Place des Arts will be open on September 19.

Throughout the summer of 2022, Place des Arts alongside First Nations artist Christine Mackenzie attended several community events with our community art project Sharing Culture through the Natural World. At each event, our community helped create a different component of the art project, which celebrates multiculturalism through First Nations art and culture.

We can all identify with the natural world regardless of our culture or background. Through this project, we hope to inspire self-exploration, dialogue, learning and sharing.

If you participated in the project at one of the events, see how the component you contributed to fits within the context of the larger project. If this is your first time seeing the project, come visit to reflect on how our community can grow and learn from each other.

Your voice matters. We are all important to the conversation in our diverse community.

The playlist includes 4 videos featuring information about the project and artists.

About Christine Mackenzie

Christine Mackenzie of the Kwakiutl Nation is a First Nations Artist and Facilitator. Her mother was born in Bella Coola, BC, and is a part of the Eagle Clan. Her mother was a part of the Sixties Scoop and because of that Christine had a hard time trying to find her culture and identity, but through resilience and training she found a way back to her Indigenous roots. She finds inspiration in the natural world and in the eyes of people willing to learn and share cultural ideas. Christine works with traditional/contemporary design and in multiple mediums.

Christine has been doing art all her life but has worked as a professional artist and facilitator since 2009 and was mentored by Anastasia Henry, Haida elder, artist and facilitator. Christine now helps others on their journey with self identity, indigenous culture, artwork, protocols, truth and reconciliation. Christine speaks only to her life experience to inform her teachings and supports others to facilitate empathy when working with or learning about Indigenous culture. Christine has worked with multiple school districts and organizations. Some artistic career highlights include creating the Transit Police canoe logo, designing sustainable holiday tree pallets for the Vancouver Convention Centre and painting murals in New Westminster. Follow her @sneakynativeart on Instagram to see more of her work.

About Matthew Dyck

Matthew Dyck is former broadcaster who is a proud member of both the Cree and Metis Nation with Saulteaux roots hailing from Calgary, Alberta. Matt is a professional voice-over artist who specializes in narration for descriptive audio for the visually impaired. His voice can be heard on Netflix, Disney+, Showtime, CBC and many other streaming platforms. He is also a published writer and photographer known best for his street photography and portraiture.

Since 2017 Matthew has competently worked as an Indigenous Cultural Advisor/Facilitator, Program Coordinator, Outreach Worker and Content Creator providing his services across Canada.

Throughout his career, he has excelled at building respectful reciprocal relationships with both indigenous and non-indigenous people growing his network internationally. Because of his diverse knowledge, lived life experience and reputation he has been sought out by entities of federal, provincial, municipal governments, health services, educational institutions, libraries, national banks, non-for-profit organizations, museums, corporations, media and businesses to provide guidance via educational talks/workshops and one on one consultations.

He has recently been added to a roster of Indigenous Cultural Advisors for the City of Vancouver and retained by the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site and the Port of Vancouver to help plan this year’s Welcoming the Sun, their National Indigenous People’s Day celebration. Welcoming the Sun is an event that Matt co-created in 2019 and is to this day the most successful and well attended NIPD event in the site’s history.

Currently Matthew continues to collaborate and guide most of the above mentioned organizations and provide outreach, support, and advocacy for our many diverse Indigenous communities in North America, as well as to those who serve them.

Matthew has created the soundscape and audio tracks for this exhibition.

Animal Descriptions

Through the project, we invited participants to learn about the unique characteristics of traditional northwest coast animals found within the artwork and to discover which animal they relate to. We can all identify with the natural world regardless of our culture or background. The meanings assigned to animals vary from one First Nations group to the next. If you would like to know more about the animal meanings for the Indigenous Band near you, gather information from local elders or knowledge keepers.

Listen to each individual animal description below or click here to listen to the full playlist of animal descriptions.

About Christine

Christine Mackenzie of the Kwakiutl Nation is a First Nations Artist and Facilitator. Her mother was born in Bella Coola, BC, and is a part of the Eagle Clan. Her mother was a part of the Sixties Scoop and because of that, Christine had a hard time finding her culture and identity, but through resilience and training she found a way back to her Indigenous roots. She finds inspiration in the natural world and in the eyes of people willing to learn and share cultural ideas.

Christine now helps others on their journey with self-identity, indigenous culture, artwork, protocols, truth and reconciliation. Christine speaks only to her life experience to inform her teachings and supports others to facilitate empathy when working with or learning about Indigenous culture. Christine has worked with multiple school districts and organizations. Follow her @sneakynativeart on Instagram to see her work.

Community Participation

This project would not be possible without funding from:

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