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2011 BC First Nations Art Recipients Honoured

Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Mary Polak and Keith Mitchell, chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, honoured six award recipients at the presentation ceremony for the fifth annual BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art.

“B.C. First Nations artists play a significant role in the creative life of British Columbia and are acclaimed both nationally and internationally,” said Polak. “These awards highlight the artistry and talent of each recipient and recognize that their creativity enriches our lives, our communities and our province.”

Mitchell added, “Each artist has a unique way of transforming natural materials into carefully crafted objects of art. The beauty of the past is at the centre of every piece, whether traditional or contemporary. I congratulate the 2011 award recipients for their outstanding achievements.”

Five juried award recipients received $5,000 and the seal of the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art. Below are their names:

Sonny Assu, Kwakwaka’wakw, Vancouver, B.C.
Stan Bevan, Tsimshian/Tahltan/Tlingit, Terrace, B.C.
Vera Edmonds, Lil’wat, Mt. Currie, B.C.
Shawn Hunt, Heiltsuk, Sechelt, B.C.
Jay Simeon, Haida, Vancouver, B.C.

The BC Creative Lifetime Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art was presented to Primrose Adams, a Haida artist from Massett, B.C. Adams is descended from a long line of famed weavers and has made a profound impact on First Nations’ culture for her lifelong contributions to the art of spruce root basket weaving.

The award ceremony and luncheon was presented with the generous sponsorship of Polygon Homes Ltd.

Dr. Robert Belton, Associate Professor of Art History at UBC Okanagan and a director of the BC Achievement Foundation, chaired an independent jury panel that selected the 2011 award recipients. The jurors included Reg Davidson, internationally acclaimed Haida artist and past recipient; Brenda Crabtree, Aboriginal Program Manager, Emily Carr University of Art + Design; Bill McLennan, Curator, Pacific Northwest, UBC Museum of Anthropology; and Cathi Charles Wherry, Art Program Manager, First People’s Heritage, Language and Culture Council.

The British Columbia Achievement Foundation was established and endowed by the Province of British Columbia in 2003 to celebrate excellence and achievement in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service. For information on British Columbia Achievement Foundation, visit

2011 Presentation Ceremony