On November 28th DAREarts proudly hosted the Ottawa premiere screening of ‘Fill My Hollow Bones’. The film chronicles a DAREarts program that challenges youth in the remote Indigenous community of Webequie FN to find their voices through the arts, guided by teachers, artists and community elders. This special event on Parliament Hill was co-hosted by Senator Dennis Patterson and Senator Lillian Eva Dyck and sponsored by Bell Canada. Additionally, DAREarts would like to thank Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada for supporting DAREarts’ recent trip to Webequie FN and this event.
The evening began with inspirational remarks by The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. Simon Dwyer from Bell Canada introduced Senator Patterson. Government and industry leaders gathered to watch the documentary and join DAREarts in paying tribute to the late Cathy Elliott, DAREarts’ Indigenous Program Associate. CTV news also made an appearance to capture the evening.
Following the screening, there was an interactive discussion featuring a DAREarts graduate youth from Webequie, Eric Shewaybick; Senator Patterson, DAREarts Artist-Educator and Juno nominated songwriter, Glenn Marais, and DAREarts Founder and President, Marilyn Field. The session was moderated by Natasha Morano, DAREarts National Director of Development. Our youth, Eric, spoke from the heart and shared his personal account of how impactful DAREarts has been in his community over the last ten years and in his own life. He has become a positive role model to show a path for those who need it most. He proudly stated his two girls are now participating in the DAREarts program and eagerly awaiting the return of DAREarts next year.
Those in attendance saw firsthand the power of the arts. In this year of Canada 150 and reconciliation, DAREarts was proud to share the voices of our Indigenous young people who are pouring their talents, intelligence and enterprise into their future.
The main message that was imparted upon guests was to both individually and collectively take bold steps forward to further empower Canada’s Indigenous youths with confidence, courage and leadership, using the arts which creates self-sufficient young adults.