Calendar art worth sharing

This time of year there is every likelihood that you will become the recipient of a calendar for the New Year ahead. Perhaps the recipient of several.  Perhaps the collection has already begun at your house, as it has at ours.

One calendar holds pride of place at our house, and hopefully a new one for 2023 will arrive in our metaphorical Christmas stockings (aka FedEx). This particular very special calendar features a collection of pics of our grandkids for every month, taken throughout the year. Needless to say, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Here’s the February 2022 offering, our grandkids (and one son who snuck in) enjoying winter.  Cal-Family

More charitable organizations seem to be sending calendars to their donors, which for me is a positive step away from those address labels and Christmas cards we never asked for, never use, and don’t appreciate them using their money on. I have drawers full of them.  One such calendar that arrived last week is special enough that I decided I needed to share it. It’s sent by a Canadian charitable organization called Indspire, to thank its donors and share its successes throughout the past year.

From its own mission statement:

Indspire is a national Indigenous registered charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long-term benefit of them, their families and communities, and Canada. Our north star is that within a generation, every Indigenous student will graduate.

Our vision is to enrich Canada through Indigenous education and by inspiring achievement. In partnership with Indigenous, private and public sector stakeholders, Indspire educates, connects and invests in First Nations, Inuit and Métis people so they will achieve their highest potential.

The very good news is that this charity is rated as one of the most accountable of all charities in Canada insofar as using donated money to serve their student clients directly instead of for an excess of administrative costs. (Charity ratings make for some interesting reading, if you’re ever wondering how your donation dollars are spent.) And Indspire’s yearend calendar report tells us that they

helped give bursaries and scholarships to 6,612 indigenous students across the country. Among those students are 895 future STEM professionals, 1,160 doctors and nurses of tomorrow, 1,127 aspiring social workers and counsellors, 214 students studying law, and 639 future teachers and educators.

And, as well, supporting students studying fine arts. This calendar features artwork by 12 different indigenous students and former students who were aided by the Indspire program, each with a story to tell about how their own careers are unfolding and also with the story they tell through their art. Unfortunately, my camera (aka iPhone) doesn’t capture the full vibrancy of the colours; hopefully they still capture the spirit and the cultural rootedness. I’ve chosen 6 of the 12 months to share … this time. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.

February. Waawaashkeshi, by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley. Joshua is an Objibwe woodland artist. Cal-February

March. Youth, by Emily Kewageshig. Emily is an Anishinaabe artist from Saugeen First Nation. Although it’s called ‘Youth’, it also seems especially appropriate for International Women’s Day on March 8. Cal-March

August. Diggin’ Roots and Stripping Cedar, by Levi Nelson. Levi is an artist from British Columbia. He received his BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, where he received the award for Excellence in the Visual Arts. Cal-August

September. Every Child Matters, by Alanah Astehtsi Otsistohkwa (Morningstar) Jewell. This work is particularly appropriate to represent September, since the last week of the month is Truth and Reconciliation Week, culminating in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) on Sept 30.  Cal-Sept

November. Nanabijou, by Shelby Gagnon. Shelby is an Anishinaabe, Muskego Cree, Saulteaux artist from Aroland Fiirst Nation. She includes a significant observation in her accompanying commentary:

The land is a gift, we must treat it with respect, gratitude, and reciprocity. My creations are an interpersonal glimpse of my relationship with the land and the teachings I have received. Learning my true roots is a continuous process of growth and understanding. … Everything is interconnected and we as people need to acknowledge and live in balance with creation. 


December. Labradorite, by Jason Sikoak. Jason Sikoak is a practising artist from Nunatsivut (in Labrador), currently based in Montreal.Cal-December

I hope you enjoyed these images as much as I did, especially if you are able to imagine them as being more vivid in colour.

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27 Responses to Calendar art worth sharing

  1. Thanks for sharing, especially the Indigenous charity and artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderfully creative images with powerful messages. September & November hit the spot for me. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Rimmer says:

    I quite agree, Jane, about the gorgeous Indspire calendar, and I’d like add that Indspire’s cards are also unlike the usual run of mass-produced charity freebies. The cards are also produced by artists who have received bursaries from Indspire: I save them and use them for special people, while most of the others go straight into recycling!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wynne Leon says:

    Wow – that is stunning! I especially like August and December. Thank you so much for sharing this great organization and their inspirational (and accountable) work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Deb says:

    The indigenous art calendar is wonderful. Wynne and I live in the same vicinity with a large indigenous cultural tradition. I’ve not heard of anything like this locally but I would support it for sure. On another note- I am expecting once again my 2023 grandkid calendar soon. Love them!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful, beautiful! I especially love February’s. And the pictures of your family are so dear. No wonder you are hoping to get one for 2023.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The images are spectacular! We too received a calendar of our granddaughter Ellie during her first year of life last Christmas. It’s an amazing keepsake and I hope for many more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rose says:

    Family calendars are the best! I hope you get another for Christmas! I haven’t created or received one in awhile. Maybe that’s a project to pursue next year. The Indspire calendar looks gorgeous and the messages are so powerfully inspiring. Thank-you for bringing things to my attention that Canada has, that I have yet to find in the USA in support of First Nation culture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Yes, creating a family calendar would bring as much satisfaction as receiving one. Nice thought, Rose. Canadians definitely have more awareness of Indigenous issues since our Truth and Reconciliation Commission several years ago, and the recommendations are slowly being implemented, but it’s baby steps. At least they’re baby steps in the right direction.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the pics of your family, Jane. Thanks for sharing them. September is my favorite of the indigenous artists — it contains a wonderful message, of course. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  10. heimdalco says:

    Thank you for sharing the special February calendar page that features your lovely family.

    I love the idea of calendars with a purpose / meaning & the photos you shared from Indspire are amazing & meaningful. My favorite is November.

    I also have an entire desk full of unsolicited address labels & greeting cards from organizations we don’t support. I especially enjoy the calendars we receive from animal welfare organizations we support.

    Our club supported a local children’s hospital for several years until they started sending us an unsolicited commemorative plate each year. We really wanted our donation to go towards the care of the hospitalized kids.

    I admit to actually forking out $10 once for a calendar being sold by our local fire department. Each month had a different local fireman featured … tastefully done … but they were all JUST the fireman you’d like to have rescue you in a fire. That was before the days of women being in the department. I was glad to make the donation & enjoyed turning to the next month EVERY month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks for your welcome comments, Linda. Isn’t it interesting how virtually nobody appreciates being sent unsolicited labels, cards, etc. But they keep coming! On the other hand, meaningful, well-done calendars are well received. More fund raisers should take notice!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Bernie says:

    Wow to that art work! We rarely get calendars in the mail but sure enjoy the one we custom create for ourselves. Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Gorgeous art! Thank you for sharing, Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Calendar art worth sharing – rosdahal

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