Alberta’s Distinguished Artist Award Recipients Announced
June 16, 2021
Alberta’s Distinguished Artist Award Recipients Announced
(Calgary, AB) The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation is pleased to announce that artist Faye HeavyShield (Blood Reserve, Kainaiwa Nation, AB), writer and filmmaker Cheryl Foggo (Calgary, AB), and dance choreographer Vicki Adams Willis (Calgary, AB), have been selected to receive the 2021 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award.
Arlene Strom, chair of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation said, “Albertans can be proud of these three whose contributions have pushed the boundaries of art to reflect Indigenous identity and expression; present a more inclusive and diverse view of Alberta’s history; and define the province as a beacon for jazz dance artists. Each has contributed immeasurably to the development of the province’s artists, arts communities and expanding art disciplines.”
Faye HeavyShield, Visual Arts
Over the past 30 years, Faye HeavyShield has been one of Canada’s pre- eminent artists within Alberta and the Blackfoot Confederacy. Currently living on the Blood Reserve in southwestern Alberta, Faye studied at Alberta University for the Arts in Calgary.
Honouring her Kainaiwa (Blood) Nation, the striking landscape they dwell within and the Blackfoot language which she speaks, Faye HeavyShield’s legacy of three-dimensional art and sculpture including recent installations incorporating photography and delicately constructed paper figures make her a senior figure in the artistic and cultural renaissance of Indigenous nations in the country.
“…My art is a reflection of my environment and personal history as lived in the physical geography of southern Alberta with its prairie grass, river coulees, and wind and an upbringing in the Kainaiwa community. I would say the environment is an extension of myself because it’s always been there, from the time I was a child. It was one of the first things that I saw and smelled. I consider it a part of me. The landscape is an extension of the body because we’re dependent on it, and to flip that, the landscape is dependent on us…” Faye Heavyshield
Beyond her personal practice, Faye is actively involved with her community by working with youth through art programming and creating cultural connections for children in care.
Cheryl Foggo, Playwright, screenwriter, film maker, author
Creating a more inclusive and diverse view of Alberta’s history through her plays, films, books, articles and multi-media presentations has been Cheryl Foggo’s life work. Profiled in Who’s Who in Black Canada and the recipient of the 2008 national Harry Jerome Award for The Arts, Foggo has applied her talent as a researcher and writer to uncovering the compelling but overlooked stories of Alberta’s Black settlers and
cowboys. Most recently, the award winning National Film Board feature- length documentary, John Ware Reclaimed (2020), highlighted an earlier thriving Black community in the province often left out of the history books.
Her seminal, autobiographical book, Pourin’ Down Rain: A Black Woman Claims Her Place In The Canadian West, is a powerful narrative of Foggo’s ancestors’ journey from enslavement in the United States to Western Canada. The book, first published in 1990, received the distinction of a special 30th anniversary reprint in 2020. Her books for young people: Dear Baobab, I Have Been in Danger and One Thing That’s True have garnered many commendations between them, including One Thing That’s True being short-listed for the Governor General’s Award. In addition to her books, Cheryl Foggo has published prose in more than 40 journals and anthologies.
Two new productions of Foggo‘s plays are scheduled in 2021 with the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton and the Urgency Collective in Calgary, and her short play The Sender is currently available through Toronto’s Obsidian Company’s 21 Black Futures Project. As a cultural activist, mentor and volunteer she advocates for writers and Black artists.
Vicki Adams Willis Performing Arts: Dance
Vicki Adams Willis has changed the face of jazz dance in Alberta and Canada. A co-founder nearly 40 years ago of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD), she is foremost a teacher and choreographer of more than 35 original productions. She is recognized as a true leader in the world of jazz; an acclaimed ground-breaking choreographer who created one of the most unique jazz dance companies in the world, and the key person to ensure Calgary, Alberta as a viable dance centre for serious jazz artists. She has helped to change the very course of the jazz dance art form by influencing students, dancers, musicians and audiences with her strongly researched and brilliantly creative work.
