REGINA, June 11, 2009 - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Ray Boughen, Member of Parliament (Palliser), today announced funding for the MacKenzie Art Gallery.
This funding will help the gallery undertake research for an exhibition featuring the work of Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporated (PNAI) from 1968 to 1978. The research phase of the project will include in-person interviews with the surviving members of the group, which also came to be known as the "Indian Group of Seven." A survey in galleries across Canada and the United States will also be undertaken in order to establish a potential list of works for the exhibition.
"Our Government recognizes the importance of preserving our arts and culture," said Minister Moore. "We are proud to support the MacKenzie Art Gallery's PNAI project, which will bring to light treasures of our shared heritage and provide future generations with access to this precious collection."
"This project will encourage the preservation, management, and presentation of Aboriginal cultural heritage," said Mr. Boughen. "Our Government is proud to help make these works accessible to all Canadians."
"The important collective called Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporated brought together some of the most influential artists of the early 1970s in Canada: Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness, Alex Janvier, Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Carl Ray, and Joe Sanchez," said Stuart Reid, Executive Director of the MacKenzie Art Gallery. "The MacKenzie is grateful for the support of Canadian Heritage in mounting an exhibition that will document the profound impact these individuals had on the course of Canadian art."
The MacKenzie Art Gallery, founded in 1953, has a well-established history of developing and presenting exhibits and providing visual arts experiences to a broad audience. The gallery is known for its commitment to Aboriginal art and artists, which extends to a well-developed outreach program to inner-city and Aboriginal schools. In the past year, the MacKenzie Art Gallery was visited by approximately 110,000 visitors, including 43,000 outreach visitors.
The Government of Canada has provided funding of $43,899 through the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program provides funding to Canadian museums and related institutions for projects that foster excellence in museum activities and that facilitate access to the treasures of our collective heritage.
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and
Francine D. Lefebvre
Prairies and Northern Region