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North America’s largest Indigenous arts and culture festival will soon take place in multiple locations across Vancouver from June 12 to July 3, for the 21st consecutive year. To celebrate, the organizes a range of exciting events that feature talented Indigenous artists in music, dance, theatre, film and more.
In Canada, June encompasses National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day on the 21st. During these two events, Canadians are encouraged to reflect on the sacrifices, resilience and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
The three-week Talking Stick Festival is inclusive and accessible, as events are free or “by donation” – honoring Indigenous history and culture should know no bounds. Each artist will have the opportunity to share their personal stories and experiences with the public.
The Talking Stick Festival 2022 was given the title “Come Together,” inviting attendees on a canoe trip through ancestral lands while exploring Indigenous culture through art.
“This year, we are pleased to be fully integrated into the performing arts community, leveraging local partnerships to provide more opportunities for our Indigenous artists. Many of them will work alongside and be part of local Indigenous and non-Indigenous productions,” says Margo Kane, Founder and Artistic Director of Full Circle: First Nations Performance.
The creative concept incorporates symbolic meaning throughout with eagles representing wisdom, courage and strength to conquer any terrain. The ancestral figures guide them through their journey on the canoe while the cedar branch provides protection against negative energies they may encounter on their journeys.
This year’s theme is set against the backdrop of the majestic mountains and the ocean that come together in the land of the Coast Salish, a diverse Indigenous community. The theme “Come Together” will be communicated in the three languages spoken in this country: Ḵxwúsem (Squamish), m̓i q̓əq̓aʔt ct (Musqueam) and Qápqúthut (Tsleil-Waututh).
The 2022 lineup sets the Talking Stick Festival apart from other events of its kind. People can immerse themselves in live music at event held outdoors at šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn (formerly the QET Plaza) or the at the Fortune Sound Club. Participants can also participate in the memory of children lost in residential schools.
In partnership with Urban Ink Production, will screen at the SFU Goldcorp Center for the Arts.
From June 13 to 30, those interested in the art of tattooing at , an exhibition featuring the work of seven Indigenous tattoo artists: Audie Murray, Dion Kaszas, Gig–K’aajuu G’aaya, Holly Mititquq Nordlum, Nahaan , Nakkita Trimble and Nicole Neidhardt. The event explores each artist’s process and the meanings behind their creations.
Full Circle has also partnered with the Coastal Jazz & Blues Society to feature Indigenous artists at the annual, which runs June 24-July 3.
Sister duo DJ KoaKeA and DJ Keilani Rose, Vancouver artist JB the First Lady, sibling duo Sister Says and Turtle Island DJ Handsome Tiger are among 12 Indigenous performers scheduled for the public. EDM and hip-hop fans can also meet DJ Kookum, an energetic DJ who tours with the Snotty Nose Rez Kids.
For the complete program of the festival,