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The 18th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (Oct 18-22, Toronto)

“The 18th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival today announced the full programming for the Festival, running October 18-22, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. imagineNATIVE will present over 100 feature films, documentaries, shorts, and music videos created by Indigenous filmmakers with almost three quarters of the films (72%) made by Indigenous female directors.

imagineNATIVE’s opening night gala on Wednesday, October 18 will be Waru a film directed by eight Māori women, telling the story of Waru, a young boy who dies at the hands of his caregiver. Each director tackles a ten-minute segment of Waru to create one complete, remarkable story through the lens of multiple family and community members as they deal with the horrific loss. On Sunday, October 22, the closing night gala will be The Road Forward, a musical documentary by Métis/Dene award-winning filmmaker, Marie Clements.

imaginenative-logo

Highlights from imagineNATIVE‘s feature film programs include Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier, the true-crime story revolving around a captivating reclusive woman from a small northern Manitoba reserve whose catfishing of an NBA superstar made international headlines; Sweet Country, from director Warwick Thornton and starring Hamilton Morris and Sam Neill in a period western set on the Northern Territory frontier; Juliana & the Medicine Fish, starring Adam Beach and Emma Tremblay; Our People Will Be Healed, Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film; and Kayak to Klemtu, the first feature film by Zoe Hopkins.

imagineNATIVE will also include a diverse selection of short film programs including the return of The Witching Hour, the annual midnight horror/comedy series; Receptors, a series of experimental, dramatic, and documentary shorts; Ambient Light, shedding a light on the polar region with five shorts from Sweden, Greenland and North America; and Channel 51 Igloolik, celebrating 30 years of Inuit video art with a world premiere screening of Bowhead Whale Hunting with My Ancestors by Carol Kunnuk and Zacharias Kunuk – the first episode from the seven-part television series, Hunting with my Ancestors.

imagineNATIVE is also proud to announce that Cree actor, humanitarian and activist Tina Keeper will receive the 2017 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence. Tina Keeper will receive her award at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival’s Awards Presentation on Sunday, October 22 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

imagineNATIVE will present A Wall is a Screen, a nighttime event that is part-walking-tour and part-film-screening that transforms the way people look at and interact with their city by projecting short films onto various surfaces. This will be the first time ever A Wall is a Screen will feature all Indigenous-made short films.

imagineNATIVE‘s music showcase The Beat, co-presented by Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), returns with live performances from Mob BounceKayla BriëtZiibiwan, and DJ Kookum, and a screening of eight music videos by Indigenous filmmakers and musicians.

The Digital Media Art+Cade, sponsored by Rezolution Pictures/Schoolü, returns to imagineNATIVE with projects including: The Cache, a digital photo essay from the Ammaaq family, who live north of the Arctic Circle; Standing Rock: People and Pride, an audio documentary by Kim Wheeler; Coyote’s Crazy Smart Science Show, a video game testing the mental might of the player; Impossible to Contain, a 360 video doc about the aftermath of a diesel spill in the waters of Bella Bella, BC; Purity & Decay, a video game utilizing the popular Telltale adventure game style; Thunderbird Strike, a 2D sidescroller game with the player flying from the Tar Sands to the Great Lakes as a thunderbird protecting Turtle Island; He Ao Kotahi, a web series featuring Māori artists in Palestine; and XINONA, a digital animation essay set in an alternative universe where planets are made of kale, kombucha and beer.

imagineNATIVE’s Art Crawl will include three different locations, showcasing eight exhibitions at seven different galleries. This year’s Art Crawl will begin at OCADU with two exhibitions: For This Land: Inside Elemental and raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000–2015). The Art Crawl will then move to the 401 Richmond building with five Exhibition Premieres including: Mourning and Mayhem: The work of Adrian Stimson at A Space Gallery; Channel 51: Igloolik – The Filmmaking Process, at Trinity Square Video; Skawennati: for the ages, at The Commons; Territ-Aur(i)al Imprints at Prefix Gallery; and Raven Chacon: Report at YYZ Artists’ Outlet. The evening will end with Installation Preview: Transmissions Part II at Wallace Studios, a behind-the-scenes preview of filmmaker Lisa Jackson’s first art exhibition Transmissions, as well as watching the filming of Unearthed, a live performance that will be a centrepiece of the installation.

imagineNATIVE’s FREE Industry Series, presented by CBC and CBC Docs, returns with leading professionals from around the world teaching and discussing topics relevant to Indigenous media creators. The Industry Series running October 19 to 21 will open with a launch and details of the new imagineNATIVE Institute, panels including topics surrounding Indigenous protocols in film and media, the first ever Web Series pitch competition, networking events, and a Sound Design Masterclass with Māori artist Dave Whitehead, with credits on major motion pictures and shows including District 9, The Hobbit, Arrival and Netflix’s Okja.

