By Frank Larue
VANCOUVER – Six B.C. First Nations artists who translate their stories and language into paintings, carvings, photography, sculptures and weaving were honoured by Premier Gordon Campbell today at the first annual BC Creative Achievement Awards for Aboriginal Art. Two master artists were also honoured with the first annual BC Lifetime Creative Achievement Awards for Aboriginal Art at the ceremony at the Pan Pacific Hotel.
“First Nations artwork is internationally admired and is vital to understanding B.C.’s history and culture,” said Campbell, who is director of the BC Achievement Foundation. “Through their work, these artists tell traditional stories that have been passed down from generation to generation and that add immeasurably to British Columbia’s diverse cultural heritage.”
Dempsey Bob, a master Tahltan-Tlingit carver known for his prolific totem poles and sculptures, and Robert Davidson, a leading Haida artist and recipient of both the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada, were named the first recipients of the BC Lifetime Creative Achievement Awards for Aboriginal Art.
The six recipients of the BC Creative Achievement Awards for Aboriginal Art were:
· Barbara P. Marchand, Okanagan Nation
· Marianne Nicolson, Dzawada’enuxw
· Chester Patrick, Gitxsan
· Susan Point, Coast Salish (Musqueam)
· Christian White, Haida
· William White, Tsimshian
Each received a $5,000 prize and is granted the use of the British Columbia Creative Achievement Awards seal to signify their creative excellence. The BC Creative Achievement Awards for Aboriginal Art were created to recognize the important role of First Nations art in British Columbia’s history and cultural identity.
The British Columbia Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the Province in 2003. The Creative Achievement Awards for Aboriginal Art are one of five initiatives of the foundation. The others are the BC Community Achievement Awards recognizing those who have made a significant contribution to their community, the BC Award for Canadian Non-Fiction recognizing excellence in literary non-fiction, the BC Creative Achievement Awards recognizing excellence in applied arts and design, and Time to Read: the BC Achievement Award for Early Literacy.