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Centre of Aboriginal Art

The final element of the Spirit Way Master Plan is the Northern anchor to the walkway – a superb centre for Aboriginal Art.  This will be a signature facility that will be unique in Canada. Catering to all Northern artists, it will allow them to improve their visual art skills, both contemporary and traditional, and better learn the business of art. This centre will offer training, exhibition and meeting space, retail and online sales, and cultural opportunities for Northern artists close to home.

The goal is to develop a 20,000 sq. ft. building that will inspire the community and reflect its northern Aboriginal culture and spirit, while achieving educational and business goals. Furthermore it will be a cutting edge environmental friendly facility that have a Net Zero impact on the environment.

The photos on this page show a concept model designed by Prairie Architects. dsc_4537It projects an uplifting spiritual and functional space meeting all the project’s expressed needs. The design incorporates pods for studio and teaching activities indoors and out, computer training, access to an outside studio dedicated to the only large-scale rock carving program in Canada; a daycare centre for students, and a residence for visiting artists. In keeping with expressed Aboriginal sensitivities, a curving corridor represents a river running through the space with maximum access to natural light.

Spirit Way Inc. initiated and has led the project since its inception. “The sensitivity of the design, its curves and contours, its use of natural light and the materials of the region express our northern spirit,” said Marion Morberg, President of Spirit Way Inc. In expressing his excitement about the architect model, Thompson’s Mayor, Tim Johnson stated, “The building must be the soul of who we want to be by embracing who we are.” Sharon MacKay, Executive Director of  Keewatin Tribal Council and a new Board member stated, “The Centre will be grounded in Aboriginal cultural traditions, which ensures that Aboriginals are heard and that their cultural practices are maintained and not lost. It will be inclusive while safeguarding the people.aerial-north23-web

The proposed location is near the Miles Hart Bridge on the banks of the Burntwood River that connects to the neighbouring First Nation communities of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and Tataskweyak Cree Nation. The Art Centre would be the first major building visible when arriving from Thompson’s busy airport.

A capital fundraising campaign will be undertaken to develop this stunning facility that may eventually attract indigenous artists from all over the world and provide tremendous art and cultural exchanges. This will be the only dedicated Aboriginal visual art facility in Canada.

spirit-way-site-plan3For more information about the project, please contact Marion Morberg, President of Spirit Way Inc., or Volker Beckmann, Project Coordinator at info@thompsonspiritway.ca