The full schedule for the 18th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is now available online at imaginenative.org/calendar.”

-from ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival news release
Read imagineNATIVE’s profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Brampton Youth & Homeless Film Project (Reel Youth)

“Have you always wanted to get behind a camera, or to take your filmmaking skills to the next level?

Do you want to make a difference?

If you are nodding yes, then this program is for you!

• Learn how to plan, shoot, and edit a short film
• Work creatively with a small group of peers
• Get to know & make a film about an older person struggling with homelessness in Brampton
• Have a ridiculous amount of fun!

The Youth and Homeless Film Project is a unique filmmaking workshop that will bring together youth and homeless seniors, in a creative collaboration to produce short films.

In this FREE program, you will work with a small group to create films that explore the stories of 6 adults in your community who are homeless or living in poverty.

18 youth aged 14-24 will be chosen to participate. No experience necessary!

All of the films will be screened as a part of a community film festival. They will also be submitted to the touring Reel Youth Film Festival, distributed on YouTube, Facebook, and showcased on the Reel Youth website.

Meals and snacks are included!
Transit tickets will be provided if you need them.

THIS IS A 7 DAY PROGRAM. THE DATES ARE:
Nov 1-3 4pm – 8pm
Nov 4-5 11am – 5pm
Nov 11-12 11am – 5pm

Jan 25 GALA FILM SCREENING!! 6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: Regeneration Outreach Community
156 Main Street N., Brampton, ON L6V 1N9″

For information and to apply, please visit this page here.

-submitted by Reel Youth
Read Reel Youth’s Profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Celebrate and support 15 years of story telling with Toronto’s only free community film festival: Regent Park Film Festival

Celebrate and show your support for the Regent Park Film Festival this year by joining us for a screening of Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World!

Please join us for our annual fundraising screening! The night will be hosted by CBC’s Duncan McCue, host of CBC Radio One Cross Country Checkup.

To start things off, join us for a cocktail reception featuring an amazing spread compliments of Cinq Foods, Steam Whistle beer, a performance by First Nations artist Arthur Renwick, a silent auction and raffle full of goodies and get a sneak peak of the 15th annual Regent Park Film Festival’s line-up.

After the film, stay for a panel discussion with Arthur Renwick and two special guests.

Thu, 12 October 2017
Cocktail Reception: 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Film and Talkback: 7:30pm – 10:30pm

Celebrate 15 years of story telling with Toronto’s only free community film festival while helping to keep Regent Park Film Festival’s year-round programming free for all to enjoy and take part in.

About the Film

This documentary tells the story of the influence Native Americans has had on contemporary music. Some of the most influential musicians of our time reflect on the importance Indigenous musicians have had on their music and their contributions to popular culture. Featuring Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Iggy Pop, Jimmy Page, Slash, Taboo and more. This film is one to watch for all music lovers.

The film received great success at HotDocs winning the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary and the HotDocs Audience Award.”

For more information, please visit Regent Park Film Festival’s event page.

-from Regent Park Film Festival
Read Regent Park Film Festival’s profile on ArtBridges’  Community-Engaged Arts Directory & Map

NFB & imagineNATIVE Seek Innovative Interactive Project Proposals by Indigenous Artists in Canada

“The NFB, in partnership with imagineNATIVE, is proud to continue supporting Indigenous artists in Canada’s interactive-media field.

The NFB/imagineNATIVE Interactive Partnership returns in 2017 to support both the development and production phases of one (1) selected project, with a focus on artistic cultural experiences for mobile phone, tablet and virtual reality technologies. The project will premiere to the diverse range of audiences reached through the NFB and imagineNATIVE networks.

