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Since our first Festival in 2000, the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival has programmed film, video, radio and digital media works made by Canadian and international Indigenous media artists in key creative roles as producers, directors, and/or writers. In programming these works over the years, imagineNATIVE has embraced works from Indigenous creators that push artistic boundaries to represent a diversity of ideas, themes and genres in our programming, seeking representations of subjects that would not necessarily be made available through mainstream forms of media.

In keeping with our artistic policy, the Festival prioritizes works that balance and present: unique and new perspectives expressed within the content of the work; cultural, community and social relevance; a creative approach to form characterized by innovative expression; distinctive style; personal vision; and a practice of crossing aesthetic borders in terms of genre, medium and emerging content platforms.

imagineNATIVE is a Festival that supports the diverse artistic visions and perspectives of Indigenous artists working in the media arts; works selected for programming do not need to have overt Indigenous content or themes. As identified in our mission statement, imagineNATIVE is committed to dispelling stereotypical notions of Indigenous peoples through diverse media presentations from within our communities, thereby contributing to a greater understanding by all audiences of Indigenous artistic expression.

Founded by Cynthia Lickers-Sage and Vtape with the help of other community partners, imagineNATIVE is now the largest festival of its kind and an international hub for creative excellence and innovation in the media arts.

In addition to the Festival, the Centre for Aboriginal Media (imagineNATIVE’s legal name) also presents the annual imagineNATIVE Film + Video Tour and the indigiFLIX Community Screening Series, which extend our mandate to present Indigenous-made works year round. For more information on our mandate and the organization, please visit our website.

imagineNATIVE is committed to paying industry-standard artists fees for all our initiatives and asks all our co-presentation partners to ensure these fees are paid.

imagineNATIVE is a Registered Charity #8989 38717 RR0001



Inspiring and connecting communities through original, Indigenous film and media arts.

Mission Statement

imagineNATIVE showcases, promotes, and celebrates Canadian and international Indigenous filmmakers and media artists. imagineNATIVE is committed to a greater understanding by audiences of Indigenous peoples, cultures, and artistic expressions.


Since its inception in 1998, imagineNATIVE (known also as the Centre for Aboriginal Media, imagineNATIVE’s legal entity) continues to evolve to reflect the needs of its constituencies. Founded by Cynthia Lickers-Sage with the help of Vtape and other community partners, imagineNATIVE is now regarded as one of the most important Indigenous film and media arts festivals in the world.

The five-day imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and its annual tour (that takes selected programming to remote Indigenous communities) fill a void in the artistic and cultural landscapes of Toronto in which Indigenous filmmakers and media artists are often underrepresented or misrepresented.


imagineNATIVE presents new and innovative film, video, audio, and digital media works. Programming includes annual retrospectives, curated programs, community screenings, and presentations of groundbreaking and legacy works to a wide audience.

imagineNATIVE plays an important role in the dissemination and export of Indigenous works by promoting and exhibiting artists’ films, videos, audio, and digital media artworks to Canadian and international festivals, markets, distributors, and broadcasters and by facilitating sales and acquisitions.

imagineNATIVE provides Indigenous filmmakers, media artists and curators with professional development and networking opportunities.


imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
401 Richmond Street West
Suite 349
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8

T: 416 585 2333
F: 416 585 2313

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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