Read about this sea­son’s line up of tal­ent­ed Indige­nous artists and per­form­ers and our com­mu­ni­ty partners.

Check out our Show Sched­ule to find out more about their vir­tu­al events.

Festival Artists

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Chris­tine Friday Dances with Our Ancestors 

Chris­tine is a pro­fi­cient and resilient Indige­nous sto­ry­teller with a pro­fes­sion­al dance career span­ning 29+ years. Deeply con­nect­ed to her people’s cul­tur­al well­ness, she works to main­tain the tra­di­tions and gifts of her Anishi­naabe peo­ple. Chris­tine has done solo and com­mis­sioned work, chore­o­graph­ing, youth cre­ations and full-scale productions.

Mau­ra Garcia Dances with Our Ancestors 

Mau­ra (non-enrolled Cherokee/​Mattamuskeet) is a dancer, chore­o­g­ra­ph­er and enter­tain­er who’s per­formed across the con­ti­nent. Her work is pow­ered by a desire to per­pet­u­ate ances­tral knowl­edge and respect the liv­ing earth. She’s ded­i­cat­ed to col­lab­o­rat­ing with­in Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties to cel­e­brate group nar­ra­tives through dance and oth­er art forms.

Olivia C Davies Talk­ing Truths: Fol­low­ing in Her Foot­steps (Host)

In addi­tion to her career as a dance artist, chore­o­g­ra­ph­er and cura­tor, Olivia C. Davies engages as a com­mu­ni­ty-arts facil­i­ta­tor. Her work often explores emo­tion­al and polit­i­cal rela­tion­ships between peo­ple and places. She tra­vers­es bound­aries, chal­leng­ing prej­u­dices; both her per­for­mance works and work­shops open up new ways to see the world.

Rebec­ca Sadowski Dances with Our Ancestors

Rebec­ca is an Edmon­ton-based Métis per­former, chore­o­g­ra­ph­er, and dance instruc­tor. She has recent­ly joined the Good Women Dance Col­lec­tive as a col­lec­tive artist as well as a cura­tor for the Nextfest Fes­ti­val. She cur­rent­ly teach­es dance with dancED Move­ment Project and the City of Edmon­ton, and is much in demand for all aspects of her work.

Tara Williamson Tara Williamson and The Good Liars 

Tara Williamson has been described as a poet and provo­ca­teur — the spark that ignites the flame. A Vic­to­ria-based First Nations singer/​songwriter from Man­i­to­ba, her music is an unflinch­ing doc­u­ment of self: the truth that hurts before it heals. Her sophis­ti­cat­ed lyrics and soul­ful voice are a ris­ing force on the Indige­nous and Cana­di­an music scene.

Mar­go Kane Talk­ing Truths: Fol­low­ing in her Footsteps 

For 40+ years, Cree-Saul­teaux per­form­ing artist, actor, artis­tic direc­tor, writer and cul­tur­al work­er, Kane, has been a gal­va­niz­ing force on the arts and cul­ture scene in Cana­da and inter­na­tion­al­ly. A renowned inter­dis­ci­pli­nary artist, she has been a major advo­cate and leader in the advance­ment of Indige­nous per­form­ing arts in Cana­da and beyond.

Sharon Jinker­son-Brass Talk­ing Truths: Fol­low­ing in her Footsteps 

Sharon Jinker­son-Brass is a mem­ber of Key First Nation in Saskatchewan and an award-win­ning artist who was artis­tic direc­tor of Big Sky, a mul­ti­me­dia com­pa­ny that per­formed in the US and Cana­da. For 30 years she has been a com­mu­ni­ty leader work­ing for social change for the Indige­nous Com­mu­ni­ty in the arts, cul­ture, health and com­mu­ni­ty development.

Renae Moris­seau Talk­ing Truths: Fol­low­ing in her Footsteps 

Renae is Cree and Saul­teaux from the Treaty 1 Ter­ri­to­ry of Man­i­to­ba, and has worked in film, tele­vi­sion, the­atre and music since the 80s both in Cana­da and inter­na­tion­al­ly. She toured inter­na­tion­al­ly with her singing group M’Girl, was Abo­rig­i­nal Sto­ry­teller at the Van­cou­ver Pub­lic Library, and direct­ed Down2Earth, an APTN TV Series on green energy.

