Edmonton Arts Council celebrates Indigenous artists

Musician Celeigh Cardinal is one of the recent recipients of a 2020 Edmonton Artist Trust Fund Award.

by Jake Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

(ANNews) – The Edmonton Arts Council recently announced the recipients of the Edmonton Trust Fund awards for 2020.

“We are delighted to celebrate 20 remarkable local artists that call the Edmonton region home,” said Sanjay Shahani, Executive Director of the Edmonton Arts Council. “These artists excel in their disciplines and are constantly working to broaden and promote the Edmonton arts community. The recipients help make Edmonton a vibrant and engaging city, alive with arts and culture.”

The Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund (EATF) is a joint project of the Edmonton Arts Council and the Edmonton Community Foundation. The EATF is designed to invest in Edmonton’s creative professionals and to encourage artists to stay in our community.

The funds are intended to offset living and working expenses, allowing the artist to devote a concentrated period of time to their artistic activities, career enhancement and/or development.

“Congratulations to this year’s recipients,” said Martin Garber-Conrad, CEO of Edmonton Community Foundation. “We look forward to watching these artists’ careers grow as they continue shaping our city.”

The $15,000 awards provide financial stability for artists to renew, develop, create or experiment. These awards are supported by the proceeds from the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund, held by the Edmonton Community Foundation.

“The Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund (EATF) recognizes an artist’s work and contribution to the community,” said the Edmonton’s Arts Council in a media release.

Many Indigenous people were honoured with the award, such as:

  • Andrea Bellegarde-Courchene: a skilled fibre artist from Little Black Bear First Nation in Treaty 4. Through her traditional star blankets and ribbon skirts she transmits her gift of artistic expression and a healing resurgence of her Cree/Ojibway culture.
  • Celeigh Cardinal: a multi-award-winning Métis singer-songwriter with notable wins at the 2020 Juno Awards, the 2018 Western Canadian Music Awards, and multiple Edmonton Music Awards.
  • Josh Languedoc: an Anishinaabe playwright, theatre artist, and educator. Josh has toured across Canada with his solo storytelling show Rocko and Nakota: Tales From the Land and is currently at the University of Alberta studying for his Masters.
  • Matthew MacKenzie: a multi-award-winning Métis playwright. On top of founding Pyretic Productions in Edmonton in 2008, Mackenzie was a co-winner of the Toronto Theatre Critics Outstanding New Canadian Play Award and won the Playwright Guild of Canada’s Carol Bolt National Playwriting Award.
  • Matthew Wood (Creeasian): an entrepreneur, youth educator, DJ, producer, and a dancer with the Juno Award winning group A Tribe Called Red. He is committed to bridging hip-hop and Indigenous culture, using the arts to empower and unite youth.

Visit grants.edmontonarts.ca for more information about the Edmonton Arts Council grants and awards programs. Click  here for a full list of the 2020 award recipients.


Jake Cardinal is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Alberta Native News.





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