For the 20th Anniversary of the Talking Stick Festival in 2021, Full Circle: First Nations Performance calls to the Four Directions and All Our Relations to gather around Four Fires in each season: winter, spring, summer, and fall. The anniversary celebration began earlier this year with The Winter Lodge: Sitting with our Ancestors – performances and teachings presented online from February 18–27, 2021. Spring Awakening followed, offering A Plant Walk, concert, cabaret and Industry Series workshops and sessions, from April 29 – May 1.
NOW ONLINE FROM June 1 – July 1:Talking Stick invites you to into the bright light of SUMMER SOJOURN. In store is a bountiful celebration of Indigenous performance, art and culture online. Full details are rolling out for a month-long schedule of concerts, dance performances, exhibitions, readings, theatrical presentations, powerful storytelling, discussions, film and eclectic co-presentations — as well as some unique and unexpected experiences.
Summer Sojourn includes original programming as well as co-presentations and collaborations with a wide range of preeminent Indigenous organizations, festivals and events across the country.
It starts with a welcoming Canoe Gatherings with Squamish Nation Elder, S7aplek Bob Baker.
Beginning June 3, the remarkable Indigenous Cities storytelling series joins the festival calendar – a co-presentation with the NAC Indigenous Theatre and Savage Society.
On now until June 7, choose from 35 works by Indigenous creators and filmmakers at the
On June 15 at 7pm, see three stellar Indigenous dance artists Christine Friday, Maura García and Rebecca Sadowski perform as part of Dancing With Our Ancestors (free).
TSF partners with Western Gold Theatre for two presentations in June: in a June 16 podcast, acclaimed author Lee Maracle and her two daughters read from their collaborative book of poetry, Hope Matters.
On June 25 comes Hitchhikers at Home! – stories, music and laughter from Jamie Thomson (Haida) and Dennis Joseph (Squamish).
Watch performances from the Yukon’s Adäka Cultural Festival (Welcoming June 8, select programming June 25–28); the Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards from Ottawa (June 12) — and other Summer Solstice Festival events throughout the month. Montreal’s Les Productions Ondinnok, the first French- speaking Indigenous theatre company in Canada, celebrates its 35th Anniversary Mawassine Gala on June 21 at 7pm. You can also see select concerts from the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival (on June 25, 28 and beyond). And there’s more to come!
The following events are featured elements of the Summer Sojourn festival:
June 3rd — July 1st — on demand (free)
In 2019, the federal commission on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released their final report, Reclaiming Power and Place. In 2020, over a dozen artists from a wide range of disciplines were commissioned by New Harlem Productions to read and respond to specific chapters of the report. This digital iteration of Embodying Power and Place offers twelve audio-visual works that seek to honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Trans, and Two-Spirit people, and strives to create a sacred space in which to reflect, heal, and find renewed hope.
Incorporating text, sound and imagery, Embodying Power and Place includes pieces from incredible Indigenous creators such as Janet Antone, Reneltta Arluk, Tara Beagan, Yolanda Bonnell, Darla Contois, Deborah Courchene, Aria Evans, Eekwol Lindsay Knight, Jessica Lea Fleming, Falen Johnson, Émilie Monnet, Yvette Nolan, Michelle Olson, Natalie Sappier, jaye simpson and Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone. (This digital experience is produced by Native Earth Performing Arts & Nightwood Theatre, and co-presented with The Cultch)
Friday, June 18, 7pm (free)
Over the last few years, Tara Williamson has established herself as a sophisticated lyricist and soulful voice in the Indigenous and Canadian music scene. Tara is a Victoria-based musician who has been described as a poet and provocateur — the spark that ignites the flame. A First Nations singer/songwriter originally from Manitoba, her music is an unwavering document of self: the truth that hurts before it heals. Christine Fellows says, “Tara Williamson’s songs are unflinching and direct, hopeful and generous, suffused with snowy light.” Join Tara and her band for a special concert experience.
Also on June 18: Talking Truths: Following in Her Footsteps involves a discussion among 4 Indigenous women artists who have forged a path for other Indigenous women artists in the performing arts.