Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

September 01, 2009 14:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Dreamspeakers Festival Society

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Peter Goldring, Member of Parliament (Edmonton East), today announced funding for the Dreamspeakers Festival Society.

This funding will be used to support "Dreamspeakers on Tour," a film project aimed at providing Aboriginal young people aged 15 to 25 with a way to share stories about their collective heritage, gain self confidence, and develop leadership skills. Following the selection process, 12 Aboriginal young people will be chosen to write and direct a short film with the help of a qualified mentor and a crew of professional technicians. The films will premiere at the 15th annual Dreamspeakers Film Festival and will also be submitted to various local and international film festivals on behalf of Dreamspeakers Festival Society.

"Our Government is committed to helping Aboriginal young people gain the skills they need to achieve their goals," said Minister Moore. "We are proud to support an organization that helps young Aboriginal women and men gain confidence and share positive stories about Aboriginal culture."

"I am pleased to support the Dreamspeakers Festival Society and their goal of teaching Aboriginal young people the art of filmmaking and how to express themselves," said Mr. Goldring. "This is a wonderful way for these young people to share their opinions, their culture, and their views of the world around them through the medium of film."

"The Dreamspeakers Festival Society is truly thankful to the Government of Canada, which gives our non-profit organization the resources to provide Edmonton's Aboriginal young people with a one-of-a-kind film training program," said Helen Calahasen, Executive Director of the Dreamspeakers Festival Society. "We have helped 61 individuals tap in to their artistic skills and create their own short films on topics that affect their daily lives. All participants experienced positive changes, some experienced dramatic change, and this program prompted them to pursue further education and achieve goals they never thought possible."

The Dreamspeakers Festival Society supports and educates the public about Aboriginal culture, art, and heritage. It is a resource for Aboriginal young people, filmmakers, directors, scriptwriters, cameramen, technicians, actors, musicians, storytellers, artists, and craftspeople.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $80,000 under the Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centre Initiative ( of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program ( This initiative supports community, culturally based projects for urban Aboriginal young people to improve their social, economic, and personal prospects and to strengthen their cultural identity.

This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Stephanie Rea - Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Western Region
    Derick McNeil
    A/Regional Manager Communications
    Cel.: 604-351-2693
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations