged 22, was arrested at the scene. Police say the two were known to each other.

“On March 12, 2021, at approximately 9:00 a.m., Killarney RCMP attended a residence in Ninette, Manitoba, to check the well-being of a female,” said Corporal Julie Courchaine, media relations officer with the RCMP, in a March 13 press release.

Officers attended, and located a 61-year-old female deceased inside, she said.

 “A 22-year-old male was arrested at the scene,” said Courchaine. “Nicholas Mass has been charged with Second Degree Murder, and was remanded into custody.”

Killarney RCMP, along with RCMP Major Crime Services and Forensic Identification Services, continue to investigate, she added.

Sgt. Ed Riglin, area commander for the Turtle Mountain Area, said investigation has just begun into the circumstances of the tragic homicide.

“This case is extremely active at this stage, and the details specifically won’t be laid out for some time yet,” he said. “It may be a week or two before any further information is released by the investigating teams.”

Catherine Mass was a well-known and popular member of her community, and a beautifully creative artist, who had moved to the pretty town on Pelican Lake in the late 1990s. 

She held an honours degree in fine art from the University of Manitoba, and had also qualified as a papermaker and printmaker, plus she excelled in drawing, clay, and pottery work.

For several years she worked for Southwest Community Options, first as day service facilitator, and later as the communication and program development manager. 

The crafts produced by the supported individuals who attended the day centre flowered under her guidance. 

“The crafts require a lot of hand-eye co-ordination, and we spend time finding the skills for each individual,” Mass told this reporter back in 2010, during an interview at the Southwest Community Options. “Some crafts are a series of processes – we really do like the team approach. We share our sensibilities, and our talents. What we hope we are doing is instilling a sense of the ownership of their work. All of this goes towards social valourization.”

Click on the following link below to read the full 2010 Manitoba Co-operator story on Southwest Community Options and Catherine Mass.

A CELEBRATED ARTIST – Catherine Mass, 61, was well known in the Ninette community, and is shown here, back in 2010, during her time as communication and program director at Southwest Community Options. She was a gifted and vibrant artist, and will be deeply missed by all who knew her.