News

Inaabandam Symposium

Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is pleased to officially announce the Inaabandam Symposium, co-presented with the Toronto Media Arts Centre.

REGISTRATION OPEN NOW!

Inaabandam will take place January 17, 18 and 19, 2020, at the Toronto Media Art Centre (TMAC) on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississauga of the Credit, and the traditional territories of the Huron Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe. Inaabandam (pronounced in-aw-buhn-duhm) means “to dream a certain way” in Anishinaabemowin. 

The Inaabandam Symposium will foreground issues of concern and interest to Indigenous Women and other Indigenous Gender Marginalized artists from multiple disciplines including film, performing arts, visual arts, and customary practices.

Inaabandam will feature teachings with elders; panel discussions with Indigenous artists, curators and leaders; a visual art exhibition, and an opening night reception. 

Panelist and moderators include Teddy Syrette, Melody McKiver Tiio Horn, Janet Rogers, Jenny Blackbird, Kaya DaCosta, Joi T. Arcand, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Susan Blight, Aylan Couchie, Darlene Naponse,Thirza Curhand, Fallon Simard, Niki Little, Megan Feheley, Jocelyn Piirainen, Raven Davies, Dan and Mary Lou Smoke, Elwood Jimmy, Pam Palmater, Tannis Neilson, and more!

On Friday, January 17, 2020, from 5 PM11 PM the Inaabandam Symposium will open with the presentation of the 5th annual Barbara Laronde Award to winner Joe Wood. This will be followed by a musical performance from Melody McKiver, and a catered reception with bar and beats by DJ Jams.

Friday, January 17, 2020, will also be the opening of the Barbara Laronde Award Exhibition, on site at TMAC. This special exhibition will include work from the winners of the 2015 – 2018 Barbara Laronde Awards: Aylan Couchie, Janelle Wawia, Lucille Atlookan, Caitlyn Bird, as well as the 2019 Barbara Laronde Award Winner – Joe Wood. All events on Friday, January 17 are free and open to the public even if you are not registering for the symposium and attending it for its duration.

The Barbara Laronde Award Exhibition will be running from Friday, January 17, 2020 – Friday, January 31, 2020, daily from 11 AM – 6 PM in TMAC’s “Small Gallery” at 32 Lisgar Street, Toronto, ON. 

For more information on the Inaabandam Symposium, including schedule, event descriptions and accessibility, please visit the NWIA website www.nwia.ca/.

Registration

The cost of registration for the symposium will be $50 for the whole weekend or FREE for those who are low income. Registration for the symposium can be done at https://inaabandam.eventbrite.com.

Please note that after registering through Eventbrite NWIA will be sending delegates an Inaabandam Symposium info form to be filled out. This form allows us to get to know the needs of our symposium delegates (dietary, accessibility etc.) as we strive to best serve our community. 

Travel Subsidy

NWIA is able to offer a limited amount of travel and accommodation subsidies for Indigenous delegates traveling from out of town, who would not otherwise be able to attend the symposium. Priority will be given to emerging artists and artists from more remote communities. 

To apply for the travel subsidy complete this online form https://forms.gle/EahSZzLT1vR9Lyyr9.

Those who qualify will be contacted to book travel and accommodation.

Accessibility

At Native Women the Arts, we aim to create an environment that is considerate, barrier-free and accommodating to our community. Please visit our in-depth accessibility page before attending the symposium for more info http://www.nwia.ca/insymp19accessibility/

If you require further assistance in attending the conference please contact Program Manager, Quach George at events@nwia.ca

Barbara Laronde Award 

The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It celebrates and acknowledges the career of one outstanding, emerging, Northern-Ontario based Indigenous Gender Marginalized artist, recognizing the geographic and economic barriers that many Northern artists face.

Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA paved the way for many Indigenous artists at various stages of their careers. The award is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it is with this spirit that NWIA launched this award.

Toronto Media Arts Centre

The Toronto Media Arts Centre (TMAC) is a new permanent home for Toronto’s media arts organizations, and an accessible public space for art, creation and collaboration in the Queen West Triangle.

In the heart of Toronto’s Art and Design District, TMAC is a diverse and collaborative environment where everyone can engage meaningfully with art and technology. TMAC integrates creation, production, presentation, education, conservation and dissemination practices and with a focus on community building and inclusivity.

