The Rural Arts Support Program (RASP) was created in response to the needs of the rural and Indigenous communities, previously identified through ACWB's Arts Recovery Project.
ACWB employed Indigenous staff to co-envision and create meaningful cultural arts programs and services to meet the unique needs of the residents of rural communities within our region. Doing so enabled the community-at-large to engage with the arts, crafts, traditions, and values of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
The Rural Arts Support Program (RASP) predominantly delivers programming in the communities of Fort Chipewyan and Anzac. However, the program hopes to continue to expand to all rural communities in Wood Buffalo.
Click on the tabs below for more details on 2023 RASP programming.
The Baby Moccasin Project was organized by RASP to support healing in the aftermath of the discovery of the unmarked graves of Residential School children. This is an ongoing project, creating traditional moccasins to honour those who survived or those who did not make it home. This highly emotional project was completed at the pace of each community, and the finished moccasins will be displayed in the communities in which each were made.
Rural Arts Support Coordinator, Donna Aubichon, is developing a year-long series of events and programs centred on connecting residents in Fort Chipewyan with Cree and Dene language. The ‘Indigenous Word of the Week’ series will consist of engaging and encouraging the community members to film and post themselves using the word on the Fort Chipewyan ACWB Facebook page.
This word will be presented to the Alternate High School on Fridays and students will have to opportunity to create colouring pages that will be given to the younger students to colour, thereby sharing the language lessons.
The Getting to Sold workshops introduce artisans to the ideas around formalizing their art into a business. It goes through the in’s and outs about business licensing, branding, product pricing as well as setting up their ACWB Marketplace storefront. Each workshop will also cover the financial values of becoming a business, an introduction to contracts and will connect the artists to important resources.
This specific workshop will be delivered in a style in which Indigenous artists are encouraged and less intimidated to sell their arts and crafts.
The reconnection to traditional art is an essential component of the reclaiming of cultural identity and tradition. In all past initiatives, engagement has been the heart of the Rural Art Support Program (RASP).
Many past Fort Chipewyan projects have the three nations, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation, Fort Chipewyan Metis, together to deliver programming to residents. True community spirit!
The community school in Fort Chipewyan runs year-round, accommodating students of all ages, empowering them to complete high school. In 2021, Rural Arts Support Coordinator, Donna Aubichon, spent time weekly teaching students traditional crafts often with a twist (ie. pop socket of their favorite sports team). Due to high engagement, “Beading and Reading” is now a regular activity in the school.
The Ballantyne Project is an organization out of Vancouver that focuses on remote Indigenous communities and their struggles that result form isolation and lack of resources. Arts Council has helped them deliver art supplies and programs to the Fort Chipewyan community. The organization also gave select students the opportunity to explore Indigenous arts and culture in Vancouver.
The Suncor Indigenous Artist Program is structured the same as the Artist in Residence program. The only difference is that the artist applying for the Suncor Indigenous Artist in Residence program must be an Indigenous artist living in Canada. This artist will also have the opportunity to work with urban and rural Indigenous peoples as a mentor.
Arts Council Wood Buffalo welcomes any and all artforms.
These artforms can include (but is not limited to): craft, dance, literary arts, media, music, performing arts or visual arts.
For more in depth information, please read the Artist in Residence Handbook .
This program is designed to celebrate and develop Indigenous artists. Therefore, we will only accept applications from Indigenous artists living in Canada.
However, if you are interested in participating in a residency, we encourage you to apply for the Artist in Residence stream.
Yes, you can apply for either stream: Artist in Residence or Suncor Indigenous Artist Program.
If you are invited to make a presentation, it is because the Artist in Residence Selection Committee has taken an interest in your project and wants to understand the details of how it will function. Your presentation should articulate how you envision your residency taking place, including information about your budget, timelines, a description of the work that you will undertake, and how you imagine you will be able to incorporate mentorship opportunities for our local artists within your residency. You will also be given time to ask clarifying questions to the Arts Council team, and for them to ask you questions, too.
If there are any details in your submitted proposal that the selections committee would like further explanation of, they will let you know in the email that invites you to interview.
There are many benefits with this type of program, including bringing new perspectives, techniques and networking opportunities to the Wood Buffalo arts community and giving non-local artists a new lens on the Wood Buffalo region.
Please contact Programs Coordinator, Hanna Fridhed at [email protected] or 587-674-1625 ext. 105.
Are you interested in sponsoring or making a contribution to the Rural Arts Support Program?
Visit our Sponsor Us page to view the different sponsorship opportunities, or contact us to share your vision on how you can support the arts in our rural communities. We are open to creative possibilities and would be happy to discuss alternative sponsorship options with you.
For more information on the Rural Arts Support Program, or for questions on securing your sponsorship opportunity, please contact ACWB Partnerships Manager, Sharon Heading, at [email protected] or 780.381.6898.