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Nahanni McKay is a Métis artist based in Banff Alberta. Nahanni produces photographic images of objects that take the shape of spirits around her home of Treaty 7 in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. The work she has produced aims to discuss the need to decolonize the complicated National Park system. Her work is in relation to the human impact of the natural environment by creating an unsettling image to be observed by the viewer. McKay is mesmerized by the beauty of her hometown and how the mountains attract a colonial desire to commercialize and conquer this sacred place.


Since graduating from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2017, Nahanni McKays’ photographic and sculptural work has been exhibited extensively across Canada and Europe. Recent exhibitions include Hole 8 at the European Cultural Centre, (Venice) and  Loop 14 was exhibited at the Contemporary Calgary as well as Art Toronto in 2020. McKay has received several awards including the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award in 2022. The artist's work is included in the permanent collection of the Alberta Foundation of the Arts.


Nahanni is an avid skier and has taken part in a film project called Beyond Begbie, being released February 2024.



Nahanni McKay . She/ Her

07.24.1994 . IG: @nahanster . Banff, AB . .



2019, Photography Practicum, Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity

2017, BFA with Photography, Emily Carr University of Art + Design


S E L E C T E D  S O L O  &  D U O  E X H I B I T I O N S 

2024, The General Store, ArtsPlace, Canmore, AB (upcoming)

2024, The General Store, Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna BC

2022, Coexist, Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, Banff, AB

2022, Coexist, Galleria Exhibition, Edmonton, AB

2022, Coexist, Forest Spaces, Contact Photo Festival, Toronto, ON

2022, Coexist, Arts Place, Canmore, AB

2021, The Beekeeper, Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, Revelstoke, BC

2020, Loop 14, Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition, multiple locations, curated by Shannon Bingeman

2019, Exposure Photography Festival, RITUAL, Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Banff


S E L E C T E D  G R O U P  E X H I B I T I O N S

2024, Body, Alberta Society of the Arts, Exposure Photography Festival, Calgary, AB

2023, Mountain Sounds, Arts Place, Canmore, AB

2023, Florence Biennale, Florence, Italy

2023, Homegrown, Town of Banff, Banff, AB

2023, The Fence, Exposure Photography Festival, Calgary, AB 

2022, Dynamic Earth, Jane Kidner Gallery, Toronto, ON

2022, Personal Structures Exhibition, European Cultural Centre, Venice, Italy

2021, Solo Exhibition, Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, Revelstoke, BC

2021, Exposure Exhibition, King Edward Gallery, Calgary, Alberta

2021, InFocus Photo, Wild Skies Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta

2020, Loop 14, N3XT CANADA Competition, Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, Toronto, ON

2020, Homegrown Art Show, Banff Town Hall, Banff

2020, ​EXPOSURE Photography Festival Emerging Artist Showcase, Contemporary Calgary, Calgary

2018, Mountain Photography Residency, Project Space, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

2017, ​Open House, Photo Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver

2017,The Show, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver

2017, Aboriginal Show; Re-forming, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver

2017, Prairie Social, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver

2016, Pop Up Exhibition, Mitchell Press Gallery, Vancouver

2013, Foundation Show, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver

2011, Through the Lens Photography, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff,


G R A N T S   &   A W A R D S

2023, Queens Platinum Jubilee Medal

2022, The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award for Emerging Art

2021, Honourable Mention, Landscape Award, Wild Skies Gallery

2020, N3XT CANADA FINALIST, Art Toronto

​2020, EXPOSURE Festival's Emerging Photographers Showcase Award

2020, TREX Emerging Photographers Showcase Award

2017, Aboriginal Art Award, CIBC Foundation

2017, Koh-Verchere Graduation Award for Athletic and Creative Excellence


P A N E L S   A N D   T A L K S

2024 The General Store, Artist Talk, Nahanni McKay & Ben Evely, Kelowna Art Gallery

2023, Coexist Artist Talk, Nahanni McKay & Cecilia Leddy, Coldsmoke Powder Festival, Nelson BC

2022, Panellist, For The Love Of, Revelstoke

2022 Panellist, Snow Show Q&A, Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

2022 Panellist, Indigenous Dialogs, Banff Mountain Film Festival

2022 Artist Talk, Coexist, Banff Mountain Film Festival

2022, Panellist, Indigenous Perspectives in Outdoor Spaces, Coalition Snow

2022, Artist Talk: Nahanni McKay, Grand Prairie College

2021, Leighton Studios Project, Consultant

2021, Nahanni McKay, Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre

2020, Habituate Acclimate, TREX Southwest Exhibition

C O L L E C T I O N S 

​Alberta Foundation for the Arts


R E S I D E N C I E S 

2024, Art In The Park, Revelstoke Visual Art Gallery, Glacier National Park, BC (upcoming)

2023, Guest Faculty, Akunumusǂitis : Ecological Engagement Through the Seasons, Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity

​2021, Akunumusǂitis : Ecological Engagement Through the Seasons, Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity

2020, Isolation Alliance, Murze Magazine, Digital Online Residency

2019, ​Mountain Photography Residency, The Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity



P R O F E S S I O N A L  E X P E R I E N C E 

Gallery Preparator, Canada House Gallery, 2022-23

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