Vancouver 2010 Aboriginal venue artists to stage public exhibition, auction
of work

Admission free to two-day event starting October 17 in downtown Vancouver

VANCOUVER, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - The public will have a chance to meet over 50 of the artists behind some of the awe-inspiring installations of Aboriginal art permanently installed at Vancouver 2010 Winter Games' venues and view a selection of their paintings, carvings and photography at a two-day exhibition starting next Saturday, October 17. An auction of highlighted artworks will be held Friday, October 16.

With the support of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), the exhibition and auction will feature more than 50 artworks by master and emerging First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists from every region in Canada. The artworks up for auction include: paintings by Sammy Kudluk of Nunavik, QC, and notable Mi'kmaq artist Alan Syliboy of Millbrook, NS; a woven human figure and traditional Nuu-chah-nulth hat by Delores Bayne of Hesquiaht, BC; an intricately carved silver bracelet by Rodney Sayers of Hupacasath, BC; Smudge and Smog by Métis photographer Sara Roque of Shebahonaning (Killarney), ON; a pink resin cast buffalo skull by Kevin McKenzie of Vancouver, BC; a 2-D abstract abstract elk by Jason Baerg of Toronto, ON; and Colleen Cutschall's One Horned Buffalo Curling Rocks sculpture from Brandon, MB.

The pieces on display as part of the exhibition will be displayed in February and March at several venues as part of a larger celebration of Aboriginal culture during the 2010 Winter Games.

There are close to 140 individual pieces of original artwork produced for the Vancouver 2010 Venues' Aboriginal Art Program at Games venues from Richmond to Whistler. As part of the $3-million program, whose participants were announced by VANOC in June 2009, over 40 of the artworks will be part of the permanent legacy of the 2010 Winter Games at the venues. Installation of the works started in late 2008 and the majority of the art will be installed by this week.

"The striking new works created by Aboriginal artists across Canada for the 2010 Winter Games through the Venues' Aboriginal Art Program are being taken a step further with this exhibit and auction," said Tewanee Joseph, chief executive officer of the Four Host First Nations. "Our goal is twofold: to increase public understanding of the diverse works being created by First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and to raise funds for our young people so they can follow their dreams, which may include becoming successful Aboriginal artists themselves. We hope this develops into an annual event. "This exhibition and auction, as well as the artwork in general, are made possible through the strong partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) and the Four Host First Nations," Joseph said.

"We're proud to support this important initiative to highlight and celebrate the unique talent of Aboriginal artists in Canada," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. "Our Government is committed to working with our partners to enhance artistic recognition and promote economic opportunities for Canada's Aboriginal artists."

The program was convened with funding from INAC. Five showpiece artworks created through these workshops, including a large, colourful tapestry from the Arctic, were acquired by VANOC through the program and are among the venue permanent art installations. The Nuu-chah-nulth Arts Association, Mi'kmaq Association of Cultural Studies, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Manitoba Aboriginal Arts Council Inc., and the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (Métis 10) participated in the program and the resulting higher profile from their 2010 work is encouraging other cities to consider sister sculptures of their own.

"The excellence of artwork from the Aboriginal communities is truly astonishing," said Dan Doyle, VANOC's executive vice president responsible for Aboriginal participation. "Each master work featured in the Vancouver 2010 Venues' Aboriginal Art Program is a testament to the vibrancy and diversity of the Aboriginal peoples across this country."

"When the world comes to British Columbia in 2010, they will see the incredible talent, skill and vision of Aboriginal artists from throughout our province and across the country. That worldwide exposure will create new opportunities for Aboriginal artists for years to come," said BC Premier Gordon Campbell. "Not only will many of these permanent artworks continue to greet and amaze visitors to these venues long after the Games end, the abilities these Aboriginal artists have honed through this program will grow and inspire younger First Nations, Inuit and Métis to carry on in their footsteps."

The Aboriginal artworks displayed in the venues will be featured in O Siyam: Aboriginal Art Inspired by the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, published by John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd. The full-colour coffee table book will be available in stores on November 2 - the first official Games-related book to be published. Copies of the book can be pre-ordered at the exhibition.

Proceeds from the auction, to be held on Friday, October 16, will go towards the Vancouver 2010 Aboriginal Youth Legacy Fund. Admission to the exhibition at the Vancouver Convention Centre is free. For table purchase inquiries for the auction, please email

    What: Aboriginal Art Auction
    When: Friday, October 16 from 5:30 pm to 10 pm
    Where: Pan Pacific, Vancouver
    For table purchase inquiries, please email

    What: Aboriginal Art Exhibition
    When: Saturday, October 17 from 9 am to 8 pm, and Sunday, October 18 from
    9 am to 6 pm
    Where: Vancouver Convention Centre, Hall A, located at 999 Canada Place,
    Admission is free

    About VANOC

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit

About the Four Host First Nations Society

The Four Host First Nations Society is a not-for-profit organization that has been established to coordinate the participation in the 2010 Winter Games by the Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Visit


For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Sebastien Theberge, VANOC Communications, Tel: (604) 403-2261, E-mail:; Alex Rose, Four Host First Nations Communications, Tel: (604) 346-7720, E-mail:

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