New Film by Lindsay McIntyre Wins Oscar-Qualifying imagineNATIVE Award

Still from NIGIQTUQ ᓂᒋᖅᑐᖅ (The South Wind), by Lindsay McIntyre. (Image courtesy Lindsay McIntyre)

By Perrin Grauer. Originally posted on ECU News.

A new film by artist and ECU faculty member Lindsay McIntyre has won the Live Action Short Award at the 2023 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

Titled NIGIQTUQ ᓂᒋᖅᑐᖅ (The South Wind), the short drama was lauded by imagineNATIVE’s Moon Jury as an “incredibly moving story that brings you to tears” and “viscerally” connects the audience to its characters’ experiences.

“From the first frame, you are watching cinematic beauty from a filmmaker who understands the medium of cinema and knows how to conjure the spiritual element that sits within the most beautiful of our Indigenous cinematic offerings,” the jury writes. “Lindsay’s unique cinematic voice and talent is as clear and heartfelt as the South Wind it comes from.”

The Live Action Short Award is imagineNATIVE’s Oscar–qualifying category, meaning NIGIQTUQ ᓂᒋᖅᑐᖅ will be put forward to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for award consideration. The award also comes with a $7500 cash prize.

Lindsay, who often works in experimental documentary, says “it was a total shock” to win an award for a drama.

“Drama is so, so hard, and I have much respect for the people who do it. It’s really incredible to be honoured within this sphere,” she says. “But really, I think of the award as support for the story. Because it’s a really important story that we don’t talk about or know about, and it’s something I’m really passionate about bringing to the world.”

Still from NIGIQTUQ ᓂᒋᖅᑐᖅ (The South Wind), by Lindsay McIntyre. (Image courtesy Lindsay McIntyre)

NIGIQTUQ ᓂᒋᖅᑐᖅ is based on a true story told to Lindsay by her grandmother. It connects to a larger story that is touched upon in several of Lindsay’s other films, including her upcoming feature, The Words We Can’t Speak, currently in advanced development.

“Having left her Nunavut home in 1938 with her mother Kumaa’naaq (koo-MAT-na), young Marguerite must negotiate the unspoken pressures of being Inuk in her new life in the South,” reads the film’s synopsis. “When an extraordinary letter arrives from home, Marguerite discovers what’s really expected of her.”

The narrative reveals a type of benevolent racism that at once aims to erase Indigeneity and all its markers while purporting that it’s “for their own good”.

NIGIQTUQ ᓂᒋᖅᑐᖅ, which translates to “South Wind,” refers to an Inuit concept which celebrates positive change but also carries a caution.

“The south wind may bring blue skies and better conditions, but there’s also a sense of warning or a need to be present, because you can’t forget that the wind will always change back,” Lindsay says. This metaphor underscores Lindsay’s broader project of foregrounding an overlooked chapter in Canadian history.

“We know about residential schools and some of the other big ugly colonial wrongs, but we don’t often think about Inuit in the same way,” she says. “We don’t think about what the world was like for Inuit when the RCMP and the traders and the whalers and the missionaries showed up. My grandmother was an interpreter and servant to the RCMP in the early days of colonial interest so her story embodies how all of these different communities came together in a colonial context. And it’s unique because it was especially rare for an Inuk woman to be included in police business.”

Read the full article on ECU News.

Indigenous Winter Market

Join us! This year we will be hosting a Winter Market where ECU’s Indigenous students can showcase and sell their work before the holidays. Refreshments will be provided.

Aboriginal Gathering Place, 2nd floor, Emily Carr University
520 E 1 Ave, Vancouver

Friday, December 1
12pm to 6pm

Saturday, December 2
10am to 4pm

New Totem Pole at Emily Carr University Embodies Community Connections

On September 28, 2023, the Aboriginal Gathering Place hosted an unveiling ceremony of the Pacific Song of the Ancestors totem pole, a breathtaking new art installation by Master Carvers Dempsey Bob, Stan Bevan, and Lyonel Grant, now part of ECU’s permanent collection.

