Co-Presented with SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs.
Contemporary Indigenous Fusion woven together with elements of hip/trip hop, rock and folk and thick harmonies, carried through with experience, manifestation, and visions of intergenerational stories of pain and healing. The Melawmen Collective was formed with a vision to create connections between Indigenous People and all others through music & story, developing our shared historical consciousness towards what the Secwepemc call ‘The Human Beings’.
Jeanette Kotowich is a Vancouver based multidisciplinary contemporary dance artist. She holds her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts. Artistically, she is interested in exploring the creative process through authentic movement development, context driven investigations, improvisation, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Jeanette is passionate about investigating a blend of contemporary and indigenous culture and knowledge, and she honors her traditional Canadian Métis heritage as a source of inspiration and reference point in her work.
During these global pandemic times, Jeanette created CO-VIDS, a series of site-specific dance films. And in the last few years, she has created Kisiskâwican, a full-length solo performance, and led Kwê an ensemble investigation developed for group choreography. Jeanette is co-founder of Métis dance collective Acuhko Simowuk (Dancing with Ancestors). She is currently artist in residence at Raven Spirit Dance, NAC Indigenous Theatre, Shadbolt Centre and The Dance Centre, and an artistic member of Mutable Subject and mentor to emerging creatives at Vines Festival.
Gillian Thomson is of mixed Haida, Tsimshian and European background (Ukrainian, English and Scottish) and is a vocalist, songwriter, performer, and disability support worker. She has for many years been a singer and songwriter in her and her brother Robert’s original indie soul-pop band Sister Says, and currently enjoys singing jazz standards and original solo folk-soul tunes, as well as dabbling in comedy. She has also had the opportunity to sing and collaborate with many inspiring artists such as Squamish Elder and Knowledge Keeper Xwechtaal (Dennis Joseph), singer-songwriter/performer Claire Love Wilson, and singer-songwriter Tonye Aganaba. Her approach to singing is intuitive and stems from a mix of growing up around jazz and blues music, deep listening, vocal lessons from the likes of jazz singer Bonnie Ferguson and soul singer Dawn Pemberton, as well as learning from both studied and intuitive musicians and artists.
Fara Palmer is a multi-genre artist who loves to weave Soul, RnB, Pop and Indigenous content into her music. She has released four albums throughout her career, has earned Juno nominations and
multiple music awards. Of all the songs she has written, she is especially proud of ‘PrettyBrown’, ‘Reclamation’, ‘My Roots’ and ‘To Bring Back Yesterday’’, as these songs have spoken to generations of Indigenous peoples and youth, offering a positive message of self-image, identity and cultural preservation.
Michael Creber is one of Canada’s most sought-after musicians, both onstage and in the studio. He is a Grammy-nominated producer and has a vast experience as a keyboardist in pop, r&b, rock and country. He has performed and recorded with kd lang, Raffi, the Rankin Sisters, David Foster, Joan Rivers, Andrea Bocelli, Martin Short, Powder Blues, Cyndi
Lauper, Jim Byrnes, Sandy Scofield, The Irish Rovers, Andrea Menard and Dalannah Gail Bowen among many others. He is a regular on the Vancouver jazz scene, composes and arranges for film and tv, has released four albums of original music and also loves to accompany singers onstage or in the studio!