Spring 2023

Indigenous Artist and Writer-in-Residence

Faculty of Arts welcomes Brandi Bird, Indigenous Writer-in-Residence and Brandon Gabriel, Indigenous Artist-in-Residence to KPU for the Spring semester. They join Molly Cross Blanchard, Indigenous Writer-in-Residence and Á’a:líya Warbus, Indigenous Artist-in-Residence who have been extended for another semester. They will continue their work with consultations, in-class visits, events, and more student, faculty, and staff engagement. If you would like to schedule an online consultation or invite them to attend a class or event, please email Arts.CommEvents@kpu.ca  

Brandon Gabriel 

Born and raised on the Kwantlen First Nation Reserve in Fort Langley BC, Canada. He was educated in Cultural Anthropology, Visual Art, and Marketing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, then received his Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Art from the prestigious Emily Carr University of Fine Art and Design (2006).

Brandon is a multi-talented contemporary mixed media artist who specializes in painting, drawing, graphic design, architectural design concepts, and public art installations. His work has been exhibited in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, USA, and across Canada, specializing in Architectural Conceptual Design; Public Art Installations; Graphic Design; Painting; Drawing; Consulting; Education Modules for all ages and institutional settings.
Á’a:líya Warbus

Á’a:líya is Stó:lō with roots in the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sema: th, Sq’éwlets and Sts’ailes First Nations. She has worked in the unceded territories of the Coast Salish as an artist and activist for the past 18 years.  She is currently focused on writing, directing and being a mom to her three young children.

Á’a:líya’s narrative short fiction and short documentaries explore themes of Indigenous culture, Indigenous matriarchs, and the effects of colonization on her family and community.  Her stories are a mix of both modern and traditional themes driven by her experience growing up in both worlds simultaneously.

Indigenous Writer-in-Residence
Brandi Bird 

Brandi is an Indigiqueer Saulteaux, Cree and Métis writer from Treaty 1 territory. They currently live and learn on the land of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh & Musqueam peoples. Their work has been published in The Puritan, Poetry is Dead, Room Magazine, Brick Magazine, Prism International and others. Their first book, “The All + Flesh”, is being released with House of Anansi Press in Fall 2023. They enjoy listening to the same song over and over again and love their three cats, Babydoll, Burt, and Etta.
Molly Cross-Blanchard is a white and Métis writer, editor, and educator born on Treaty 3 (Fort Frances, ON), raised on Treaty 6 (Prince Albert, SK), and currently living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, colonially known as Vancouver.

She is the former poetry editor of PRISM international and the former publisher of Room. Her work has appeared in many journals including CV2, The Malahat Review, SubTerrain, The Puritan, Grain, Quill & Quire, Asparagus, and The Tyee.

Molly’s poetry chapbook is I Don’t Want to Tell You (Rahila’s Ghost Press, 2018) and her debut full-length book of poetry is Exhibitionist (Coach House Books, 2021), which was shortlisted for the ReLit Award for Poetry. Her poem “First Contact: Métis” was shortlisted for a 2022 National Magazine.

Drop-in Consultations 

In person one-on-one consultation sessions are available with the Indigenous Artists and Writers-in-Residence at the Indigenous Gathering Place, KPU Surrey, Main 166.

Please register for a timeslot in advance here

Hey Viola! DJ night invitation for students

Looking to unwind after your exams? See nationwide hit musical Hey Viola! and stay for post-show drinks with an exciting DJ set featuring Amapiano, Afrobeats, Afropop in our cozy lobby. Join us at Gateway Theatre for a fun and entertaining night for only $15!

Event Details

Date: Thursday April 20, 2023

Show time: 7:30PM

DJ set time: 9:00PM

Location: Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond V7C 3V4

Exclusive student price: $15

Use promo code HVDJ at https://www.gatewaytheatre.com/events/hey-viola/

About Hey Viola!

