Local Indigenous artists gathered at City Hall on Tuesday, February 7, for the Indigenous Artists meet and greet. The event provided opportunities for artists to connect with businesses, organizations and government officials looking to purchase or contract artistic talent.
“Edmonton has an active, diverse and vibrant Indigenous arts community that should be recognized and celebrated,” said City’s Indigenous Artist-in-Residence, Dawn Marie Marchand. “This event provides a forum to build the initial connections that can lead to procurement down the road.”
The goal of the event was to build a sense of community and belonging between residents and businesses that live in specific neighbourhoods. As Marchand explained, respecting Indigenous art and artists is essential to the revitalization of communities and the City’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation.
“Edmonton resides on Treaty No. 6 territory,” said Marchand. “This provides abundant opportunities for relationships that respect Indigenous cultures and enrich the fabric of our neighbourhoods.”
Jane Molstad, Neighbourhood Revitalization Coordinator for the City of Edmonton said, “Edmonton’s neighbourhood of McCauley is a shining example of what can be achieved through relationship building and economic opportunity. The McCauley Revitalization initiative honours truth and reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples by creating public spaces that support Indigenous artists to share their talent.”
Jane pointed to the McCauley revitalization as a model of what could be achieved in other neighbourhoods across Edmonton. “Revitalization is about building connections and developing a sense of pride for one’s community. This event provides those opportunities for local Indigenous artists.”
The Indigenous Artist meet and greet was attended by approximately 200 people representing local businesses, government and Indigenous artists from a variety of genres.