Cultural Revival, an exhibition showcasing artwork from the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre’s (SLCC) Aboriginal Youth Ambassador Program, is coming to West Vancouver Memorial Library from June 5 – July 22. The beadworks, carvings, paintings and weavings by the young First Nations artists range from traditional to contemporary and are rooted in a desire to share indigenous cultures in creative, educational and imaginative ways.
“West Vancouver is a community that celebrates the arts, cultural diversity and the rich mosaic that makes our region such a special place,” says District of West Vancouver Councillor and Library Board Trustee, Michael Lewis. “The Aboriginal Youth Ambassadors embody this vision to a tee and we are privileged to be able to showcase the thriving creativity and cultural connections these young men and women exhibit.”
The exhibition will kick off at 12:30 p.m. with a blessing and traditional welcome from the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations. All are welcome to attend the opening ceremony and are encouraged to explore the pieces on display in the Library gallery.
Aboriginal Youth Ambassadors receive a combination of industry-recognized training, post-secondary education and meaningful work experience. They also strengthen their cultural connections by working with elders and other indigenous culture experts in the areas of weaving, drum making and carving. In the process, they become accomplished cultural interpreters, which they pass on to visitors of the Centre through guided tours. These tours were recently designated as a Signature Experience by the Canadian Tourism Commission.
Since 2008, more than 500 youth have graduated from the Aboriginal Youth Ambassador Program.
In 2013, SLCC received the B.C. Cultural Centre and Attractions of the Year award from the Aboriginal Tourism Association of B.C. for the second year in a row.