France Trépanier is a visual artist and curator of Kanien’kéha:ka and French ancestry. Her artistic and curatorial work has been presented in various venues in Canada, the US and Europe. France is currently co-director of the Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires initiative.
France recently curated the exhibition The Time of Things: The Continuum of Indigenous Customary Practices into Contemporary Art, presented at the Comox Valley Art Gallery in 2020 and at Legacy Gallery in Victoria in 2018. From 2015 to 2018, France was the Aboriginal Curator at Open Space Arts in Victoria, where she co-curated – with Michelle Jacques and Doug Jarvis – Deconstructing Comfort. She also curated the three-year initiative Mawitajig at artist-run centre Vaste et Vague, in collaboration with the Mi’gmaq communities of Listiguj and Gesgapegiag on the Gaspé Peninsula.
France was the co-recipient of the 2012 inaugural Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellowship awarded by Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. She co-authored, with Chris Creighton-Kelly, Understanding Aboriginal Arts in Canada Today: a Knowledge and Literature Review for the Canada Council for the Arts. France is co-chair of the Indigenous Program Council at the Banff Centre.
France worked at the Canada Council before becoming a Senior Arts Policy Advisor for the Department of Canadian Heritage. She held a diplomatic post as First Secretary, Cultural Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Paris. She directed the Centre for New Media at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris. France was co-founder and Director of the artist-run centre Axe Néo-7 in Gatineau, Quebec.
Chris Creighton-Kelly is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and cultural critic. He was born in the UK with South Asian/British roots. His performative, usually ephemeral, artworks have been presented across Canada, in India, Europe and USA. He has received grants and awards in five countries. Since 2016, he has been the co-Director of Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires.
Chris has been consistently concerned with racialized identities within their cultural contexts, both host and diasporic, as they converge with the rapidly evolving media technologies – both popular and esoteric – that simulate these relationships. He has been persistently provoked by questions of absence in the discourse of the Western art world – Whose epistemology is unquestioned? Who has power? Why do they have it? Who does not have it? Why not?
For over 35 years, Chris has also worked as an arts consultant for artists, arts organizations and cultural institutions as well as governments in Canada and internationally. In 1989-91, he was a consultant to the Canada Council on issues of cultural/racial equity. His work launched two critical offices, the Aboriginal Arts Office and the Equity Office, that have subsequently led the way in transforming the Council from a European arts agency to one in which multiple art traditions and practices are funded. In 1991-92, he worked at the Banff Centre for the Arts designing and directing a 20 artists’ residency, Race and the Body Politic which indirectly influenced the establishment of the Aboriginal Arts program.
In 2011, he co-authored, along with France Trépanier, Understanding Aboriginal Arts in Canada Today. In 2012, they were co-recipients of the inaugural Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellowship awarded by Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
Chris appreciates his audiences a lot.