Rose­mary Georgeson Talk­ing Truths: Fol­low­ing in her Footsteps 

George­son is a Coast Sal­ish and Sah­tu Dene film­mak­er and mul­ti-media artist. She works in film, the­atre, radio — and in the culi­nary arts. She was Abo­rig­i­nal Com­mu­ni­ty Direc­tor with Urban Ink Pro­duc­tions (2002–2011), received the Van­cou­ver Mayor’s award for emerg­ing artist (2009), and was Van­cou­ver Pub­lic Library’s Sto­ry­teller in Res­i­dence (2014).

Var­i­ous Artists  Mawessine’s Gala

Five artists cre­at­ed short pieces, inspired by a key Ondin­nok pro­duc­tions, for MAWASSINE: Louis-Karl Picard Sioui (He Who Bears the Grief of the World, the company’s first cre­ation, 1985); Car­los Rivera (The Con­quest of Mex­i­co); Marie-Andrée Gill (Sakip­it­cikan); Kathia Rock (The Meet­ing | Kiskimew); and Véronique Hébert (Tales of an Urban Indian).

The Hitch­hik­ers The Hitch­hik­ers at Home (Jun 16)

Jamie Thom­son (Hai­da Nation) and Den­nis Joseph (Squamish Nation) are The Hitch­hik­ers, per­form­ing orig­i­nal music inspired by the blues, their lives, and their cul­tures. Jamie leads on gui­tar, with Den­nis adding melod­ic high­lights on har­mon­i­ca. The duo has years of per­form­ing expe­ri­ence in bands like Bit­ter­ly Divine, White Feath­er, and Intellifunk.

Lee Mar­a­cle Hope Mat­ters (Jun 25)

Lee Mar­a­cle (Sto:lo Nation) is the cel­e­brat­ed author of a num­ber of crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed works, and has received numer­ous acknowl­edge­ments and awards for her writ­ing, includ­ing being named an Offi­cer of the Order of Cana­da. The book, Hope Mat­ters, is the result of a shared dream to write togeth­er with her two tal­ent­ed and accom­plished daughters.

Columpa Bobb Hope Mat­ters (Jun 16)

Columpa Bobb is one of Lee Maracle’s daugh­ters and a writer since her youth. She’s worked as a pro­duc­er, direc­tor, play­wright and per­former for over 30 years. She received a Jessie Richard­son The­atre Award for Best Actress for the lead role in The Ecsta­sy of Rita Joe, and been nom­i­nat­ed for oth­er Jessie and Dora Awards, among oth­er accomplishments.

Tania Carter Hope Mat­ters (Jun 16)

One of Lee Maracle’s daugh­ters & co-writ­ers, Tania Carter is an actor, play­wright and poet whose work has appeared in antholo­gies and schol­ar­ly jour­nals. A mem­ber of the Sto:lo Nation, she holds a BA in World Lit­er­a­ture and a Mas­ters Degree in The­atre with a spe­cial­iza­tion in Play­writ­ing. After liv­ing in Toron­to for 20 years, she now resides in BC.

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Var­i­ous Artists  Embody­ing Pow­er and Place (starts Jun 3)

Incor­po­rat­ing text, sound and imagery, the 12 pow­er­ful audio-visu­al works of Embody­ing Pow­er and Place, made in response to the report of the fed­er­al com­mis­sion on Miss­ing and Mur­dered Indige­nous Women and Girls, rep­re­sents the inspired ener­gy, prodi­gious tal­ents and pas­sion of over 25 Indige­nous writ­ers, actors, dancers, music artists, rap­pers, visu­al and sound artists, direc­tors, film­mak­ers and oth­ers. The project 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.

Presenting Partners

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Soul Pep­per Productions Moon­lodge

Soulpep­per is Canada’s lead­ing artist-dri­ven the­atre com­pa­ny. They aim to tell sto­ries that res­onate across time and place; sto­ries that raise nec­es­sary ques­tions, that inspire us to imag­ine and work towards a bet­ter world. Now stream­ing online: Around the World in 80 Plays – 8 audio dra­mas from around the world, includ­ing Mar­go Kane’s Moon­lodge.