Native Women in the Arts

NWIA (Native Women in the Arts) is a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit and Métis women, and other Indigenous Gender Marginalized folks who share the common interest of art, culture, community and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.

**For NWIA “Gender Marginalized” includes Women, Trans Men, as well as Two Spirit people who may identify as Non-Binary or Gender Queer.

Inaabandam Symposium

SAVE THE DATE!

Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a symposium titled Inaabandam January 17 – 19, 2020, in Toronto, Ontario. 

The Inaabandam symposium will foreground issues of concern and interest to Indigenous Women and Gender Marginalized artists from multiple disciplines including film, performing arts, visual art, and customary practices.

Inaabandam will feature open teachings with elders, panel discussions, exhibitions, receptions, and screenings.

Inaabandam will take place January 17, 18 and 19, 2020, at the Toronto Media Art Centre on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the traditional territories of the Huron – Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinaabe.

Registration for Inaabandam will begin on Friday, November 1, 2019.

The cost of registration will be $50 for the whole weekend or free for those who are low income and get be done through Eventbrite at https://inaabandam.eventbrite.com.

Inaabandam (pronounced in-aw-buhn-duhm) means to dream a certain way in Anishinaabemowin.

For NWIA “Gender Marginalized” includes Trans & Cis Women, Trans Men, as well as Two-Spirit people who may identify as Non-Binary or Gender Queer.

Stay tuned for the full program schedule and more details. 

Nominations Now Open for the Barbara Laronde Award – Deadline September 30, 2019

This call for nominations is open to emerging Indigenous artists from Northern Ontario who identify as Women (Trans, Non-Binary, Genderqueer, Two Spirited & Cis). Please note that you can nominate yourself or someone else.

Eligibility:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • To be considered for an award the artist must be an Indigenous person living in Northern Ontario (Métis, Inuit, Status and Non-Status First Nations peoples)
  • This award is for Indigenous artists who identify as Women which includes Trans and Two-Spirit Women as well as Cis Women. This award is also open to Two-Spirit artists who may identify as Non-binary and Genderqueer who prefer the use of they/them pronouns.
  • Must be at the emerging stages of artistic career. We define an emerging artist as:
    • In the early stage of their career, regardless of age
    • Has created a modest body of work
    • Has had some evidence of professional achievement but may not yet have a substantial record of accomplishments.
    • One who is not yet recognized as an established or mid-career artists by other artists, curators, producers, critics, community members, and arts administrators.
    • One who shows significant potential, yet may be under-recognized
  • Open to all artistic disciplines including:
    • Traditional/Customary Arts (Beading, Carving, Quillwork, Tufting, Weaving)
    • Visual Arts (Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation and performance art)
    • Performing Arts (Dance, Music, Theatre)
    • Media Arts (Film, video, New Media)
    • Literary arts
  • Must live in one of these geographical regions in northern Ontario:
    • Kenora District
    • Algoma District
    • Cochrane District
    • Manitoulin District
    • Nipissing District
    • Parry Sound District
    • Sudbury District
    • Timiskaming District
    • Rainy River District
    • Thunder Bay District
  • All eligible artists are encouraged to apply.
  • Individuals can also nominate an eligible artist they feel deserves this award.

To apply please submit the following:

  • One-page letter outlining why you or the artist you are nominating should receive this award
  • Images, audio, written or video support material of your artwork. Please do not send original artworks.
  • A full length bio and resume
  • If you are submitting on behalf of yourself please include a letter of support from someone who is familiar with your career in the arts.

Application Deadline: September 30, 2019

Value of Award: $1500 Cash

Please note: The award recipient will be chosen by the board of directors of NWIA

Our Vision: To support and celebrate the achievement of an Indigenous Women (Trans, Non-Binary, Genderqueer, Two Spirited & Cis) artist from Northern Ontario, and to provide financial support and career enhancing opportunities to encourage their continued excellence.

The Impact: The Barbara Laronde Award will foster the careers of emerging artists from Indigenous (on and off reserve) communities in Northern Ontario by showcasing excellence and innovation. NWIA recognizes the geographic and economic barriers that many Northern artists face, and aims to support artists by creating connections, professional development, and performance opportunities. Over 25 years, NWIA has delivered theatre, dance, music, and spoken word productions and published three books of Indigenous visual art and writing. We also produce a series of community-driven artist talks, leadership and cultural workshops, youth arts projects to audiences interested in arts, culture, and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.