An Indigenous Canadian (or international Indigenous artist with Canadian citizenship), working with the NFB Digital Studio in Vancouver, will develop the project during the course of one year starting in October 2017. The NFB Digital Studio will have the option to produce or co-produce the project, with a target launch date of October 2018 at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. The budget for the development phase will consist of cash and in-kind support of up to $50,000, while the final budget for the production phase will be determined by the overall scope of the project.

An NFB and imagineNATIVE selection committee will choose the project through a call for submissions that encourages proposals with culturally, creatively and technologically daring vision.

This initiative will build upon the selected artist’s creative and technical skills through the following:

  • Intensive development for the artist and their project with a minimum of two (2) visits to the NFB Digital Studio in Vancouver;
  • As part of the residency, the artist would not only work on their own project but would be invited to observe and liaise with the NFB team on the production and development of other projects, furthering cross collaboration, skill building and knowledge sharing;
  • The NFB’s Digital Studio in Vancouver would produce the development phase of the project: from idea through conception, interactive design, visual/graphic design, and proof of concept and/or prototyping;
  • The development phase will include a DigiLab; this two-day development lab will bring together a small team of key creative thinkers and will be tailored to the needs of the project, in order to support the evolution of the project idea;
  • Work to complete the project in the production phase will be determined by the unique requirements of the selected project.

The NFB would have first right (but no obligation) to produce or co-produce the work; imagineNATIVE will coordinate the submission and selection process and highlight the artist as well as the project premiere at the 2018 festival through engagement with the industry and the arts community.

Over the past five years, the NFB and imagineNATIVE have collaborated on a digital partnership that aims to support new forms of Indigenous artistic expression and offers Canadian Indigenous artists an opportunity to create audacious, innovative and socially relevant new-media works. It has resulted in the release of three captivating interactive projects that demonstrate the spirit and heart of Indigenous experiences in Canada today: De Nort (2012) by the ITWÉ Collective, Similkameen Crossroads (2013) by Tyler Hagan, and the 2015 Venice Biennale-selected Ice Fishing (2014) by Jordan Bennett. In 2016, Cara Mumford’s Red Card went through a development residency to further hone her idea.

“We’re thrilled to continue to develop, produce and present the latest work in our partnership with the NFB, and for artists to explore Indigenous storytelling using the newest cutting-edge technologies available,” remarked Daniel Northway-Frank, imagineNATIVE’s Industry Director. Robert McLaughlin, Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio, added, “Supporting new and underrepresented voices within the Canadian cultural landscape is a key creative criterion of the National Film Board of Canada, and the partnership with imagineNATIVE has been crucial to meeting this mandate.”

The selected artist and proposal will be announced at the 2017 imagineNATIVE festival on October 19, 2017.

Applications for the NFB/imagineNATIVE Interactive Digital Residency will be accepted as of August 22, 2017, at www.imagineNATIVE.org, with a submission deadline of September 18, 2017.”

-from imagineNATIVE website

Call for Applicants: Reelworld Emerging 20 Program (Deadline: Aug 18)

It’s not too late to apply for the Emerging 20 Program! Applications close 5:00pm EST on August 18, 2017.

“Click here to read more about the program and how to apply!

Are you a content creator/filmmaker interested in telling stories that help audiences care about pressing issues and inspire social change? Would you like to be eligible to receive $125,000 from Telefilm’s Micro Budget Fund to make your first web series or feature film?

We are looking for 20 emerging content creators and filmmakers with projects in the pre-development or development phase, that have potential to both inspire and entertain. Whether your project is a documentary, dramatic feature, web series, or comedy, we are looking for stories that explore important themes and issues in ways that entertain, spark conversation, and expand minds.

The E20 Program is Reelworld’s initiative to connect some of Canada’s most talented emerging diverse talent with industry executives and professionals within the Canadian entertainment industry. E20s are given the opportunity to network, learn, and pitch their projects to industry decision makers.

Note: Applicants must be able to participate in all events which will take place in Toronto. Experience or training in film and television production is preferred. We are also on the lookout for applicants from a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives which are underrepresented.”