A nationwide hit, Hey Viola! is a musical celebration of Canadian civil rights hero Viola Desmond– the fearless woman on Canada’s $10 bill. Featuring hot jazz, gospel, and traditional spirituals of the era, Hey Viola! is a compelling musical that speaks to all. Award-winning singer and actor Krystle Dos Santos, with the support of fantastic musicians, brings the life of Viola Desmond to the stage. Follow Viola’s extraordinary journey through the life and events that shaped her to stand up against systemic racial injustices in Canada – including refusing to leave the whites-only section of Nova Scotia’s Roseland Cinema in 1946.


DEADLINE:March 24th 2023

Neechee Studio is currently accepting artwork submissions for the Neechee Studio 10 Year Anniversary Exhibition
Neechee Studio’s 10th Anniversary Exhibition will be taking place this summer; hosted at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. Submissions are open to Indigenous youth ages 14 to 29 
We are looking for all types of artwork including, but not limited to: painting, drawing, beading, illustration, collage and more. Applicants at any stage of their artistic journey are welcome to apply. All submissions will be juried for the final exhibition.
Artists can submit up to 3 original artworks that have been created in the last ten years, for consideration. Please note all works may not be accepted.
Each submission must include 1-3 images of the works. (accommodation for poetry, written word, ect will be made. Please specify in your email if you are submitting written work.)
Artists at any stage of their artistic journey are welcome to apply.
HOW TO APPLY:Request form by email:neecheestudio@gmail.com

End of Semester Celebration 

Wrap up the term with a celebration of Indigenous excellence in the arts!

Join us for lunch, special performances, Artist talk with Brandon Gabriel, and showcase by the Indigenous Artists, Á’a:líya Warbus and Brandon Gabriel, and Indigenous Writers-in-Residence Brandi Bird and Molly Cross-Blanchard. All students, faculty, staff, and guests are welcome to attend. 

Artist Talk with Brandon Gabriel: A Visual Chronicle

Indigenous Artist-In-Residence, and Kwantlen First Nation Artist Brandon Gabriel discusses and shows selected works that span nearly three decades of works. Which, include paintings, graphic design, mixed media sculpture, and wood carving. Brandon will discuss growing up in the Kwantlen First Nation community in Langley, his time as a KPU student, and his career as an artist, right to the IAIR mural project in collaboration with KDocs Film Festival, and Oakland-based artists Pancho Pescador and Desi Mundo. Q&A session will follow the presentation. 

March 22, 2023 

12:00pm – 3:00pm 

KPU Surrey, Conference Centre 

RSVP now

Trans Day of Visibility

Join the KPU Pride Advocacy Group’s celebration of Trans Day of Visibility (a few days early) as we welcome KPU Indigenous Artist-in Residence Á’a:líya Warbus (Stó:lō) and Knowledge Keeper and Elder-in-Training Saylesh Wesley (Coast Salish and Tsimshian) to KPU for a special event.

We will first present Á’a:líya’s short, unreleased documentary Slhá:lí/Woman, completed in partial fulfillment of her 2022 MFA in Film Production at UBC, which witnesses Saylesh’s Sqwélqwel/story as a trans/”twin-spirited” woman who broke ground to confront and reshape understandings of gender in her Stó:lō community.

Then we will invite Á’a:líya and Saylesh into conversation with the audience about their experiences, both of making the film and living its story. This event will be held in-person.

Registration is requested to help estimate refreshment orders, ensure accessibility for all, and invite questions for discussion.

Date: Monday, March 20, 2023

Time: 1:15pm – 3:00pm

Location: KPU Surrey, Gathering Place (Main 166)

VIRTUAL EVENT – Emotions and Saving the Planet


An Existential Toolkit for the Climate Movement

We already have the technological, scientific, and economic tools to address the climate crisis, but what are the emotional resources we need to put those tools into action? How can we bring our best selves to the long haul of climate justice work, in the face of so much degradation and suffering?