Please share this call on Facebook, Twitter, and by email to family and friends!

Please submit your application to Native Women in the Arts: awards@nwia.ca

For more info visit: www.nwia.ca/apply

Raven Chacon Mini-Festival

Native Women in the Arts, The Music Gallery, and Arraymusic present Raven Chacon Mini-Festival.

We are pleased to team up once again with The Music Gallery along with Arraymusic to present the Raven Chacon mini-festival featuring the world premiere of For Zitkála-Šá, dedicated to the first American Indian librettist.

Friday, April 12 – Sunday, April 14, 2019
Doors: 7:30PM | Concert: 8PM
The Music Gallery, 918 Bathurst St.
$20 Regular / $10 Members, Students / $15 Advance at musicgallery.org

Festival pass $30

Originally from the Navajo Nation, Raven Chacon, born in 1977, is a composer of chamber music, a performer of experimental noise music, and an installation artist. He performs regularly as a solo artist as well as with numerous ensembles in the Southwest and beyond, and was a long-time member of the Indigenous art collective Postcommodity. Chacon’s work explores sounds of acoustic handmade instruments overdriven through electric systems and the direct and indirect audio feedback responses from their interactions.

FRIDAY NIGHT 4.12

On Friday night, the Array ensemble takes on a selection of Chacon’s chamber works including a newly commissioned work.

SATURDAY NIGHT 4.13

Native Women in the Arts co-presents Saturday night’s For Zitkála-Šá, dedicated to the Dakota violin teacher, activist, and librettist for The Sun Dance Opera, (1913), the first American Indian opera. Each composition is custom written for an Indigenous woman currently working in contemporary music performance or composition: Suzanne Kite, Laura Ortman, Carmina Escobar, and Cheryl L’Hirondelle. The evening also features Raven collaborating with the caustic improvisation of c_RL (Allison Cameron, Nicole Rampersaud, and Germaine Liu).

SUNDAY 4.14

On Sunday, Anishinaabe-Irish (Nipissing First Nation) saxophonist Olivia Shortt (Stereoscope Duo, Dialectica) opens the show with an intensely wide-ranging approach to her instrument.

 

NWIA First Annual Round Dance

Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce its first annual Round Dance to honour and celebrate Indigenous women in our communities.

The Round Dance will be held on Ryerson University’s campus on Saturday, February 16, 2019, and is being presented in partnership with Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services

NWIA’s Round Dance will include a special showcase with legendary singer Delia Waskewitch, a pipe ceremony, feast, giveaway, and 50/50 draw.

This event is free and open to the public including both Indigenous & non-Indigenous people of all ages.

Please note this is a drug & alcohol-free event.

We welcome you to join us on:
Saturday, February 16, 2019 I 6 PM – 12 AM
Kerr Hall Gymnasium, Ryerson University
379 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON
FB Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/339048276710827/

Elders: Pauline Shirt & Alex Jacobs
Pipe Man: Jimmy Dick
Stick Man: Gabe Gaudet
Master of Ceremonies: Gordon Sands

Invited Singers: Gary Parker, Wayne Moberly, Nathan Roy, Lorne Pawis, Nathan Pelly, Dan Deleary, Jordan Mowat, Rodney Stanger, Nimkee Wemigwans, and Dan Isaac.

All singers are welcome will be acknowledged.

Pipe Ceremony and Feast: 6:00 PM
Round Dance: 7:00 PM
Delia Waskewitch Showcase: 9:00 PM
Late Night Lunch: 10:00 PM
Giveaway: 11:00 PM

A Round Dance is a social gathering with ceremonial aspects hosted during the winter months. It was traditionally used by the Cree Nation as a healing dance. Its original purpose was to heal and also to honor loved ones who had passed on so that families could grieve in the proper way. It is said that when the circle of the Round Dance is made the ancestors are dancing with you.

Today the Round Dance is still a ceremony and is used to honour loved ones who have passed on,  but is also a social gathering and is used for all kinds of different reasons, from honouring someone for their accomplishments, or celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, etc.

Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services – also known by its acronym R.A.S.S. – provides a culturally supportive environment to promote academic excellence and serves as a place to balance academic learning with traditional teachings and culture. R.A.S.S started in 1993 with the purpose of offering peer support, tutoring, cultural, events and many other services geared to develop an Aboriginal presence on campus.

NWIA (Native Women in the Arts) is a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit and Métis women who share the common interest of art, culture, community and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.

2018 Holiday Donation Drive: The Barbara Laronde Award

Donate to The Barbara Laronde Award this Holiday Season! Support Indigenous Women and Two-Spirit Artist in the North.

Donations make great gifts! Each year the Barbara Laronde Award celebrates and acknowledges the career of one emerging, Northern-Ontario based, Indigenous Woman or Two-Spirit artist. Check out the past award recipients here.

With your support, the Barbara Laronde Award can continue to aid emerging artists for years to come. 100% of your donations benefit the artist.

About the award:

– $1500 cash award to the selected emerging artist based in the north

– Promotion of their work through NWIA networks

– Opportunities for presentation of their works

– Full cost of travel expenses and award plaque

NWIA aims to expand this award in the near future to support the careers of these artists further and requires support from its donors to accomplish this.

If you would like to make a donation as a gift, email NWIA at awards@nwia.ca and specify the recipient’s name. We will list their name on our website as a 2019 NWIA donor.

To donate online to The Barbara Laronde Award click here.

Cheques can be mailed and made payable to:

Native Women in the Arts
180 Shaw Street, Suite 208
Toronto, ON
M6J 2W5

About The Barbara Laronde Award

The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA Founder, Sandra Laronde, and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it was with this spirit that NWIA launched this award in 2015.

NWIA is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Women and Two-Spirit people who share the common interest of art, culture, community, and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.

Thank you for your continued support of NWIA and the Barbara Laronde Award.

2018 Barbara Laronde Award Recipient

Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the winner of the fourth annual Barbara Laronde Award: Caitlyn Bird

Caitlyn Bird, 23, an Anishnaabe Woman from Noatkamegwanning First Nation (Whitefish Bay) who grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario where she developed a love for the traditional arts focusing on beading. She utilizes traditional techniques and methods while allowing herself to explore through contemporary methods of color, and design. She obtained vast knowledge from her great Grandmother and women within her community. In ensuring the continuation of knowledge, she accepts any opportunity to share what she has been taught in hopes of inspiring others whilst, encouraging them to learn more about their culture and history.

She graduated, 2016, from Lakehead University with her Indigenous Learning degree and now attends the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM obtaining her BFA in Museum Studies. She continues to bead and design daily and believes her love for beading has guided her and “Kin-nan-nim-mig-go” (takes care of her) in numerous ways. She hopes her love of art continues to connect her with her culture and community.

Bird was selected from a number of applications from across Northern Ontario. Artistic Director, Ariel Smith remarked: “ On behalf of the Board and staff of NWIA, we are thrilled to present this award to Caitlyn in recognition of her talent and commitment to her craft. We have no doubt she will continue to grow and evolve as a practicing artist and wish her all the best in her future endeavours. ” NWIA is excited to support the continuing creative and professional achievements of Caitlyn Bird with a $1500 award, which will be presented with Barbara Laronde on Sunday, July 22, 2018, at the Temagami Canoe Festival.

The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It celebrates and acknowledges the career of one outstanding, emerging, Northern-Ontario based Indigenous female artist, recognizing the geographic and economic barriers that many northern artists face.

Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA paved the way for many Indigenous artists at various stages of their careers. The award is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it is with this spirit that NWIA launched this award in 2015.

The Temagami Canoe Festival, July 21 – 22, 2018 at the Temagami Waterfront Park is a celebration of Canadian Canoe Culture. This two-day indoor-outdoor, multistage, family-friendly celebration hosts activities that include: canoe displays, demos, and workshops, canoe race events, historical talks, birch bark canoes, guided old growth forest hikes, live music, food and craft vendors, and much more.

For more information please visit: https://www.temagamicanoefestival.com/

Nominations Now Open for the Barbara Laronde Award Deadline June 22, 2018

Nominations are now open for emerging Indigenous artists from Northern Ontario who are Women (Trans, Cis, Two-Spirit, Non-Binary, Genderqueer). Please note that you can nominate yourself or someone else.