Dream­s­peak­ers Fes­ti­val Society Dream­s­peak­ers Inter­na­tion­al Indige­nous Film Festival

Dream­s­peak­ers Fes­ti­val Soci­ety pro­duces an inter­na­tion­al film fes­ti­val cel­e­brat­ing the lat­est works by Indige­nous peo­ples in film, video, radio, and new media, pre­sent­ing selec­tions of Indige­nous works from around the globe since 1993. Start­ing in 2018, the Soci­ety also pro­duces Ruba­boo, Alberta’s only Abo­rig­i­nal mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary arts festival.

Nation­al Indige­nous Peo­ples Day Committee  Sum­mer Sol­stice Indige­nous Fes­ti­val & Music Awards

The Nation­al Indige­nous Peo­ples Day Com­mit­tee is com­prised of a num­ber of Indige­nous orga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­ni­ties across Cana­da. It over­sees the Sum­mer Sol­stice Indige­nous Fes­ti­val, a mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary arts fes­ti­val that cel­e­brates Canada’s diverse Indige­nous cul­tures. In 2021, vir­tu­al pro­gram­ming includes The SSI­MAs — Indige­nous Music Awards.

Sav­age Society Indige­nous Cities

Sav­age Society’s man­date is to tell orig­i­nal, con­tem­po­rary Indige­nous sto­ries sourc­ing myth, tra­di­tion and con­tem­po­rary Indige­nous per­spec­tives. It endeav­ours to be a mod­ern Indige­nous voice, and to pos­i­tive­ly affect aware­ness of the con­tem­po­rary Indige­nous per­spec­tive. “We see Sav­age as mean­ing human­i­ty in its nat­ur­al state, human­i­ty in nature.

Nation­al Arts Center Indige­nous Cities

Indige­nous The­atre at the Nation­al Arts Cen­tre is the first Nation­al Indige­nous the­atre depart­ment in the world. Through their ini­tia­tives, they fos­ter and pre­serve Indige­nous artis­tic prac­tices, cre­at­ing wel­com­ing spaces of cul­tur­al resur­gence and inspi­ra­tion. They are com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing a place where the Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ty feels a belonging.

Native Earth Per­form­ing Arts Embody­ing Pow­er and Place

Native Earth is Canada’s old­est pro­fes­sion­al Indige­nous per­form­ing arts com­pa­ny. In its 38th year, they are ded­i­cat­ed to devel­op­ing, pro­duc­ing and pre­sent­ing pro­fes­sion­al artis­tic expres­sions of the Indige­nous expe­ri­ence in Cana­da. This spring, with Night­wood The­atre, they present Embody­ing Pow­er and Place, curat­ed by New Harlem Productions.

Night­wood Theatre Embody­ing Pow­er and Place

As Canada’s fore­most fem­i­nist the­atre, Night­wood The­atre pro­vides an essen­tial home for the cre­ation of extra­or­di­nary the­atre by women. Found­ed in 1979, Night­wood has cre­at­ed, pro­duced and toured numer­ous award-win­ning plays. With Native Earth they present Embody­ing Pow­er and Place, curat­ed by Don­na-Michelle St. Bernard and New Harlem Productions.

New Harlem Productions Embody­ing Pow­er and Place

New Harlem Pro­duc­tions is an inter­cul­tur­al, inter­dis­ci­pli­nary orga­ni­za­tion cre­at­ing work which advances their craft, ele­vates their allies, and engages with their com­mu­ni­ties. With Native Earth Per­form­ing Arts and Night­wood The­atre, and under the artis­tic direc­tion of by Don­na-Michelle St. Bernard, they curat­ed Embody­ing Pow­er and Place.

The Cultch Embody­ing Pow­er and Place

Offer­ing dynam­ic con­tem­po­rary pro­gram­ming in the­atre, dance, music, cir­cus, and visu­al arts, The Cultch is Vancouver’s diverse and inno­v­a­tive arts and cul­ture hub. It pro­vides a per­for­mance space for diverse audi­ences, serves as a hub for artis­tic exper­i­men­ta­tion, devel­ops local com­pa­nies and presents cut­ting-edge nation­al and inter­na­tion­al work.

Indige­nous Music Alliance Indige­nous Music Summit 

The IIMS is the only glob­al event work­ing to cre­ate aware­ness, share resources and build oppor­tu­ni­ties for the Indige­nous music com­mu­ni­ty. It offers space for Indige­nous artists to dis­cuss, share and con­nect. Par­tic­i­pants and col­lab­o­ra­tors include cre­ators, event orga­niz­ers, pre­sen­ters, knowl­edge hold­ers and cul­tur­al con­nec­tors around the world.

