The program ‘Opening Doors’ featuring Aboriginal door carving is opening doors to a new generation of young Aboriginal artists embracing the culture and storytelling nature of traditional BC Aboriginal art.

On October 5, FPInnovations and Emily Carr University of Art + Design hosted a gala for the celebration of Opening Doors – an exhibition of Aboriginal door carving.

The project originated from the Aboriginal Program at FPInnovations, in partnership with Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the University of British Columbia-Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, and the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. It aims to promote the artistry and design of traditional Northwest Coast art through a unique educational program, embracing the culture and storytelling nature of traditional BC Aboriginal art, as well as the promotion of Aboriginal coastal communities and their unique artistic talents.

The project furnished young Aboriginal artists from BC communities with resources and free mentorship/training to create unique hand-carved western red and yellow cedar doors. The participants own the completed cedar door panels and retain complete intellectual property on their designs. With the consent of the artists, some of these unique art pieces may become part of a high-end line, including limited edition reproduction doors produced digitally with a computerized numerical control machine.

Opening Doors provides a niche market and income to the young Aboriginal artists. Beyond the economic impact, the program also exemplifies the potential of accelerating innovation and enabling partnerships among colleges and universities, Aboriginals, governments and Industry.