Former Director of Aboriginal Programs and Special Advisor to the President on Indigenous Initiatives Brenda Crabtree and ECU Chancellor Carleen Thomas (not pictured) unveil the ‘Pacific Song of the Ancestors’ totem pole. (Photo by Hayf Photography)

Story by Alex Korinowsky, excerpted from ECU News.

“This whole project is about community, communication and respect for Indigenous art, education and culture,” says Brenda Crabtree, the recently retired Director of Aboriginal Programs and Special Advisor to the President on Indigenous Initiatives at Emily Carr University. “The artists will tell you this is the most sculptural pole they’ve ever created—a refined work of art. For Emily Carr University to house this masterpiece that will inspire the public and generations of students, well, it’s simply priceless.”

Led by Sir Derek Lardelli (left) and Master Carver Dempsey Bob, family and community members from northern BC and New Zealand walk toward the Reliance Theatre at Emily Carr University during the ‘Pacific Song of the Ancestors’ totem pole unveiling ceremony on Sept. 28, 2023. (Photo by Perrin Grauer).

The collaborative work by Master Carvers Dempsey Bob (Tahltan-Tlingit), Stan Bevan (Tahltan-Tlingit and Tsimshian) and Lyonel Grant (Māori and Pakeha) began nearly a decade ago and embodies the spirit of community building, Indigenous interrelationships and reverence for the diverse Indigenous cultures within B.C. and beyond.

“The AGP at Emily Carr has always focused on celebrating the diversity of our Indigenous students, faculty and staff,” says Crabtree. “We honour and respect the local Host Nations, and we acknowledge that most of our Indigenous students come from all around B.C. and other provinces. We don’t often see Tahltan-Tlingit art in Vancouver, so for me, this project is about connecting with Indigenous artists from other communities, learning about and honouring their artistic traditions, and providing an opportunity for the public to experience this diversity.”

Master Carver Dempsey Bob (centre), along with his family and community members, leads the Carver’s Dance after the unveiling of the totem pole. (Photo by Hayf Photography)
(From L): Tangimoe Clay, Bridy Lundon, Lady Rose Gould-Lardelli, Hinehimiata Lardelli, Sir Derek Lardelli, Lyonel Grant and Tamahou Temara (just out of frame) perform Māori protocols during the ‘Pacific Song of the Ancestors’ totem pole unveiling ceremony at Emily Carr University on Sept. 28, 2023. (Photo by Hayf Photography)

The 25-foot, 2,600-pound pole was primarily carved in Bevan’s studio in Terrace, B.C. with contributions from local carvers and students from the Freda Diesing School, who worked as apprentices. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Bob and Bevan intensified their focus on the pole. Crabtree surmises this newly found time to “hover” and develop the project led to the pole’s exceptional refinement and superb sculptural character.

In the summer of 2021, the pole was transported to Emily Carr University and craned up to the main floor where it lay covered at the AGP. The following summer in 2022, Bob and Bevan worked to complete the pole alongside visiting artist Lyonel Grant from New Zealand.

(From L): Master Carver Lyonel Grant, Master Carver Dempsey Bob and Master Carver Stan Bevan receive Speaker Blankets woven by Squamish Chief Janice George and her husband Buddy Joseph from Aboriginal Programs Coordinator Sydney Pickering and Aboriginal Programs Manager Kajola Morewood during the ‘Pacific Song of the Ancestors’ totem pole unveiling ceremony at Emily Carr University on Sept. 28. 2023. (Photo by Hayf Photography)

“The Māori’s culture is so similar to ours, with their weavers, carvers, dancers, singers, longhouses and canoe culture,” Dempsey Bob says in a statement about the project. “The pole, which tells the migration story of the wolves, eagles and grizzly bears, exemplifies the cultural relevance of movement, migration, exploration and our connection to our land. The movement of the figures points to this southward migration, with the eagle and wolf heads protruding downward, out of the traditional totem pole into a sculptural expression. The deeper carvings, the projected figures and the flowing hair make this work come to life.”