Les Pro­duc­tions Ondinnok Mawessine’s Gala — 35 years of creations

Les Pro­duc­tions Ondin­nok is the first Mon­tre­al-based French-speak­ing Indige­nous the­atre com­pa­ny in Cana­da. In 35+ years, it has pro­duced more than 30 shows and events, becom­ing the ini­tia­tor of a con­tem­po­rary Indige­nous fran­coph­o­ne style of theatre.

The Greater Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val Society Who We Are Film Series

Found­ed in 1982 to cel­e­brate excel­lence in screen based sto­ry­telling, The Greater Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val Soci­ety oper­ates the VIFF and the year-round pro­gram­ming of the Vanci­ty The­atre. They pro­duce screen­ings, talks and events as a cat­a­lyst for a diverse com­mu­ni­ty to dis­cov­er, dis­cuss and share the craft of sto­ry­telling on screen.

Muse­um of Vancouver Who We Are Film Series

The Muse­um of Van­cou­ver con­nects Van­cou­verites to each oth­er and to the world. The museum’s pro­grams, exhi­bi­tions, and col­lec­tions bring peo­ple togeth­er and inspire con­ver­sa­tion about the future. The muse­um, an enthu­si­as­tic civic advo­cate, is an inde­pen­dent non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat­ed to inspir­ing a social­ly con­nect­ed, civi­cal­ly engaged city.

Coastal Jazz and Blues Society  TD Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tion­al Jazz Festival

The Soci­ety is BC’s largest not-for-prof­it music pre­sen­ter, pro­duc­ing the annu­al TD Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tion­al Jazz Fes­ti­val, the Bright Moments con­cert series, the annu­al Win­ter Jazz fes­ti­val and oth­er con­certs through the year. The soci­ety also has a long-stand­ing com­mit­ment to music edu­ca­tion, offer­ing a vari­ety of pro­grams, events and workshops.

Yukon First Nations Cul­ture & Tourism Association Adä­ka Cul­tur­al Festival 

YFNCT is a non-prof­it com­mit­ted to devel­op­ing vibrant and sus­tain­able Yukon First Nations arts, cul­ture and tourism. They present the Adä­ka Cul­tur­al Fes­ti­val – a world-class mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary cul­tur­al fes­ti­val held every sum­mer at the Kwan­lin Dun Cul­tur­al Cen­tre in White­horse – as well as train­ing and net­work­ing pro­grams, and oth­er services.

Pride in Arts Society Queer Arts Fes­ti­val “Piano Burning”

The Pride in Art Soci­ety pro­duces, presents and exhibits with a cura­to­r­i­al vision favour­ing chal­leng­ing, thought-pro­vok­ing con­tem­po­rary art that push­es bound­aries and ini­ti­ates dia­logue, includ­ing through the Queer Arts Fes­ti­val, an annu­al artist-run, trans­dis­ci­pli­nary fes­ti­val, and SUM Gallery, ded­i­cat­ed to the pre­sen­ta­tion of queer art worldwide.

Urban Ink 20th Anniver­sary

Found­ed in 2001, Urban Ink Pro­duc­tion Soci­ety was cre­at­ed by Marie Clements as an Indige­nous and mul­ti-cul­tur­al the­atre com­pa­ny. For 20 years, its cir­cle of artists has bro­ken bar­ri­ers through stim­u­lat­ing sto­ry, per­for­mance, and media. Their goal in the next 20 years is to con­tin­ue an Indi­g­e­nized prac­tice that cen­tres Indige­nous and diverse voices.

West­ern Gold Theatre The Hitch­hik­ers at Home! | Hope Mat­ters Podcast

West­ern Gold The­atre is the pre­mier com­pa­ny in the coun­try focused on shar­ing and cel­e­brat­ing the tal­ents of senior pro­fes­sion­al the­atre artists (age 55+). West­ern Gold also men­tors emerg­ing younger pro­fes­sion­al artists as they ‘share the boards’ with them. The com­pa­ny is a vibrant cre­ative gath­er­ing place for artists and audi­ences, young and old.