Eligibility:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • To be considered for an award the artist must be an Indigenous person living in Northern Ontario (Métis, Inuit, Status and Non-Status First Nations peoples).
  • This award is for Indigenous artists who are Women which includes Trans and Two-Spirit Women as well as Cis Women. This award is also open to Two-Spirit artists who may identify as Non-Binary and Genderqueer who prefer the use of they/them pronouns.
  • Must be at the emerging stages of artistic career. We define an emerging artist as:
    • In the early stage of their career, regardless of age
    • Has created a modest body of work
    • Has had some evidence of professional achievement but may not yet have a substantial record of accomplishments.
    • One who is not yet recognized as an established or mid-career artists by other artists, curators, producers, critics, community members, and arts administrators.
  • Open to all artistic disciplines including:
    • Traditional/Customary Arts (Beading, Carving, Quillwork, Tufting, Weaving)
    • Visual Arts (Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation and Performance art)
    • Performing Arts (Dance, Music, Theatre)
    • Media Arts (Film, Video, New Media)
    • Literary arts
  • Live in one of these geographical regions in northern Ontario:
    • Kenora District
    • Algoma District
    • Cochrane District
    • Manitoulin District
    • Nipissing District
    • Parry Sound District
    • Sudbury District
    • Timiskaming District
    • Rainy River District
    • Thunder Bay District
  • All eligible artists are encouraged to apply
  • Individuals can also nominate an eligible artist they feel deserves this award.

To apply please submit the following:

  • Resume & Biography
  • One-page letter outlining why you or the artist you are nominating should receive this award.
  • Images, audio, written or video support material of your artwork. Please do not send original artworks.
  • Letter of support from someone who is familiar with the nominee’s career in the arts.

Application Deadline: June 22, 2018

Value of Award: $1500 Cash

Award Jury: NWIA Board of Directors  

Our Vision: To support and celebrate the achievement of an Indigenous Women artists from Northern Ontario, and to provide financial support and career enhancing opportunities to encourage their continued excellence.

The Impact: The Barbara Laronde Award is given in the spirit of fostering the careers of emerging artists from Indigenous (on and off reserve) communities in Northern Ontario. NWIA recognizes the specific barriers that many Northern artists face, and we aim to support Indigenous artists by creating connections, professional development, and performance opportunities through our programming initiatives. Over the past 25 years, NWIA has delivered theatre, dance, music, and spoken word productions, exhibited visual and media arts, and published three books of Indigenous visual art and writing. We also present community-driven artist talks, leadership and cultural workshops and youth arts projects to audiences interested in arts, culture, and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.

Please share this call on Facebook, Twitter, and by email to family and friends!

Submit your application to Native Women in the Arts: awards@nwia.ca 

For more info visit: www.nwia.ca/apply

Kwe Performance Series: Quantum Tangle

Native Women in the Arts kicks off National Indigenous History Month with an exciting new edition of our celebrated Kwe Performance Series featuring Juno award-winning artists Quantum Tangle, sister duo Dawn & Shawna Redskye, and Tkaronto’s own DJ Jams.

Join us at the Gladstone Hotel for a stellar evening of folk, blues, roots and throat singing, followed by a dance party featuring hip hop, electro, house and vibes.  

Performance: Friday, June 1, 2018 I Doors 9pm I Show 9:30pm
Venue: Gladstone Hotel, North Ballroom, 1214 Queen St W, Toronto
Advance Tickets: $15 GA I $10 Elders, Students, Low Income I $20 Door 
FB Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/363546617382560/
For More Info: events@nwia.ca

Quantum Tangle Quantum Tangle 

Quantum Tangle combines the wide-ranging artistic visions of Greyson Gritt and Tiffany Ayalik who draw from their respective Anishinaabe-Métis and Inuit backgrounds to create a fusion of old-world sounds and new-world flair. Proudly and boldly displaying their roots, Gritt and Ayalik tailor their music to examine systemic racism and colonialism, while offering ways to empower marginalized groups.

After their 2016 EP “Tiny Hands” won the JUNO for Indigenous Album of the Year, Quantum Tangle followed it up with a dynamic full-length debut for Coax Records, “Shelter as we go…”, a collection of songs that combine deep blues riffs, traditional throat singing and haunting melodies intertwined with hard beats and equally hard-hitting storytelling.

