What is Petapan: First Light? In 2014, Indigenous artists and arts practitioners from across Atlantic Canada were invited to participate in a symposium hosted at Millbrook First Nation, NS. The event was organized by the Atlantic Public Arts Funders, which includes the New Brunswick Arts Board (artsnb), the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (ArtsNL), Arts Nova Scotia (ArtsNS) and the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts (PEIAC).

The was the first time the four Atlantic provinces collaborated on an event specifically for Indigenous artists, thus the name Petapan – First Light – indicates a breaking of dawn.

Back by popular demand, a second Symposium was held June 17-19, 2016 at Dieppe, New Brunswick. The free three-day event featured keynote speakers, workshops, evening showcases, disciplinary sessions, and provided a space for celebrating art and making connections.

Planning for a third Petapan: First Light Symposium is now underway. The event will take place June 13-16, 2019 in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador. Registration will be open in 2019.

What is the purpose of the Symposium? Petapan: First Light celebrates the diversity, strength, and excellence of Indigenous arts practice in Atlantic Canada, as well as addresses the unique challenges facing Atlantic Canadian indigenous artists and arts practitioners in terms of the creation, dissemination, and promotion of work.

For those Indigenous artists who work in remote communities in relative isolation, geographical barriers can impact having a direct say in how they would like to see their practice supported or in accessing an audience/market. The Atlantic Public Arts Funders are looking to improve lines of communication with indigenous artists across Atlantic Canada, leading to more responsive programming and support mechanisms.

Who is invited to attend? Petapan: First Light is open to Indigenous artists and arts practitioners of all artistic disciplines across Atlantic Canada.

When does the Symposium take place? Petapan: First Light will take place June 13-16, 2019.

Where does the Symposium take place? The symposium will take place at the Alt Hotel in downtown St. John’s, NL. The visual art exhibit will be featured in the Eastern Edge Gallery, and the performance showcase will be held at Memorial University’s D.F. Cook Recital Hall.




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