Montreal, May 9, 2017 – Leaving yet again the beaten path, Wapikoni Mobile expands its activities across Canada and visits Indigenous communities in which it hadn’t been able to stop in the past.

Indeed, in 2017 Wapikoni Mobile’s travelling training and creation studios are driving towards 21 communities, doubling their usual number of stopovers. They will stop in Quebec, but also New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. It is also worth noting that Wapikoni will also fly to Norway and spend August 23 to September 1st with a Sami community.

These new adventures will be Wapikoni’s first opportunity to collaborate with the Metis nation as well as many Western Canada First Nations. It will also allow them to build bridges with minority language communities all over the country in the hope of fostering togetherness and dialogue.

Accompanied by two filmmaker-mentors, a junior First Nations trainer, a youth outreach worker and a coordinator from the community, the participants are trained in screenwriting, directing and in the numerous technical aspects of filmmaking (camera, sound recording and editing) with cutting edge equipment.  Each participant benefits from mentoring adapted to his or her experience and pace of learning for a period of four weeks.

Three mobile studios, one more than last year, will help Indigenous youth create their own short films and/or record original songs. These creative works depicting their world, their reality, their struggles, and the incredible richness of their culture and humour, are then shown in the community at the end of the stopover before starting their international festival run.

Meanwhile a caravan equipped with exterior projection equipment and staffed by two facilitators has started to travel east from Vancouver, covering 10 Canadian provinces and stopping in 100 Indigenous communities and 50 cities. The screenings will be in English, French and Indigenous languages.

“One of Wapikoni’s most cherished dreams has come true: Making the voices of Indigenous youth who we have worked with for over 13 years echo throughout Canada, establishing a dialogue between communities of all origins through their films. These works are a unique part of Indigenous cultural heritage,” says Manon Barbeau, Executive Director of Wapikoni.

The Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels tour is part of “Wapikoni From Coast to Coast: Reconciliation Through the Media Arts”, a project under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and supported by the Government of Canada.

“Through the project “Wapikoni from Coast to Coast: Building Bridges and Reconciliation through Media Arts”, young Indigenous Canadians will have the opportunity to be heard and to exchange ideas. The audiovisual and musical creative workshops will give young creators the chance to express themselves, and the resulting works will be presented in several communities across the country. Let’s take advantage of the 150th anniversary of Confederation to have a positive dialogue and to strengthen relations between us all,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

You can find the full stopover calendar here:

About Wapikoni Mobile

Wapikoni Mobile is a travelling audiovisual and musical creation studio dedicated to Indigenous youth. Since 2004, Wapikoni has visited over 20 communities and accompanied 4,300 participants who worked to direct close to 1,000 short films translated into several languages. These films have received 142 awards and honours at national and international festivals.

About the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO serves as a bridge between Canadians and the vital work of UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. By promoting UNESCO values, priorities and programs in Canada and by bringing the voices of Canadian experts to the international stage, the Commission contributes to a peaceful, equitable and sustainable future that leaves no one behind.

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