This Land, Ontario (Nipissing)

Brief: The Aboriginal Curatorial Collective in partnership with the WKP Kennedy Gallery at the Capitol Centre and the Ontario Arts Council to hold a regional round table and information session as part of their “This Land, Ontario” project. With presentations by OAC Associate Director of Granting, Kerry Swanson and ACC-CCA Executive Director, Clayton Windatt including a community forum to explore collective futures.

150 Main St. E.
Wednesday, February 8th, (1pm – 5pm)

1pm Introductions and Opening remarks

1:15pm – 1:30pm Community Forum led by Clayton Windatt

  • What are the current areas being explored by Indigenous Artists within Nipissing?
  • What boundaries are in place holding back Indigenous arts success?
  • Are there opportunities here that are different than other areas of Canada?
  • What does everyone want to see change?
  • What role can the ACC-CCA play in supporting change in this region?

2:30pm – 2:45pm Health break
Coffee and cookies provided.

2:45pm – 5pm Presentation and Conversation: Ontario is creating a new fund to support Indigenous cultural expression and ways of life. The new fund is part of Ontario’s response to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Launching in 2017, the Indigenous Culture Fund (ICF) will support community-centred Indigenous cultural activities. The fund will be administered by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS). OAC and MTCS are undertaking a province-wide engagement process to share information and get feedback on the proposed design of ICF. Kerry Swanson, Associate Director of Granting and ICF project lead at Ontario Arts Council, will share an overview of the ICF framework in a discussion format.

More: ACC-CCA has recently celebrated our 10-year anniversary and reflected on our past projects. As a collective representing Indigenous curators and artist/curators from across North America, we represents many art forms through our membership and mandate. Curators are not bound to the institutionalized role of wall-hanging visual arts and often roam freely through methods of engagement bringing visual, media, performance, craft, dance and writing together. ACC-CCA as a group engages through collaborative thinking and celebrates ceremony as a manner of organizational practice. Although we are a curator-focused organization, we are also a multi-arts institution as our members reflect activities of the full Inter-arts and multi-arts spectrum. The construct of “Curator” is a predominantly “Visual Arts” term but the ACC-CCA is considered a multi-arts organization as our exhibitions, events, colloquium and festivals all produced through an Indigenous world view represent all forms of artistic expression rarely remaining within one genre.

As part of the ACC-CCA mandate to support, promote and advocate on behalf of Indigenous curators, critics, artists and cultural representatives, the ACC-CCA is seeking insight from its members, supporters and the greater arts community to help us understand the needs, concerns, and ambitions of the Indigenous arts community. This work is ongoing, but begins 2016 – 2017 in Ontario with our project “This Land, Ontario”, a series of regionally focused gatherings. These gatherings will include a combination of discussion forums or talking circles, as well as presentations of current arts practices from regional artists/curators. Participants are asked to share, discuss and reflect on both community-engaged and curatorial-based multi-arts practices, contributing to the ACC-CCA’s understanding of professional arts practices and current trends in the Indigenous arts scene nation-wide. The insights gained will then be used to help guide the ACC-CCA’s future activities.

“This Land, Ontario” The land speaks through us and we honour the voice that it gives. Turtle Island provides for us and in return we must always reflect back. We reflect on the territories of our people and the borders that are enforced by governments. We reflect on the treaty rights of Ontario and how they influence our arts practices. What resistance is taking place and where can solidarity be found? Which communities are taking on new developments and what changing roles are communities playing? Are the large institutions of Ontario opening their doors to us? Where has ground been gained and on whose terms has access been granted? What is on the horizon? What are the next steps for Ontario and its Indigenous residents?

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