-from Reelworld website
Read Reelworld’s profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Wapikoni – Cinema on Wheels Tour Continues to Roll Across Canada

Wapikoni, Cinema On Wheels, showcasing stories made during Wapikoni stopovers rolls across Canada

“As part of Wapikoni Mobile’s first-ever coast-to-coast tour, Wapikoni: Cinema on Wheels will be stopping in various cities and communities across the country from April to November 2017 to bring a selection of incredible short films with compelling stories and incredible visuals directed by Indigenous youth from Eastern Canada to urban areas and remote communities. The Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels tour is part of “Wapikoni From Coast to Coast: Reconciliation Through the Media Arts”, a project under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and supported by the Government of Canada.

Cinema on Wheels offers three distinct programmes of shorts films that were selected in prestigious film festivals such as Sundance, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Montreal International Documentary Festival, the Cannes Film Market, etc.: the general public (14 shorts), the teen (10 shorts) and the youth 7-12 (8 shorts) programmes. Witness the flowering of a new generation of talented young Indigenous filmmakers, learn about other cultures and participate in a discussion about Indigenous films and realities with the projectionists-facilitators. The choice of these works, with their unique stories, is aimed at discovering dynamic Indigenous voices and incredible talents coming straight from the communities.

Don’t hesitate to contact Tanis Choueiri at diffusion@wapikoni.ca to book a FREE a screening in your community, school or to have the caravan stop at your festival!

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING DATES:

  • August 14 , 6pm: Toronto (Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, 16 Spadina corner of Bloor)
  • August 17, 11:30 am: Hiawatha First Nation (Youth Centre, 361 Hiawatha Line)
  • August 21, 12:30 pm: Alderville First Nation (Community Centre, 8913 Country Road 45, Roseneath, ON)
  • August 22, 7 pm: Peterborough (Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, 580 Cameron Street)
  • August 24, 11:30 am: Moose Deer Point Rec Center (1011 Ogemawahj Rd.)
  • September 9: Rideau Hall, Ottawa
  • September 15: Montréal
  • September 16: Festival de cinéma de la ville de Québec
  • We are currently booking more dates and taking reservations. Our calendar is updated daily.

“Through the project ‘Wapikoni from Coast to Coast: Building Bridges and Reconciliation through Media Arts’, young Indigenous Canadians will have the opportunity to be heard and to exchange ideas. The audiovisual and musical creative workshops will give young creators the chance to express themselves, and the resulting works will be presented in several communities across the country. Let’s take advantage of the 150th anniversary of Confederation to have a positive dialogue and to strengthen relations between us all,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

From April to November, a caravan equipped with exterior projection equipment and staffed by two facilitators will travel west to east, covering 10 Canadian provinces and stopping in 100 Indigenous
communities and 50 cities. The screenings will be in English, French and Indigenous languages.

We have 3 programmes:
– general public (14 shorts)
– teen (10 shorts)
– youth 7-12 (8 shorts)

“One of Wapikoni’s most cherished dreams has come true: Making the voices of Indigenous youth who we have worked with for over 13 years echo throughout Canada, establishing a dialogue between communities of all origins through their films. These works are a unique part of Indigenous cultural heritage,” says Manon Barbeau, Executive Director of Wapikoni.

“We believe in the power of film to affect change. That’s why a program like Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels is so important. It helps amplify the voices of these emerging Indigenous creators,” says Jacqueline Dupuis, Executive Director of VIFF. “We believe in supporting the talent that exists here in Canada and are always on the lookout for good stories and innovative ways of creating them. We are honoured to partner with Wapikoni in sharing the often unheard stories created by Indigenous youth across Canada.”

About Wapikoni
Wapikoni Mobile is a travelling audiovisual and musical creation studio dedicated to Indigenous youth. Since 2004, Wapikoni has visited over 20 communities and accompanied thousands of participants who worked to direct close to 1,000 short films translated into several languages. These films have received 146 awards and honours at national and international festivals. Wapikoni is under the patronage of UNESCO.”

-from Wapikoni Mobile website
Read Wapikoni’s profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Profile Highlight: And Also Too

As ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory grows, we realize that it’s a bit overwhelming to read through all of the profiles. We’re hoping that by occasionally highlighting some profiles on our blog, you may learn about an initiative that you may not have initially seen in the directory. Also, if you know of a Canadian community-engaged arts for social change initiative that isn’t in our directory, but should be, please let us know! We love and need your input/feedback in building this resource! -Lisa, Content Coordinator at ArtBridges.

And Also Too is a collaborative design studio. We work with people who are imagining alternatives to unjust systems, who see a need to use new and unconventional strategies to tackle complex social problems, and who are ready to participate deeply in the design process.

