Artists, to your mics and cameras! Wapikoni Mobile to hit the roads of Québec again for its eighth anniversary

TELUS donates $20,000 to Wapikoni for its tour of 12 First Nations communities

MONTREAL, April 27 /CNW Telbec/ - To highlight its eighth anniversary, the Wapikoni team recently announced that its mobile audiovisual and musical creation studio will travel to meet with artists from 12 First Nations communities in Québec. TELUS contributed to this project through a $20,000 financial contribution from its Community Board. The donation will be used to upgrade the Wapikoni Mobile's technical equipment, allowing emerging talents from the four corners of Québec to work with the best tools.

"Our First Nations communities are bursting with talented young singers and musicians. Unfortunately, they have very limited access to the resources required to break into the arts and culture scene," stated Manon Barbeau, Director of Wapikoni. "The TELUS Community Board's generous donation will help dozens of local artists to speak out through music recordings and video clips. Wapikoni Mobile provides First Nations with a concrete means to express their identity, which is an integral part of our rich, multicultural heritage. The new tour coincides with our eighth anniversary."

As part of the Wapikoni project, young Aboriginals can benefit from professional advice, whether it be to improve a musical score, video production, or to maximize their use of social media in the promotion of their work. A Web site featuring the young artists' profiles will contribute to the visibility of the First Nations' repertoire. The site will also include a networking and mentoring component with established Aboriginal artists.

"At TELUS, we give where we live. It is important for TELUS and its Community Board to promote all forms of artistic expression. Art is a mirror to our culture and our roots," emphasized TELUS Community Board member Jean-René Gagnon. "By supporting the Wapikoni Mobile, we are enabling First Nations to fulfill their potential and ensure they have the necessary tools to do so. We hope to see many of them follow in the footsteps of the talented Samian, Sakay Ottawa and Kathia Rock."

The Wapikoni tour will kick off on May 1, with stops in the following communities: Winneway, La Romaine, Kitcisakik, Nutashkuan, Wemotaci, Pessamit, Opiticiwan, Uashat-Maliotenam, Mistissni, Kitigan Zibi, Manawan and Lac Simon. Each stopover will be capped off by a large celebration, during which the young participants have the opportunity to present their work to the members of their community.

A must-see retrospective at Cinéma Beaubien!
The inaugural 2011 Wapikoni tour was launched on April 26th at Cinéma Beaubien. This American first featured several works produced in the mobile studio, reflecting contemporary Aboriginal life that made its mark on the film industry. The featured short films will be playing all week at Cinéma Beaubien from Friday April 29th to Thursday May 5th, at 5:00 pm. Details are available at

Wapikoni will also be celebrating the mobile's departure at Cinéma Le Clap in Quebec City on Wednesday April 27th, and the short films will be presented all week. To consult the schedule, please visit

"Cinéma Beaubien is pleased to welcome film to the showing of well-known Wapikoni productions," said Mario Fortin, Director of Cinéma Beaubien. "We wanted to give people the chance to re-experience the major hits by young Aboriginals who have made a name for themselves in the industry. We hope that young viewers will be inspired and that movie-goers in general will be moved by them."

This week's screenings at Cinéma Beaubien include:

  • Déboires, by Délia Gunn, recently picked up by the Cannes Film Festival film market;
  • L'Amendement, by Kevin Papatie, showing prior to the film L'Âge des ténèbres by Denys Arcand, 2008;
  • Coureurs de nuit, by Chanouk Newashish, many times awarded, including Best Short Documentary award during the 2006 Toronto mageNATIVE Festival.

About Wapikoni Mobile
Wapikoni Mobile was created by filmmaker Manon Barbeau and co-founded in 2003 by the Atikamekw Nation Council and the First Nations Youth Council. Since then, it has reached 7 nations, 18 communities and 2,000 youth. It has produced 374 films, and 277 music pieces, won 44 national and international awards, and is now active in Bolivia, Chile and Peru.

The films produced by Wapikoni Mobile represent a unique contribution to the world's cultural heritage.

For more information on Wapikoni Mobile and to view its films, visit:

TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.8 billion of annual revenue and 12.3 million customer connections including 7 million wireless subscribers, 3.7 million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers and more than 300,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees will, by year-end 2011, have contributed $245 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.1 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Ten TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead TELUS' local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit

To learn more about TELUS' commitment to the community, please visit


For further information:

Tiphaine Poulain
Wapikoni Mobile
514 283-0367

Jacinthe Beaulieu
TELUS Media Relations


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