A vital part of the First Peoples' Festival is the appreciation of visual
arts. Several different locations throughout the city of Montreal played
host to art exhibitions which promoted a resurgence of Aboriginal
mythologies through the hands of the artists who bring them to life.
From June 4 - 26, the Canadian Guild of Crafts hosted "Niwaskw", an
exhibition of sculpture, embroidery and works on paper featuring the work
of Christine Sioui Wawanoloath, an Abenaki-Wendat painter; Virginia
Pesemapeo Bordeleau, a Cree artist and poet; Tom Bulowski, an Anishnabe
wood engraver; Jacques Newashish, an Atikamek painter and engraver from
Wemotaci; and Veronique Thusky, an Anishnabe embroiderer from Lac-Rapide
Founded in 1906, the Guild is mandated to preserve and promote the fine
arts of Canada First Nations. It also has an outstanding permanent
collection of Inuit art
From June 10 - 21, in the foyer of the NFB Cinema, "Eshi-uapatikanit,
Visions of Innu Youth" was on display. This exhibition is a collection of
photographs taken by 30 young people from Uashat mak Mani-Utenam who, over
the course of a year, captured important moments in their own lives and in
that of their community with humor, compassion and insight.
By revealing other aspects of their lives than those the media usually
depict, these photos, taken between May 2003 and April 2004 bring to life a
daily experience that may have its share of concerns and problems, but
gives a glimpse of the pride these young Innu feel in their people.
Mattuisi Iyaituk's sculptures are being displayed prominently throughout
the summer at the Bibliotheque National du Quebec along with an assortment
of Inuit prints. "Founding Mythologies", features engravings and sculptures
of Nunavik. The creation myths find expression through the Inuit's
pioneering use of sculpture, prints and silk-screening.
The combination of traditional art, music, dance and ceremony along with
contemporary film, crafts and technologies makes the First Peoples'
Festival a truly all-encompassing event.