Posted: April 7, 2014

Petapan: First Light is a three day arts symposium for Indigenous artists and arts practitioners in Atlantic Canada. It will take place August 15‐17 in Millbrook, Nova Scotia, in and around the Glooscap Heritage Centre.

1stThe event is organized by the Atlantic Public Arts Funders and will be open to one hundred indigenous artists and arts practitioners across Atlantic Canada. The three days will feature keynote speakers, networking activities, demonstrations, panel discussions, opportunities for information exchange, an artist showcase, and a public performing arts event.

Special attention will be given to the unique challenges facing  Atlantic Canadian indigenous artists in terms of the creation, dissemination, and promotion of work, equitable access to public funding programs, and the acceptance of works in the larger context of the regional and national art world.

Attendance is on a first come, first serve basis. The three day event is free, but registration is required. Meals and accommodations will be covered.

“The symposium represents a first for the Atlantic Public Art Funders in many ways,” remarks Christopher Shore, Director of Arts Nova Scotia. “A first opportunity to bring our collective resources together to support indigenous art and artists, and an important first step towards reaching out to indigenous artists to create an active network.”

Ursula Johnson, an indigenous artist in Cape Breton and a member of the Symposium’s Steering Committee states, “eastern indigenous artists’ voices are left out of a national dialogue about identity, politics, and social issues for a number of reasons, such as: regional isolation, lack of public institutional interaction with the artists, and a long standing history of exoticizing the ‘Indian Artefact’. My expectation for this symposium is that it will work as a catalyst to propel our indigenous makers to engage in a critical discourse about the indigenous artefact as it pertains to the subjects that our western colleagues are dialoguing about."

Artists and arts practitioners can register for the event online at or by phone 902‐719‐4479.


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