The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art (FNA Award) program was launched in the fall of 2006 to recognize up to five BC First Nations artists for artistic excellence in traditional, contemporary or media art. The annual award is designed for artists from BC First Nations who have demonstrated a commitment to their art practice, have accumulated a body of work, and who are recognized in their communities as artists.
Artists have the option to self-identify in one of two submission categories:
Emerging: Artists have developed basic techniques through education and/or apprenticeship; and are in the early stages of launching a professional career. They have created and publicly presented a body of independent work and are ready for the next step in their artistic development.
Established: Artists have demonstrated advanced techniques; shown a commitment to their art practice; and are recognized in their community as artists. They have publicly presented a significant body of independent work and serve as mentors in their respective artistic community.
What Kind of Artwork is Eligible
Traditional or contemporary visual art in fields such as, but not limited to, carving, photography, beading, weaving, jewellery, painting, masks, sculpture, stonework, printmaking, basketry, textiles, and media art.
Why Nominate or Apply
The Fulmer Award advances the collective conversation around art in BC. Applying for the award serves as a platform to communicate an artist’s work, vision and creativity. The process invites an opportunity for critical artistic reflection and exposes artists to a wider audience.
Who is Eligible
- All nominees must be affiliated with a BC First Nation.
- The nominee must have been a resident of BC for the past three years.
- Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged.
- Posthumous nominations are not eligible.
- If presenting work outside of your Nation’s traditions, please indicate how authentic and respectful efforts have been made to engage with the artists or other members of the Indigenous communities whose culture or protocols are incorporated in the work.
Selection of Awardees
Selections are based on the nomination package and the criteria of artistic excellence, creativity, originality, interpretation of First Nations culture and aesthetics. The FNA Award is adjudicated by an independent jury of experts in the field of First Nations Art, including established First Nations artists. The decision of the independent jury is final.
The Crabtree-McLennan Emerging Artist Award is presented to an emerging artist in honour of Emily Carr University Director, Aboriginal Programs Brenda Crabtree and the UBC Museum of Anthropology’s Curator Emeritus, the late Bill McLennan. The Award category was established in 2016, on the 10th anniversary of the award.
Recognition of Awardees
- Up to five artists are awarded $5000 each.
- Each FNA awardee receives a Recognition film produced by BC Achievement, and medallion and pin designed by BC First Nations artist Robert Davidson.
Dates to Remember
- June 1, 2021 – Nominations OPEN
- July 7, 2021 – Nominations CLOSE
- October 2021 – Awardees ANNOUNCED
Nominations must be submitted online by JULY 7, 2021 (all materials must be received by 11:59 pm).
Complete the online Nomination form and submit the following information:
- Describe why the nominee should be considered for the award (max 3,000 characters).
- Address what makes their work unique/interesting; how it contributes to the community; who or what has influenced the nominee; why the jury should select the nominee.
- Describe the nominee as an artist and why they do the work they do.
- If NOT a self-nomination, the nominator should write about the above on behalf of the artist and provide a description of how they know the nominee.
- If presenting work outside of the artist’s Nation, please provide reasons for doing so.
Images of the Work
- Submit up to ten images representing the artist’s work.
- Provide high resolutions images in either jpeg, tiff, png or pdf format.
- Each image should be a minimum of 1MB to a maximum of 10MB.
- Include recent work, and if appropriate, images of older work if it shows growth in the artist’s skill.
- For each image, please provide: title, date, medium and a short description.
- For each uploaded image, provide an image number that corresponds to the visuals provided.
Supporting Documents (optional)
You may add significant documents that will help the jury in their evaluation. This is an opportunity to share how the artist meets the criteria and why their accomplishments are worthy of the award.
- Include the artist’s training, experience or significant projects.
- Address how long they have been working in their field.
- You may attach up to five supporting documents which may include testimonials, certificates, videos or media coverage that depict an artist's achievements as they indicate the scope of an artist's work.
Challenges of COVID-19
- Given the impact of COVID-19, this is an opportunity to share the artist’s story of resilience, if it's impacted their art.
- Include up to two reference letters from individuals who can attest to the artist’s practice and describe why the nominee should be considered for the award. This is particularly helpful if the nominee is an emerging artist.
Download the FNA Resource "Tips for a Submitting a Compelling Nomination".
- Incomplete nominations are ineligible for consideration.
- All nominations are valid for three years including the first year of nomination and two subsequent years and can be updated annually throughout the process.
- Nominations are kept confidential between the nominator and BC Achievement.
- All nominees are informed as to whether or not they have been successful with their application.
1. Has the name of the award changed?
Yes, in 2018, the name was changed from the BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations Art to The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art.
2. Are part-time artists eligible?
Yes, if the artist is committed to their practice; has produced a significant body of work; and is recognized by their community and peers as an artist.
3. If an artist is affiliated with another First Nation outside of BC but is currently living and working in BC, can they apply?
No, the artist must be affiliated with a British Columbia First Nation.
4. Can an artist submit samples of the work in each field they practice?
Yes, but only ten visuals TOTAL may be submitted.
5. What is ‘media art' and is it admissible?
Yes, it is admissible. BC First Nations artists working in media art are those whose work is created with media technologies including film, digital art, and computer animation.
6. Should a previously submitted nomination package be updated?
Yes, nominees should provide updated visuals and information reflecting their recent work, annually.
7. When are awardees notified and where are the names of the awardees published?
Awardees are notified in October. Their names are published on BC Achievement’s website and social media channels.