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The Indigenous Arts program at The Banff Centre was established in 1993 in partnership with the Aboriginal Film and Video Art Alliance (AFVAA). The goal of the program was to provide Indigenous artists with access to resources and spaces to develop their skills, technological expertise, and forms of creation within the principles of self-government in the arts. Artists included writers, musicians, dancers and choreographers, visual and new media artists, and others. The program produced collective, multidisciplinary programs using a variety of forms and approaches, in both traditional and contemporary voices. Programs have included: the Indigenous Choreography and Dance Residency program, the Aboriginal Women's Voices program, An Aboriginal Journey with Brecht...A Theatre Workshop, the Creation of New Works Residency program, Writing for Series Television: A Screenwriting Workshop for Aboriginal Storytellers, the Indigenous Writing Program, Diverse As This Land, Hi-Rez Storytelling, and Re(Claim). Other programs included self-directed residencies and work studies in arts management, audio, curatorial, media production and post-production, theatre design and stage management. The Indigenous Arts Program also organizes events and performances for National Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Originally known as the Aboriginal Arts Program, the program underwent a name change as of October 1, 2012. The program became the Indigenous Arts Program to reflect and honour its international impact and connections to Indigenous communities. The name change was initiated five years prior by director Sandra Laronde.
Directors of the Indigenous Arts Program:
1995 to 2003 – Marrie Mumford (Chippewa-Cree)
2003 to 2004 – Lou-Ann Neel (Mamalillikulla, Da’naxda’xw, Mumtagila, and Kwagiulth)
2008 to 2016 – Sandra Laronde (Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe)
2017— Present – Reneltta Arluk (Inuvialuit, Dene, Cree)