9AM to 11AM
Kwhlii Gibaygum Nisga’a Traditional Dancers
Kwhlii Gibaygum Nisga’a Traditional Dancers is a family run group, established in summer 2007 in Vancouver by founders: Wal’aks Keane Tait, Adiiyoox Emily Tait & Anmogam Dilx Zachary Tait. The Kwhlii Gibaygum Nisga’a (KGN) are a dynamic, high energetic group of performers who incorporate the stories, songs & dances of their W̓ahlingigat (Ancestors) into contemporary performances. Every dance member, can trace their ancestry to the Nisga’a, from Ksi-Lisims, the Nass River in what is now Northwestern British Columbia. The KGNDancers bring innovation and creativity to the table; we take our cultural and traditional roles very much to heart for our various performances whether for a conference or recreational audience. Many of our songs are from time before memory, some songs are new, we also have mask dances, and children’s songs that record a time in history.
Kwhlii Gibaygum Nisga’a Traditional Dancers have facilitated and presented workshops and outreach activities on story, song and dance for K-12 schools, post-secondary institutions, and museums.
JJ Lavallee (Métis) was born and raised in the community of St. Ambroise, Manitoba. JJ started singing at the age of six and by the age of nine had picked up his first guitar. When JJ turned sixteen, he found himself playing regularly with his Uncle Dave Lavallee. This talented family includes such groups as “The Lavallee Tradition” & the “Darren Lavallee Band”. His is a soulful songwriter & accomplished musician on the fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass, & drums.
Hannah Curr is a contemporary folk-pop singer-songwriter. At only thirteen years of age, Hannah Curr is one rising star to watch. Curr (Nuu-chah-nulth and Metis) has been singing and performing since she could walk and talk. She has taken her passion to the next level and has begun performing professionally in the summer of 2016, namely the Change-makers event in Stanley Park; Rematriate; and opening for Sister Says at Skwachays Gallery. Self-taught on the ukulele she performs covers of popular chart-toppers with her own folky, melodic interpretation woven into each piece. Currently, she is working towards writing her own songs. A few accomplishments to date, Hannah has done voice-over work in French for short film Four Faces of the Moon, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and has composed/ recorded a song for children’s show Coyote Science airing this year on APTN. She also was interviewed and performed for MLS series The Movement.
9AM to 11AM
V’ni Dansi is a Vancouver-based traditional Métis and contemporary dance company dedicated to sharing the dances, stories and culture of the Métis. Led by Artistic Director Yvonne Chartrand, the company is dedicated to preservation and innovation.
V’ni Dansi holds the distinction of being the only company in Canada to teach and perform both Métis and contemporary dance. Meaning “Come and Dance” in Michif, V’ni Dansi is thrilled to share the Métis people’s joyful culture with audiences of all nations.
Our work manifests in three creative themes: traditional Métis jigging, contemporary Métis jigging, and Indigenous contemporary dance. The jigging component of our work is performed under the name – the Louis Riel Métis Dancers. Contemporary works are created for Yvonne Chartrand under the name V’ni Dansi.
The Git Hayetsk Dancers are an internationally renowned dance group led in partnership by artist and carver Mike Dangeli of the Nisga’a, Tsimshian, Tlingit, and Tsetsaut Nations and University of Alaska Southeast professor Dr. Mique’l Dangeli of the Tsimshian and Tlingit Nations.
Git Hayetsk means “people of the copper shield” in Sm’algya̱x, the language spoken by the Nisga’a, Tsimshian, and Gitxsan Nations. The copper shield is the highest form of ceremonial wealth shared among their people as well as other First Nations along the Northwest Coast. Their dancers are bonded by their connections to the Sm’algya̱x speaking peoples with distinction in their family ties to the many other Nations in Northern British Columbia, the Yukon, and Southeast Alaska. Since 1999, they have shared their songs and dances at ceremonial and public events in urban and rural communities through Canada, the US, and abroad including Austria, Malaysia, Germany, and Japan.
The Git Hayetsk Dancers challenge themselves to learn and practice the artistry of dance, song composition, choreography, and regalia-making to the standards of wealth, power, and prestige embodied by the copper shield. With deep love and respect for their communities, they draw their strengths together to give life to the songs and dances of their ancestors as well as bring to life new ones that reflect their experiences as First Nations people today.
DJ Mukluk from Daka Dene (Wet’suwet’en) mixes new Indigenous beats and rhythms from the expanding world of Indigenous electronic music, with some of your favourite party sounds.
“I was born and raised in Northern BC. I am Tsimshian/Japanese on my fathers side, and French Canadian on my mothers. I identify as a proud queer woman. I was lucky to have found my voice in my late 20’s, and ever since it has been my medicine. I believe music has the power to heal and connect us all. To me, connection is everything – to this earth, to our hearts, and to each other. Over the last three years, I have worked as a Youth Worker with the CRUW program in the Indigenous Gardens at UBC. It is an incredible program that fosters culture, wellness, growth and connection with the land and our elders. I am also the Studio Manager of a community based gym (Tight Club) in Strathcona which is changing the game of fitness. It is incredibly rewarding to be part of such dynamic families and communities. I am currently working on an album, and look forward to sharing it with you all.”
