Boarder X • Now through Spring 2017

Boarder X presents contemporary work by artists from Indigenous nations across Canada who surf, skate, and snowboard. The exhibition reveals how these practices are vehicles to challenge conformity and status quo, as well as demonstrate knowledge and performed relationships with the land. Whether reading the urban terrain, making a cement jungle a playground, riding the natural contours of white immovable mountains, or shredding the ever-changing waves, it’s not about controlling land and water, but being humbled by their power.

Through painting, mixed media, carving, weaving, photography, performance, and video, the artists reflect cultural, political, environmental, and social perspectives, as well as critiques about the territories we occupy. The paintings present narratives and observations of traditions, movement, balance, and entanglements of space, place, and belonging. Mobilizing traditional histories, the artwork conceptually bridges the past and present with reinventions in carving, weaving, and performance. Video and photography capture the energy of boarding with unbridled motivation and physicality. The exhibition is an affirmation of cultural resilience and an acknowledgement of ongoing respect and reverence for the land.

Curated by Jaimie Isaac
Canada Council Curatorial Resident of Indigenous & Contemporary Art

Check out words below and watch for Jaimie's curatorial essay and contributions from guest writers in Feb 2017

Above video by Nic Kriellaars with music by Boogey The Beat




  • Collaborative Floor Mural

    For the opening of Boarder X, local artists Mike Valcourt, Kenneth Lavallee, and Peatr Thomas collaborated to create a colorful and powerful floor mural for boarders to skate on and guests to gaze down upon. More

  • Building the Boarder X Ramp at the WAG

    A half-pipe was constructed for the opening of Boarder X. See the process involved in making this mini ramp come to life in Eckhardt Hall. More

  • The Boarder X Artist Round Table Talk

    The Boarder X Artist Round Table took place on Saturday, November19. The six Boarder X artists present spoke with curator Jaimie Isaac about their body of work – how they have re-contextualized traditional methods from the past – and how the complexities of Canada’s Colonial history has impacted past and present generations. The discussion was introduced by a talk from Micheal Langan, founder of Colonialism Skateboards. More

  • Opening Night: Boarder X & Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant

    Boarder X features the work of seven Indigenous artists who’s influences from skate, surf, and snowboard culture are used to demonstrate relationships to the land. More

  • Press

    Check out media highlights covering Boarder X and Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant. More

Vernon Ah Kee

Vernon Ah Kee. Wegrewhere #3 (detail), 2009. Digital print on Fujiflex. 76 x 136 cm.

Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada

Presented alongside Boarder X, Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant is a second exhibition connecting Indigeneity and boarding. The large video, text, portraiture, and surfboard installation is the work of Vernon Ah Kee, an Australian artist who relies on his Aboriginal identity as a framework to produce art. His family and culture are intrinsic to his work.

Translating into ”we are here,” cantchant is significantly layered, dealing with contested territory around the beaches in Australia, Aboriginal identities, and ideas of ownership, conflicts, and claiming territory. The surfboards reflect traditional shield designs in the colours of the Australian Aboriginal flag, and on the flip side, beautifully drawn portraits of family. More


National Gallery of Canada Winnipeg National Gallery of Canada


Weekend Drop-in Tours

Saturday and Sunday, 2pm • Included with Gallery admission.
Jan 8, 21, 29 • Feb 11, 26 • Mar 4, 12, 25 • Apr 2, 16, 22

Art for Lunch

Select Wednesdays, 12:10-1pm • Talks and tours are included with Gallery admission.
Videos are FREE. 
Jan 25 • Curator’s Tour: Boarder X and Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant with Jaimie Isaac
Feb 8 • Video: Northern Grease (75 min)
Feb 22 • Video: The Little Things


Feb 16, 6pm • $70, $65 for WAG members
Perfect for a special night out! Enjoy the WAG's signature dinner-and-tour program, featuring a three course surf and turf meal. For tickets visit

Boarder X Film Festival

Mar 31, 6-9pm & Apr 1, 1-5pm
Watch for more info! Enjoy two days worth of inspiring skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding films and docs. Click here  for details.