We facilitate groups of people connected by choice or circumstance to co-design the future. We believe that people are experts in their own experiences, that everyone has the ability to participate in creative processes, and so we design with and not for communities experiencing injustice.

Our task is to help shine light on the issues and uplift the answers that the community holds. We draw inspiration from the community’s culture and history to co-create resources and tools that are unique, accessible, and delightful.”

To read more about And Also Too, please see their profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Profile Highlight: Eastmain Art Hive (Eastmain, Québec)

As ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory grows, we realize that it’s a bit overwhelming to read through all of the profiles. We’re hoping that by occasionally highlighting some profiles on our blog, you may learn about an initiative that you may not have initially seen in the directory. Also, if you know of a Canadian community-engaged arts for social change initiative that isn’t in our directory, but should be, please let us know! We love and need your input/feedback in building this resource! -Lisa, Content Coordinator at ArtBridges.

“The Eastmain Art Hive, located in the Cree Nation of Eastmain, on the James Bay is a free community Art Studio offering a mixture of traditional arts and crafts and contemporary art activities. The primary activities of the Eastmain Art Hive are painting and sewing; however, the Art Hive is involved in many creative projects and partnerships around the community involving youth, adults and elders. Some of the past and ongoing initiatives include: paintings for the arena complex, an art fair showcasing local artist’s work, traditional crafts like tamarack geese making and beading, a self defense course and sharing circle, art therapy workshops, photovoice, library and greenhouse projects. The Eastmain Art Hive encourages intergeneration learning, positive social engagement and creative art-making in a non-judgmental environment.”

To read more about Eastmain Art Hive, please see their profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

DAREarts Attawapiskat 2017 Song: We are the People & Reflection: artist-educator

The following post originally appears in DAREarts blog and has been reposted with DAREarts’ permission. Special thanks to DAREarts for sharing this piece with us and for inviting ArtBridges to participate. For more information on DAREarts, please visit DAREarts.com 

Written by DAREarts artist-educator Glenn Marais.

“DAREarts came to the community of Attawapiskat to hear a story about the original Bear Clan from a knowledge keeper, John Matthews, and to take that story and create a film, visual art, a song and a slideshow of pictures to accompany the music. We worked for three days, two seventy five minute periods, with the high school students on a very condensed schedule, including two evenings and one day after school.  What happened was incredible as the students and teachers came together and worked in the spirit of true partnership to create a stunning and moving cinematic interpretation of the story, with original music created by them and a powerful and moving song that expressed the story of their lives and their love of the land.

The sun sets late in Attawapiskat. At 10:00 O’clock it starts to go down and the night sky comes out, crystal clear constellations arcing across the stratosphere, a sailor’s map, starry legends over a world that sleeps but does not rest.  It rises early, breaking the horizon with a brilliant northern radiance illuminating the dusty streets and weathered roofs of the reserve.  The homes are falling apart after the tyranny of the long, cold winter and the morning sounds of rumbling trucks and nails being driven, blend into the chaotic orchestra of a community waking and beginning to move through the day. Its sounds are just like any other town or community coming to life with the promise of the morning. Only here, it is less about promise than survival. There is a magnificent white Catholic church, tall and majestic by the water with stained glass windows that tell the history of the people and whispers of apologies for past wrongs.  Truths have yet to come and apologies given for Residential schools and that is part of the healing that must happen. It is part of a history long buried, that has been disturbed, opened and left like a forgotten graveyard.

Today’s youth live within the reality of the schools ignoble past.  In the shadow of their parents haunted memories, they struggle to burst free and find the glorious sun that shines so long in the summer and hibernates in the winter. Yesterday, one of the high school students walked and talked with us and her words were true, direct and honest, filled with a piercing, unabated intelligence that captivated and charmed us and as she ascended the wooden stairs that are ubiquitous in this community, slowly opening the door to her home that rested in a state of decay, my heart broke for her and I felt ashamed because my feelings seem powerless to help her.

