People of the Dawn – Alan Syliboy

2010 Finalist

Creator: Alan Syliboy
Nominator: Dee Appleby

Allan Syliboy’s 30-metre long mural People of the Dawn was commissioned by the Vancouver Olympic Committee for permanent display at the new Trout Lake Community Centre in Vancouver. Drawing on the artist’s repertoire of images inspired by traditional Mi’kmaq petroglyphs, this vibrant work has a bicoastal address and culturally specific symbolism that is enhanced by the clarity and scale of the twelve-panel design.  Painted large in saturated pigment, Syliboy’s graphic images propel the ancient narratives of land and sea as if through space and time. The work represents a visual culmination of Syliboy’s lifelong exploration of Mi’kmaq culture, and it is particularly fitting that this East Coast artistic expression finds a permanent home in a West Coast Centre that includes so many First Nations communities.

Brief bio: Alan Syliboy is a well-known Mi’kmaq artist based in Milbrook First Nation near Truro, Nova Scotia. He studied privately with Maliseet artist Shirley Bear and then attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad, has had a number of commissions  for art installations, designed a coin for the Canadian Mint, illustrated books, sat on art juries and taught a number of workshops and courses. His work is represented in private, corporate and public art collections.