Vancouver Island Indigenous artists earn YVR Art Foundation scholarships

The YVR Art Foundation Scholarship program has announced its 2021 recipients.

The foundation annually awards $5,000 to emerging and mid-career visual artists who are Indigenous and residents of BC or Yukon.

This year, eight artists age 17 to 29 received an emerging artist scholarship, and two artists age 30 and over received a mid-career artist scholarship. The awards are provided to fund a mentor or master artist, art school or community project for each recipient.

Harrison Martin from Sidney, who is of the Nisga’a and Tsimshian nations and will work in wood carving, is one of three Vancouver Island winners. Nanaimo had two winners: Eliot White-Hill (Kwulasultun), a member of the Snuneymuxw Nation (Coast Salish), plans to attend Emily Carr University of Art + Design; Shaina Richelle Stephens, who is Nisga’a from Laxgalts’ap, will attend Vancouver Island University. All three received emerging artists awards.

Other 2021 scholarship winners are:

Emerging artists

• Reggie Harrold (Vancouver), Slavey and Shuswap, attending the University of British Columbia.

• Sydney Pickering (Vancouver), Lil’wat Nation, will work in hide tanning and textile.

• Naomi Watkins (Vancouver), Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, attending Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

• Rebecca Baker-Grenier (White Rock), Kwakiutł and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, will work in textile and fashion.

• Angelo Kalum Cavagnaro (Terrace), Nisga’a, will work in steam bending.

Mid-career artists

Shawn Patrick Aster (Terrace), Ts’msyen, member of the Ganhaada Clan of the Dzewelaks/La’oy, will work in carving.

Tina Robinson (Prince Rupert), Ts’msyen from Lax Kw’alaams, will work in weaving.

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The foundation is a charitable not-for-profit founded by the Vancouver International Airport in 1993. It supports First Nations artists from B.C. and Yukon through scholarships, grants, awards and exhibitions. In total, it has contributed over $600,000 and 160 scholarships, grants and awards.

To learn more about each artist and see samples of their work, go to

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Evert Lindquist

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Evert Lindquist

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