Arielle's Banff Residency

$5,400 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 120 people in 11 months
Dear Friends and Supporters,

I have recently found out that I have been accepted to attend the Winter Writers Retreat at the Banff Centre for The Arts in Banff, Alberta, and It is with great gratitude and humility that I am asking for financial support in accessing this enormous opportunity.

Unfortunately, this opportunity is quite expensive; is not fully covered, and as many of you know Financial stability is not something that is readily available to me. The luxury of having access funds that I can earmark outside of living necessities is not my current reality. Having access to this program would allow me to focus on honing my craft and work with a break from constantly prioritizing survival over creativity.

As an Indigenous trans woman I trace aspects of my reality to these barriers and want to be completely transparent in why I’m am requesting financial aid and will share a piece of my letter to Banff here! 

" Due to some barriers, I spent five months in a shelter for youth in my early twenties. In this shelter space, I accessed financial aid, acquired a part-time retail job, and made living arrangements through a subsidized housing agreement. Through accessing financial aid I was no longer eligible to attend post-secondary education without losing my funding and untimely the stability of my housing. This experience only furthering my reality of having to coercively choose means of survival over nurturing other aspects of my creative and artistic self.

In early 2016, I left the subsidized housing program and moved closer to the heart of Halifax. Here, I attended workshops and other non-academic learning avenues and eventually was offered employment at a small business and worked my way up to being the operations manager within a year. I’ve also been working as a sex educator and that has allowed me the opportunity to speak at Universities like Dalhousie, Mount Allison, Acadia, and Mount Saint Vincent as well as gifting me the space and encouragement to pursue my writing in a tangible way.

Through this process, I wrote a draft of my first manuscript. While it was hard to devote all of the time and energy that I wanted to give to this project, I was still so deeply proud of my first formal piece of work.

While my work space is incredible, I still don’t have the financial means or class privilege to prioritize my unpaid labour and creative practice over my paid work. I feel as though there is so much for me to write and express that I sadly feel I don’t have time for or feel as though my energy is depleted from working full time.

In the late summer, I was invited to Naked Heart Festival in Toronto to read and be a panelist as an Indigenous writer and gained praise from well-known authors and artists. It was through this festival that I landed my first publication with Them. These experiences reminded me of the importance of having space and time to create, and further reminded me that my creative voice is powerful and deserves to be nourished. It is my goal and desire to work on finishing my manuscript in the winter."

So, I am requesting financial assistance because I am still working towards financial stability from barriers and I believe working on my craft among other artists (specifically Cree mentors) with designated time to do so would be truly incredible and instrumental to me as an emerging writer and artist.

Here’s an outline of why I am asking for $5000

-       I recently lost my main tool for writing in an accident and no longer have access to a laptop and need a replacement.

-       The Residency itself costs $1201.60 to attend

-       I have to pay for my own travel (Flights from Halifax to Calgary and Trains from Calgary to Banff and back)

-       Lost wages for 2-3 weeks while I am away (weeks stayed is determined on how much I raise)

-       Materials for creation of smaller published work & sketches (for zines and visuals for my manuscript)

As a trans woman of color it feels amazing to be offered such an amazing opportunity to focus time on my first book and have access to my ancestors land and energy that I have been displaced from. Thank you so much for anything you are willing to share in support of my growth as a writer that I can bring back to my community and for listening to me opening up on such a public platform. It really means a lot!


Arielle Twist



About me:


Arielle Twist is a writer and sex educator from George Gordon First Nation, Saskatchewan who currently lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is a Cree, Two-Spirit, trans femme supernova writing to reclaim and harness ancestral magic/memories.

Read my work!

Here  and here !!
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Hey everyone!

I just wanted to update you all about this Banff trip!

I will be leaving Halifax this Sunday and will be back on February 3rd, I just want to thank you all for making thins possible! I have the zines all made up but it is more expensive than I through to ship them all out! So I will be sending out the ones from people in Canada first, If you live in Halifax I would love to be able to give it to you personally, or have you pick it up at VE if possible, just let me know if it’s hard for you to get downtown!

For the people who donated 100$ or more you’re zine will be shipped out immediately, and one of you will be notified about the draw for local art and some of my favourite can lit books of 2017!!

Thank you all for such support if anyone has any questions please don’t hesitate to send me an email at ❤️

Ps, sorry this has been such a slow process, I only had a month to prepare for this all! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
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$5,400 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 120 people in 11 months
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