Two indigenous women honoured in Vancouver

It was a night of celebration in Vancouver as 15 women in film and television were recognized for their outstanding careers.

This included the late award-winning filmmaker and documentarist Barb Cranmer, who was awarded the Impact Award.

Cranmer from Alert Bay, B.C., was fighting brain cancer. The multi award-winning filmmaker from the ‘Namgis First Nation was surrounded by family when she passed away on May 17.

Cranmer’s traditional name was “Lakwalogwa,” which means hollering at her people to feast.
She was an athlete at a young age, and enjoyed working on a fishing boat with her dad – starting out as a cook and then drum operator.

For the last 18 years she was instrumental in helping organize Seafest, a music festival in Alert Bay that attracted performers from around the world. She was an elected councillor for her community and helped increase economic development and tourism.

Her sister, Andrea, said that eagles flew around the hospital in her last moments.

Also honoured was Doreen Manuel who received the Woman of the Year award for her work as an industry leader.

When Secwepemc, Ktunaxa First Nations filmmaker Manuel found out that she was this year’s Woman of the Year for the Women in Film’s Spotlight Awards she received it humbly.

She is a graduate of the Aboriginal Film and Television Diploma Program (AFTP) at Capilano University; and Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from UBC.

She comes from a long line of Indigenous oral historians and factual storytellers, and has extensive experience in First Nations education and community development in both rural and urban centres.

She has experience directing for television and as the Canadian Correspondent for the Native Heartbeat and Northwest Indian News, both USA Native American TV news magazine programs, and was IIDF program coordinator for 13 years.

Her award and others from the Women in Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV) organization were handed out last Tuesday at the 20th annual Spotlight Awards Gala.

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