Bringing together social movement theory, environmental justice, climate psychology, and mindfulness, Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray will explore these questions, drawing on her book, A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet. If we think of the heart and mind as climate technologies more radical and important than solar panels or electric vehicles, then we will need to learn tools to better enlist them for personal and planetary healing.


11-12.15pm Keynote

12.15-1pm Facilitated dialogue with Dr. Ray

Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray works at the intersection of social justice and climate emotions. An environmental humanist with a BA in Religious Studies, an MA in American Studies, and a PhD in Environmental Sciences, Studies and Policy, Dr. Ray draws on an eclectic range of disciplines and epistemologies in service of climate justice.

She is the author of two books, The Ecological Other: Environmental Exclusion in American Culture (Arizona, 2013), on the logic and affects of social control in environmental thought, and A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet (California, 2020), an existential toolkit for the climate generation.

Dr. Ray is co-hosting a conference in April 2023 on “Climate, Justice, and the Politics of Emotion” at UC Riverside, co-leads an international network working to develop “An Existential Toolkit for Climate Justice Educators,” and co-edited a book by the same name, which is coming out next year. Ray offers a professional development workshop to help center emotions in climate work, called the Climate Wisdom Lab, and is a certified mindfulness teacher through the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center.

Dr. Ray has published on emotions and climate justice in the LA TimesScientific AmericanThe Cairo Review of Global AffairsEdge EffectsKCET, and Zocalo Public Square.

Event organized by the Sustainability Hub, SDSN Canada, and Student Health and Wellbeing. This event is part of SDG Week Canada. Find more events happening across Canada here.

ACP Indigenous Reading Circle Invites You to Join

The ACP Indigenous Reading Circle is inviting you to join in the discussion of the upcoming book, Five Little Indians written by Michelle Good.  We are a small group that endeavor to appreciate the writings of Indigenous authors, and we hold space for informal discussions.  We welcome you to the circle.  If you would like to join the discussion, please email acpdeansoffice@kpu.ca to receive an invitation.

When:  March 31, 2-3pm (Online with Teams).

Coastal Dance Festival, March 2 – 5, 2023

The Dancers of Damelahamid produce the annual Coastal Dance Festival (CDF), in partnership with The Anvil Centre in New Westminster and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. The Festival is a celebration of the stories, songs and dances of the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast with guest national and international artists.The 16th annual festival brings Indigenous artists together to share and support one another in a celebration of lived artistic practices. Guest national and international artists have connected the festival with a global community of Indigenous dance.More info: damelahamid.ca

Photo credit: Vern Bahti Minard


ARTIST SHARING: Embodying Ancestral Lands
6:30pm, doors open at 6:15pm | FreeSIGNATURE EVENING PERFORMANCES
8:00pm, doors open at 7:30pm | Tickets: ticketsnw.ca
–Welcome to territory
–Jessica McMann
–Wagana Aboriginal Dancers
–Rosie Te Rauawhea Belvie

FRIDAY, March 3

ARTIST SHARING: Language as an Embodied Practice
6:30pm, doors open at 6:15pm | FreeSIGNATURE EVENING PERFORMANCES
8:00pm, doors open at 7:30pm | Tickets: ticketsnw.ca
–Welcome to territory
–Spakwus Slolem
–Dancers of Damelahamid
–Rainbow Creek


1:00pm | By donation
–Chesha7 iy lha mens
–Dakhká Khwáan
–Adam Daigneault
–Git Hoan
–Wagana Aboriginal Dancers

SUNDAY, March 5

1:00pm | By donation
–Xwelmexw Shxwexwo:s
–Dakhká Khwáan
–Dancers of Damelahamid
–Rosie Te Rauawhea Belvie
–Git Hayetsk
–Chinook Song Catchers
Toyaxsii hla gyethl yip tuun qəyqəyt (Qayqayt), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), q̓ʷainƛ̓ən (Kwantlen), q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie), wint ‘nii anook’t diit nuum lax yip diit.ASL interpretation will be provided for all performances and Artist Sharings.