The name reserve fails to describe the pulsing heart of this community.  What a shallow name for a community of people.  We name things in this world for convenience of categorization and to displace the fact that we have committed wrongs. A dressed up wound still bleeds despite our arrogant nature and human nature is arrogant, particularly when it vaunts it’s self as civilized and tromps over anything that doesn’t fit inside it’s neat, tight lineage. The reserve isn’t a dumping ground for an inconvenient culture.  It is a living breathing community that celebrates and mourns, dances and shuffles, sings and cries like any other.  When you fly into a northern community, the sheer beauty of it is staggering.  Hundreds of pristine lakes and rivers dot the landscape of silty islands, whose fish laden waters and abundant wildlife enrich the land. The land is the mother and the connection runs deep, through memories, and stories of creation, and growth with 44 clans coming from the original clan bear clan.  An ancient system of identification and relationship to the animal world that kept the bloodlines as pure as the waters that surround this island community.  The name Attawapiskat means, “People of the parting of the rocks” and it is an island of many created by the surge of the mighty Attawapiskat river, where the people live in harmony with great respect for nature and the balance of life.

This land is much more than its surface appearance of dirt, dusty roads and broken homes. It has the pulse of the Earth mother and connects the people in ways we can’t begin to imagine. We look at land as possession, here it is the heartbeat of a world that is interdependent, with everything flowing and weaving in and out of a glorious kaleidoscopic tapestry that bedazzles the eyes and stirs the soul. It is the sound of a motorboat powering a launch into the rising sun, the crack of a rifle across a winter plain, bringing home food to a family during the cold winter season, and it is the cry of the pow wow singer whose voice is the sound of the elders echoing through the universe. What great spirit inhabits this land and what wonders await if we can learn to walk in humble shoes and beside our First Nations people.

I have heard people say we should remove them from the reserve and integrate them into society as if the “them” in this conversation are inanimate beings that we can move on some self-righteous chessboard. What about a question? How can we work with you to make things better for you? Where can we begin and sit down with you as brothers and sisters in a circle and come to an understanding and a reckoning of our true history, so that we can move forward together, like the two rows on the Iroquois Wampum belt, in a peaceful union? I don’t dream of such things, I speak of them and when I play my guitar and sing and drum, I sing to the heavens, the Earth, my family and my promise, to never stop until things change.  For now, I walk these dusty roads with my eyes, ears and heart open and look always forward to the sun, moon and stars, just like the words in the song that we wrote together:

“We are the sun, moon and stars, we are the trees
All around us, is everything we need
Everything we need is all around”

We live in an abundant world, made shallow by greed, and in this great land of broken promise and faded dreams are the glittering embers of a glorious past that knew, everything we needed was around us and not to take more than we needed. I heard a story on this trip from a noble young man of great character from Attawapiskat, who told us of being pursued by a wolf, when his skidoo broke down.  He told us how he shot around the wolf to scare him off and kept doing this even as the wolf closed in on him.  A man of lesser character would have killed the wolf.  He did not. This is the character of a man cast in iron and made of blood and bone who taught me so much with the simple power of his story.  Our life is meant to be lived in the teachings, with humility and wisdom with respect for ourselves and the world, with courage in the face of danger, so that we will lead with love and honesty, and in that way come to know our truth. To know the teachings of the grandfathers is easy, to live them is hard. Thank you my young friend for a life well lived and lessons well taught.


To read an overview of DAREarts’ week in Attawapiskat, click here.

DAREarts is a charity that empowers young at-risk Canadians aged 9 to 19 to ignite change as leaders. Visit darearts.com to learn more. DAREarts ‘First Roots’ program partners with First Nations to work alongside youths, local artists and elders and, together, address challenges such as school absenteeism, hopelessness and suicide.

PROJECT SUPPORTERS: Province of Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport; Ontario150; Northbridge Insurance; Anne Livingston; David & Teresa Thomas; Noront Resources; The Paul Semple Award; Allan Drive Middle School”

-posted with permission from DAREarts, read the original post here
Read DAREarts’ profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

DAREarts in Attawapiskat: “Our Stories are a Part of Us”

The following post originally appears in DAREarts blog and has been reposted with DAREarts’ permission. Special thanks to DAREarts for sharing this piece with us and for inviting ArtBridges to participate. For more information on DAREarts, please visit DAREarts.com 

“In June 2017, DAREarts returned to Attawapiskat FN for a week of empowering workshops that helped many youth discover their voices and inner leadership. DAREarts workshops are facilitated by DAREarts artist-educators in partnership with the community. 

