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Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation near Agassiz granted $40,000 for light and sound exhibition

Installation at Syéxw Chó:leqw will explore effects of colonialism
Via B.C. Creative’s Interactive Fund partnership, the Syéxw Chó:leqw Adventure Park received $40,000 in funding for a light and sound installation exploring the effects of colonialism

A First Nations community between Agassiz and Hope is one of 14 organizations to benefit from the most recent round of grant funding through Creative B.C. and the B.C. Arts Council.

Creative B.C. announced on Monday, Jan. 23, that the Sq’ewá:lxw (Skawahlook) First Nation was awarded a $40,000 grant for a future interactive light and sound exhibition at the Syéxw Chó:leqw Adventure Park (59389 Lougheed Highway). The money comes from the Interactive Fund partnership, which is designed for “original, creative, interactive digital media and software projects.”

”The Interactive Fund provides artists, non-profit organizations, creators and creative companies with an opportunity to innovate with high-quality digital projects and immersive technologies,” the announcement reads. “Project themes this year span from equity-focused storytelling apps and immersive gallery experiences to virtual reality games and applications.”

The grant program saw $615,000 in total funding go to 14 organizations across B.C.

RELATED: Agassiz-Harrison organizations granted $1.5 million to support tourism industry

The future installation at Syéxw Chó:leqw – currently titled “Telling Our Story” – would explore the impact of colonialism on not only the community but First Nations communities all across Canada.

“When the 215 unmarked graves were uncovered at Tk’emlúps (Kamloops), Sq’ewá:lxw began to discuss how they could honour the children and bring greater awareness and recognition to the impacts and legacy of residential schools,” B.C. Creative stated.

Other winners included Science World, granted $50,000 for its new Creative Technology Gallery and Talaysay Tours, granted $50,000 for a virtual tour of Stanley Park through an Indigenous perspective.

RELATED: Stranded travellers give thanks to Skawahlook and Hope residents

The Syéxw Chó:leqw – which means “rockslide in the forest” in Halq’ueméylem – Adventure Park was established in 2018. Spanning 33 acres, the adventure park with walking and cycling trails, viweing platforms and several art installations integrated into the scenic forest that surrounds it.

Last year, the Sq’ewá:lxw community received $350,000 to expand the Syéxw Chó:leqw Adventure Park, including a picnic shelter, carving shed, event amenitites and new nature trails. This funding was part of $1.5 million from the provincial government to support the tourism industry’s recovery following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation is a Coast Salish community and part of the Stó:lo First Nation.


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Adam Louis

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