Our focus is to present Indigenous voices, which collectively become Zakide’s voice within the larger arts milieu. There are obvious ways moving forward for cross-cultural collaboration but Zakide will always retain an Indigenous perspective no matter the content we present. As Zakide is still a relatively new initiative we will keep our options open and refine actions over time as events occur and feedback is gained from our peers.
The Zakide Collective is a group of like-minded Indigenous multi-artists and curators working in arts research and community activation.
The use of the Ojibwe word “Zakide” (It catches fire) is both in respect for the Aboriginal territory that we inhabit, but also the excitement towards the events that we are planning. This collective/group has been created to explore Indigenous programming free of any existing institutions as it may become the first Indigenous-specific Artist-Run Centre to exist in Ontario. Currently we are being realistic about our path, which is why we have adopted the all-encompassing mandate:
“To advance the public’s appreciation of contemporary Indigenous art by producing public art exhibitions and presentations, and by providing a forum for qualified Indigenous artists to exhibit, present, or perform their artistic works through participation in such events.”
This mandate does not define parameters making opportunities available for artists from across Canada as well as opportunities for events to take place both locally and nationally when possible. Our focus will is to create an Indigenous voice for the contemporary arts in Ontario. There are obvious ways for cross-cultural collaboration, but Zakide will always remain within the Indigenous perspective no matter the content of our shows. Over the past three years different Indigenous Artists directly connected to Zakide have been conducting small multi-arts projects as a way of testing the waters and building interest in the formation of Zakide. Currently Zakide remains an ad-hoc group and loose collective of artists from across Ontario and Canada but as we move forward we will be looking at formalizing in many ways while keeping our options open and refining our actions over time, seeking feedback from our peers.