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.
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. Her website
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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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).
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).
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 (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 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.
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.
Odessa holds a BFA in Theatre from UBC as well as certificates in Indigenous filmmaking and cinematography from CapU. She has been pursuing her own vision through narrative storytelling, documentary and acting. Her short films (Cedar Tree of Life, Alive and Well, Marguerite, People of the River) have been screened globally, and on CBC and APTN.
Rylan is a filmmaker & curator from Cote First Nation, Sask. He produced Trevor Mack’s debut feature. Portraits From a Fire (2021), is the first openly gay Indigenous filmmaker to spearhead VIFF’s 2020 Catalyst Mentorship Program, & curated the #Indigeneity series for Reel Causes. His short, This Bright Flash, has screened at prestigious events.
Violet is from the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation. Her performance as Rosie in the feature The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open earned her a 2019 Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award nomination (Best Actress in a Canadian Film), and a 2020 Canadian Screen Award nomination (Best Lead Actress). Upcoming films include the feature, Night Raiders.
Born in a sod house on Baffin Isl., Zacharias Kunuk was a carver before buying his first video camera. In addition to features Atanarjuat The Fast Runner (2001) & One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattukas (2019), he’s directed 30+ documentaries and films and named an Officer of the Order of Canada (2015) and an Officer of the Order of Nunavut (2019).
Butterflies in Spirit is a dance group comprised of family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. With a mission to raise awareness of violence against Indigenous women and girls, they’ve performed across Canada, the US, Mexico, and Colombia. On stage, dancers wear shirts with images of their missing and murdered loved ones.
Jerilynn Webster, aka JB the First Lady, is a member of the Nuxalk & Onondaga Nations. A hip hop and spoken word artist, beat-boxer, cultural dancer & youth educator, JB sees her songs as a way of capturing oral history. Her fearless lyrics speak to challenging subjects like residential schools and missing and murdered indigenous women.
Curtis & crew play “Indigifunk” – that’s hip-hop music with elements of funk, soul, blues, reggae and ska performed with an Indigenous voice. The band captivate audiences with their funky rhythms, thundering percussion, blasting horns, soulful harmonies, dicing and slicing DJ – and uplifting messages and empowering lyrics that gratify your soul.
Tsatsu Stalqayu translates as Coastal Wolf Pack, a traditional Coast Salish performance group with over 25 male and female members from one family. They proudly represent the Musqueam, Okanagan, Tsartlip, Nanaimo, Penelakut, Cowichan & other Coast Salish communities. That diversity is reflected in the songs, dances and stories they share on stage.
Campbell writes adult and children’s free-verse poetry, fiction and non-fiction prose, her books weaving cultural and land-based Indigenous teachings focusing on truth, love, respect, endurance and reciprocity. She’s authored Shi-shi-etko, Shin-chi’s Canoe, Grandpa’s Girls and A Day with Yayah. Her latest is Stand Like a Cedar, released Feb. 2021.
Artist Carrielynn Victor is fueled by a connection to the earth and a passion to leave positive footprints. Combining ancient and modern practices, her professional artistic practice takes the form of murals, canvas paintings, drums, paddles and more recently, illustrations for scientific reports and children’s books, such as Stand Like a Cedar.
S7aplek Bob Baker is co-founder & spokesperson for Spakwus Slolem (Eagle Song), the most reputable dance group of the Squamish Nation. Born & raised Squamish, Bob has exercised his culture through singing, dances, and other presentations for 35+ years. Dance performances around the globe and at special events count among his many accomplishments.
Various artists will participate in this land-based video and photography art exhibition to investigate how our relation to the land has shifted as a result of the disruption caused by the pandemic. Works by Samaqani Cocahq (Natalie Sappier), Peter Morin, Yves Sioui Durand, Daina Warren and many more will be exhibited throughout the year.
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
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 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.
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’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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre exists to celebrate the widest spectrum of theatre art. Deeply rooted in, and supported by, the province of Manitoba, Royal MTC aspires to both reflect and engage the community it serves. It produces Pimootayowin — an Anishinaabemowin word meaning ‘journey’ — a play-reading series of works by new playwrights.
This June, the NIFF presents the first-ever Indigenous Fringe Festival. NIFF is an Indigenous-led project with a holistic approach to creating a community of support for Indigenous artists rooted in culture and building a sustainable future. Differing from other Fringes, it includes the Knowledge Sharing Project, fostering knowledge and learning.
O.Dela Arts supports Canadian Indigenous choreographer, Olivia C. Davies, in the creation of choreography, community-engaged projects, creative collaboration and commissions. It presents Talking Truths circle conversations to extend new ways of viewing Indigenous and Community art as an act of healing, political assertion and cultural continuation.