Aboriginal arts organization forced to cancel conference plans due to Ontario funding cuts - Global News - Canadanewsmedia
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Aboriginal arts organization forced to cancel conference plans due to Ontario funding cuts – Global News

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After the Ontario government eliminated the Indigenous Culture Fund earlier in 2019, some Indigenous organizations have been left without funding.

The Aboriginal Arts Collective of Canada (AACC) previously received $25,000 from the Indigenous Culture Fund through the Ontario Arts Council (OAC). The funding was administered on behalf of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

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Dawn Setford, the founder and president of the AACC, said now that the Indigenous Culture Fund has been eliminated, the organization does not have enough funding to continue some of its efforts to preserve Indigenous arts and tradition.


READ MORE:
Ontario government eliminates Indigenous Culture Fund, cuts millions for the arts

Setford said she used the money to hold a conference earlier in March to teach Indigenous women about the spirituality behind the techniques of Indigenous arts and tradition. She said they brought in elders and artists who taught the participants about drum-making, ancient basketry, porcupine quilling, and caribou tufting — important ancient Indigenous art forms lost as time passed.

Without the funding, Setford said she’s unable to hold another a similar conference in 2020.

“I won’t be holding another one next year because I don’t have that funding,” said Setford.


READ MORE:
Ford government cuts funding to Ontario Arts Council, impacting Indigenous Culture Fund

“I can’t foresee having another conference without the support of the Indigenous Culture Fund and other funds that are similar,” she said.

Additionally, Setford said there is a difference between how Indigenous individuals perceive art and how non-Indigenous people do.

“Our art is completely based on spirituality and culture. In everything we make, there’s symbolism to a story, reference to a map or a pattern,” she said.

Dawn Setford (pictured in black) at the Indigenous Art Conference in Ottawa in March at the ribbon skirt workshop.

Shrestharth Ghosh / Fuzd

The Ford government cut arts sector support to $6.5 million from $18.5 million in May. The Ontario Arts Council was set to receive $10 million less in funding in 2019, which resulted in the elimination of the Indigenous Culture Fund.

However, Setford said the Indigenous Culture Fund did more than just support the arts.

“The Indigenous Culture Fund did not just support our artistic endeavors, so when somebody sees that that programming or funding was cancelled, it’s not just that we can’t paint anymore,” she said.

“That funding was actually very sensitively directed towards reclamation of our language; mentorship that helped us to relearn and then teach our children.”

Setford said the funding was meant to help them revitalize their languages, songs, performance art and traditional art, adding the fund also helped Indigenous women to gain momentum and relearn their traditions.

“We came together, a group of a couple hundred women, and we gathered in order to make sure that the original purposes of our arts weren’t forgotten,” she said.


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“That’s why this really hurts. Because generally speaking, we as Indigenous women were just getting momentum. We were just coming back to pride and not being afraid.”

A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport recently provided Global News with a statement regarding the cuts.

“The government believes that all artists, including Indigenous artists, play an important role in sharing cultural practices and strengthening communities’ well-being,” the statement read.

With respect to the elimination of the Indigenous Culture Fund, the spokesperson said it still supports Indigenous art in other ways.

“A $60-million investment in the Ontario Arts Council is seeing the continuation of numerous core programs that support Indigenous artists, musicians, and other individuals,” the statement continued.


READ MORE:
A list of cuts and changes Doug Ford has made this year as he tries to balance the budget

The programs cited by the government include Indigenous Arts Projects and Indigenous Presenters in the North: Music Projects.

Meanwhile, Setford said without the Indigenous Culture Fund the organization doesn’t have any other options in terms of funding.

She said the AACC is a Canada-incorporated not-for-profit organization that can’t afford to move forward and become a charity. Setford said corporations are more likely to give money to charities so they can claim it as a charity donation.

“Our funding is really limited to government sponsored councils, such as the OAC,” she said.

“Without the ICF, the Canada Council for the Arts is inundated with proposals and funding is spread thin – leaving gatherings like ours without any funding.”

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Ice sheets, pool, arts centre identified in Kamloops draft master rec plan – Kamloops This Week

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The City of Kamloops should consider building a performing-arts centre, a new pool facility and a trio of ice rinks in the future.

On Tuesday, city council was given an update on its new recreation master plan being drafted by consultant RC Strategies.

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A non-profit society is working with arts groups and the community to advance the arts centre project, with tasks identified: developing a new business case, communications strategy, enlisting community support through a membership drive, providing input into design of the project and fundraising.

Consultant Stephen Slawuta of RC Strategies said the city should continue to explore the viability of an arts centre.

“See where it leads and move forward based on the directive of that business case initiative,” he said.

An arts centre was identified as a top priority following community input in the draft plan, Slawuta said.

