Ottawa

'Explosion' of aboriginal art coming, says Canada Council president

A new collection on display in the foyer of the Canada Council for the Arts on Elgin Street showcases a wide range of expression from Canada's aboriginal artists. The exhibition highlights the council's focus on nurturing indigenous arts, at a time when more money from the federal government is expected.

'New investment in the council will mean more resources for aboriginal artists'

      1 of 0

      The confirmation came just days after the Liberals swept to power. The newly-minted minister of Canadian heritage, Mélanie Joly, vowed she would deliver on a campaign promise to double annual funding to the country's arts funding agency, the Canada Council for the Arts, to the tune of $360 million.

      Joly and Canada Council president Simon Brault are old friends, and Brault says they remain in regular contact. But publicly, he maintains a cautious tone about the funding.

      "Until the moment it is in the budget, the cheque is not in the mail, but it's clear that a new investment in the Canada Council will mean more resources and more resources for aboriginal artists," Brault said.

      Brault made the comment as he browsed a collection of contemporary aboriginal art on display in the foyer of the council's headquarters on Elgin Street.

      Temporal Re-Imaginings, curated by Alexandra Kahsenni:io Nahwegahbow, explores how indigenous people understand time and the remember the past. Works by both established and emerging artists including Carl Beam, Mary Longman and Joi T. Arcand depict changing landscapes, historical myths and memories.

      Kahsenni:io Nahwegahbow said the Canadian aboriginal arts scene is vibrant, exciting and multi-dimensional, thanks in part to support from the Canada Council. 

      A new curation on display in the foyer of the Canada Council for the Arts on Elgin Street showcases a wide range of expression from Canada's aboriginal artists. The exhibition highlights the council's focus on nurturing indigenous arts, at a time when more money from the federal government is expected. 0:36

      In June 2015 the council re-imagined the way it funds the arts, creating a program specifically designed for aboriginal artists, directed and juried by members of the indigenous arts community. Brault says when the council starts getting more money, so will the aboriginal arts program. 

      Brault believes Canada is about to see an explosion of artistic expression from emerging aboriginal artists.

      A new curation on display in the foyer of the Canada Council for the Arts on Elgin Street showcases a wide range of expression from Canada's aboriginal artists. The exhibition highlights the council's focus on nurturing indigenous arts, at a time when more money from the federal government is expected. 0:33

      Temporal Re-Imaginings is showing at 150 Elgin St. until the end of April.