Haida Hip Hop Art Exhibit Opening in Vancouver

Photo sourced from Native Northwest

Photo sourced from Native Northwest

Chances are you’ve never seen First Nations art quite like this.

The monumental works of Haida spray-can artist Corey Bulpitt are coming to downtown Vancouver’s Bill Reid Gallery.  The Akos exhibition, which opens June 5, shows the natural fusion between hip hop culture (in particular, street art and graffiti) and traditional Haida culture.

Bulpitt is a member of the Naikun River clan of the Haida nation, but he grew up in the Vancouver area.  After graduating from the Langley Fine Arts School, he returned to Haida Gwaii in northwestern B.C. to apprentice with traditional carvers.  Bulpitt’s masterful carvings – including a 20-foot cedar totem poll for Scouts Canada – can be seen across the province.

But it’s his affiliation with the Beat Nation movement – an artist community that seeks to merge hip hop and Aboriginal culture – that has brought him the most attention.   Continue reading:
Haida Hip Hop Art Exhibit Opening in Vancouver

Free Classes to Learn First Nations Singing in Vancouver

Free classes offer anyone a chance to learn First Nations song.  Pictured here: A First Nations  performance at Thompson Rivers University.  Photo credit: Thompson Rivers | Flickr

Free classes in Vancouver offer anyone a chance to learn First Nations song. Pictured here: A First Nations performance at Thompson Rivers University. Photo credit: Thompson Rivers | Flickr

Ready to belt out a few songs in Kwak’wala?

That’s the language spoken by the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation people of northern Vancouver Island and Alert Bay.  Through June, free workshops in Kwak’ wala are being offered at community centres across the city, giving anyone a chance to brush up on First Nations song and dance.

The workshops are being taught by a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation as part of the Indigenous Artist in Communities Project, which marks the year of reconciliation over the dark legacy of residential schools.  Attendees have the chance to learn nine songs and a chant in the Kwak’wala language, then perform the routine at Trout Lake Community Centre on National Aboriginal Day, June 21.

Each of the songs would have been learned by a child in Kwakwaka’wakw culture, according to a fascinating article by the Vancouver Sun’s Kevin Griffin.   Continue reading:
Free Classes to Learn First Nations Singing in Vancouver

First Nations meets Japanese culture in Red graphic novel

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Meet Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. A B.C. Haida artist, Yahgulanaas is the creator behind Red: A Haida Manga, a 2009 groundbreaking graphic novel that combines Haida myth and Japanese storytelling. To celebrate the book’s publication in softcover, as well as a new solo art exhibit, Yahgulanaas will be at the Douglas Udell Gallery May 3.

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First Nations meets Japanese culture in Red graphic novel

Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend
Film, dance, music, adventure.. this weekend’s got it all!  Read on for our top picks for events happening around Metro Vancouver this Friday through Sunday.

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Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Aboriginal-themed luxury hotel opening in downtown Vancouver

Aboriginal art will be on display at the Skwachays Lodge. Pictured here: a totem pole in the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. Photo credit: Hendl | Flickr

Aboriginal art will be on display at the new Skwachays Lodge. Pictured here: a totem pole in the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. Photo credit: Hendl | Flickr

Museums and galleries are great, but for a real taste of First Nations culture in Vancouver how about a night in the Water Suite?

Sculptures of salmon crafted from wood and steel swim above the headboard, while works of aboriginal art hang alongside handwritten lines of poetry inside the suite, part of a brand new hotel experiment in downtown Vancouver.

Visitors interested in learning more about Canada’s First Nations will soon have the option of staying in an entirely aboriginal-themed hotel. Opening in May, the 18-room Skwachays Lodge will be the first example of an “aboriginal boutique arts hotel” in Canada, according to an article by Kevin Griffin in the Vancouver Sun.

Situated on West Pender and Taylor Streets near the edge of Chinatown, the hotel will cater to travellers seeking higher-end accommodation that offers a cultural twist, with rooms going for around $225 a night.  And the aboriginal connection is more than just a marketing ploy.

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Aboriginal-themed luxury hotel opening in downtown Vancouver

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