Works of art by more than 90 Aboriginal artists at 2010 Winter Games venues to inspire athletes and spectators, and celebrate Canada's rich cultural diversity

    VANCOUVER, June 18 /CNW/ - An airy stream of metal salmon shimmering
overhead, five intricately carved spindle whorls inspired by curling rocks and
three long-limbed wolves howling in unison on the Prairies are among the
beautiful works of art by more than 90 Aboriginal artists that will grace the
2010 Winter Games venues as part of the Vancouver 2010 Venues' Aboriginal Art
    The names of the respected and emerging Aboriginal artists taking part in
the program were announced today by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the
2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) in partnership with the Four
Host First Nations.
    First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists participating in the program are
from every province and territory in Canada and include Brendalynn Trennert of
Hay River, NWT; Alan Syliboy of Millbrook, NS; Stephen Peltonen of Hearst, ON;
Brent Sparrow and Kevin McKenzie of Vancouver, BC; and Jason Baerg of Toronto,
ON. A complete list of participants is available at
    "These works of art by some of Canada's most established and
up-and-coming Aboriginal artists will be front and centre in our 15 Olympic
and Paralympic venues and will remain there as a permanent legacy of the Games
beyond 2010," said Dan Doyle, VANOC's executive vice president responsible for
Aboriginal participation. "In some cases, these beautiful artworks are
seamlessly integrated into the structure of the venue itself."
    The variety of artwork is staggering. Textiles, copper, steel, concrete,
yellow cedar, glass and caribou tufting are among the mediums used and the
subject matter features Aboriginal symbols, such as the raven, bear, salmon,
sun and canoe in traditional and contemporary styles.
    In addition to leaving a physical legacy of artwork, the program is
helping create an educational and cultural legacy by pairing established
artists with several at-risk young people in urban and rural areas from across
Canada to create three original sculptures for showcasing in 2010.
    "Mentors, such as Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, are opening up
a new world of opportunity for inner-city Aboriginal youth," said Tewanee
Joseph, chief executive officer of the Four Host First Nations. "This type of
programming allows us to celebrate the strength and innovation of our youth."
    More than 140 individual pieces of original artwork will be produced as
part of the more than $2-million Venues' Aboriginal Art Program, with over 40
becoming part of the Games permanent legacy at the venues. Sixteen Four Host
First Nations works will have pride of place in areas such as entrances and
gateways at venues like Pacific Coliseum and the Olympic and Paralympic
Villages in Whistler and Vancouver. This means the first thing visitors will
see as they enter is a welcoming work by a hosting Aboriginal artist. This
program is part of VANOC's venue construction budget.
    "This program offers an unprecedented opportunity to create a
once-in-a-lifetime contemporary collection of art from First Nations, Inuit
and Métis peoples for all the world to marvel at and enjoy during Canada's
Games in 2010," said Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern
Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians.
"Through these more than 90 sculptors, tufters, weavers and painters, we're
celebrating the rich cultural diversity of our country and honouring
Aboriginal peoples across Canada."
    "Canada is experiencing a renaissance in Aboriginal art from First
Nations, Inuit and Métis and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games will showcase this incredible talent to the world," said BC Premier
Gordon Campbell. "Their works will inspire everyone - from the world's best
athletes to visitors alike - as they act as a permanent cultural and artistic
legacy of the Games."
    The Aboriginal works of art displayed in the venues will also be featured
in O Siyam: Celebrating Aboriginal Art through the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games, published by John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd. The
full-colour coffee-table book will be available in stores this fall.
    For images of selected artworks from Aboriginal artists participating in
the Vancouver 2010 Venues' Aboriginal Art Program, visit

    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. Please visit for
more information.

    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. To learn
more about the Four Host First Nations Society, visit

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts, Paula Webber, VANOC
Communications, Tel: (604) 403-2685, E-mail:;
Alex Rose, Four Host First Nations, (604) 346-7720,

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