The first Awards were made in 2007, and historically were made in years when funds had been available from the growing endowments, or been donated for specific annual awards.
Annual awards are made possible because of the generosity of our endowment donors. We thank them for their vision, commitment and support of Saskatchewan Artists.
We acknowledge the current and past volunteer Board of Trustees for their efforts in supporting the work of the Foundation.
In 2022, the Foundation established a multidisciplinary Jury-panel to facilitate the adjudication of submissions. Awards of $5000 have been to six award recipients.
These awards are supported in part by the Named Endowment Funds and the Operating Endowment Fund.
TARA GEREAUX (Qu’Appelle Valley) – The Colleen Bailey Memorial Fund
Tara Gereaux (Métis-Settler) has published a novel, Saltus (Nightwood Editions, 2021), and a teen novella, Size of a Fist (Thistledown Press, 2015). Her writing has been shortlisted for the 2022 ReLit Novel Award and several Saskatchewan Book Awards, has won the City of Regina Award twice, and received a Hnatyshyn REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award. After graduating from the UBC’s MFA creative writing program, Tara worked as a writer and story editor in film and television for ten years before returning to her home on the prairie. From the Qu’Appelle Valley, Tara is a descendant of the Red River Métis and a member of the Métis Nation in Saskatchewan.
“Inspired by my own family’s experiences, my novel follows the journey of a woman who, while living in small-town Saskatchewan in the 1940s, has denied her Métis identity for decades until she rediscovers her passion for beading, and in doing so, rediscovers herself.”
“I’m honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Colleen Bailey Memorial Award. Writing a novel is long, lonely work and this recognition is a boost of encouragement to keep going – that the Saskatchewan Foundation For the Arts believes in my project and my writing means the world to me. Deepest thanks to all the donors and the volunteers who so generously support the writers and artists in our province.”
KRISTINE ALVAREZ (Regina) – The Harry Nick Kangles Fund
Kristine Alvarez is a theatre artist privileged to make artful relationships (Curtain Razors, Fadadance, Artesian, Globe Theatre, RIWC, Common Weal).
Kristine performs in other people’s theatre work (Bad Blood, Carmen Angel – Joey Tremblay/Curtain Razors), makes her own work (Golden Potluck, Burnt Sienna), and, moments before the pandemic, was humbled by the work (Reasonable Doubt – Persephone Theatre). Kris also continues working in film (Donkeyhead, KarmaFilms / Agam Darshi), outdoors (2021 Other Side of the River, 2022 Wâhkôhtowin, Sum Theatre), on TV (ZARQA, CBC Gem), onstage (2021 & 2022 Making Spirits Bright – Globe Theatre) and in creation (Acknowledging).
At the 2022 Regina Folk Festival, Kris happily debuted Burnt Sienna Boulevard, a reimagined version of Burnt Sienna (her original variety show from 2018-2022) now for younger audiences. She is excited to continue tinkering with this family show alongside her other theatre project, Acknowledging, a collaborative creation with five local artists which will be presented Spring 2023.
“‘Acknowledging’ is a creative response to the impact that my current work of opening up about race relations, identity and land has had on me. I didn’t realize that opening up uncomfortable conversations in artful ways would simply generate more questions. Compelled to go further into this inquiry has revealed places I never knew existed in art. Through creation, I have experienced how these places do exist within the ‘acknowledging’ project.
Places where guest-artists and I can hold uncomfortable truths about how to make better relationships to the land we live on and the people who “don’t look like us”. Places where we can share the weight of this kind of “meaningful work” and how it affects our whole selves. Places where we can name the tricky balance of being an artist engaging with diverse communities in new ways but still being tethered to old ways of time, expectations and money.”
“I am very grateful to be a recipient of a Saskatchewan Foundation For
the Arts Endowment Award. This support means I can fulfill what is
needed to share ‘acknowledging’ onstage, as a theatre production this spring 2023! ‘Acknowledging’ needs the time, space and support to successfully develop. It needs support & love from our communities. Thank you to the SFFA for your support!”
BONNIE CONLY (Treaty 6) – The Jane Turnbull Evans Fund
Bonnie Conly is a professional visual artist with Ukrainian ancestry. She has lived most of her life in Saskatchewan on Treaty 6 territory. Her work investigates themes of place, identity, and immigration. Geography, history, cultural narratives, and myth telling are integral to her visual practice. Conly received an honours B.A. in Art Studio and Art History with high honours from the University of Saskatchewan. She has been an Artist in Residence at the Grasslands National Park in partnership with Prairie Wind and Silver Sage, and the Summer Studio Space at AKA Gallery in Saskatoon. Bonnie has had solo and group exhibitions in several public galleries in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario, including two touring exhibitions with the Organizations of Saskatchewan Art Councils. There are two public installations of her artwork: a painted mural in Vegreville, Alberta and two streetlight banners in Pickering, Ontario.
“This award will allow me to develop sculpture, video, and photographic artworks to honour the resolve of Ukrainian women as they fight for survival of their people, culture, and ethnicity. I will research the influence cultural narratives have in shaping determination and resilience. This research will effectuate my artistic explorations.”
“I am very honoured to receive the Jane Turnbull Evans Fund Award for an emerging women artist. Thank you to the SFFA and all the donors for this recognition, allowing me the opportunity to be part of Jane’s great dream and legacy. This support will be instrumental in facilitating my creative work.”
