The Saskatchewan Arts Board gives a warm welcome to Carol Greyeyes, the newest addition to our team of Program Consultants. Carol is no stranger to the agency, having served as our first Indigenous Arts Advisor from 2001-2009, a role she is resuming. During her initial time here, she established the Traditional Arts Grant program and the Indigenous Pathways Initiative (now the Indigenous Peoples Arts and Artists program) to support the work of Indigenous artists in the province. She also helped to diversify the Artists in Residence program, which has since evolved into the Artists in Schools and Artists in Communities programs.
One of her proudest accomplishments was the Clearing a Path exhibition, which was curated from the work of the first recipients of the Traditional Arts Grant program, with the assistance of Carmen Robertson and Sherry Farrell-Racette. The exhibition went to the Regina airport, the Cultural Olympiad at the Vancouver Olympics, and the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. It also toured the province through the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC). The tour sold out in 30 minutes, leading them to add a second year. A book was published, and a series of shorts were broadcast on the Saskatchewan Television Network (SCN).
She is amazed at how the Artists in Communities program has grown in her time away, and, as the consultant responsible for that program, she is committed to connecting Saskatchewan artists with the community. “I want us to continue to fulfill the notion of art being where people work, where they play and where they learn,” she remarks. “We want to integrate arts into all aspects of society, rather than just being something people do on the weekends, or that art is separate from our daily lives. No. Art is from the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we go to sleep. And then we dream about art!”
Carol is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. She is the former artistic director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and the founding principal of the Indigenous Theatre School in Toronto. She was project leader and producer of ArtsLink, an online research project for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Carol holds a BFA and BE from the University of Saskatchewan and an MA from York University. She has directed and taught in theatres across North America and has acted in film, television, radio and on stage. Most recently Carol was an assistant professor in the Department of Drama at the University of Saskatchewan and the founding coordinator of the wîchêhtowin Theatre Program.
“I’m very happy to be back,” Carol says. “I’m here to help in any way that I can and to help people make connections. I used to say, and I still believe this, that Saskatchewan does two things really well: they do community and they do art. I think it might be something in the water. Or maybe it’s the horizon. It could be the climate. I feel quite honoured to be part of all this – to be enriching, encouraging and developing, and making connections with people.”
Photo: Dave Stobbe