Fort York National Historic Site will become a centre of Aboriginal cultural expression with two large free events that honour and celebrate National Aboriginal History Month.
“National Aboriginal History Month recognizes Aboriginal contributions to Canada. This year is particularly significant as the recommendations from the six-year examination of residential schools by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have now been made public. The art festival and powwow compel us through artistic expression to remember the work of Aboriginal communities in their fight for self-determination, while celebrating their cultures and histories,” said Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), Co-Chair of the City’s Aboriginal Affairs Committee.
The third annual Indigenous Arts Festival at Fort York, from June 18 to 20, celebrates traditional and contemporary music, dance, theatre, storytelling, visual arts, spoken word, crafts and food created by indigenous artists from across Canada.
Music from multi-award winning artists Tanya Tagaq, Eagle & Hawk and Diyet will be featured on the TD Main Stage alongside performances from Melody McKiver, the Manitou Mkwa Singers, the Red Slam Collective and Leonard Sumner.
Dance and theatre events will include “Mistatim” by the internationally acclaimed Red Sky Performance, and performances by “Okiysikaw” Tyrone Tootoosis Sr., Great Plains – A First Nations Dance Company and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.
Spoken word and storytelling features the Skennen’kó:wa – Great Peace Poetry Slam, Mahlikah Awe:ri and Joseph Boyden. Site animation will be by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts.
Events will take place from noon to 9:30 p.m. on June 18 and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on June 19 and 20. More information is available at: http://bit.ly/1oR2Geb.
The Indigenous Arts Festival is produced by Fort York with the financial support of TD Bank and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.
The Native Men’s Residence (Na-Me-Res) Traditional Powwow will be held on June 21 to recognize National Aboriginal Day. The event features traditional dancing, drumming, a kids area and craft vendors. Seven Aboriginal drum groups and over 100 traditional dancers are expected to participate.
The powwow grand entry takes place at noon, with traditional dancing and drumming until 4:30 p.m., followed by a feast for all. The gala concert begins at 6 p.m. with award-winning, Colorado-based finger style blues guitarist Cary Morin, “The Dylan of Durango”, and closes with the vibrant alternative funk/rock sound of Ghost Town Orchestra from Brantford, Ont.
This event is presented by Na-Me-Res, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, and Fort York. Located at 250 Fort York Blvd., Fort York is one of 10 historic museums operated by the City of Toronto. The public can call 416-392-6907 or visit http://www.toronto.ca/fortyork for information, and interact with Fort York at https://twitter.com/fortyork and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fortyork
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