Art show features the finest in First Nations culture

Fourth Annual Invitational First Nations and Métis Art Show and Sale on display in Sidney

Artist Virgil Sampson paints a drum at his home in Central Saanich as he prepares for the upcoming First Nations and Métis Art Show and Sale.

Art is a window into a culture, a history and a community.

Virgil Sampson is one of the local First Nations artists taking part in the Fourth Annual Invitational First Nations and Métis Art Show and Sale.

Sampson makes Native-designed drums of a variety of sizes, along with limited prints and some smaller items. Creativity flows in Sampson’s family, and Sampson, in part, learned to make drums from his brother, John.

“The drums have always been a big part of our culture for a lot of spiritual reasons – healing and honouring, different kinds of ceremonies,” Sampson said. “A lot of our people are starting to turn towards artwork. … It’s an awesome way of practising who you are as a Native person, to exercise what has been passed down from year to year, generation to generation.”

Sampson also helps by providing guidance for the organizers and recruiting artists for the show, which is held to highlight the best in First Nations art. The event takes place at the Arts Centre at Tulista Park, 9565 Fifth St., in Sidney and is hosted by the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula.

Representing all First Nations people designated by the federal government is a mandate for the show. Along with artists from local Coast Salish territories, this year’s show will also feature artisans from the Métis, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibway, Navajo, Inuit and Chickasaw Nations.

“There’s so many artists that are in this area, it changes almost every year,” Sampson said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

A variety of different mediums will be presented including carving, knitted items, drums, silver pieces, beads, cedar weavings and more.

“It’s a really good show,” Sampson said. “People that are collectors and are semi-serious collectors can come and meet the artists.”

Through the show, artists are given the chance to share their heritage, history and culture with others through their art, Sampson said. The public is in turn given the opportunity to learn more about First Nation’s culture – including everything from the importance of drumming to the use of cedar.

“(There are many) spiritual meanings that go behind our designs and carving and images,” Sampson said. “It brings a better understanding to other cultures of our culture.”

Some artists will be working on-site and providing demonstrations for visitors.

The gallery itself is set up to reflect the intent and spirit of the event. There will be music played and stories told to add ambiance.

This year’s show is shorter than in years past. It runs from Friday, Sept. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 21.

The show is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry is free.

Just Posted

Local golfer enjoys the new development program at Bear Mountain

Golf Canada’s centralized development program a success so far

No charges for three West Shore RCMP officers after woman’s jaw broken while in custody

After IIO investigation, B.C. Prosecution Service determined case did not meet its charge standard

Giants draw first blood in WHL playoff series vs. Victoria

Home ice advantage non-existent for Royals against arch-rival Vancouver

All-female taxi service eyed for the West Shore

The goal is to help women feel comfortable

Elizabeth May arrested at Kinder Morgan protest

Randall Garrison, MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, speaks out against pipeline

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Vancouver Island pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions we received from around the region

Saanich invites input on garden suites

Early returns suggest support for the legalization of garden suites, but the… Continue reading

MLA Report: Lowering the voting age to 16 in BC

By Andrew Weaver On March 13, I introduced for a third time… Continue reading

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

Comox Valley hospital operating above patient capacity

The new healthcare facility averaged a 110 per cent patient volume between October and February

Most Read