The U’mista Cultural Centre at Alert Bay.

U’mista Cultural Centre will host a native art contest to raise funds for artists

All artists of Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw descent are being called to participate in the contest to be held on August 28

U’mista Cultural Centre has called on the artists of Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw descent to participate in a native art contest to be held on August 28.

Indigenous artists have been economically affected due to COVID-19 slowing down business and tourism said Joseph Isaac, U’mista Cultural Centre’s business manager.

The contest is a fun way for people to engage with arts and raise funds, said Isaac.

The contest is open for children and adults and two winners will be selected from each of the three categories. Winners will also receive cash prizes ranging from $250- $1000. The artwork design produced will be used for the logo of U’mista’s merchandise.

The theme for the contest is ‘resilience.’

“Our people are extraordinary stories of resilience,” said Isaac and added that First Nation communities have historically been resilient through pandemics and residential schools.

The society is also planning to host an art exhibition, featuring works of Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw artists from across the region.

“We’re going to be reaching out to our community to participate in the exhibition,” said Isaac. The exhibition will be held at the U’mista cultural centre in Alert Bay.

The exhibition will also mark the 40th anniversary of the U’mista Cultural Centre.

U’mista Cultural Centre is one of the longest-operating and most successful First Nations cultural facilities in BC, founded in 1980 as a ground breaking project to house potlatch artifacts which had been seized by government during an earlier period of cultural repression.

‘U’mista’ which also means ‘the return of something important’ operates a museum and cultural education facility in Alert Bay.

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