Moose Cree First Nation
Growing up about 200 miles northeast of Thunder Bay, I studied Radio, TV and Theatre Arts at Confederation College in Thunder Bay and continued my journey at Concordia University in Montreal studying Fine Arts and Theatre Scenography. I became involved with the Association for Native Development in the Visual and Performing Arts (ANVPA) working on summer theatre tours and festivals in Toronto in the late 70’s. At that time it was an arts organisation spearheaded by James (Jim) Buller. These were heady times as many well-known actors, musicians, talented aboriginal peoples, came through those doors – Tomson Highway, Gary Farmer, Graham Greene, Diane Mitchell, Shirley Cheechoo, Mary Ann Fox, Denis Lacroix to name a few. I entered the film/tv industry as a Production Assistant working in many capacities and gradually working my way up to where I am today as a Production Designer. I have been a member of the Executive Board of the National Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), and have served on the Board for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) from 2003 – 2017. I’ve now been in this industry for over 30 years and still enjoy the adventure of working with new people on new projects and believe that there are many talented indigenous women out there looking for a way in. An art department is like a business charged with developing a cohesive look to any project. The art department on any film or television production will hire set designers, decorators, props people, painters, builders, graphics people, landscapers, coordinators, clearance people….Not everyone has to have a “degree”. Those who love to craft, paint, draw, build can be taught the skills needed to succeed in this business. Those who love numbers, are computer savvy can also have these same opportunities. It is those transferable skills that can be key to their success. I love what I do, and encourage those wondering if this is something for them to dive in! Take that chance. Not everyone aspires to be a director, writer or producer…but, every film, tv story needs visuals to help support the narrative…and it is to those I wish to acknowledge that there is a place for you.