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Indigenous artists selling goods at online market

"I feel like having a full-time Indigenous arts presence has made a big impact for the Indigenous arts community."
Reneltta Arluk
Reneltta Arluk poses at the camp constructed for the hides and tanning workshop being held at The Banff Centre. Arluk is the director of Indigenous arts at The Banff Centre. RMO FILE PHOTO

BANFF – This National Indigenous Peoples Day, local Indigenous vendors with an artistic flair will be offering their creative products for sale. 

Starting noon Monday (June 21), The Banff Centre For Arts and Creativity opens its online marketplace, where online shoppers can engage with Indigenous vendors and artists.

“In the Indigenous community, the virtual arts market has been a real hit,” said Reneltta Arluk, director of Indigenous Arts at The Banff Centre.

“If it does really well and people are selling their things, we thought we could probably leave it for the week.”

The Banff Centre had a call out to Indigenous vendors, especially to those from Treaty 7, to join the online market and sell handmade, one-of-a-kind items such as beads, regalia, jewelry, apparel, décor, etc.

In over three years at The Banff Centre, Arluk said a focus has been to give Indigenous artists more opportunities, whatever stage of their careers.

"I feel like having a full-time Indigenous arts presence has made a big impact for the Indigenous arts community," said Arluk. "I have a great team ... I feel like we've been doing some great work in digital media the past year, we've been doing some great work with the performing arts.

"When I first got there, it was about creating opportunities for Indigenous artists to gain access to Banff Centre through all the disciplines ... In the next year, I realized that I have to really think strategically how we're creating really deep programing that can have an deeper impact."

The Banff Centre will also be offering a full lineup of programming and events on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

  • 9 a.m. – A word from Arluk and president and CEO, Janice Price
  • 9:15 a.m. – Opening prayer and welcoming remarks
  • 9:15 a.m. to midnight – online film screenings
  • Noon to midnight – Online marketplace
  • 5 p.m. – Panel discussion with Janine Windolph and guest panellists Daryl Kootenay, Helen McPhaden, and Bill Snow
  • 7 p.m. – Music with ShoShona Raven, Amanda Rheaume, and Sarain Fox
  • 8:30 p.m. – Closing with story by Daryl Kootenay