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About Qwelxana

VICTORIA BAPTISTE ~ BIOGRAPHY

Victoria is an award-wining interdisciplinary artist focusing on the use of media and new media arts for Indigenous knowledge. Victoria’s personal or contracted projects provide First Nations perspectives, voices or content through a variety of mediums combining digital video and photography with interactive media, website design, smart phones and/ or computer graphics.

In February 2015, Victoria won an award for Aboriginal Arts Excellence by the Penticton Arts Council at Penticton, BC’s Annual Arts & Awards Gala. In June 2014, Victoria was named One of the Okanagan Nation’s “Community Champions” at the Okanagan Nation "Syilx Women’s Awards" for her work as an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper and new media artist and 2001 Victoria won an award for “Aboriginal Imagery” from CHBC (Global) TV. To date, Victoria produced and directed over 35 short films and documentaries and has been screened throughout British Columbia interior, Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON.

She is graduate from the Centre for Arts and Technology's Digital Video program and En'owkin Centre's NAPAT program, was a juror for the Canadian National Video arts competition "Racism, Stop It" campaign, has been screened and exhibited at the 2004 ImageNation Media Arts Festival in Vancouver, BC and was an invited Panelist at the 2012 Imaginative Film and Media Arts Festival in Toronto, ON. During her time in Toronto, she made connections with a Chilean Film Team & has been working on an international co-production (in development).

Tori mentored more than 500 Indigenous youth and adult learners in digital video production at youth conferences and community delivery based projects. She was a mentor for adult students of the En'owkin Centre's National Aboriginal Professional Artist Training program from 2007 until 2013 with several final projects going on to win awards of their own.

Victoria worked on three feature films including with casting agency Cossey/ Aikens in Twilight: New Moon as a camera operator, Flicka 3 and A Daughter's Nightmare and the TV Show “The Amazing Race Canada”. She has done pilot projects for TLC and is currently in post-production for a short for National Geographic's "Animal Planet".

Her photography has been featured in the national publication “Traditional Foods Fact Sheet” which is currently in its second print. Her work has been on display at galleries, featured in Aboriginal organizations within the interior and has been exhibited in Kelowna and Vancouver. Using her photography and interactive media skills in 2007/8 she created nsyilxcen language lessons using HTML, CSS, Cold Fusion, her photography, computer graphics and audio recordings (in addition to writing many of the articles and most of the web codes) for the www.okanaganfirstpeoples.ca website.

As an Indigenous Arts Curator and as the Artistic Director for ULLUS Collective, Victoria aids in the identification of Indigenous Arts from the BC Interior. Two of her recent exhibits have been positively received by both Native and Non-Native audiences and media. “A Long Journey Home: Life After Residential Schools”, an exhibition about the impacts of residential school on the Aboriginal communities, is based on the experiences of the Syilx people. This exhibition was curated by the Penticton Museum and Archives and Coordinated by Associate Producer, Victoria Baptiste with works from several Okanagan artists. Her second Visual Arts + Media exhibit "k'wansxismentem i? sck'lq'aq't'tet - Showing Our Artwork" Syilx Art and Artist Exhibition identified Indigenous arts forms, practices and artists of the Aboriginal community of the BC Interior. "k'wansxismentem i? sck'lq'aq't'tet - Showing Our Artwork" featured the works of Mariel Belanger, Levi George, Phyllis Issac, Robyn Kruger, Sheldon Louis, Cecelia Louis Ralston & En’owkin Centre Archives.

"We don't write songs, paint pictures, or carve because it's THE thing to do – we do it because our hearts guide our pens, brushes and keyboards! We do it because it's a part of our soul and our soul's need to speak!" Victoria Baptiste, May 2012.