Exploring Leadership and DEIB Through the Works of Indigenous, Settler, and Immigrant Canadian Artists

Pre-conference workshop 2023 Diversity and inclusion concept. Silhouettes of people on colorful sheets.

When: 12 October 2023 | 9:30 – 15:30
Price: $49 ILA Member | $65 Non-Member
Limited to 40 registrants

The price includes admission to both galleries as well as the guided tours. It will not include lunch, but there are many cafes in the immediate area and the Vancouver Art Gallery has its own café. 

Register for session during conference registration. Already registered for the global conference? Add the event to your registration here.  

Full Description

Please join with us as we explore DEIB through the art, histories, and stories of Indigenous, Settler, and Immigrant Canadian artists. Our journey will begin on-location at the ILA conference hotel, with a brief overview of the session and a handout with additional information on the artists, and their communities, whose works we will explore, Bill Reid, Emily Carr, and Parviz Tanavoli.  This journey will involve brief walks from the hotel and is fully ADA compliant with wheelchair access. 

Our first visit will be to the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, a 15-minute walk from the ILA conference hotel. Here, at 10:00 am, we will have a tour and conversation with an Indigenous educational leader who is affiliated with the gallery. The Bill Reid Gallery is the only public gallery in Canada dedicated to contemporary Indigenous Northwest Coast Art and was established by the Bill Reid Foundation in 2008, to celebrate the Haida master Indigenous artist Bill Reid (1920 – 1998) and the diverse living cultures of the Northwest Coast. We will view the works of past and current Indigenous artists, many of whom blend traditional forms with today’s art, who share a focus on traditional values and today’s social and ecological justice commitments. 

From 11:30 to 12:30 we will have a lunch break (pay on your own – not included in the ticket price).  There are many excellent small cafes in the area.   

At 12:30 pm, we will reconvene at the Vancouver Art Gallery, a 5-minute walk from the Bill Reid Gallery.  Founded in 1931 and located on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəýəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səĺilwətaʔɬ(Tsleil-Waututh) nations, the Vancouver Art Gallery is committed to “providing equitable access to everyone. We actively support accessibility, anti-racism, LGBTQ2S+ inclusion and encourage diversity in our staff, visitors, volunteers, and programming. We cultivate a safer space where all voices are heard, valued, and represented. The Gallery stands against hatred, discrimination, racism, homophobia, and transphobia.”  

In the Vancouver Art Gallery, we will begin with exploring the art of Emily Carr (1871 – 1945) and her contemporary Settler artists.  Non-Indigenous people who live in Canada are known as settlers. “….while many early settlers in this region perceived the forests as wild and impenetrable, Carr sought to represent the vitality of the natural world and seized the opportunity to present a deeply personal vision of the coastal rainforest.” 

We will then move on to our final artist, Parviz Tanavoli, an Iranian-born, Vancouver-based artist, who also maintains a studio in Iran.  Accompanied by a guide from the gallery, we will view a special exhibit, Parviz Tanavoli: Poets, Locks, Cages. Parviz Tanavoli, known as the father of modern Iranian sculpture, was born in Tehran in 1937. Upon graduating from the Brera Academy of Milan in 1959, he taught sculpting at the Tehran College of Decorative Arts, and from 1961 – 1963 he taught at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Since 1989 he has lived and worked both in Tehran and Vancouver, Canada.  

We will end with a final discussion (at the Vancouver Art Gallery) on our theme, “DEIB through the works of Indigenous, Settler, and Immigrant Canadian Artists.”  In Vancouver, as in most Canadian cities, Indigenous, Settler, and Immigrant peoples live and work together. In this dynamic environment, through the eyes and works of the artists, we will consider new insights, questions, and ways to promote DEIB values and actions in leadership and in all that we do. 

At the end of our journey, participants will be able to revisit the Bill Reid Gallery and/or stay in the Vancouver Art Gallery to explore more of their exhibits, including the Institute of Asian Art. Vancouver is one of North America’s most important gateways to Asia, and has one of the fastest growing Asian populations in the world. According to Statistics Canada, 43% of Vancouver residents are of Asian heritage, and 70% of all recent immigrants to the city have origins in Asia. 

At 3:30, we will accompany those who wish to return to the ILA conference venue. As the museums are open until 5, participants may opt to visit other exhibits on their own.  

Facilitators: Dorothy Agger-Gupta, Niels Agger-Gupta, and David Blake Willis. 


Katherine Tyler Scott

Before beginning her tenure at KI ThoughtBridge, Katherine Tyler Scott founded and served as President of Trustee Leadership Development, Inc., a resource center for governance leaders and not-for-profit organizations. Katherine is a past chair of the ILA board and convener of the ILA Applied Leadership Global Learning Community. She previously directed the Lilly Endowment Leadership Education Program, a statewide leadership education initiative for professionals in youth service, and she also developed leadership programs and resources for the Community Leadership Association.