Film Screening – Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket

Date posted: September 5, 2019

Sunday, September 22 at 7 pm – Free Event

The Belfry extends our gratitude to the Lekwungen speaking peoples; Esquimalt and Songhees Nations and also the WSÁNEĆ Nations for the honour of living and working on their traditional territory. Our pledge is to honor responsibility to this land which has been in their care for millennia.

Belfry Theatre
1291 Gladstone Avenue at Fernwood Road, Victoria, BC

In an attempt to honour the more than 150,000 victims of the Canadian residential-school system, including his own father, artist Carey Newman embarks on a long journey to create the Witness Blanket. This large-scale art installation, inspired by the woven blanket’s symbolization of protection in Indigenous cultures, features hundreds of artifacts gathered from former residential school sites, churches, government buildings and other affiliated structures.

Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket follows Newman and his team as they travel across Canada to meet survivors and collect these pieces of history. Through these survivors’ testimonies, the documentary offers a crucial account of the atrocities committed in government-funded, church-run schools—and the lasting effects those acts have had on Indigenous communities.

Carey Newman or Hayalthkin’geme is a multi-disciplinary artist and master carver. Through his father he is Kwakwak’awakw from the Kukwekum, Giiksam, and WaWalaby’ie clans of Fort Rupert, and Coast Salish from Cheam of the Sto:lo Nation along the upper Fraser Valley. Through his mother he is English, Irish, and Scottish.  He was recently appointed as the Audain Professor of Contemporary Art Practice of the Pacific Northwest at the University of Victoria.  He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 2017 and named to the Order of British Columbia in 2018

Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket
Directors: Cody Graham, Carey Newman
Running Time: 55 mins
Classification: PG – Coarse & sexual language; theme of child abuse

This is a free event and everyone is welcome.