The following is excerpted from a release issued by the Northern Indigenous Artists' Collective.
A group of Prince George artists have shared their plans for a new organization that will support Indigenous artists throughout the northern central district of British Columbia.
The newly minted Northern Indigenous Artists’ Collective is led by a steering committee of eight artists who have a vision to achieve inclusive, accessible and equitable opportunities for the advancement of traditional and contemporary Indigenous arts, as well as professional development opportunities for artists.
The group’s plans for the coming year include professional development activities for its members. Memberships are now available to any artist in the district who is self-identifying as Indigenous.
The group is opening an office located at Studio 2880 and is nested within the Community Arts Council of Prince George & District. Both groups intend to collaboratively hire a new staff member this fall to work as the area's Indigenous Arts Administrator. This new employment position will help the fledgling organization seek its goal of becoming an independent arts council over the coming year, with both local arts councils eventually sharing the new, community arts facility that is currently in development in downtown Prince George.
The group is also working to organize a major arts symposium in Prince George, drawing in Indigenous artists from across the northern region of BC, in March 2019.
The steering committee is currently comprised of Shirley Babcock, Darrin Corbiere, Carla Joseph, Lynette La Fontaine, Dianne Levesque, Len Paquette and Jennifer Pighin. Ivan Paquette acts as the liaison between the group and the Community Arts Council, where he serves as the Reconciliation Officer on their board of directors.