(From L): Master Carvers Dempsey Bob, Lyonel Grant and Stan Bevan with their ‘Pacific Song of the Ancestors’ totem pole following the unveiling ceremony at Emily Carr University on Sept. 28, 2023. (Photo by Hayf Photography)

The totem pole has been installed in the northwest corner of the ECU campus building outside the Reliance Theatre.

Daina Warren Appointed Executive Director, Indigenous Initiatives at Emily Carr University

(Photo courtesy Daina Warren)

[Originally posted on ECU News]

Warren, an accomplished arts professional who has worked across the country and internationally, began her appointment Sept. 27.

Emily Carr University is pleased to announce the appointment of curator, writer, educator and arts administrator Daina Warren (BFA 2003) as Executive Director, Indigenous Intiatives.

Warren is a member of the Akamihk Montana First Nation in Maskwacis, Alta. Her appointment, which began Sept. 27, 2023, comes after an extensive international search led by Leaders International, a firm specializing in Indigenous and diversity recruitment practices.

“I am very thankful that Daina has decided to come work at Emily Carr,” says Trish Kelly, Interim President + Vice-Chancellor at ECU. “Aside from her warmth, kindness and intelligence, she is a deeply committed and engaged practitioner. Through her work and studies over the years, she’s forged enduring connections with ECU and the broader BC community. And her longstanding emphasis on supporting Indigenous-focused cultural production and learning is extraordinary. She is a person of exceptional integrity and vision, and we’re lucky to have her.”

Warren comes to the university from Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she worked both as an independent curator and as Program Manager of the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She holds a BFA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University and a Master of Arts in Art History (Critical and Curatorial Studies) from the University of British Columbia.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to Emily Carr,” Warren says. “When I was studying at ECU, I remember how exciting and fresh everything felt. It was such an important time for me. It feels incredible to be able to be a part of that again, and to work with the AGP to support Indigenous programming and creative practice for students, staff and faculty. I feel very grateful for this opportunity.”

From 2000 to 2002, between her diploma and BFA studies at Emily Carr University, Warren was a curator-in-residence at grunt gallery in Vancouver through Canada Council’s Assistance to Aboriginal Curators for Residencies in the Visual Arts program. This led to a permanent position with grunt, where she remained as Associate Curator and Administrator until 2008. During this same period, Warren served for four years as Curatorial Assistant and Arts Administrator with the LIVE Biennale of Performance Art in Vancouver.

In 2010 and 2011, she worked as the Canada Council Aboriginal Curatorial Resident at the National Gallery of Canada in Ontario. There, she curated the group exhibition Don’t Stop Me Now. Other exhibitions of note include If These Walls Could Talk and Contains Animal Byproducts!, created for the CODE Screen 2010 Vancouver Olympics project.

From 2011 to 2022 she worked as Director and Curator at Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art in Winnipeg, Manitoba. During her time with Urban Shaman, she mentored a half dozen individuals in arts programming development, arts administration, grant writing, installation and preparatory work.

Warren has co-instructed courses with Dr. Jessica Jacobson-Konefall at both the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. She has served as a grant jury assessor for organizations ranging from Emily Carr University and the City of Vancouver to the Ontario Arts Council, British Columbia Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. She has given curatorial talks and been an invited speaker at institutions across the country as well as internationally.

In 2015, Warren was awarded the Emily Award from Emily Carr University. That same year, she was selected as one of six Indigenous women curators as part of the Canada Council for the Arts Delegation to participate in the International First Nations Curators Exchange in Australia (2015), New Zealand (2016) and Canada (2017). In 2018, she won the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellency. In 2020, she participated in the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, NIRIN, on invitation from Australia Council for the Arts’ Visiting International Curators program. In 2022, Daina received the Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction, which is awarded biannually in recognition of the highest level of artistic excellence and contribution to the development of the arts in Manitoba.

Watch ECU’s Alumni Stories video spotlight on Daina Warren, produced in 2015 on the occasion of her Emily Award recognition.

