Nanaimo dancer and arts manager Holly Bright is looking forward to expanding her knowledge around First Nations culture.
Bright was awarded the John Hobday Award, from the Canadian Council for the Arts in March.
The John Hobday Award is for professional development and comes with a $10,000 prize.
“I’m really honoured by having been chosen and to receive support and looking forward to the path it will take me on, and the learning I will receive, and where that will fit in as I continue my career,” said Bright, artistic director of Crimson Coast Dance Society. “I’m really excited because I have really enjoyed building relationships with Snuneymuxw artists and working with First Nations and indigenous dancers … I have a lot to learn around cultural competence and I am really interested in creating a place – an opportunity for First Nations artists to bring their work forward to the public.”
The money will allow Bright to be mentored by Starr Muranko, artistic associate, and Michelle Olsen, artistic director, of Raven Spirit Dance.
Raven Spirit Dance is a contemporary dance company, based in Vancouver, that strives to share stories from an aboriginal world view, according to the organization’s website. Bright previously worked with the contemporary dance company as the director of Crimson Coast Dance.
“Raven Spirit Dance creates and produces contemporary dance that is rooted in aboriginal world views and honours the communities and artists we work with,” according to Raven Spirit Dance’s website. “We share stories through indigenous perspectives and practices while creating a platform for others to do the same.”
“They’re really accomplished and recognized in their field,” said Bright, adding that Raven Spirit Dance is doing progressive work around indigenous festivals and creating cultural conversations.
Bright said award recipients must have a background in arts management. She will also work with Snuneymuxw First Nation elders to broaden her knowledge of the Hul’q’umin’um’ language. And with Janis Jonasen’s Intercultural Leadership Program, which will help Bright gain intercultural competency.