Photo: Sonja Klotz
Opening June, National Aboriginal Awareness Month, the Abbotsford Arts Council hosted its very first Aboriginal art and culture celebration.
“We are here to celebrate and promote the First Nations and Aboriginal community in the region,” said Sophie Suderman, the arts council’s executive director.
As guests visited each of the artisans’ vendors, they were also able to see the creative processes through which these vibrant creations are made. Throughout the day there were jiggers and fiddlers from the Valley’s Metis communities, along with storytelling and a closing drum circle that kept the performance stage alive and inviting. As children were getting their faces painted, parents enjoyed inspirational Aboriginal performances while also partaking in some of the delicious Aboriginal treats that were sold at the concession.
Jay Havens, the arts council’s artist-in-residence, is originally from Abbotsford, currently living in Haida Gwaii. In addition to being at the event kick-off, Havens’ work was part of a multicultural exhibit that highlights diasporic communities in the Fraser Valley.
“We [also] have some Mennonite quilters, we have some First Nations drums,” Suderman says. “The goal is to both raise awareness of the Aboriginal communities within Abbotsford and celebrate the heritage that we have here — the art and culture that they bring to our community.”
Photo: Abbotsford Arts Council