Dawn Marie Marchand, a member of Cold Lake First Nations; is a Cree and Métis visual artist and will be the City of Edmonton’s Indigenous Relations Office’s (IRO’s) first artist in residence.
Over the next year, Dawn Marie will develop a body of work within the City of Edmonton’s Indigenous Relations Office while researching the history of the Edmonton’s influential Indigenous peoples from the local territory. She will begin with months of historical research which will inform her future works, including paintings, photography and a final exhibition to complete her residency.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with the richness and abundance of the Indigenous oral and contemporary stories that exist in and around the City of Edmonton. I am honoured to be able to bring it forward and hopefully honour it appropriately,” says Dawn Marie Marchand.
Dawn Marie is a student of the Boreal Forest Institute for the Indigenous Arts in Fort McMurray and has worked with influential teachers and mentors such as Alex Janvier, Joanne Cardinal-Schubert, Jane Ash Poitras, Edward Poitras, Brian Clark and Rebecca Belmore. These mentors greatly influenced her work and led her to community and youth mentorship in her own arts practice.
As an artist, author, and educator, Marchand has spent many years using her artistic talents to work with and positively impact at-risk youth and adult artists who experience barriers in building or growing their practice. Widely known for her collaborative work within the community, several highlights include large scale temporary public artworks at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, City Hall, the Works Arts and Design Festival, and on the streets during PARK(ing) Day; guest lecturing at the University of Alberta; co-founding Cree8Success, a local conference focused on inspiring Aboriginal students; and working as an artist mentor and instructor for the Art Mentorship Society of Alberta.
The first of its kind for the IRO, the residency project is guided by a number of city council approved plans. First The Art of Living, the City of Edmonton and Edmonton Arts Council’s joint cultural plan, with one of its major recommendations being the establishment of expanded artist-in-residence projects with City departments. Secondly the 2016-2018 The Ways Ahead Implementation Plan’s goal of Aboriginal Inclusion and Participation in Civic Life, and finally the recently council approved End Poverty Edmonton Road Map Action #2 that speaks to showing and growing Indigenous talent.
“The Indigenous artist in residence pilot project is another step towards our focus on reconciliation while providing a platform to share the diverse cultural, social and economic contributions Indigenous peoples bring to our city each day,” said Mike Chow, Director of Indigenous Relations at the City of Edmonton. “We are fortunate to have Dawn Marie as the inaugural Artist In Residence working on projects that will showcase the many talented indigenous artists in Edmonton and in addition highlight the City’s work being done to improve the lives of Indigenous people in our city.”
The Indigenous Relations Office connects the Indigenous community to appropriate City departments, programs and services and strives to continue building good relations with Indigenous people in the spirit and intent of the Edmonton City Council’s historic 2005 Declaration and subsequent 2007 Urban Aboriginal Accord.
The Edmonton Arts Council is a not-for-profit organization that supports and promotes the arts community in Edmonton. The EAC works to increase the profile and involvement of arts and culture in all aspects of our community life.