Peace region artist takes on additional roles

Peace region artist Haley Bassett has a lot on her plate, taking on whatever she can to help the arts in northeast B.C.
Haley Bassett’s art installation Peace Maker in Ceremonial Art. (Ceremonial Art)

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Peace region artist Haley Bassett has a lot on her plate, taking on whatever she can to support the arts in northeast B.C.

Starting in the fall, Bassett will begin her position as a BC Arts Council member, and she will be going to school for her master’s degree in fine arts. This is on top of being an Amelia Douglas Institute Métis Artist Collective member, the Arts North East executive director, and serving her second term as a director with Arts BC. 

Bassett said BC Arts had emailed her, asking if she would be interested in applying to be a council member, which she did. 

Even though she hasn’t started the orientation yet, she is excited to begin the new position and continue to do what she can to support the arts.

“Part of my motivation for becoming a council member is to advocate for northern artists in northern communities because historically, rural areas of B.C. have not seen proportionate funding for arts and culture,” Bassett explained.

Fire Bag by Haley Bassett. (Ceremonial Art)

Another way she supports the arts is through her role as a director with Arts BC.

Arts BC is a non-profit organization that supports artists and art organizations across British Columbia in many capacities, such as advice on policies, strategic planning and legal matters.

“I give my input as a person living in the north as an area artist and arts administrator, as well as a Métis artist,” Bassett said.

“I give them my outlook on things to make sure that they have lots of different perspectives at the table.”

Hunter by Haley Bassett. (Ceremonial Art)

Also in the fall, she will be starting her two-year Master of Fine Arts program through Emily Carr University’s low residency program, which will allow her to stay in the Peace.

“For the most part, I get to work from home, which is great because I’m very much a place-based artist, so it’s important for me to work from here,” Bassett said.

Bassett is also part of the newly created Amelia Douglas Institute Métis Artist Collective for Métis arts, culture and heritage.

She said they’re working on getting a physical space for the collective, but they recently launched a website.

“That’s where you can find all kinds of information on Métis art and culture, as well as apply for the Métis Artists Collective,” Bassett said.

Self-Portrait as Patience and Persistence by Haley Bassett. (Ceremonial Art)

On Thursday, she’s flying out for a solo show called Peace Maker at Ceremonial Art in Vancouver.

“The works that the curator selected all incorporate or celebrate local flora from the Peace country,” Bassett explained.

“My work is about the formation of self and identity and how places come into that, and for me, of course, the Peace country is a big part of that. It plays a very significant role in my work.”

Bassett noted that it’s nice to see Treaty 8, Peace Country and Métis homeland represented in Vancouver.

To keep updated on what Bassett is doing and view more of her art, visit her website or Instagram.


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