STACEY FAYANT (Regina) – The Shurniak Fund
Stacey Fayant is Métis, Nehiyaw, and Saulteaux on her father side and French on her mother’s side. She is a visual artist from Regina, Saskatchewan and is a member of Peepeekisis First Nation. Stacey has been angry from an early age due to witnessing the effects of racism and poverty in the society she grew up in. As she has aged, Stacey has learned to use that anger as a driving force for her art and creativity. As such, Stacey’s art practice has always focused on concepts surrounding identity and trauma in relation to colonialism and racism, but also in relation to healing, family, and community. Her art is a means of transferring knowledge of family, history and stories to her daughter, her cousins and her community. She works in many mediums including beading, felting, sewing, painting, printmaking, and Indigenous Cultural Tattooing. Stacey’s participation in the revival of Indigenous Cultural tattooing is for her, a revival of community connection, healthy interaction and touch and a revival of self-pride and love.
“I am incredibly grateful and honoured to be chosen as a recipient of a Saskatchewan Foundation For the Arts Endowment Award. This award tells me that the path I am on in my creative endeavours is a good, important and meaningful path for myself, my community, and the larger arts community. Thank you to the jurors for taking the time to think about my project, thank you to SFFA staff for all the work you do and for the help and encouragement you offer and a big thank you to the Shurniak family for your commitment to funding artists and the arts. Your support both financially and through this award recognition drives me and my commitment to finding a means of reconciliation through my art practice.”
“The project the Shurniak endowment award is helping me pursue is called ‘People With Face Tattoos Make Me Heal’. This project engages with the revival of Indigenous tattooing and specifically the revival of our traditional face tattoos. I will use this award to provide face tattoos to Indigenous people in my community, photograph these tattoos and the joy and connection created as we tattoo and have these photographs printed and framed. My project brings our face tattoos back to our community and celebrates these markings and the beauty of our culture. This project also asks Canadian society to reevaluate long held beliefs about face tattoos and Indigenous cultural traditions and begin to participate in the revival of these traditions that were taken from us during colonization in a real and true effort at reconciliation.”
JOELY BIGEAGLE-KEQUAHTOOWAY (Regina) – The Dick & Jane Fund
Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway is an inter-disciplinary artist. She is a fashion and textile designer, visual artist, beader, storyteller and co-founder of the Buffalo People Arts Institute. She comes from a long line of Buffalo hunters and is Nakota/Cree/Saulteaux from the White Bear First Nations – signatory to Treaty 4. She has degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Calgary and Mathematics from the First Nations University of Canada. She is currently in the
Master of Fine Arts program at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She loves to incorporate mathematics and geometry in her artwork and is inspired by the perfect symmetry in nature. Her mantra envelopes everything Tatanga (Buffalo) as it connects her to ancestral memories, the land and is the manifestational glue that keeps her world together.
“This financial award will provide support towards attending a writers’ retreat to complete my script. I will be able to set aside some valuable time to focus on writing in the sanctity of my own home. I am an artist who relies on contracts in art facilitation and this award will provide some relief to pursuing contractual work. Upon completion of my script, I will be reaching out to my connections within the organization Women in Film and Television, Vancouver Society to pursue story editing and leads on what my next steps would be for production and pitching to producers within the film industry.”
“I am grateful to the Saskatchewan Foundation For the Arts for this award which will provide much needed financial resources to take time to focus on writing and completing my script. I am truly grateful for the support and recognition of my artistic vision, dreams and goals and acknowledging the merit of my work. The opportunities that this will lead to are immense and having recognition within the community upon receipt of this award will be the beginning of something larger yet to unfold and look forward to.”
LORNE KEQUAHTOOWAY (Regina) – The Cameco Endowment Fund
Originally from the Treaty 4 area, Zagime Anishnabek, Lorne Kequahtooway is dedicated to sharing and preserving his culture with others in Saskatchewan. Lorne is a co-founder of Buffalo People Arts Institute where he currently teaches cultural awareness through storytelling and community engagement around an interactive buffalo hide-tanning experience.
“I will be using this award to make two porcupine hair roaches. The porcupine hair will be collected from fallen porcupines, as well as through a call out to community to send notices of any fallen porcupines. The real hair is a preferred material for porcupine roaches, over the synthetic blend material that is more accessible from suppliers. Our ancestors used to use all natural materials and in this way I am paying respect to our ancestral way of life as well as respecting our mother earth by using natural materials.”
“I would like to thank my sponsors for this award. It is with great appreciation that I write this message of gratitude. This will allow me the time to collect the porcupine hair, as well as the time to create the head roaches.”
“There is a multi-step process involved to the creation of these items, and it is very time consuming. By working with these natural materials, it means that we are not disrupting the land and nature. In Indigenous spirituality we believe that you take care of the land and the land will take care of you. In the creation of the roaches, being an art form, artists share their spirit. Even the end use of dancing with that creation by wearing that head roach is spiritual. The time and energy that goes into the creation is transferred into the end product. This allows us to honor our natural laws, as well as the spirit of the animal by using its hair in the creation of the head roach. When working in natural material, it is on nature’s time not linear time. This means that when a fallen animal comes available, it needs to be picked up and harvested, along with cleaning and sorting the hair based on length.”