Quantum Tangle was chosen to be one of the feature artists on the “From The North” tour that reached the three territorial capital cities, along with Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver. At the same time, Tiffany Ayalik and Greyson Gritt’s sketch writing, song composition and musical directing were showcased in comedy legend Mary Walsh’s stage production, “Canada, It’s Complicated”, which toured to 47 cities across Canada throughout the autumn of 2017.

Quantum Tangle is at the vanguard of indigenous musicians transforming Canadian culture, as they look back through history to challenge, educate and encourage audiences to be socially aware. 

Dawn & Shawna RedskyeDawn & Shawna Redskye

Dawn & Shawna Redskye draw influences that range from folk to modern, this Anishinaabe-Irish sister duo weave personal narratives of love, displacement and medicine. Through their songs- carried by warm haunting blood harmonies, poetic and sometimes hard-hitting lyrics, acoustic guitar and banjo- they aim to challenge colonial impressions of past and present.

DJ JamsDJ Jams

Jams (Jamaican/Mohawk/Cree/Irish/multiracial) is a deejay, spoken word community artist and radio geek specializing in 90s and futurist hip hop, electro, house and vibes. Having recently, co-hosted, produced and deejay of The Vibe Collective (Saturdays 6-8pm CIUT 89.5FM) for over a decade and co-host and producer of Indigenous Waves (Mondays 6-7pm CIUT 89.5FM) since 2011.

The Kwe Performance Series is the evolution of NWIA’s long-standing Catalyst Series. The Kwe Performance Series presents performance based work from innovative Indigenous artists from diverse nations and communities. Native Women in the Arts overall artistic vision is to make visible the artistic and cultural expression of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, and work in a wide range of artistic disciplines. We recognize Indigenous artistry and forge positive creative links among Indigenous, culturally diverse, and mainstream artists and audiences. We continually work to explore new ways of including artists of all cultures, men as well as women, youth, and seniors, within the framework of an Indigenous-focused arts organization.

NWIA Announces New Artistic Producer

Native Women in the Arts is delighted to welcome Ariel Smith as our new Artistic Producer. Ariel comes to NWIA with a wide-range of artistic, creative, administrative and presentation experience with Indigenous arts organizations.

 

Ariel Smith

Ariel Smith, Artistic Producer 

Ariel Smith is an award winning nêhiyaw and Jewish filmmaker, video artist, writer, and cultural worker. Having created independent media art since 2001, much of her work has shown at festivals and galleries across Canada and internationally. Ariel is largely self-taught, but honed many of her skills by becoming heavily involved in artist-run centres in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. Her passion for artist-run culture has become an integral part of her practice.

Ariel has over a decade of experience in arts administration and management. She has worked as the Technical Director of SAW Video Media Arts Centre in Ottawa Ontario from 2006 to 2014, was the Director of the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition from 2013 to 2016 and, most recently, was the Executive Director of imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival where she oversaw the 2016 and 2017 festival editions.

Ariel has worked as a programmer for such organizations as Galerie SAW Gallery, the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Reel Canada, and imagineNATIVE. She is currently a guest curator for an upcoming International Indigenous Quinquennial exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.

“NWIA is thrilled to have Ariel join us at this time. NWIA is at the height of it’s activity in terms of delivery of community and arts-focused projects, and we were looking for a strong leader to build on the momentum that Erika Iserhoff and the NWIA team had established. I worked with Ariel at the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition years ago, and was familiar with her ability as an advocate of Indigenous artists and organizations. I also knew the wealth of experience she gained as Executive Director at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Ariel is someone who brings many skills to this position, creatively and administratively, and combines skill with her vision and commitment to issues pertaining to gender and cultural diversity, women and Indigenous peoples, and how these are supported through artistic practices.” – Kerry Potts, Chair of the Board

“I am so happy to join the NWIA team and look forward to working in this new capacity within the community. I deeply connect with the mandate of the organization and am honoured for this exciting opportunity.” – Ariel Smith, Artistic Producer

Please join us in welcoming Ariel Smith to the organization!  We encourage you to visit www.nwia.ca and join our social media pages to find out about upcoming activities, and we hope to see you at our next event.