Ribbons and Radars: Stepping Into Interdimensional Decolonization


Zoë Laycock with Dismantled -2, in the Sacred Fires exhibition, 2023. Handmade ribbon skirt & shirt, human hair, beeswax, video projection, mirror, screen print. (Photo by Kimberly Ronning / courtesy Zoë Laycock)

By Julie McIntosh
[Originally posted on ECU News, August 29, 2023]

The paranormal, cultural transmission, Indigenous futurism, time, spectrality and existences in artist and MFA student Zoë Laycock’s work.

Every so often, her pastel hair changes between cotton-candy pink, bleach blonde, and light blue. Add that to her grounded demeanor and passion for bingo, and Zoë Laycock might not be what you expect when meeting a paranormal enthusiast.

She’s now stepping further into the unknown. Entering the second half of her Masters of Fine Arts degree, Zoë’s exploring how to connect with the spirit world through interdimensional communication. Not a straightforward task.

Connecting to the Beyond

To evoke a sense of otherworldliness, her installations turn towards the spiritual. As an Anishinaabe Red River Métis woman, her work takes inspiration from a multitude of sources; her grandparents’ clothes, homemade regalia, her flower beadwork, ceremonial spaces, and pop-cultural uses of ghost radars you’d see in movies and reality TV dramas (think Ghost Hunter). Even sounds of the Rocky Mountain lakes and shorelines near Exshaw, Alberta – one of her most treasured homes – trickles into her installations.

Zoë Laycock, Mazinaatebiigishin (s/he casts a shadow on the water, is reflected in the water), 2022. (Photo by Geoff Cheung / courtesy Zoë Laycock)

“My desire to occupy spaces to facilitate communication and sites of belief, of the beyond, fundamentally comes from my traditional knowledge and understanding that we are all connected” remarks Zoë.

“Human and non-human, physical and non-physical bodies, the spirit world, the Earth, the cosmos, and all in between.”

Zoë is a multidisciplinary artist. Her immersive, theatrical, A/V practice ultimately brings her closer to finding how we can better communicate with otherworldly beings.

Read the full article and see more of Zoë’s work on ECU News.

Lheidli: Where the Two Rivers Meet

Decolonizing Cultural Safety Education through Cultural Connections

[originally posted on ECU Events]

Cultural Connections is an Indigenous community-led approach to cultural safety education that seeks to decolonize the healthcare system through making and dialogue.

This is a collaboration between the Aboriginal Gathering Place and the Health Design Lab at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Director of Aboriginal Education at the College of New Caledonia, and funded through a Systems Change Grant from the Vancouver Foundation. The overall goal of this project has been to shift how the next generation of health professionals view Indigenous health and support an environment where Indigenous peoples can consistently access culturally safe and appropriate care, feel comfortable using the healthcare system, and experience better health outcomes.

The exhibition and related publication are the result of a three-year pilot project to develop and test the Cultural Connections Workshop Model for cultural safety education. Grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing, the three-day workshop aims to create a culturally immersive space for the purpose of shared learning and mutual benefit by bringing together health-science students with Indigenous community members. Participants interact with one another through sharing circles and through making — using arts and material practice to facilitate dialogue and relationship building.

Exhibit Closing Reception + Presentation

We invite you to join us at the closing reception on Aug. 29, 2023 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm to meet the project team, artists and collaborators, and understand the potential of this approach to addressing Indigenous-specific racism and health inequities that persist today.

Mimi Gellman Wins 2023 West Coast Teaching Excellence Award

(Photo by Vivian Saffer / courtesy Mimi Gellman)

By Perrin Grauer. [Originally posted on ECU News.]

The artist, researcher and ECU faculty member is celebrated by colleagues, students and alumni for her dedication, integrity and compassion.

Artist and ECU faculty member Mimi Gellman is the recipient of a 2023 West Coast Teaching Excellence Award (WCTEA).

