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The gala award and opening event also presented a memorial reel for Gordon Tootoosis who passed away July 5, 2011.

Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival (VIMAF) is an Aboriginal-run media arts organization rebuilding the West Coast’s film, video and media arts festival.  The organization endeavours to develop a crucial piece of infrastructure that has been missing from the Aboriginal cultural sector, as well as British Columbia’s creative industries, since the collapse of IMAGeNation Film Festival in 2006.

VIMAF’s goal is to screen film and media arts from across Turtle Island from emerging and established media makers to a broad based audience. With Vancouver as a major film industry hub, and while there are educational institutions graduating Indigenous filmmakers locally, there is a gap in professional links to advance emerging filmmaker and media artists career advancement. This is especially crucial for artists who are marginalized and may face racism and a lack of professional connections in this competitive marketplace.  

In partnership with W2 Community Media Arts Society, VIMAF delivered the inaugural festival from November 10-13, 2011 at the historic Woodward’s complex in downtown Vancouver.  VIMAF is a multi-venue, digital storytelling & live culture festival that includes performances and panels for all people to celebrate and enjoy Indigenous culture. Vancouver’s only Aboriginal media arts festival, VIMAF features works in shorts, experimental, documentaries, video art, animation, as well as feature length films.

The inaugural year received no public funding and was largely a grassroots effort, but did have major institutional supports from W2,Simon Fraser University (SFU), National Film Board (NFB) Pacific Region.

The festival included a series of screenings as well as professional development workshop, gala awards event, and family events. The inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to New York-based Cree photographer Ernie Paniccioli. The gala award and opening event also presented a memorial reel for Gordon Tootoosis who passed away July 5, 2011. Special guest speakers represented both industry legends and pioneers as well as innovative up-and-comers. More than 20 guest filmmakers were in attendance including Tantoo Cardinal, Loretta Todd, Andrea Mendard, Odessa Shuquaya, Doreen Manuel, Dana Claxton, Cowboy Smithx, Justin Rain, Lisa Jackson, Stephen Gladue, Jay Cardinal-Villaneuve, and others. Many artists presented media arts installations and performances including  DJ Deano, Csetkwe, Bracken Hanuse- Corlett, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Adrienne Greyeyes, Jennifer Chong, Ostwelve. 

The inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to New York-based Cree photographer Ernie Paniccioli. The gala award and opening event also presented a memorial reel for Gordon Tootoosis who passed away July 5, 2011. Special guest speakers represented both industry legends and pioneers as well as innovative up-and-comers. 

The festival included a series of screenings as well as:

  • professional development workshops

  • gala awards event

  • and family events. 

More than 20 guest filmmakers were in attendance including Tantoo Cardinal, Loretta Todd, Andrea Menard, Odessa Shuquaya, Doreen Manuel, Dana Claxton, Cowboy Smithx, Justin Rain, Lisa Jackson, Stephen Gladue, Jay Cardinal-Villaneuve, and others. Many artists presented media arts installations and performances including  DJ Deano, Csetkwe, Bracken Hanuse- Corlett, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Adrienne Greyeyes, Jennifer Chong, Ostwelve.

Major new releases were presented, including numerous Western Canadian premieres.   

VIMAF promo poster

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