The Canadian – Part I

March 31, 2017

We’ve recently asked Indigenous artist- in- residence, Patrick Hunter, to travel across Canada, documenting his journey along the way. Starting in Vancouver, Patrick is currently en route to Toronto courtesy of VIA Rail. Inspired by our beautiful Canadian backdrop, he will be blogging frequently on his experience, as well as PCC. His journey will culminate with a painting commenting on reconciliation between the Crown and the Indigenous people of Canada. Here is his first post, stay tuned for more!

March 29, 2017

Boozhoo, aaniin!

My name is Patrick Hunter, and I’m very excited to share that I’m the artist in residence for Prince’s Charities Canada (PCC).

When I was offered the opportunity to take part in this adventure called “The Canadian”, from Vancouver to Toronto on VIA Rail, my immediate response was, “how long is that?!”. My objective, “to take it all in”, as Matthew Rowe put it, the man in charge at PCC, and the man who invited me into this position.

As with most things I do, I said “yes” without fully realizing the complete scope of the journey I’ve embarked on. It began last night, (March 28th) in Vancouver, B.C at 20:30, and I’ll be arriving in Toronto (and hopefully into my new apartment) Saturday, April 1st at 9:30. As someone who also makes his living from artistic endeavors, the allure of the unknown was just too hard to pass up, and was also a reason that led me to saying “yes” to this epic train trip.

I’m from a small gold mining district in northwestern Ontario called Red Lake. Growing up I was surrounded by the original works of the great Woodland artists such as Norval Morrisseau and Leonard Kakepetum. During visits into town my imagination was captivated by their curious iconic paintings. My playground was the forest and lakes, as my parents decided to live in one of the rural communities outside of Red Lake called Madsen; a once prosperous gold mining community in its’ own right. Looking back now, and given my interests, my upbringing on the Canadian shield was one of the catalysts for me becoming an artist.

It’ll be three years in August that I’ve been a full time artist, and I can say for sure that if being an artist was easy, everyone would be doing it. Through relentless determination and backing of my entire district I’ve been able to accomplish some pretty great things at 28 years old. What’s also proving to not be easy this morning, is writing this blog post. I’m almost to the Rockies, traveling through B.C, trying to catch my breath looking at all of the breath taking scenery from the sky car.

Alas talking about this trip and sharing my experiences with all of you is why I’m here so I’ll try my best to stay on task 😉

Since it is in fact Prince’s Charities Canada that has sent me on this quest to find inspiration from the Canadian landscape, I will be talking about their contributions to making it better for various groups in Canada. Highlighting their commitment to language reclamation for First Nation’s people, and their initiatives for youth employment strategies. Last, but not least and the reason they asked an Indigenous artist in the first place, is the development of a painting(s) that focuses on reconciliation between the Crown and the Indigenous people of Canada.

Stay tuned for more 🙂

For more frequent updates, you can follow me on instragram at hunter88 or on twitter at @patrockHUNTER.

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