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Poundmaker Cree Nation artist wins Saskatchewan Arts Award

An artist from the Poundmaker Cree Nation was among five artists selected to receive the Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts Artists Awards.

Floyd Favel was awarded the Indigenous Artist Award for his project, a retelling of the Anton Chekov play The Cherry Orchard, using a style of indigenous story telling and performance culture. Favel explained that the reason he chose to adapt the play because of the themes such as attachment to land and home, which he says is shared in many art forms.

“I look at indigenous theatre, indigenous drama not as a separate category defined by heritage or blood or ancestry but I look at indigenous performance as an artistic category that’s open to everybody.”

The award recognizes people from many different mediums, who were presented this year with $6,000 to further their project.  Favel says he appreciates the award because of what it acknowledges the universal aspects of his art.

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“I guess it makes my idea of indigenous theatre as a universal category. It acknowledges that theory and artistic method because as a Cree artist I’ve been very much defined by my ethnicity but my belief has always been that art is a universal thing.”

Favel says the next step for his project is students coming from Poland to learn with the cast after which they will begin rehearsals.

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