There are more than 116 isolated Indigenous communities throughout Canada with limited access to quality art supplies. With no roads to deliver goods, the cost of these items can be astronomical.
I.E. Weldon Secondary School (IEWSS) Grade 12 student Sydney Topfer and the school’s Reconciliation and Action Group heard about these communities and wanted to help. And so they did!
The group teamed up with the Art for Aid Project and organized Project 116+. The initiative took place throughout February and March, encouraging students to bring in art supply donations, including markers, yarn, beads, felt, and cash. Community groups, the Pinnguaq Association, and the Kawartha Arts Network also jumped on board to help.
On March 10, the group invited Indigenous Artist and Founder of the Art for Aid Project Colleen Gray to the school to share their donations and give a presentation about her project to over 200 IEWSS students. In total, the group collected 16 full boxes of art supplies, and a total of over $400, which will go towards shipping and any additional costs.
The Art for Aid Project works to support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis art education programs across Canada through access to quality art supplies, awareness, and fundraising efforts.