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Dempsey Bob short documentary part of Gemini Award-winning series

A TV series that featured local master carver Dempsey Bob in one of its episodes this past season has won the 2008 Gemini for Best Arts Documentary Program or Series. Bob was the focus of an episode in the series Landscape as Muse, a show that showcases world-class Canadian artists and the spectacular landscapes in which they live and derive inspiration for their work. The 30-minute episode, named Faces in the Land, aired in April 2008 and was filmed in Kitselas, along parts of the Skeena River and at Northwest Community Colleges Terrrace campus where Bob is a senior advisor and instructor with the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. Established in 2006, the School is named after Bobs former teacher and friend Freda Diesing, the late Haida artist and educator. Freda devoted much of her life to teaching First Nations art. Though much of Bobs commentary centres on his story and how his artwork is inspired by his Northwest wilderness surroundings, he also talks of the importance of the northwest coast arts revival for coming generations. It took us a long time to revive the art. If we dont teach, it could be gone in another generation, says Bob in the episode. I realize this gift I have, its not given to everyone. So youve got to use it use it well and share it. Honouring Fredas legacy of teaching and perpetuating the rich culture and tradition of First Nations art is what motivated NWCC to open the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art the only one of its kind in Canada. Establishing the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art has been a unique privilege for the College and Dempseys guidance and involvement has been a critical factor in its success, says NWCC President Stephanie Forsyth. That northwest coast First Nations art will be passed on to a new generation is a priceless legacy we are proud to be a part of. Bob says hes happy for the Gemini nod, and hopes the award will give the episode and the Freda Diesing School more exposure. We got the Freda Diesing brand out there. We got the students out there, he said. A lot of people know about our school now, especially in Eastern Canada.

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