Six new arts projects by Aboriginal artists will explore conciliation and reconciliation for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada


Canada Council and Funding Partners to Renew Commitment

Ottawa, November 3, 2015 The Canada Council for the Arts, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (The Circle) today announced the six arts projects that will be funded through the organizations' first {Re}conciliation initiative. The partners also announced their plans to renew joint funding to this initiative for a minimum of two years. A new call for proposals will be issued in 2016.

The inaugural {Re}conciliation projects - selected by a Canada Council jury of peers - will be presented in communities across the country beginning in the fall of 2016. Ranging from animated and documentary films, to site-specific performance work, to bead and dialogue workshops, to community-based and interactive storytelling projects, they address in unique and provocative ways the ongoing need for conciliation and reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

The selected projects are: 

This is What I Wish You Knew – ​Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre (Halifax, Nova Scotia)   

Reconciliation Film Project – First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada & Productions Cazabon (Ottawa, Ontario) 

Nattilik (Netsilik) art exhibition by the Gjoa Haven, Nunavut community about the impact of the residential school period on the Inuit – Nattilik Heritage Society (Gjoa Haven, Nunavut)  

#callresponse – Collective Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard (grunt gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia) with Christi Belcourt, Ursula Johnson and Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory 

Project Charlie – Terril Calder, Joseph Boyden, Jason Ryle, Geeta Sondhi (Toronto, Ontario)  

Opening the Doors to Dialogue – Samuel Thomas (Niagara Falls, Ontario)  


"More and more Canadians understand that Reconciliation is one of the defining issues of our time. Conciliation and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of this land are an essential part of our journey forward, if we are to be a country that truly embraces and upholds the values of dignity, justice and trust. Indigenous artists must be at the centre of that journey, and we must support them. They can help us remember and address our shared and difficult history, as well as imagine the potential of our common future. The Canada Council is proud to support some of this vital work through {Re}conciliation. I’m also delighted to confirm that we will be joining our partners in renewing our support for this initiative for two more years.” 

Simon Brault, Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts  

These artists are at the forefront of what we hope will be a new and vital cultural movement in Canada – a growing network of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists who are committed to working together to promote a better understanding of the wrongs of our colonial past, the dimensions of current injustices, as well as a shared exploration of a more enlightened path forward.” 

Stephen Huddart, President and CEO of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation 

“The Circle plays a unique convening role, and Reconciliation in a post TRC Canada is at the heart of our work with philanthropic partners and Indigenous communities. We are honoured to play a role in the collaboration with Canada Council and the J.W. McConnell Foundation. Our best wishes to the artists in their process of creation.”  

Wanda Brascoupé Peters, Executive Director, The Circle 

About {Re}conciliation:

This initiative aims to promote artistic collaborations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists, investing in the power of art and imagination to inspire dialogue, understanding and change. The Canada Council administers the {Re}conciliation initiative, which was developed by Canada Council, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and The Circle in anticipation of the  Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report and recommendations. A first call for proposals was issued in May 2015. A second will be issued in 2016. Interested artists and arts organizations will be invited to submit proposals for project funding up to $75,000. Applicants who submitted a proposal in 2015 but did not receive funding are eligible to re-submit to future deadlines.  


the circle Reconciliation

Media contacts: 

Canada Council for the Arts
Geneviève Vallerand
613 790 4294

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
Laurence Miall, Director of Strategic Communications

The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada
Thea Belanger, Manager, Communications & Engagement
613-236-2664, ext. 368