With there being more than two dozen advertising billboards scattered throughout Brandon alongside some of the city’s busiest streets, it’s no doubt no small task to create new messaging that gets noticed by folks going about their daily walk, drive or cycle.
An installation just East of 18th Street and Richmond Avenue on a sign on the Keystone Centre grounds has done just that since early October, piquing the interest and curiosity of passers-by for its unique artwork and messaging in Cree syllabics.
Via a recent posting on the Brandon Tourism website, the billboard is the work of Brandon University Student Carly Morrisseau as part of the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and the Public Art Mentorship Program- A program supporting the artistic leadership and voices of local Indigenous youth in Brandon and Southwestern Manitoba. The messaging of nitayānān kīyāpic ōta translates to the phrase “We’re Still Here,” in reference to the presence of Indigenous people in Canada and how much Indigenous people have to offer.
A closer look at the billboard that's currently on display
Morrisseau’s work is scheduled to display until November 17, at which point a second work by artist Jessie Jannuska titled “Nibi - My cup is full, please take a sip” will be installed in its place. The latter is in reference to Indigenous water rights in the country as well as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
More information on the art display and Emerging Artists Project can be learned at https://agsm.ca/nitayānān-kīyāpic-ōta-we’re-still-here