The prestigious award, which celebrates excellence in university teaching, was launched in 2021 by the BC Teaching and Learning Council with support from BCcampus.

“Mimi is an enormously giving and generous faculty member,” says Diyan Achjadi, Interim Vice-President Academic + Provost. “Her grace, her gentleness, her ability to bring Indigenous knowledge into the university in a way that’s generative and exploratory and supportive of community is amazing. She is there for students in every way, at all times. These qualities are endemic to how Mimi approaches the pedagogical process. She is a truly inspiring educator, and I could not be happier to see her recognized for her work.”

Mimi’s extraordinary impact on her students — and on pedagogy at Emily Carr more broadly — also points to the vital importance of a well-resourced Teaching and Learning Centre that is able to support faculty development and teaching, Diyan adds.

Each public post-secondary institution in BC and the Yukon can forward up to two nominees annually for consideration. Five awards are given each year. Mimi, an Ashkenazi-Anishinaabe Métis visual artist and educator, is an associate professor at ECU. She was selected by colleagues earlier this year alongside faculty member Jamie Hilder after an open call for nominations from the ECU community.

Read the full article on ECU News.


Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun on Coast Salish Art

“Sacred is every part of our being, and every part of our lives in our existence here. That’s been the central point of my work here,” says Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, of his work in the 2023 ECU MFA exhibition. (Image courtesy Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun)

By Perrin Grauer, originally posted on ECU News

Recent MFA grad Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun (MFA 2023) was the subject of a feature article in The Discourse. The interview was also republished via Indiginews.

In a wide-ranging interview, the Snuneyumxw artist and storyteller spoke about sculpture, history, his work in the 2023 MFA exhibition and the meaning of the sacred.

“A lot of my work has been centered around a quote from elder Bill White, that Coast Salish art is to make the sacred visible,” he tells The Discourse. “I’ve been thinking about that and unpacking that. What does that mean to me? There’s certain kinds of sacred that aren’t meant for the public. And when we work as Salish artists, we don’t represent that in public.

“But there’s a lot of stuff that my great grandmother would talk about, that sacred is all around us. Sacred is every part of our being, and every part of our lives in our existence here. And so what does it mean to make art in light of that? That’s been the central point of my work here.”

Eliot also spoke with Indiginews in 2022 about his journey to becoming an artist.

Visit Eliot’s website and follow him on Instagram to learn more about his work. Watch Eliot speak about his 2021 public art project, at Beban Park Swimming Pool in Nanaimo, Xe’xe’ Squpastul u tu Thewum Qa’ ‘i’ Kwatlkwa, via YouTube.

Call for Indigenous Vendors

We’re hosting our first Indigenous Art Market! As part of Indigenous History Month, we’re providing a platform to our Indigenous students to showcase and sell their work. There are also a limited number of tables available for experienced Indigenous vendors from the Vancouver area. We are offering tables/chairs at no charge and no commission.

Interested in applying?
Please submit the Exhibitor Application form by Monday, May 8. After reviewing the applications, we will contact successful applicants via email. Applicants must commit to participate for the entire duration of the event.

Market Dates & Times:
June 8, 9, and 10
10am to 4pm
Zone 2 of the second floor Exhibition Commons at Emily Carr University

Please contact us at with your questions. This is our first market, please be patient with us!

Indigenous Portfolio Day: May 26

On Friday, May 26th find inspiration, gain insight, and improve your portfolio with the current Indigenous faculty and professionals at Emily Carr. ECU is pleased to host the first annual Indigenous Portfolio Day on the traditional unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh. This is an opportunity for Indigenous creators, designers, and artists interested in pursuing post-secondary through an art + design lens to have their work reviewed by current Indigenous faculty and professionals at ECU.
For the day of the event bring any work that you have, this can include drawings, paintings, digital/ graphic design work, zines, carvings, jewelry, and beadwork. You will bring these to share with our Indigenous faculty and Indigenous staff for review, from here you will receive feedback and gain insight into how to have a strong foundation for when you submit your application.
Register through Eventbrite: