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Celebrate Indigenous art, music and storytelling at this New West market

New West Craft Indigenous Market returns to New West for the second year

Here’s a perfect opportunity to browse for Indigenous art and craft, while also exposing yourself to Indigenous practices and storytelling. 

The New West Indigenous Craft Market is back in New West for the second year — featuring more than 35 vendors along the boardwalk in front of the River Market. The one-day event will also set the stage for a host of events including music, storytelling, live window painting and more. 

The Market, organized by Arts New West in partnership with Shop First Nations, aims to bolster First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists and small businesses by encouraging consumers to invest in Indigenous-made art, goods, and services, as per a press release.

“Our first event in 2022 was a big success and we are thrilled to see this event grow and become a space where local Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs can share their work with the community,” said Laura Grady, executive director, Arts New West. 

"This event is a demonstration of how Canadians and community organizations can contribute to economic reconciliation and growing the Indigenous economy, in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call-To-Action #92," added Rob Schulz, president of Shop First Nations. 

Besides giving an opportunity to shop for Indigenous art and craft, the event will also give visitors a chance to learn about Indigenous practices and creative expressions through “Expressions of Reclamation” —  a series of free artist showcase events curated by Arts Council of New West Indigenous Curator S^yowah, and hosted by the Buffalo Heart Medicine Society.

As part of this segment, there will be musical performances at the boardwalk by Indigenous singers and songwriters Hayley Wallis and Francis Baptiste. 

Meanwhile, the community square on the second floor of the River Market will see a storytelling event with Haida artist Kung Jaadee, a mini workshop on labyrinths by Vanessa Lesperance of VanCity Labyrinth and live window painting by artists James Groening, Ryan Hughes, Claire Akiwenzie and Tristan Wright.

Each artist will paint the windows of River Market in a different style — a combination of traditional art form and contemporary, said Grady. 

“Reconciliation is more than words and ceremony. Action is a big part of it,” added S^yowah. 

And events like the Indigenous Market and Expressions of Reclamation are all about taking that action to support local Indigenous artists and businesses, he said.

New West Craft Indigenous Market will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 10. The vendor stalls will be set up along the boardwalk in front of the River Market. All events are free to attend; no registration required. For more details,visit Arts New West website


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