Jazz dance is a misunderstood art form. Born of African parents and of the Black American experience, Vicki Adams Willis acknowledges herself as a guest in this form and has demonstrated her deep understanding of, and utter respect for, the authentic roots and history of jazz through her research, teaching and choreography. The company she co-created in 1984 – Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) has gained international recognition. It has been referenced in articles, dissertations, anthologies and, most recently, in an award-winning international film: Uprooted–The Journey of Jazz Dance, which had its Canadian premiere at the 2021 Toronto Black Film Festival.
“..These three ground-breaking women have offered important contributions to the arts in Canada. Their creativity has brought new light to their respective disciplines and created countless opportunities for us all to learn, grow and explore fresh ideas. Artists like this are essential to the vibrancy of our communities and we are truly fortunate to have them as cultural leaders in our province and country as a whole…”
Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
The laureates will each receive a handcrafted medal, a $30,000 award and a two-week residency at the Banff Centre’s Leighton Artist Studios. The awards patron, the Honourable Salma Lakhani Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, will present the awards at a celebration hosted by the Community of Lac La Biche and Portage College, Lac La Biche campus, at an awards event June 10 and 11, 2022.
The awards are funded through an endowment established with private donations and gifts from the Province of Alberta and Government of Canada. The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta serves as honorary patron of the awards. Since its inception, 23 Distinguished Artists and 63 Emerging Artists have been recognized across Alberta with this significant honour. See details at artsawards.ca
The 2021 Distinguished Artists were chosen from nominations received and reviewed by a jury of experts overseen by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Jurors for the 2021 Distinguished Artist Awards were Mary-Beth Laviolette, visual arts curator and author; John Estacio, 2017 Distinguished Artist and JUNO nominated composer; Seika Boye, scholar, writer, artist and Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies; Jordan Abel, Nisga’a writer from Vancouver and Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta teaching Indigenous Literatures and Creative Writing.
Click to learn more about the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation.
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Fire & Flower files for court protection from creditors under CCAA
TORONTO — Cannabis retailer Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. says it has received a court order for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
The company had been pursuing additional financing to raise capital to fund its operations.
It says the board determined that it was is in the best interests of the company to file an application for creditor protection following a review of its strategic options and a consideration of all of its available alternatives.
Fire & Flower operates under several banners including the Fire & Flower, Friendly Stranger and Firebird Delivery brands.
The company says its board will remain in place and management will remain responsible for the day-to-day operations, under the oversight of a court-appointed monitor while it works to streamline operations and conduct a sales process for the business.
In order to fund the CCAA proceedings and other short-term working capital requirements, Fire & Flower says it has signed an agreement with an affiliate of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. for a $9.8-million debtor-in-possession loan.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 6, 2023.
Companies in this story: (TSX:FAF, TSX:ATD)
The Canadian Press
City official says Calgary Flames arena deal to include a 35-year commitment to stay
The Scotiabank Saddledome is shown with Calgary’s downtown area in the background on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. A city official says a $1.2-billion deal to replace Calgary’s aging Saddledome with a new NHL arena would come with a 35-year lease that includes a commitment from the owners of the Calgary Flames to stay in the city. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
A city official says a $1.2-billion deal to replace Calgary’s aging Saddledome with a new National Hockey League arena would come with a 35-year lease that includes a commitment from the owners of the Calgary Flames to stay in the city.
The City of Calgary, Alberta government, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., and Calgary Stampede reached an agreement in principle in late April.
City council’s event centre committee met this morning and asked administration some of the questions that have come up since the deal was announced.
Coun. Andre Chabot says there are concerns from some Calgarians that the lease could be terminated.
Calgary’s general manager of infrastructure services, Michael Thompson, says the city has a commitment from Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. that it would stay in the city for the 35-year term of the lease.
No one from the company could immediately be reached for comment.
CSEC owns the Flames in the National Hockey League, the Wranglers in the American Hockey League, the Hitmen in the Western Hockey League and the National Lacrosse League’s Roughnecks.
The $1.2-billion price tag for the event centre project includes $800 million for the new arena, as well as parking, transit improvements, a new community rink and an enclosed plaza.
The Alberta government is not contributing directly to the arena, but has said it plans to fund up to $300 million on public transit and road improvements, site utilities, reclamation and other supportive infrastructure.
The province would also contribute $30 million to cover half the cost of the 1,000-seat community rink if the deal is approved by provincial cabinet and the Treasury Board before the end of summer.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2023.
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