Arts, writing contest ends soon

The March 31 deadline for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge is fast approaching.

The March 31 deadline for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge is fast approaching.

For about two more weeks, the Historica-Dominion Institute invites aboriginal writers and artists aged 14 to 29 to compose or create an original work that explores an aspect of Canadian aboriginal history.

Submissions must be received by March 31 for a chance to win up to $2,000, a trip to Toronto for a special awards ceremony, and the opportunity to be published in Canada’s History magazine, or exhibited in a prominent Toronto art gallery.

For the first time in its seven years, the Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge has expanded into the visual arts. In accepting two-dimensional art submissions, the challenge is hoping to reach a new audience of Aboriginal youth — those who express themselves through mediums like painting, drawing and photography.

Emerging writers and artists will have their work judged by the foremost in the field, including authors Tomson Highway, Brian Maracle, and Giller prize winner Joseph Boyden, and artists Stan Bevan, Maxine Noel and Kent Monkman.

The Challenge is supported by a number of honorary patrons, including Shawn Atleo, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations; Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Clément Chartier, president of the Métis National Council; John Duncan, minister of Indian and Northern Affairs; and John Kim Bell, founder of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation.

“This is an important program that ensures new voices can share and preserve Aboriginal stories, culture, experiences and history,” Atleo says. “I am proud to support the challenge, and I encourage Aboriginal youth from across Canada to showcase their talent and share their perspectives by submitting to this wonderful program.”

Those interested in learning more or submitting to the contest can visit or call toll-free, 1-866-701-1867, ext. 240.