Nominations open until July 16 for BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations Art

The BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations Art celebrate artistic excellence in both traditional and contemporary visual art.

The award is designed for artists from BC First Nations who have demonstrated a commitment to their art practice, have accumulated a body of work, and who are recognized in their communities as artists.

Each year, up to five artists affiliated with a BC First Nation are chosen and each are awarded $5000 at a presentation ceremony and art exhibition held in Vancouver.

Artists may be nominated by another person and may also self-nominate.

The presenting organization for the awards is the BC Achievement Foundation, an independent foundation established and endowed in 2003 by the Province of BC.

Why Apply?

The BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations Art advances the collective conversation around art in BC. Applying for the award serves as a platform to communicate your work, vision and creativity. The process invites an opportunity for critical artistic reflection and exposes artists to a wider audience. In addition:

  • $5000 each will be awarded to up to five recipients at a presentation ceremony and art exhibition scheduled for Fall 2018.
  • The award is adjudicated by a panel of experts in First Nations Art, including established First Nations artists.
  • Recipients will be granted the use of the BC Creative Achievement Award seal to signify their creative excellence.


Who is eligible?

Artists must be affiliated with a BC First Nation and have been a resident of BC for the past three years. Artists have the option to self-identify in one of two submission categories:

  1. Emerging: artists have mastered the basic techniques of an art form through education and / or apprenticeship and are in the early stages of launching a professional career. They have created and publicly presented a modest body of independent work and are ready for the next steps in their artistic development.
  2. Established: artists have demonstrated a commitment to their art practice, produced a significant body of work, and are recognized in their community as artists. They have mastered advanced techniques of an art form and have publicly presented a significant body of independent work.


What kind of artwork is eligible?

Traditional or contemporary visual art in fields such as, but not limited to, carving, photography, beading, weaving, jewellery, painting, masks, sculpture, stonework, printmaking, basketry, textiles and media art.

Selection of Recipients

The awards are adjudicated by a panel of experts in the field of First Nations Art, including established First Nations artists, and decisions are based on the submission packages received. The decision of the jury is final.

The selection will be based on the submission package and the following criteria:
• Artistic excellence
• Creativity, originality, innovation
• Interpretation of First Nations culture
• Aesthetics

How to Apply?

Submissions can be entered online using the form provided
Or by mail: BC Achievement Foundation, PO Box 3663, Stn Terminal, Vancouver, BC V6B 3Y8

A completed submission package includes:

  1. A completed submission form
  2. An artist’s statement describing yourself as an artist, your experience, training and your artwork.
    • Consider describing why you became an artist, what your work means to you and others, what kinds of artwork you create, where you trained (if applicable) and anything else you think the jury might find interesting.
    • If the artist is presenting work outside of his/her nation’s traditions, please provide the background information as to the nature of the art being presented.
    • If not a self-nomination, the nominator should write about the above on behalf of the artist.
  3. Up to ten visuals depicting a selection of work
    • Jpeg, tiff, pdf are acceptable formats
    • Please provide high resolution images (each image should be 1MB+)
    • Visuals can be uploaded to our website using the online form
    • If you are submitting by mail, please provide a flash drive or CD of images
  4. Visual List
    • For each image, please provide: title, date, medium and a short description
    • Please ensure it is clear which image refers to which description on the visual list (ie. name the images the same way on the list).
  5. Letters of Recommendation (OPTIONAL)
    • Please upload 2 letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your artistic practice. This is particularly helpful for the jury if you are an emerging artist.

Please note: All submission have a life of 3 jury cycles (the year of first submission and two further years beyond that.) You will be given the opportunity to update your submission in future, if not selected in the first year.

More info, and to download the Nomination Form, go to

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