First Nations artists from the region participated in a two-day workshop on how to keep language, arts and culture flourishing in their communities.
The First People’s Cultural Council, a Crown Corporation run by First Nations and founded by the provincial government, organized the workshop in the Prince Rupert Public Library last week.
The purpose of the meeting was to review their program, get feedback from those who use the program and to assist with grant writing.
The multipurpose room at the library was full with 28 artists and representatives of art organizations from Moricetown, Metlakatla, Hazelton, Terrace and Prince Rupert. The council assisted with travel costs, accommodation and meals to make it possible for people to attend.
The arts programs manager, Cathi Charles Wherry, came from Vancouver Island as part of the cultural council’s outreach to the north. She said this year they have had more resources and support from funding partners and the BC Arts Council.
“That has allowed us to support the cost of people traveling to participate and in smaller more remote places it’s obviously an issue or a challenge and to make the most of our time here,” Wherry said.
On the first day, the cultural council asked participants about its ongoing programs and if their objectives are relevant, and what people are observing in their own communities. They asked where they would like to see more support and how the program should look in the future.
On the second day they explained the support and services available from the First People’s Culture Council for the arts and held a grant writing session where they offered tips on how to construct a good proposal.
Joanne Finlay, an Aboriginal Arts Administrator with the First People’s Culture Council and a Prince Rupert resident, coordinated with the library. “She’s a committed arts support and a good partner with us,” Wherry said.
The workshop was viewed as a success by the organizers who were pleased with the large turnout.