The first of our team to arrive in Attawapiskat FN was DAREarts artist-educator and cinematographer Peter Elliott, who met with the grade 7s of Kattawapiskak Elementary School on Friday to introduce them to DAREarts and the art of filmmaking. The class watched several short films created by other DAREarts First Nations youth. Peter then dared the class to take a big risk without being afraid of failure: they were going to create their own short film in just ONE day! In groups, the class ventured out onto the school grounds armed with cameras and creativity, capturing a variety of different angles and shots. Peter then used this footage, along with stock footage of an alligator, to bring their hilarious creation to life as “Attawapigator”. When they saw their video it was a raging success, and they asked for an encore viewing. Despite many of the students being quiet and shy, they were now ready to take on more DAREarts!

DAREarts Lead Teacher Laura MacKinnon, DAREarts artist-educator and musician Glenn Marais, and ArtBridges’ Seanna Connell arrived over the weekend to join Peter. The team met the grade 9 class at Vezina Secondary School on Monday morning, and after a creative introduction the class welcomed knowledge keeper John Matthews. He captivated the students with a story of the first clan, the Bear Clan, offering the youths inspiration for the week ahead. In the afternoon the team met the grade 12 class and repeated their introductions, and John Matthews returned to share the story with them as well. Both classes were invited to work with the team in the evenings throughout the week. The first evening had a small turnout, but was massively productive! Colin arrived first, spending the evening making beats on the keyboard with Glenn, brainstorming lyrics with Laura, and learning to use the video camera with Peter. Tyler then arrived, making a beeline for Glenn who worked with him to compose a whole melody on the keyboard. Chandler and Jamie were the last to arrive, working with Laura and Seanna to capture footage and write the film’s plot.

Tuesday was fast-paced, with the class formed into two groups: the Musicians and the Film Crew. The musicians worked with Glenn and Laura on the verses for their song and created music for their short film, while the film crew started casting and shooting their first scene with Peter and Seanna. A few of the youths were hanging back, but they took action when given the roles of assistant director, set photographer, and editor. In the evening, youths Keenan, Colin, and Jack Jr. (who is also a DAREarts Leadership Award recipient) arrived right away. Keenan worked with Glenn and Jack Jr. to record two rap verses he had written during the day, and Colin was joined by another arriving youth, Chandler, to go out and film using the shot list.

On Wednesday, another group was created: Visual Artists! Throughout the day, the musicians finished writing the chorus of their song and prepared introductory music for the film score. One youth, Ambrose, skillfully layered different notes and sounds to add the finishing touches to the chorus. The film crew worked on several group shot scenes in the teepee frame near the school, with youth Jade working as our set photographer. The visual artists created chalk pastel drawings of bears that were integrated into the film using green screen. In the evening, several youths met to record parts of the song, and Jack Jr. offered to narrate the film. Colin acted as audio engineer, Syvanna sang the chorus, Jack Jr. sang and recorded a traditional hand drum song, and Tyler rapped to add a powerful end to the track.

Thursday was a special Culture Days celebration at the school, so our team spent the day preparing the materials the youths had created. On Friday afternoon, everyone was welcomed to a special feast at the school that celebrated both the traditional Culture Days activities and the youths’ accomplishments with DAREarts. The feast began with a prayer and then everyone ate, enjoying many local delights. Once finished, they squeezed into teacher Mandy Alves’s classroom to screen the youths’ film, “Bear Clan”, and a slideshow music video created using their song and photography. There was laughter and joy all around! The students and audience squished together for a group photo before saying their goodbyes for the night.  It was the perfect end to a very special week, and the youths were so proud to bring smiles to the faces of their elders, teachers, families, and community members.


To read artist-educator Glenn Marais’s reflection, click here.

DAREarts is a charity that empowers young at-risk Canadians aged 9 to 19 to ignite change as leaders.  Visit darearts.com to learn more. DAREarts ‘First Roots’ program partners with First Nations to work alongside youths, local artists and elders and, together, address challenges such as school absenteeism, hopelessness and suicide.

PROJECT SUPPORTERS: Province of Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport; Ontario150; Northbridge Insurance; Anne Livingston; David & Teresa Thomas; Noront Resources; The Paul Semple Award; Allan Drive Middle School”

-posted with permission from DAREarts, read the original post here
Read DAREarts’ profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map