In June 2016, Kwi Awt Stelmexw hosted Indigenous photographer Thosh Collins from Arizona to mentor youth from the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nation in photography skills. The project focused on connecting photography to cultural identity.
Kwi Awt Stelmexw is committed to fostering arts practices within the Squamish Peoples
Squamish arts practices historically includes textiles, wood sculpture, and song composition. Today we see all kinds of artists being nurtured from a variety of disciplines.
We also believe an investment in the development of arts practices in our community can lead to a vibrant, healthy, connected community. We need more arts practices in our community.
Dance. Music. Visual. Design. Performance.
Visit Our Online Store
We feature a number of artists from our people who wish to sell their artistic pieces with you. 30% of all sales go to fund our organization.
Reclaiming Place will create a dynamic multi-use-platform for Kwi Awt Stelmexw, members of the Squamish Nation, and residents of Vancouver, North Vancouver, and Squamish, to engage with works produced. The work will be exhibited in smaller settings as they are created, and the project culminates in a larger exhibition in 2020.
The Three projects are:
Little Squamish Books
The books will serve as an introduction for Squamish people and settlers to learn about the language, art, and culture. The books will be released in print format for small-scale distribution and launched at mini-exhibition within the community. After production of the original books, there will be a call for submissions from people with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh ancestry to create their own context (fiction, creative non-fiction, photography, art, illustrations, etc.). Selected context will be published alongside the Little Squamish Books in digitized versions to reach a broader audience.
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Digital Stories
Students from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Language Immersion program will participate in the project and with the mentorship of professional artists learn skills to create stories about their experiences with the language and culture. The digital stories will be related to the theme “?Wenaxws ten Syáw̓an” (Honouring where I am from) and utilize elements of photography, film, storytelling, and intergenerational sharing. The finished works will be co-curated by the lead artists and showcased local exhibitions, featured online, and of course be part of the larger Reclaiming Place exhibition.
Interactive Sound Walks in Squamish
This project builds on the work of Squamish Atlas, on a place name project and interactive online map/atlas of the greater Vancouver area (www.squamishatlas.com). Experienced sound artist along with the support of elders, historians and language specialists will create an audio walk to accompany the Squamish Atlas. This interactive art piece invites participants to reinvent their understanding of local landmarks, neighborhoods, and places. As participants move through the sound walks, they will learn place names, vocabulary, and cultural understanding of sites where Sḵwx̱wú7mesh history has often been ignored or erased. A series of neighborhood sound walk will be launched and available to members of the public.
These sound walks will eventually form the basis of the larger Reclaiming Place show where an interactive map will combine audio from the audio walk, visuals from Little Squamish Books, and content from the digital stories.
“Passive House is the building standard of tomorrow. It shows you how intentional design adapted to the site and simple improvements over our minimalist building standards can chop 85% of utilities.”
Kwi Awt Stelmexw