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Press Release: Retail Award Winners

April 17, 2014: For Immediate Release

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre selected for Retail Award by Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia at the International Aboriginal Tourism Conference

Also appointed a founding partner of the Authentic Indigenous Arts Resurgence Campaign

Tweet: @SLCCWhistler wins Aboriginal Retail Store Award for supporting First Nation’s Artists through business practices that focus on Authenticity

Whistler B.C: The retail team at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre(SLCC) proudly accepted Aboriginal Tourism B.C’s Retail Company of the Year award for their ongoing work to support First Nations artists and cultural revitalization activities.

The Gallery & Gift Shop in the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre provides guests with a unique shopping experience that offers a wide selection of authentic handcrafted Northwest Coast First Nations merchandise, most of which is exclusive to the Whistler retail market. Over the six years that the Centre has been operating it has worked very closely with artists to ensure their work is highlighted and the promoted through various channels such as – shop.slcc.ca . The consignment program, made up of a range of competitively priced products also ensures that artists receive the majority of the revenue from each sale. The SLCC also works very closely with our staff to ensure that everyone is equipped with the knowledge and support needed to give guests to the SLCC a comprehensive experience.

“At the heart of our Gallery & Gift Shop are the relationships that we have developed and nurtured with the many First Nation artists whom we represent. We are proud of the success our artists have achieved while gaining exposure to the international clientele that visit Whistler and the SLCC. Our guests can enjoy shopping in a beautiful and inviting environment where they can be sure of purchasing authentic merchandise and art while developing a deeper connection to the artist,” said Kimberley Stanger Retail Manager at the SLCC.

Also launched at the Aboriginal Awards was the Authentic Indigenous Arts Resurgence Campaign (The “ARC”) by Aboriginal Tourism B.C. ARC is an effort to better support First Nations Artists by creating a campaign and program that engages artists, suppliers, wholesalers, manufactures and retailers to work together to ensure the artist’s work is properly represented throughout the entire supply chain, resulting in authentic products for consumers. The program is a certification program aimed at providing consumers with the information they need to make decisions on purchases made in the Aboriginal art market.

As the source of Aboriginal artwork, or Aboriginal design, this program ensures the artist is always at the heart of the process. Artists become members of the ARC through an application and review process.

The ARC uses a three-tier process to certify Aboriginal artworks and those products carrying Aboriginal designs. The three certification-levels help consumers make their decisions by rating the value and impact of their purchases. Each level ensures that an Aboriginal artist is the source of the original design, has given full approval of the final product, and has been fairly compensated. It also helps to safeguard the customers’ investment in Aboriginal artwork.

“The ARC campaign is designed to provide unprecedented control over our artwork, while promoting greater awareness of the incredible diversity of Indigenous artistic traditions throughout BC. We graciously thank our partners such as SLCC for their support; these partnerships are instrumental in developing a vibrant and fair Indigenous art market in BC,” states Shane Jackson ARC program manager.

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre has been asked to be a founding retail partner in the program and has eagerly accepted the offer. Supporting artists, through sustainable business practices has always been a core mandate of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. The Centre has very close relationships with their artists, and offers a 75%/25% split on all consignment art, buys items directly from artists, works with suppliers who properly represent artists and who will also be a part of the campaign and offers artists exposure to a global marketplace through shop.slcc.ca. The Centre is also working directly with artists to help them sign up for the campaign to ensure the artist is properly represented.

Kimberley Stanger goes on to say; “We are grateful that ATBC is championing this worthwhile and long overdue cause to bring truth to the Aboriginal retail market. Consumers and retailers alike can look to this program for guidance when making decisions on purchasing First Nation art and merchandise

About The Authentic Indigenous Arts Resurgence Campaign

The Authentic Indiginous Artisan Program is a multi-tiered system designed to provide the widest scope of protection of our art while ensuring total inclusion to the array of Aboriginal people working within the Aboriginal art and craft industry.

The program intends to redirect millions of dollars of much needed funds back to First Nations people and communities, while protecting the integrity of their artworks and therefore their culture.
www.authenticindigenous.com

About the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
The SLCC is a three-storey, 30,400-square foot complex located on 1.76 hectares (4.35 acre) of forested land near Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in the Upper Village area of Whistler. The SLCC has established itself as a trademark Aboriginal Cultural Centre in British Columbia and has garnered significant media exposure and awards since its opening in the summer of 2008. The SLCC has helped significantly raise the awareness of local aboriginal cultures and has created meaningful employment opportunities for members of the First Nations’ communities. Through the work at the SLCC, and the representation of local First Nations’ peoples, cultural traditions have seen a revival. The SLCC continues to build upon its mission to inspire and educate guests about the depth and beauty of the distinct Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Lil’wat7ul (Lil’wat) cultures.

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Images available for download at:

www.slcc.ca/media-resources/

Gwen Baudisch
Manager, Sales & Marketing
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

where rivers, mountains and people meet

T. 604-964-0997
C. 604-967-1362
E. gwen.baudisch@slcc.ca
www.slcc.ca shop.slcc.ca

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