He added that visits to city pools has been increasing over the past four years.

While RC found the city does a good job providing most aquatic services, leisure aquatic activities was identified as a gap area.

The master plan suggests exploring adding another indoor aquatics facility with leisure activities as the focus and taking a deeper dive into details of such a development such as whether the pool should be a standalone or multi-use facility, costs, impacts on other city pools and a location in an area of the city where this type of service is lacking.

When it comes to ice rinks in Kamloops, Slawuta said RC’s investigation into usage suggests their are some challenges.

“In this case, your facilities are at or over capacity and that would suggest there is a need to increase the provision of ice,” he said, noting the city will need to invest in upgrading its existing ice rinks over time.

Slawuta said RC’s analysis shows bringing the city’s prime time ice usage — evening and weekend hours between September and March — down to 85 per cent from the current 100 per cent would require at least three more sheets.

“And 85 per cent prime time utilization is still a very high level of utilization, but we think that is a reasonable target,” he said.

The master plan suggests adding one or two new ice rinks in the next three to seven years, and another one or two sheets in seven to 12 years.

In the medium term, the plan suggests exploring adding more indoor dry floor field space when considering building any arenas or aquatics facilities, Slawuta said.

In the short term, the plan recommends continued engagement with the school district to ensure community access to those facilities.

Slawuta said the city should continue to monitor usage at spirts fields and ball diamonds and focus on quality over quantity of those spaces.

On a case-by-case basis, the city should explore its opportunities to make improvements and enhancements to those facilities such as adding washroom, seating and improving playing surfaces.

As for the city’s two curling rinks, Slawuta suggested the city continue to support those operations as long as they are viable.

“At some point, it’s likely something is going to call viability into question,” Slawuta said, noting possibilities such as a drop in participation or a major repair of one of the city’s curling facilities.

If and when this happens, Slawuta said, it would be prudent to discuss consolidating the clubs and retrofit one of the two facilities for a different, dry floor surface sport.

The master plan recommends the city more closely monitor its court spaces to determine if sports like tennis and pickle ball are in high demand and require further study, Slawuta said.

Indoor play spaces were also looked at, Slawuta said, noting those spaces should be considered when exploring future development and multi-use facilities.

The city should consider ensuring its existing recreational infrastructure is sustained before contemplating new development, Slawuta said.

Multi-use spaces should be prioritized along with inclusion and access, he said.

Feedback collected on the draft plan will be incorporated into the plan and brought before council for adoption at a later date.

The public will have a chance to give its input on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at Sports Central Lounge in the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre and on Oct. 3 at Heritage House in Riverside Park, at 100 Lorne St.

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Hibernation Arts hosting poetry reading on Thursday night – OrilliaMatters.Com

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NEWS RELEASES
HIBERNATION ARTS
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Hibernation Arts, a local gallery in the Arts District, is proud to announce the resumption of its Wordsmith Series, with a poetry reading by Dave Armishaw and Josh Poitras on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

These two local poets have markedly different styles which actually complement each other. The Wordsmith Series started last winter, but took a hiatus over the summer.

This series will resume one evening a month until winter sets in, at which time the readings will be presented one Sunday afternoon a month. The $10 admission includes light refreshments, and the poets will have some of their work for sale.

This is a good opportunity to listen to poetry in an intimate environment enjoyed by both listeners and poets.

Hibernation Arts is also proud to announce the first of its house concerts with Sean Patrick and Darrin Davis, to take place on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The music will be unplugged or minimally amplified, so it is a good opportunity to listen to music in an intimate environment enjoyed by both listeners and musicians.

These concerts will be presented once or twice a month. The $20 admission includes light refreshments. Hibernation Arts is at 7 Peter St. S. in the Orillia Arts District.

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Love the arts in New West? Here's how you can help – The Record (New Westminster)

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Love the arts community in New Westminster? Have some time to lend a hand?

The Arts Council of New Westminster is looking for volunteers to help out with a number of upcoming events. Among them:

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RiverFest Pop Up Exhibition:

A reception attendant and bartender are needed to help out on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Fraser River Discovery Centre, at the opening reception for this exhibition featuring the work of nine local artists.

On Thursday, Sept. 19, gallery attendants are needed to help supervise the artwork between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., or 1 and 4 p.m.

  

Culture Forward New West:  

On Saturday, Sept. 28, an outreach ambassador is needed to work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the fourth floor at Anvil Centre. You can share your stories and your passion for the arts.

 

Gallery attendants:

Volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis to help at The Gallery at Queen’s Park from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays or Sundays. You can volunteer on either day, once every two weeks. Volunteers are needed to help ensure the gallery can stay open on weekends.

 

Email info@acnw.ca for information or to volunteer.

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