The Centre for All Canadians

BIPOC athletes on Prince Edward Island celebrated in new exhibition

February 13, 2023 – With the 2023 Winter Games just around the corner, Confederation Centre Art Gallery has a new exhibition spotlighting Island athletes of colour.

Mohammad Al Hajali was Holland College Athlete of the Year (2021-22). Photo: Patricia Bourque.

Now on view in the Frederic S. and Ogden Martin Concourse Gallery, It’s More Than Sports: A Celebration of BIPOC Athletes on Prince Edward Island features BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) athletes from the past and present, with a glimpse into what sport could be in the future. Using historical photos and artifacts, contemporary photographs by Mi’kmaw photographer Patricia Bourque, drawings from Island children, and a vision statement for BIPOC sports on P.E.I., this exhibition draws attention to the often unacknowledged and powerful contribution of BIPOC peoples to the Island sporting community.

It spotlights the numerous BIPOC athletes on the Island who have, and who continue to make, their communities proud, while also inspiring a new generation of BIPOC athletes to pursue their own dreams. The exhibition was coordinated and curated by Bianca Garcia and organized by BIPOC USHR, with support from the 2023 Canada Winter Games.

“Although Prince Edward Island has a long history of BIPOC peoples competing in sports, their accomplishments rarely get the attention they deserve,” says Sobia Ali-Faisal, executive director of BIPOC USHR. “We hope that through this exhibition we are able to show people from across Canada that BIPOC athletes have always been around, have always been demonstrating their excellence in sport, and will continue to be a vibrant and skilled part of the Island sports community.”

There will be a reception for the exhibition on Saturday, February 25 at 7 p.m. A Family Sunday event will also take place on Sunday, February 26 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. This workshop is a free opportunity for families to explore visual art together, creating their own mixed media story books inspired by the exhibition using cut paper, pencils, marks, and other provided materials.

Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens during a residency at the Grantham Foundation for the Arts and the Environment, 2020. Photo: H&S.

A second exhibition will open at Confederation Centre Art Gallery this week. On view in the Sobey Gallery starting February 17, Land is not a mat to be rolled up and taken away is an invitation to contemplate the ways in which we, members of human and nonhuman collectives, relate to each other and to the land. Presenting new and recent sculptures and videos by the artists Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, the exhibition immerses visitors – body, mind, and soul – in a rich, multicolored realm where objects, images, texts, sounds, and ideas reveal the magnitude of our kinship with all of earth’s inhabitants, challenging us to critically reassess our shared history and to imagine our fate with care. The exhibition is organized by curator Sylvie Fortin. This project was initiated with the support of Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE, in 2019, and reimagined for its presentation at Confederation Centre Art Gallery.

There will be an ArtTalk with the curators and artists on February 17 at 7 p.m. where they will give a tour of their exhibition in both English and French.

For details on all Gallery events, visit


Photo cutlines:

Kaiya Maracle has been active in women’s hockey since 2020. Photo: Patricia Bourque.

Mohammad Al Hajali was Holland College Athlete of the Year (2021-22). Photo: Patricia Bourque.

Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens during a residency at the Grantham Foundation for the Arts and the Environment, 2020. Photo: H&S.

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