Summer Solstice Celebration with Logan Staats

Presented by Talking Stick Festival

Experience an unforgettable evening at “Summer Solstice Celebration with Logan Staats,” where Indigenous art and culture come to life. This captivating event features a diverse mix of ceremony, storytelling, dance, music, fashion, and more. Be moved by headliner Logan Staats’ soulful melodies and amazed by the talent of Ila Barker. Discover the powerful connections that unite us all, as inspiring performances celebrate the spirit of Indigenous cultures in a captivating blend of tradition and contemporary expression.

Logan Staats

In 2018, veracious Mohawk singer-songwriter Logan Staats was chosen from 10,000 hopeful contestants vying for a spot on musical competition show The Launch. Before an audience of 1.4 million viewers, Staats won, officiating the breakthrough that would lead him to Nashville and Los Angeles, and to his single “The Lucky Ones” winning the Indigenous Music Award for Best Radio Single. “The Lucky Ones” also occupied #1 in Canada.

In the years between now and then, Staats has come home, making the intentional decision to re-root at ​​Six Nations of the Grand River. “I wanted to bring my songwriting back to the medicine inside of music, to the medicine inside of reclamation,” he says following a phase of constant travel and intensity.

To Staats, music is a healing salve, contemplatively composed and offered to listeners in need of comfort. Since returning home, Staats has been able to create music authentically again, reclaiming his sound through honest storytelling and unvarnished, sometimes painful reflection.

Ila Barker

With her soulful voice and lyrics that wash over the minds and hearts of audiences like waves, singer-songwriter Ila Barker is a force to be reckoned with. This Winnipeg based folk-soul artist of Anishinaabe and settler heritage, takes listeners on an introspective journey, inviting them to connect deeply with their own emotions. As an act of reciprocity, Ila mentors emerging Indigenous artists in AIRsessions, her self-curated music workshop series. Ila Barker has taken the stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Regina Folk Festival, sākihiwē festival, and opened for Jeremy Dutcher’s sold out performance in PEI. After the release of her self-titled debut album (2013) Ila took time to mindfully refine her artistry, embarking on a creative evolution emerging with a self-determined sound. Her newly released album Fool Under Water (2022) is an honour song to her metamorphosis into the powerhouse she is today and a promise that the tide will turn.

Supernaturals Modelling

Supernaturals; an Indigenous boutique modelling agency focusing on healthy and high-end cultural representation was co-founded by two renowned Indigenous changemakers, Joleen Mitton and Patrick Shannon. Their mission is to celebrate and make visible Indigenous peoples at a high level in media arts, culture, community, land-based wisdom, and the global market.

Rhonda Johnson

Rhonda Johnson hails from the Treaty 8 Territory in Northern Alberta. Her design roots originate from our most natural source, her Great Grandmother. Rhonda grew up on the reservation with her Great Grandparents, Grandparents and Mother, who were the largest influences in her life. Learning only in her Cree language from a very young age, she was handed down traditional skills through old fashion teaching. From hide making, treadle machine sewing, beading, bone crafts and beyond, this was where her passion for the arts and textiles took root.
Once older, Rhonda eventually moved to Edmonton. She pursued her education and graduated from Fashion Design & Apparel Production in 2006. Upon graduation she took personal time off to spend many years refining her design skills and to also care for her children. Now that sufficient time has passed she has begun a new design adventure once again under her label Acahkos Designs, which is the Cree word for Star.
Rhonda designs traditional and contemporary clothing, regalia and couture fashion. She combines new and old techniques in her design process and experiments with print, texture, drape, hand and shape. She strives to create new, innovative designs and fashion. Fashion that people will appreciate for its intelligent, cultural design aesthetic, as well as its function. 

Jordan Waunch - emcee

Jordan Waunch is a Vancouver based Métis performing artist, public speaker, and award winning 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 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 produced the Queer Indigenous horror film “Terror/Forming”. His most recent directing project “Shadow Of The Rougarou” is playing on APTN’s streaming service Lumi.