Talking Stick Festival




February 18 – 28, 2016



Welcome to 2016 Talking Stick Festival, proudly presented on the traditional un-ceded territories of the Coast Salish People. This festival of extraordinary Indigenous performance and art features some of the best emerging and established Indigenous artists Turtle Island has to offer. It provides a stage for artists from a variety of artistic expressions - theatre, storytelling, writing, music, spoken word, dance and visual arts. It celebrates the traditional performance of many communities, as well as the contemporary and interdisciplinary work of Indigenous creators.

We have many people and organizations to thank for making our 15th Talking Stick a reality – and we ask you to join us in recognizing the generous support of our volunteers, sponsors and funders who, along with the many others, have given their time and energy to this festival. 

Our 2016 festival is an open invitation to explore Aboriginal culture through the Arts and we welcome back some of our favorite artists and companies from across Canada who are developing international and national reputations of their own – such as Zoey Pricelys Roy, Byron Chief-Moon, Jerry Longboat, Brian Solomon and Red Sky Performance. Savage Society is back with Kevin Loring’s new play Battle of the Birds and we are thrilled to feature artists like Sandy Scofield, Sister Says and Niska Napoleon at our Musical Coffee Houses at Zawa on Commercial Drive.  

We are also honoured to present a number of artists and companies for the first time in our curated music series (complete with after-parties for you night owls at musical hotspots throughout the city); our burgeoning independent film programming at Vancity Theatre and the Vancity Culture Lab; the ever popular slam poetry night at Café Deux Soleils; and the fabulous work by local teens in Indignenuity. Family audiences can take in Mistatim, attend A Metis Time & Space or participate in the inter-tribal dances during our annual Celebration of Powwow Culture while browsing the Aboriginal Artisan Fair.

This year also sees the return our Industry Series;  Iyá7yulh (Ee-ya-chote-yo-lh) is  a gathering of presenters, artists and community members from across the country who are working to  move forward  the future of contemporary Indigenous performing arts.

These talented artists join others whose careers are just emerging. All share a passion for the creative spirit – and a belief in the power of artistic expression to illuminate, renew and transform.

It is the talent and hard work of these artists that bring to life ancient stories, and point us towards roads not yet traveled. We welcome you and invite you to take in all our festival has to offer. Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey.



Festival Schedule

Festival Program