A local two-spirted artist is being recognized again for his tremendous achievements with indigenous art.
Patrick Hunter, an indigenous graphic designer and artist who was born and raised in Red Lake, is celebrating after being named the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s (CGLCC) Young LGBT+ Entrepreneur of the Year!
According to the CGLCC, the Young LGBT+ Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes outstanding achievement by an LGBT+ young entrepreneur. The award is given to an individual that best exemplifies leadership, innovative thinking, awareness, and has demonstrated commitment to both the LGBT+ community and the broader community.
The awards were given at the 6th Annual Black and White Gala – The Unstoppable Ball – in person and in virtual form, on November 19, 2021.
Hunter spoke about the night, what it was like to celebrate in person after so long “it was kind of magical, it’s the first night out in person in so long and the CGLCC always does such an amazing job of putting together the gala to celebrate LGBTQ+ businesses.”
“It was just such a great feeling,” he continued.
Hunter credited participating in the Chamber for a lot of his recent success “when I first started out, I didn’t know what the Chamber of Commerce was, I just went to their events and donated some door prizes. And then, something just clicked, I finally realized what they were and the power of the Chamber of Commerce.”
“That’s when I really started to become successful, I just sort of leaned in, embraced the fact that I was a part of the LGBTQ+ community and I think once I got really real with myself, that’s when more opportunities kind of came my way,” Hunter continued.
Hunter has had a pretty successful year, he collaborated with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks to design a Native American Heritage mask for goaltender Marc Andre Fleury, he paired with Roots Canada to design the letterman jackets for Hometown Hockey hosts Tara Slone and Ron MacLean, and he most recently won the Entrepreneur Spirit Award at the inaugural Indigenous Entrepreneurship Awards.
“It's such a great feeling! Just indicators that I am on the right track, making the right connections and stuff. It’s been a really wild couple months,” explained Hunter.
When he is not busy collaborating with big Canadian companies and inspiring fellow indigenous and LGBTQ+ creators, Hunter teaches art classes to help people learn about indigenous iconography. His main message – making sure that kids, younger people, even adults and elders, see themselves reflected positively in the mainstream culture and media.
“I am happy to be at the forefront, [I am happy] to be helping push that forward,” concluded Hunter.