Impact on Indigenous businesses

A recent survey by Vancity reported that BC has the second-largest number or self-employed Indigenous workers in Canada, after Ontario with 21% of the national total. How has Covid-19 impacted this growing number of businesses? With a rapidly evolving situation, it’s hard to know how companies have been impacted but we do have a sense of how they’re adapting.

Updates from our Indigenous Business Award alumni show that many businesses are adapting to working from home. If you’re new to working remotely, you can have a look at this helpful list of tips for working from home compiled by Animikii, IBA awardee from 2019

Many artists are able to continue creating art at home and in their studios. Consultants are able to work remotely and provide services online to clients. And food-related businesses have been taking online order as well as sharing recipes on social media (thank you IBA award alumni, Mr. Bannock Foods). We also know that many businesses are struggling, and individuals are stressed. However, BC communities are coming together to support one another and collectively sharing achievements! If it’s within your budget, buy from a local business, order a gift care for future products, share posts from the business on your own social media feeds.

Let’s work together!

Alternative spaces for artists

Across the world people are practicing self-isolation and shifting how they interact with others. Thankfully artists are accustomed to being creative and finding unique ways to share their art with diverse audiences. 

More and more we see artists showcasing their work online through virtual exhibits and digital gatherings. They’re relying on social media platforms to help them sell their art exclusively online, shipping it to clients directly and therefore, maintaining physical distancing. 

There’s no substitute for the experience of a real-time live art show which allows intimate access to the fine lines of the brushstroke, the smell of a cedar carving, or the texture of a custom fabric. However, until we can gather together again, the remarkable tools of social media and online viewing will direct the art lover’s experience. 

There are lots of local artist talks and online galleries available to peruse while you’re at home–vancouver/art-exhibit/ 

Give your local artist some love and like and share their work. 

Alumni helping create protective gear during the COVID Crisis 

BC companies are jumping in and helping to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Award alumni of the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design program Mustang Survival of Burnaby, already makes life jackets and survival suits and they’ve now partnered with local apparel makers to manufacture life-protecting hospital gowns for Vancouver Coastal Health.  

Mustang Survival has been working closely with another Carter Wosk Award alumni, Arc’teryx a high-performance outdoor equipment and clothing company founded in BC. Together, and alongside other local companies, they’ve been working on the fabric, design and production of the gowns. The innovation comes not just in meeting an urgent need, but that the gowns are being made in a waterproof breathable fabric, similar to some of the outdoor waterproof gear Act’teryx creates. 

Their goal is to make 90,000 gowns and they’re doing it by shifting its production from regular safety suits to isolation gowns that will protect BC’s frontline healthcare workers. 

Now that’s excellence in action. We are pleased to salute BC Achievement program alumni who continue to inspire, meeting the unique demands of our times, while demonstrating innovation in Applied Art + Design.