Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

August 24, 2010 13:53 ET

Government of Canada Supports Aboriginal Arts and Culture

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 24, 2010) - 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, an Aboriginal film project that will allow urban Aboriginal youth to get in volved in the creative process of writing, directing, and editing short films. These films will be screened at a premiere with 250 members of the community in attendance and then marketed to film festivals.

"Our Government is committed to investing in organizations that support the full and active participation of Aboriginal youth in our communities," said Minister Moore. "This project will improve the life prospects of young people by providing them with opportunities to reach their full potential."

"The Dreamspeakers Festival Society is a key provider of positive programming for urban Aboriginal youth in Alberta," said Mr. Goldring. "It is truly great to partner with an organization that helps young Aboriginal women and men gain confidence and share stories about their culture."

"Dreamspeakers Festival Society greatly appreciates the funding received from Canadian Heritage for our Dreamspeakers On Tour film project," said Helen Calahasen, Executive Director. "Without the financial support of Canadian Heritage, Aboriginal youth from the greater Edmonton area would not have an opportunity to experience the possibilities of pursuing career options in the film industry. The pride exhibited by these young filmmakers at their film debut is priceless."

The Dreamspeakers Festival Society is a not-for-profit Aboriginal organization that supports and educates the public about Aboriginal culture, art, and heritage. It acts as a resource for Aboriginal filmmakers, directors, scriptwriters, cameramen, technicians, actors, musicians, storytellers, artists, and craftspeople. The Society is also a resource bank: a way to connect with Aboriginal filmmakers, performers, and artists. Aboriginal people also receive training in arts, culture, and festival operations through Dreamspeakers.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $80,000 through the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth initiative (formerly known as the Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centre Initiative) of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program. This initiative provides Aboriginal young people aged 10 to 24, living in urban settings across Canada, with programming that incorporates Aboriginal values, cultures, and traditional practices in projects and activities designed to improve their social, economic, and personal prospects and to strengthen their cultural identity.

(This news release is available on the Internet at under Newsroom.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Matthew Deacon - Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Western Region
    Perry Boldt - A/Regional Manager
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations