Talking Stick @ PuSh Artists

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

Industry Series

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Lindsay Lachance

Indigenous Performing Arts Practices
(Facilitator)

Lindsay Lachance (Algonquin Anishinaabe) has worked as a dramaturg for over a decade and has a PhD from the department of theatre and film at the University of British Columbia. Lindsay’s dramaturgical practice is influenced by her relationship with birch bark biting and the Gatineau River. She is also the director of the Animikiig Creators Unit at Native Earth Performing Arts, which focuses on the development of new Indigenous works.

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Tammy Haili‘ōpua Baker

Indigenous Performing Arts Practices
(Panelist)

Playwright/Director Tammy Haili‘ōpua Baker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her work centers on the development of an indigenous Hawaiian theatre aesthetic and form, language revitalization, and the empowerment of cultural identity through stage performance. Baker is the artistic director of Ka Hālau Hanakeaka, a Hawaiian medium theatre troupe based on O‘ahu. Originally from Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i she now resides in Kahalu‘u, Ko‘olaupoko, O‘ahu with her ‘ohana.

Santee Smith

Santee Smith/Tekaronhiáhkhwa

Indigenous Performing Arts Practices
(Panelist)

Santee Smith/Tekaronhiáhkhwa is from the Kahnyen’kehàka Nation, Turtle Clan from Ohswé:ken / Six Nations of the Grand River. Santee is a multidisciplinary artist, who dances forward from an ancestral path of creatives and activists. Santee trained at Canada’s National Ballet School and completed Physical Education and Psychology degrees from McMaster University and a M.A. in Dance from York University. Santee premiered her debut work Kaha:wi – a family creation story in 2004 and one year later founded Kaha:wi Dance Theatre which has grown into an internationally renowned company. Through embodied storytelling and conceptual design her work speaks about identity, Indigenous narratives and continuance. Santee is a sought-after creative collaborator, teacher and speaker on the performing arts and Indigenous performance and culture. Smith is the 19th Chancellor of McMaster University. 

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Tara Beagan

Indigenous Performing Arts Practices
(Panelist)

Tara Beagan is a proud Ntlaka’pamux and Irish “Canadian” halfbreed. She is cofounder/director of ARTICLE 11 with Andy Moro, based in Mohkinstsis. Beagan served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts from February 2011 to December 2013. She’s been writer-in-rez at Cahoots Theatre (Toronto), NEPA (Toronto), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Berton House (Dawson City, Yukon). And during pandemic times at Prairie Theatre Exchange (Winnipeg). Seven of her 32 plays are published. One won a Dora Award. In 2020, Honour Beat won the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama. Recent premieres include Deer Woman in Aotearoa (New Zealand), Honour Beat opening the 2018/19 season at Theatre Calgary, The Ministry of Grace at Belfry Theatre in Victoria, and Super in Plays2Perform@Home with Boca Del Lupo (Vancouver). Beagan was the 2020 laureate of the Siminovitch Prize for theatre, playwriting. In 2022 she will direct the premiere of the Kenneth T. Williams work The Herd at Citadel/Tarragon/NACIT.

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Deneh’Cho Thompson

Indigenous Performing Arts Practices
(Witness)

Deneh’Cho Thompson (he/they) is a director, actor and playwright and displaced and dispossessed member of the Pehdzeh ki Nation. His artistic practice focuses on new plays and new play development. As Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan Deneh’Cho oversees the wîcêhtowin Theatre Program, one of few Indigenous theatre programs at a Canadian university.  Deneh’Cho’s research focuses on the development, naming, and centring of Indigenous pedagogies; new play development (in various roles) and Indigenous collaborations –  centering the values of reciprocity, respect and reflexivity. 

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Dolina Wehipeihana

Indigenous Performing Arts Presenting
(Facilitator)

Dolina Wehipeihana (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Raukawa) is a producer, arts manager, choreographer and performer. Dolina is currently Kaiārahi Māori at PANNZ (Performing Arts Network New Zealand), General Manager of Kia Mau Festival, and Chair of Atamira Dance Collective Charitable Trust. She is also a co-director and producer for Betsy & Mana Productions, and an advocate for contemporary Indigenous theatre and dance.  As a producer she has toured New Zealand work to Australia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, and Edinburgh.

 

A founding member of Atamira Dance Company, her creative background also includes dancing with New Zealand companies such as Black Grace and Touch Compass and independent choreographers and projects such as the Limbs Retrospective and Maui One Man Against the Gods. Dolina is currently a choreographic practitioner in the collectively created work Te Wheke by Atamira Dance Company, which premiered in June 2021.

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Margo Kane

Indigenous Performing Arts Presenting
(Panelist)

Cree-Saulteaux Metis performing artist, Margo Kane is the Founder and Artistic Managing Director of Full Circle: First Nations Performance.  For over 40 years she has been active as an actor, performing artist and community cultural worker.  Her desire to share artistic performance that has meaning for her people is the catalyst for her extensive work, travels and consultation within Indigenous communities across Canada and abroad.  Moonlodge, her acclaimed one-woman show, an Indigenous Canadian classic, toured for over 10 years nationally and internationally.  The Sydney Press (AU) during The Festival of the Dreaming praised it as being ‘in the top echelon of solo performance.’  

 

She developed and runs the annual Talking Stick Festival celebrating its 20th Anniversary this passt year and numerous programs including Moccasin Trek: Arts on the Move!, Indian Acts and an Indigenous Ensemble Performing Arts Program in Vancouver.  


She has received numerous awards and honors including an International Citation of Merit from ISPA – International Society for the Performing Arts, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of the Fraser Valley, the Order of Canada from the Governor-General and most recently an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from SFU – Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC.

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Hone Kouka

Indigenous Performing Arts Presenting
(Panelist)

Hone Kouka (Ngati Porou, Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Kahungunu, Kai Tahu) M.N.Z.M.  Hone is an acclaimed Maori director, producer and writer, youngest winner of the  Bruce Mason Playwrights Award and multiple award winner, he has had plays produced  in South Africa, Britain, Hawaii, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Caledonia, as well as  throughout New Zealand, with three plays being translated into French, Japanese and  Russian. Kouka, along with Miria George founded theatre and film production house  Tawata Productions, producing the works of Maori and Pacific artists and in 2015 he  became Artistic Director of Kia Mau Festival – a Maori, Pasifika and International  Indigenous multi arts platform based in Wellington. He became a member of the New  Zealand order of Merit for his services to Contemporary Maori Theatre in June 2009  and was awarded the New Zealand Writers Guild – Mentors Award 2013. He had two  films screened at the 2016 Berlin Film festival – Born to Dance (screenwriter) and  Mahana (Executive Producer) and in 2017 he was awarded the Arts Category for  Wellingtonian of the Year.

Jacob Boehme

Jacob Boehme

Indigenous Performing Arts Presenting
(Panelist)

Jacob Boehme is a director, writer and choreographer of theatre, dance and festivals from the Narangga and Kaurna Nations, South Australia. An Australia Council for the Arts Fellow and Alumni of the Victorian College of the Arts Jacob is the Artistic Director of The Wild Dog Project – a multi-generational project reconnecting dingo songlines, and communities across Australia and Asia. Jacob is also Artistic Director of The Elders Lounge – a documentary and archival series collating and celebrating the stories of Indigenous cultural and arts Elders across Australia, Canada and the USA. Jacob is the founding Creative Director of Yirramboi Festival and sits on the Board of Directors for Dance House, Polyglot Theatre and the Ministry of Culture Taiwan South East Asia Advisory Panel. Jacob is currently the inaugural Director First Nations Programs for Carriageworks, one of Australia’s largest multi-arts centres located in Sydney.

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ShoShona Kish

Indigenous Performing Arts Presenting
(Panelist)

ShoShona Kish is an Anishinaabekwe community organizer, producer, activist, songwriter and JUNO award-winning touring artist. In 2018 ShoShona was recognized for her work internationally with the prestigious “ Professional Excellence Award ” from the WOMEX organization “for her role in the ongoing revolution, using the medium of music as an agent of change, to awaken our humanity and help us connect”. ShoShona leads the multi-award-winning band Digging Roots, with her husband, Raven Kanatakta. Their music breaches categorization, blending global and Indigenous sounds with roots, blues, and trip-hop. They openly explore topical issues, treating music as a call to action.  ShoShona is the Chair and founder of the International Indigenous Music Summit, the Indigenous Music Alliance and the Indigenous Music Advisory Circle. She also sits on the Music Canada’s Advisory Council.  She will be releasing a new album with Digging Roots in the spring of 2022 on Ishkōdé Records, a label she recently founded with Amanda Rhéaume.

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Merindah Donnelly

Indigenous Performing Arts Presenting
(Panelist)

Merindah Donnelly is a descendant of Wiradjuri people, a proud Koori living in Meanjin, Queensland and is currently co-CEO and Executive Producer of BlakDance. Merindah has worked in Market Development at the Australia Council for the Arts and as a producer and curator nationally and internationally. In 2015 Merindah was a global International Society of Performing Arts fellow (ISPA) and worked with Margo Kane at the Talking Stick festival in Vancouver. In 2018 Merindah was awarded a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship and in 2020 she completed her Masters in Cultural Leadership MFA at NIDA. Merindah is currently an Australia Council International Society of Performing Arts Fellow.

Denise Bolduc

Denise Bolduc

Indigenous Performing Arts Presenting (Witness)

Denise Bolduc is an established creator, creative director and producer who programs to transform perspectives and activate change.  Her career of three decades represents countless contributions and connections with numerous celebrated artists, creative thinkers and leading cultural institutions with an emphasis on elevating Indigenous voices. She has recently accepted the appointment as the inaugural Director, Indigenous Arts at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.  Denise is Ojibwe-Anishinaabe (Lake Superior) and French, born and raised in the Robinson Huron Treaty Territory, and is a member of the Batchewana First Nation with familial ties in Garden River First Nation.  

M.Dangeli Protrait by Kevin Mellis 2018

Mique’l Dangeli

Indigenous Performing Arts Protocols
(Facilitator)

Mique’l Dangeli was born and raised on the Annette Island Indian Reserve, and is of the Tsimshian Nation of Metlakatla, Alaska. She is an assistant professor in the School of Creative Arts at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Her work focuses on Indigenous visual and performing arts, protocol, cultural resurgence, sovereignty, decolonization and language revitalization. Dangeli is a dancer, choreographer, educator, curator and activist. As one of the youngest advanced speakers and teachers of her people’s language, she is dedicated to teaching Sm’algya̱x in community-based and university-accredited classes as well as mentoring educational staff in their process of language acquisition and the creation of pre-K to high school programs. For the past 15 years, she and her husband, artist and carver Mike Dangeli (Nisga’a Nation), have led the Git Hayetsk Dancers, an internationally renowned Northwest Coast First Nations dance group specializing in ancient and newly created songs and mask dances.

Raven Spirit Dance

Michelle Olson

Indigenous Performing Arts Protocols
(Panelist)

Michelle Olson is a member of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation and the Artistic Director of Raven Spirit Dance. She studied dance and performance at the University of New Mexico, the Aboriginal Arts Program at the Banff Centre and was an Ensemble Member of Full Circle First Nations Performance.  Michelle works in areas of dance, theatre and opera as a choreographer, performer and movement coach and her work has been seen on stages across Canada. She was the recipient of the inaugural Vancouver International Dance Festival Choreographic Award.  She is currently teaching at Langara’s Studio 58 and pursuing her MFA in Theatre at UBC.

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Rosemary Georgeson

Indigenous Performing Arts Protocols
(Panelist)

Rosemary Georgeson is a Coast Salish and Sahtu Dene artist, writer, and storyteller. 

The recipient of the 2009 Vancouver Mayor’s Award recognizing her as an emerging artist in community arts, Rosemary has applied her talents in dozens of theater, film, and performance projects throughout Canada. Rosemary was the 2014 storyteller in residence for the Vancouver Public Library. Born to a fishing family, Rosemary worked as a commercial fisherman along the west coast for three decades. Rosemary has spent her lifetime reconnecting with her Coast Salish ancestry and family and is now working to publish a digital and print book and build an installation that shares and celebrates the reconnection of family and strong Coast Salish women from around the Salish Sea. This installation will be launching in the summer of 2022 on Galiano Island.

BURNABY, B.C. - March 10: Thousands march from Lake City Way Skytrain to Burnaby Mountain to show their opposition to Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The Protect the Inlet initiative was launched by Coast Salish spiritual leaders and members. (Photograph by Farah Nosh for the Globe and Mail)Mlo:yhleq (Ronnie Dean Harris), 38, from Langley. Stō:lo/St’át’imc/Nlaka'pamux Nations. “My three times great-grandfather was Chief Kwikwetlem, I know he would've been here.”

Ronnie Dean Harris

Indigenous Performing Arts Protocols
(Panelist)

Ronnie Dean Harris aka Ostwelve, is a Stō:lo/St’át’imc/Lil’wat/N’laka’pamux multimedia artist based in New Westminster, B.C. Beginning in music, he has explored various mediums such as TV, film, visual + sound design along side various research subjects including history, cosmology, genealogy and Indigenous policy.  Ronnie can be heard as the voice of Dad/Walter Mabray on the PBS/WGBH series Molly Of Denali and seen on various other TV + film projects.

 

Ronnie is currently the Indigenous Cultural Developer at Massey Theatre and Eighth + Eight Creative Spaces and a Board of Directors member of the 2 Rivers Remix Society.

Reneltta Arluk

Reneltta Arluk

Indigenous Performing Arts Protocols
(Panelist)

Reneltta is an Inuvialuit, Dene and Cree mom from the Northwest Territories. She is founder of Akpik Theatre, a northern focussed professional Indigenous Theatre company. Raised by her grandparents on the trap-line until school age, this nomadic environment gave Reneltta the skills to become the multi-disciplined artist she is now. For nearly two decades, Reneltta has taken part in or initiated the creation of Indigenous Theatre across Canada and overseas. Under Akpik Theatre, Reneltta has written, produced, and performed various works creating space for Indigenous led voice. Current works include Pawâkan Macbeth, a Plains Cree takeover of Macbeth written by Arluk on Treaty 6 territory. Pawâkan Macbeth was inspired by working with youth and elders on the Frog Lake reserve. Reneltta is the first Inuk and first Indigenous woman to graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program and Reneltta is the first Inuk and first Indigenous woman to direct at The Stratford Festival. There she was awarded the Tyrone Guthrie – Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Director’s Award for her direction of the The Breathing Hole. Reneltta is Director of Indigenous Arts at BANFF Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Dakota, Photo used with permission by Atamira Dance Company, Photographer_ Julie Zhu

Dakota Camacho

Indigenous Performing Arts Protocols
(Panelist)

Dakota Camacho (Matao/CHamoru) is a multi-disciplinary artist / researcher working in spaces of indigenous life ways, performance, musical composition, community engagement, and education. Camacho holds a Masters of Arts in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in Gender & Women’s Studies as a First Wave Urban Arts and Hip Hop Scholar. Camacho is a chanter, adjunct instructor, and core researcher for I Fanlalai’an Oral History Project based at the University of Guåhan. Camacho co-founded I Moving Lab, an inter-national, inter-cultural, inter-tribal, and inter-disciplinary arts collective that creates community and self-funded arts initiatives to engage and bring together rural & urban communities, Universities, Museums, & performing arts institutions. Camacho has worked at festivals, universities, and community organizations as a public speaker, facilitator, composer and performer across Turtle Island (USA), Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Sweden, and South Africa.

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Meena Natarajan

Indigenous Performing Arts Protocols
(Panelist)

Meena Natarajan is a playwright and director and the Co-Artistic and Executive Director of Pangea World Theater, a progressive, international ensemble space for arts and dialogue. She has led the theater’s growth since it’s founding in 1995. She was on the Advisory Council of the Community Arts Network and has served on the board of the National Performance Network. She is currently on the board of Longfellow Rising, an organization in Minneapolis committed to rebuilding the Longfellow neighborhood destroyed during the uprising of 2020 and using theatre and the arts to build community vitality. She has written several full-length works for Pangea, ranging from adaptations of poetry and mythology to original works dealing with war, spirituality, personal and collective memory. 

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Bob Baker

Indigenous Performing Arts Protocols
(Witness)

Bob Baker (Squamish Ancestral name is S7aplek, Hawaiian name is Lanakila) is co-founder and Spokesperson for Spakwus Slolem (Eagle Song) the most reputable Dance Group of the Squamish Nation. Born and Raised Squamish, Bob has been exercising his Culture through Singing, Dances, and various presentations, for over 35 years . Accomplishments range from revival of Sea-going Canoes and traditions, to Cultural projects such as the 27 ft. Grandmother Welcome Figure, at Ambleside Beach Park, to dance presentations in Taiwan, Hawaii, Japan, Switzerland, (Montreaux Jazz Festival), and opening Ceremonies for Western Canada Summer games, Nation Aboriginal Hockey Championships, International U18 Lacrosse Championships, and recently, opening ceremony for the Canada Aboriginal Music Awards. To Blessing Ceremonies for B.C. Ferries, in Flensburg, Germany and the Tallships flotilla Blessing Ceremony here at English bay, Vancouver. On-going performances and projects continue through-out the Lower Mainland, Vancouver, Squamish-Whistler and Vancouver Island. In the warmer months Bob can be found training in the traditional dug-out war canoes, as well as the Great Sea-going Canoes, and as a steersman for Tribal Journeys, and the Pulling Together Journey, visiting Villages along our beautiful coasts of British Columbia and Washington State.

Club PuSh

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Jordan Waunch

Club PuSh (Host)

Jordan Waunch is a Vancouver based Métis performing artist, public speaker, and emerging filmmaker. A graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Film And Television Production Program, Jordan has gone on to build a career as a professional camera operator and casting associate at the Vancouver based casting facility Studio 3 Media. In 2019 he directed the project “Sisters Of Sorrow” through StoryHive’s first ever Indigenous Storyteller Edition and is currently producing an Indigenous language documentary supported by the Indigenous Screen Office and Netflix. His next directing project “Shadow of the Rougarou” is a limited series based on traditional Michif oral stories and is set for release in spring 2022 on APTN’s streaming platform Lumi.

DJ O Show

DJ O SHOW

Club PuSh (DJ)

Orene Askew, aka DJ O Show, brings energy and expertise to every event she DJ’s and hosts. She brings professionalism and passion and remains true to her love for hip hop and R&B, incorporating beats to ensure you never want to leave the dance floor! With an outgoing personality and friendly demeanor, O Show is one of the easiest DJs to work with

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Jacob Hoskins

Club PuSh (Performer)

Indigenous electronic artist Jacob Hoskins has been gaining momentum for years, bending musical boundaries to fit the intensity of his expression. An enrapturing coalescence of darkness and light, Hoskins’ music is informed by the contrasts in his own life: the good and the bad, the nature and the city, the tensions and the reprieves. Hoskins’ rapturous compositions take us on a climactic trip through shared highs and lows, crackling with the edgy energy of vernal adventures, dancing on the brink of a new frequency.

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Sasha Mark

Club PuSh (Performer)

Sasha Mark is a Cree-Metís stand up comedian all the way from Treaty 1 territory, but is now residing in so called “Vancouver”. He has been featured on the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Comedy Here Often?, APTN and runs a monthly show at the Havana Theatre called The Sasha Ha Ha at The Ha Ha Havana.

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Sparkle Plenty

Club PuSh (Performer)

Sparkle Plenty is a notorious glamedian, weirdlesquer, and word-maker-upper who has been delivering beautifully bizarre burlesque and drag acts throughout the beautiful lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories for over 10 years. This fiery Indigiqueer is Cree with mixed heritage who is a proud sister and convening member of the Virago Nation Indigenous Arts Society, where she produces and performs in shows and workshops with the mission to reclaim Indigenous sexuality from the toxic effects of colonization. She also serves as ‘Art Auntie’ with the Diasporic Dynasty, an all BIPOC burlesque and drag collective based in ‘Vancouver’. Outside of the work she does with Virago Nation and Diasporic Dynasty, you can find her emceeing and teasing on stages and online all over Turtle Island. Sparkle has been invited as a featured performer in burlesque festivals across Western ‘Canada’ as well as Indigenous and queer arts festivals including Talking Stick Festival and Transform Cabaret Festival.

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Mamarudegyal MTHC

Club PuSh (Performer)

Mamarudegyal MTHC (Born Diana Hellson; January 11, 1992) is a Professional Hip Hop & R&B Artist and Founder of Indigenous Hip Hop & Multimedia Group “Rudegang Entertainment”; Based in Burnaby, BC. Releasing her debut EP “MRG EP” in 2016, and taking home two Fraser Valley Music Awards (Best Hip Hop – Female, Queer Excellence in Music) in 2017, Mamarudegyal MTHC has made quite a name for herself and has the BC Hip Hop scene waiting impatiently for her follow up albumMamarudegyal MTHC (Born Diana Hellson; January 11, 1992) is a Professional Hip Hop & R&B Artist and Founder of Indigenous Hip Hop & Multimedia Group “Rudegang Entertainment”; Based in Burnaby, BC. Releasing her debut EP “MRG EP” in 2016, and taking home two Fraser Valley Music Awards (Best Hip Hop – Female, Queer Excellence in Music) in 2017, Mamarudegyal MTHC has made quite a name for herself and has the BC Hip Hop scene waiting impatiently for her follow up album, currently in progress.Mamarudegyal MTHC (Born Diana Hellson; January 11, 1992) is a Professional Hip Hop & R&B Artist and Founder of Indigenous Hip Hop & Multimedia Group “Rudegang Entertainment”; Based in Burnaby, BC. Releasing her debut EP “MRG EP” in 2016, and taking home two Fraser Valley Music Awards (Best Hip Hop – Female, Queer Excellence in Music) in 2017, Mamarudegyal MTHC has made quite a name for herself and has the BC Hip Hop scene waiting impatiently for her follow up album, currently in progress., currently in progress.

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Bingo Bash

Club PuSh (Bingo caller)

From the comedic minds of April O’Peel and Joe King, here comes Bingo Bash! Finding a home at Hail Mary’s every second Monday in Vancouver, April and Joe have been performing for and playing with bingo enthusiasts since October of 2020. This is NOT your grandmother’s bingo! Prepare to win ridiculous prizes and get ready for all the bingo lingo you can handle during this seated and socially distanced group activity. Bring your lucky charms, pull up a seat, and get ready for a punny and funny good time!

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