Banner image

Press Releases

Mis en ligne 23-07-17

July 20th at La Guilde Opening of the exhibition There are Spirits in the Forest by Alan Syliboy

Montreal, July 17th, 2023. The 33rd Internationa First Peoples Festival, in partnership with La Guilde, is proud to announce the opening of There are Spirits in the Forest by Mi’kmaw artist, musician, filmmaker, and book illustrator Alan Syliboy.

Alan Syliboy uses the simplicity of the line, the vibrance of the colours, and the themes he explores to highlight that Indigenous art is distinct and varied. The unique visual language he creates is inspired by the Indigenous petroglyph tradition and ancient Mi’kmaw engravings on naturally polished slate found by the water. When talking about his practice, the artist says: “My work lives in the moment but is profoundly influenced by the past; this gives me my bearings as an artist and as a human being. My ancestors have provided me with a spiritual global navigation system, and I like to believe that what I do helps to keep the spirits evolving.”

Through his search for identity, he creates a world that celebrates Mi’kmaw narratives. Making art becomes a tool that he uses to organize chaos. He says, “[ … ] sometimes within the chaos of making a painting, a symbol in the shape of a moose or a caribou will walk through my consciousness, in a form that resembles an ancient petroglyph”. Their spirits are thus brought back to our consciousness as the artist integrates them in his practice. By recalling those early forms of communication, Alan Syliboy draws upon ancestral knowledge, making evident his belief that the earth holds memories of the spirits that reside on it. The artist has devoted himself to exploring the aesthetics and imagery evoking his culture. Through his paintings, he can put the results of his research into visual form. Art is his way of making things live on.

To attend the opening :

The festival takes place in Montreal from August 8th to 17th, 2023.

About the First Peoples’ Festival :
A flagship event for the artistic creation and cultural renaissance of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and the world. A place for creation, encounters and discoveries, this multidisciplinary event unfolds over ten days in August. The Place des Festivals, with its giant tipi, becomes the beating heart of an intense artistic activity that radiates throughout the city. First Peoples’ cinema is in the spotlight, memorable concerts get the crowds going, and living Aboriginal art is presented in a wide variety of forms and expressions.

For information and interviews: IXION Communications, 514 495-8176,

Become a







a donation

Send a donation
Contact Us