Indigenous art in B.C. has a long and nuanced history, stretching back to a time well before colonization. Music, dance, carving, weaving, regalia, body art – these are just some of the artistic expressions that reflect our cultures and identities. Our art is a conduit for physical, mental, socio-cultural and economic well-being.
We use art to record history and mark events, to map the land, to pass on values and to identify political and family structures that shape our communities. Art is at the centre of our ceremonies and cultural practices. Art is an educational tool, a public record, a political document and a spiritual resource – and it is a critical component of our cultural systems.
At First Peoples’ Cultural Council, we support Indigenous artists working in both traditional and contemporary arts through delivering grants, workshops and programs.
Indigenous Arts Program (IAP)
Individual Artists Program
The Individual Artists program helps Indigenous artists to improve their skills and knowledge, pursue new approaches, exhibit or perform and gain recognition from their peers. It is for people working in all artistic disciplines—visual, music, dance, theatre, literary or media, including both contemporary practice of traditionally based forms.
Sharing Traditional Arts Across Generations
This grant supports projects where the primary focus is passing on traditional arts skills and knowledge through generations and includes all art forms – visual, music, dance and story. It is intended to enhance training and participation and advance the work of B.C. Indigenous artists, arts organizations, collectives and First Nations communities
Organizations & Collectives
The Organizations and Collectives grant helps to build administrative capacity and sustainability for the organization or to advance the work of Indigenous artists. This grant is for emerging artists, people involved in arts production, administration or a combination of arts and administrative projects. It enhances connections to other arts organizations and networks. The funding supports Indigenous organizations, societies, First Nations communities and arts collectives that work across all art forms – visual, music, dance and story.
Arts Administrator Internships & Mentorships
This program provides funding to support internship and training for people who have a commitment to arts administration, community cultural coordination or curatorial practice in a gallery or museum. Examples of projects include organizing workshops or events, community-based research and planning, and documentation and promotion of local artists. Activities related to community-based arts and culture administration is a priority.
Arts Vitality Micro-Grant
This program provides funding to enable artists and performers to take advantage of unexpected opportunities where artists would not be able to otherwise participate. For example, funding through this grant can be used to support an art show, travel or regalia for a performance. The grant allows artists and collectives to respond to new approaches. It reduces barriers to opportunities and advances the artist’s skills, knowledge and professional development.
Community Arts Infrastructure
The Community Arts Infrastructure program supports Indigenous arts organizations and unincorporated arts collectives to develop Indigenous workspaces and workshops in order to share artistic skills and knowledge. The program supports activities including workshops, training, knowledge sharing, workshop materials and minor building renovations and improvements.
Indigenous Arts Scholarship
The Indigenous Arts Scholarship provides up to $20,000 in funding to students in full-time mentorship training and up to $10,000 for post-secondary education. While applicants can study anywhere, they must be a resident of B.C. and have previous experience that demonstrates a commitment to their artistic practice.
Indigenous Music Initiative (IMI)
Music Industry Professionals Program
This program provides people working in the Indigenous music industry an opportunity to gain experience and build relationships. Participants gain knowledge and strengthen skills to work as managers, promoters, agents, administrators, event organizers or presenters.
Touring, Promotions/Marketing and Performance Initiatives
This program supports artists, organizations and collectives located in B.C with activities relating to touring and performance as well as promotional and marketing efforts. Initiatives can be combined for a total of up to $10,000.
Music Recording Industry Program
The goal of this program is to increase the number of Indigenous recording engineers and recording studios in the province of B.C. Program participants are required to have previous training, however this grant supports both emerging and established Indigenous recording engineers. Participants build skills and expand their business with short-term mentorship, internship or training opportunities through direct participation in a music recording project. It also provides funding for recording equipment and software enhancements in independent Indigenous recording studios
Indigenous Music Retreat
The Indigenous Music Retreat brings together a dedicated group of Indigenous artists (emerging, mid-career or established) who want to strengthen their artistic and business skills, develop music industry networks and expand their industry knowledge. The retreat includes workshops, roundtable discussions, one-on-one consultation and coaching, plus an evening showcase to provide a holistic experience.