[BCMA] [MEDIA RELEASE] The Witness Blanket arrives in Kelowna

Moderated BCMA subscriber listserv listserv at lists.museum.bc.ca
Thu Jan 13 09:05:02 PST 2022

For Immediate Release

The Witness Blanket arrives in Kelowna

The Witness Blanket: Touring Reproduction
January 15 to April 10, 2022
Kelowna Art Gallery
Free and open to the public

January 13, 2022 - Kelowna, BC: The Witness Blanket is an unforgettable work by artist Carey Newman that weaves healing and history together as a national monument bearing witness to the truths of residential school Survivors. Beginning this weekend, for the first time ever, a travelling reproduction will be in Kelowna for the public to experience.

"It is a vitally important piece that helps to communicate some very difficult truths," says Nataley Nagy, Executive Director at the Kelowna Art Gallery, where a true-to-scale replica of the original work will be displayed. "We are honoured to present The Witness Blanket here in Kelowna. We encourage everyone in the community to please take the time to see it and experience the stories it shares."

The original Witness Blanket is a nearly 40-foot-long installation crafted from cedar that contains over 800 pieces of residential school history reclaimed from over 77 different communities. The items were donated by Survivors and their families, band offices, friendship centres, and other cultural organizations. Those responsible for the residential school system - churches and the federal government - have also donated pieces.

Carey Newman (Hayalthkin'geme), master carver and artist of Kwakwak'awakw, Coast Salish, and Settler descent, travelled more than 200,000 kilometers over the course of 12 months with his team to gather the objects for The Witness Blanket. He spoke with thousands of survivors.

"When you see how similar the pieces and the stories are from sea to sea to sea, then you start to see that it really was a really big thing and that there's a lot of connections out there," said Carey Newman. "There were ones that were more difficult to think of and to reconcile inside your mind, but all of them told part of the story. So for me, it was about that story and that storytelling and about sort of taking each item and each story that came with it and representing it as directly and honestly as possible."

Visitors will be able to get up close to view each of the faithfully documented items in the photographic panels. Some of the elements included are a child's shoe, braids of hair, a hockey trophy, a doorknob, a piece of belt, a photograph of a child, and a letter from parents asking that their children come home. Each item tells a story of loss, strength, resilience, and pride.

"The Witness Blanket stands as a national monument to recognize the atrocities of the Indian residential school era, honour the children, and symbolize on-going reconciliation," says a statement from exhibition organizer the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

The Witness Blanket is on display at the Kelowna Art Gallery, from January 15 to April 10, 2022. It is free of charge for the public to see. It is organized and circulated by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in collaboration with artist Carey Newman.

The Gallery would like to acknowledge the many community partners who assisted with the presentation of The Witness Blanket in Kelowna: Central Okanagan Public Schools, Kelowna Museums, Okanagan Indian Band, sncewips Heritage Museum, syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance, Westbank First Nation, along with financial supporters UBC Okanagan and FortisBC.

The Kelowna Art Gallery is located in the heart of the cultural district at 1315 Water Street.

- 30 -


Download additional hi-res images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ek78jt0fcs904hn/AADFOXQNqrOSkE3yxMXrEtvja?dl=0


Webpage: https://kelownaartgallery.com/the-witness-blanket<https://kelownaartgallery.com/the-witness-blanket/>
CMHR: https://humanrights.ca
Video Trailer: https://youtu.be/eNJ0a5P9YDo
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kelownaartgallery<https://www.instagram.com/kelownaartgallery/>

To arrange for an interview, or for additional high-res images please contact:

Joshua Desnoyers
Marketing and Events Coordinator

Kelowna Art Gallery
1315 Water Street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9R3
250-762-2226 ext. 305
josh at kelownaartgallery.com<mailto:josh at kelownaartgallery.com>

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20220113/e29f538d/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Kelowna PR1.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 1075950 bytes
Desc: Kelowna PR1.jpg
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20220113/e29f538d/attachment.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Kelowna PR2.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 1032259 bytes
Desc: Kelowna PR2.jpg
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20220113/e29f538d/attachment-0001.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Kelowna PR3.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 1235741 bytes
Desc: Kelowna PR3.jpg
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20220113/e29f538d/attachment-0002.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Kelowna PR4.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 1920879 bytes
Desc: Kelowna PR4.jpg
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20220113/e29f538d/attachment-0003.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Kelowna PR5.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 1250291 bytes
Desc: Kelowna PR5.jpg
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20220113/e29f538d/attachment-0004.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Carey Newman_2019.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 294024 bytes
Desc: Carey Newman_2019.jpg
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20220113/e29f538d/attachment-0005.jpg>

More information about the Listserv mailing list