Snow Bear is helping Indigenous artists earn a bit more while many people are facing challenges with the cost of living. Artist Mélanie Villeneuve of Vankleek Hill, also known as Snow Bear, has Ojibwe/Métis ancestry and is selling her work, and the work of three other Indigenous artists and one other Métis artist. The sale is called Snow Bear’s Corner: Kindness Market and is being featured at various community events and artisan fairs around the region.
The artists are Dave Charette of Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island who lives in Ottawa, Chelsea Brosseau of Akwesasne, Charlene Tolley of Kitigan Zibi near Maniwaki, and Tion Twog-Ki who is Mohawk/Métis.
Villeneuve said the idea for the market is to help the artists meet their expenses, especially when prices are so high due to inflation. A fundraising jar is also at each booth to help raise money for a soup and Bannock meal during the holiday season in one of the artists’ home communities. Villeneuve described Snow Bear’s Corner: Kindness Market as a pilot project to help Indigenous artists eat while facing high prices for food.
“I like to take action and have a direct impact,” she remarked.
Villeneuve also described the art sale as an effort at reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Snow Bear’s Corner: Kindness Market made its debut on November 11 at the Creating Centre in Vankleek Hill. It will be at the Christmas Market at Église St-Pierre-Apôtre church in Hawkesbury on November 18, and at the Arbor Gallery in Vankleek Hill on December 9.