Withes is a band that was started by Candace Curr (acoustic/ ukulele/ vocals) and Rob Thomson (bass; acoustic; electric guitar/ vocals). The two met while attending Aboriginal Music Performers Camp in Winnipeg. When they both returned to Vancouver they began to co-write and co-arrange music for an upcoming album. The music is indie/folk, bending genres as each song is written from an honest place, sharing life experiences through artistic expression.
They chose the name Withes because they wanted a name that represented the fluidity of the band. When cedar withes are banded together to make a rope, the binding becomes stronger, just as in performance, the more Withes added to the arrangement, the stronger. Rob and Candace have been back in the studio this spring working on a number of new songs. Withes will be performing this summer with 5 members. Candace and Rob, with the addition of Clayton Charleyboy on guitar, Trevor Ainsworth on drums, and Gillian Thomson on keyboard.
Dakota Bear was born on July 9th, 1993. He is a Native American hip hop artist who goes by the stage name Dakk’One, he is now based out of Vancouver, BC. although started his music career in his home town Saskatoon, SK. Dakk’One has been building his fan base since his first mixtape release in 2010, with the help of YouTube and Datpiff his music began to spread online. After grouping together with local talent Sacred Scripts, he was introduced into the Saskatchewan rap battle scene. The buzzed gained from the thousands of YouTube views caught the attention of comedian Chuck Cease, from there Dakk’One flew to the west coast to pursue his musical career even further.
After a couple years of networking and working on his sound, Dakk’One was finally ready to head back into the music scene after awhile of no musical releases. Currently finishing up on his first EP titled ‘Fame or Destruction’. This project was recorded by Juno Award winning producer Rob the Viking from Battle Axe Records. With the record release on It’s way Dakk’One needed the perfect representation of the album to be created through a visual. ‘Big Things’ shot and directed by Canadian film maker Matt Leaf was a great track off the album to describe the vibe of the new EP, the music video was released via YouTube.
Dakk’One has gained a fan base in his home town early in his career, which led him to open up for acts such as; Bone thugs & Harmony, Tech N9ne, Sweatshop Union, SDK, Madchild & Karl Wolf. Keeping true to his positive intentions as a role model Dakk’One has also performed at charity events. He also plans to be a motivational speaker at reservations, schools and communities across Canada.
Norine Braun – Emotional, heartfelt and eclectic: Norine Braun in 3 words. A Vancouver based singer-songwriter Norine Braun is an award winning artist (Canada Council For the Arts Award, Los Angeles Music Awards, Artists For Literacy) who has a slew of festival appearances under her belt. Her music blinks an eye to the past, while firmly looking forward, blending timeless elements such as blues, world and roots rock presenting them to the audience with a freshness and balance that are in tune with today’s sensibilities. Norine’s eclectic approach to songwriting and her prowess as a heartfelt performer are the fundaments of her solid reputation within her local scene, and beyond.
Eden Fine Day is a singer/songwriter who is a long-time devotee of pop rock music. She spent over a decade as the frontwoman for Vancougar and has also been playing as a solo artist since 2013. Her solo debut “Things Get Better”, is out now. Fine Day uses her powerful voice and raw, personal lyrics to communicate themes of love, loss and redemption. Ms. Fine Day will be in studio shortly to begin work on her second full-length album.
Murray Porter’s music has an instantly recognizable sound. The Mohawk piano player from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory brings his culture and history to the masses through his music.
With a mix of blues, country, and humour, Porter’s gravelly, soulful voice sings not only of the history and contemporary stories of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, but also universal themes of love, lost and found. He has spent over 35 years playing his self-taught unique style of footstomping, hand clapping blues piano around the world.
It was with his studio album Songs Lived & Life Played that won the 2012 JUNO for Aboriginal Album of the Year. It was nominated for two Western Canadian Music Awards and four Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards. It was at the latter awards show where he brought the house to their feet and to tears with the emotionally charged song about Indian residential schools, “Is Sorry Enough?”
To watch Porter live, it’s so clear that he loves to perform, and does so with care, love, wonder, and unabashed happiness. He makes it look easy. These emotions are easily shared with the audience and one cannot help but get caught up in his performance. He has been compared to Dr. John, Joe
Cocker and even Elton John! Robbie Robertson has called Porter “a master bluesman.”
Gerald Charlie and the Black Owl Blues Band
Gerald is from Lake Errock, B.C. and resides on Scowlitz Indian Reserve. He has been in music business for decades and pleases crowds everywhere. He has performed festivals and conventions in B.C. and United States . He has two cd’s which have won blues awards from international magazine Real Blues. His cd titled Out There has held the best top 100 blues cd internationally for three years. His self titled cd won best debut recording and best number one release in Canada. He has recently received a Muse Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. Gerald writes his own songs from real life experiences and tells it like it is in his songs.
Gerald’s rhythm section consists of high calibre musicians who perform to please. The Black Owl Blues project is a great one that can only bring people to their feet and groove to the blues. One of Gerald’s most memorable shows was opening for Bo Diddly to a sold out concert at Silver Reef Casino. Gerald has his own style and it right from the heart. Gerald Charlie and Black Owl Blues is a band you do not want to miss.