The 11th annual Talking Stick Festival returns next week with a roster of city-wide events celebrating Aboriginal performance and art. The festival features a range of national and international Aboriginal artists, and includes live music, dance, theatre, multi-media, storytelling and performance art.
Taking place at venues across Vancouver—primarily at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown and The Cultch—Talking Stick Festival 2012 has a packed schedule of performances, theatre, workshops, and artists’ talks spanning February 20 – March 5, 2012.
Highlights of the 2012 Talking Stick Festival include:
A Taste of the Festival Gala Opening – February 20, 2012
The Festival starts with a bang with this crowd-pleasing opening gala that features a traditional welcome from Spakwus Slolem (Eagle Song Dancers), live music, spoken word, comedy, plus a reception with food and a cash bar.
In A World Created By A Drunken God – February 23 – 25, 2011
Written by Drew Hayden Taylor, one of Canada’s leading First Nations playwrights, this powerful drama was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. The play “raises questions that transcend issues of culture, morality and history, cutting to the heart of what it means to be human in a world stripped of convenient labels and identity politics.”
Native by Nature: The Aboriginal Music Project – February 25, 2012
Happening at VCC’s Broadway Campus (1155 East Broadway), this “ensemble of musical marvels” brings together top artists from the Canadian Aboriginal music scene, including Dave Larocque and Kinnie Starr.
Electric Powwow featuring A Tribe Called Red – February 25, 2012
A 19+ event at W2 Media Cafe (111 W Hastings St.), this club night showcases Aboriginal DJ talent and Native urban culture. A Tribe Called Red creates an eclectic sound made up of Hip-Hop, Dance Hall, Electronic, and their own mash-up of club and Pow Wow music known as Pow Wow Step.
On the Cusp: Contemporary Aboriginal Dance Showcase, curated by Raven Spirit Dance – March 1 & 2, 2012
Presented with the Cultch, there are two separate On the Cusp dance events: one on March 1 and one on March 2. Both performances feature thought-provoking new dance work from Canadian and U.S. choreographers and local Vancouver artists, all of whom “push the boundaries, perceptions and possibilities of contemporary Indigenous dance practice.”
There are many more theatre, music and performance events—as well as talks and workshops—happening during Talking Stick Festival 2012. For a complete schedule and ticket information, see the official site.