Cultural Medallion and Pin

We are excited to announce the winning artists of our cultural medallion and pin contests:

  • Kim Coppard – Cultural Medallion
  • Sonia Burke-Smith – Cultural Pin

The pin design had to be inspired by the diversity of cultures of the region, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, while the concept design for the cultural medallion had to reflect Wood Buffalo’s rich Indigenous heritage and the Medicine Wheel, which symbolizes equity and the cycle of life in the natural world.

The winning designs will be unveiled at a later date. 

Meet the artists!

Kim was born and raised in Fort McMurray. She is Dene and a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.  Kim developed her passion for beading shortly after the 2016 wildfires. The self-taught artisan started to use beading to relieve stress from losing her house in the fire. She continued to hone her craft by exploring new techniques and methods of the traditional Dene way using local natural mediums, such as home tan moose hides, birch bark, fish scales and moose/caribou tufting. Kim also likes to make pieces that are traditional but also for everyday casual wear while keeping up with fashion trends.  She recently started her own Facebook page “Bebi Gah Creations” where she showcases pieces.

Sonia found a passion for art later in life, it was the craft that helped her rebuild after a series of life altering events. She used drawing to help her through this time and that’s when she was discovered by the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Sonia joined their team with a program called Learning Through the Arts. It combined Indigenous traditional knowledge, working with Elders and core curriculum together with art to teach at risk youth. It was there she really started to study Indigenous traditions and stories and incorporating it into her artwork.

Sonia has won numerous awards for her art and has shown her work locally and nationally. She is currently getting ready to make the leap to international shows.

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