When first approached about the opportunity to participate in Glenbow’s new Indigenous Futures Program, Scotiabank immediately understood its potential to have a deep and transformational impact for an emerging generation of artists.
“We felt Glenbow’s innovative program exemplified our complimentary commitments to support Indigenous peoples in communities across the country and the arts sector,” says Tanya Eisener, Senior Vice President, Prairie Region. She adds that “ensuring art experiences are inclusive and accessible is essential to building connections and maximizing reach in our communities.”
After meeting with Glenbow staff and stakeholders, Scotiabank was supportive of the need for programs that create opportunities and help remove systemic barriers for Indigenous peoples. “Our aspiration is that this program serves to advance the careers of Indigenous artists to the next level, whether that’s through developing new works, helping them gain exposure or sharing ideas,” says Damian Jones, Vice President Commercial Banking, Prairie Region.
The Indigenous Futures Program was created to give early to mid-career contemporary Indigenous artists an opportunity to work in the Glenbow’s collections to research and develop new works that support Indigenous cultural revitalization efforts. It opens access for artists to re-connect with customary forms of making, by learning from historical objects in the collection, connecting with elders and knowledge-keepers, and engaging in a range of initiatives for Indigenous knowledge-sharing.
While offering broad support across a number of sectors, Scotiabank has always been an organization committed to the arts, from coast to coast. According to Eisener, there is a firmly held belief that “arts and culture have the power to ignite passion, capture the imagination, challenge perspectives and enrich lives. By investing in organizations, institutions and causes that matter to Canadians, like Glenbow, we can help build strong and vibrant communities.”
Jones further shares that “it’s our hope that Scotiabank’s support of the Indigenous Futures Program provides the people of Calgary, and more broadly Alberta, with a new understanding of the Indigenous peoples of this land. We feel this program contributes to the journey of reconciliation that we are all on as individuals and as a community.”