A unique competition for traditional artists and craftspeople is being presented by Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre.
It’s called the Traditional B.E.A.R. Art & Craft Contest.
Basically, the artists and craftspeople can submit their work to the contest – from Dec. 14 to Dec. 17 – to be judged by the board of directors of the Friendship Centre.
The judging will take place on Dec. 17 and it will determine which pieces will be accepted for the contest. The creators of the accepted pieces will each receive $100.
And the accepted works will go into draws for five prizes of $1,000 each on Dec. 18.
Jignasa Anand, the youth co-ordinator at Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre, said the contest is a way to help artists in this time of Covid-19 with funding from the Department of Education, Culture and Employment.
“We just want to support the artisans of the town,” she said, noting things like art shows can’t take place as in previous years. “So we had the funding from arts and culture from the NWT, and they said think about if you can do something.”
The payments for some of the entries and the prizes will help artists buy more materials for their craft, Anand said. “And just motivate them to keep working, and be hopeful.”
Artwork and crafts will be accepted from Hay River, K’atlodeeche First Nation, West Point First Nation and Enterprise.
The B.E.A.R. in the contest name comes from the B.E.A.R Store at the Friendship Centre where there is a collection of traditional art on sale. B.E.A.R. stands for Beneficial Exploration of Ambition and Resourcefulness.
Anand said Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre is happy to support artists through the new contest by buying some crafts and through the prizes.
“We will display those arts and crafts at our centre for our public, and they will be for sale,” she said.
Proceeds from the sales at the B.E.A.R. Store will go to support youth programs at the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre.