First Nations Artists Honoured by the BC Achievement Foundation

IMG_2463.jpg

“The fact that everyone was calling it a luncheon tipped me off right away. They don’t call it that where I come from! I knew I couldn’t wear jeans like I had to the formal opening at the Bill Reid Gallery”

On November 15th, 2016 the BC Achievement Foundation celebrated six First Nations Artists with a First Nations Art Creative Achievement Award. By the time I got my invitation I had already heard rumblings about this luncheon. The fact that everyone was calling it a luncheon tipped me off right away. They don’t call it that where I come from! I knew I couldn’t wear jeans like I had to the formal opening at the Bill Reid Gallery. So I pulled out one of the thrift store dresses I had bought for the holiday season and headed for downtown Vancouver.

“As I walked up to the Fairmont Pacific Rim and saw the doorman in his little hat, I felt like I had stepped into Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

As I walked up to the Fairmont Pacific Rim and saw the doorman in his little hat, I felt like I had stepped into Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I tried to stand taller and look like I belonged there as I asked someone which way to the Star Sapphire Ballroom (no doubt named by Cinderella’s fairy godmother) and walked up the curved staircase. The lounge outside the Ballroom was already filled with guests toting glasses of wine being served on trays by lovely people dressed in black and white.

“A star-studded cast it was, and the event measured up to it” 

I was pleased to see a few familiar faces. Corey Moraes, who I had met through the Scholarship he won from the YVR Art Foundation earlier in the year was to be presented with an award from the BC Achievement Foundation at the luncheon. Corrine Hunt was also a familiar face amongst the award recipients. The others to win awards that day who I only knew by name were: Maxine Matilpi, Luke Parnell, Xwalacktun and the Lifetime Achievement Award would go to Susan Point. Other big names in attendance were the arts patron, Michael Audain, founder of the new Audain Museum in Whistler, Robert Davidson, renowned Haida artist and Dr. Martine Reid, the famous Bill Reid’s widow. A star-studded cast it was, and the event measured up to it.

“Sometime the best show is the one you’re not supposed to be watching”

After a delicious meal, where they catered to my every food allergy, a short film was shown featuring each recipient before they were presented with their award. I mostly watched the films, but sometimes I watched the recipients sitting on stage, smiling into their hand, or looking at the floor in awkward nervousness. Sometime the best show is the one you’re not supposed to be watching.

“I felt grateful for the opportunity to celebrate artistic excellence in the finest class the city has to offer”

As the Presentation Ceremony ended and the crowds of art-world people dispersed slowly onto the downtown Vancouver streets or into their cars or taxi cabs, I felt grateful for an opportunity to celebrate diversity in art. I felt grateful to walk out that day knowing more about the artists who had earned the honour and I felt grateful for the opportunity to celebrate artistic excellence in the finest class the city has to offer.

IMG_2370.JPG

img_2453


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s