Coastal First Nations Dance Festival March 6 – 10

Coastal First Nations Dance

The Coastal First Nations Dance Festival is a celebration of the stories, songs, and dances of indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast.

Presented by Dancers of Damelahamid at the Great Hall in The Museum of Anthropology March 6 – 10, the festival includes a wide range of performances. This is a taste of B.C. and the Pacific Northwest that is too unique and special to pass up.

Internationally lauded artists are coming to Vancouver from communities throughout Canada, including B.C., Manitoba, Yukon and Manitoba, as well as from U.S. states Alaska and Washington, to participate in the sixth annual festival. Metis jiggers, Inuit throat singers, Prairie hoop dancers and Chinook song catchers are some of the performers who will don traditional garb and perform in the Museum of Anthropology’s Great Hall.

Members of the Gitxsan (“people of the river of mists”) tribe founded The Dancers of Damelahamid in the 1960s out of a need to ensure that the knowledge of their ancestors was not lost. According to Gitxsan history, Damelahamid is the original city where the first ancestors were placed on earth from heaven. The Gitxsan are part of the coastal group of cultures that have the distinctive button blanket regalia.

Since forming, the Dancers of Damelahamid have kept traditional Gitxsan culture alive while creating new pieces that draw on their ancestral culture. Through dramatic dance, captivating narrative, intricately carved masks and elaborate regalia, the Dancers of Damelahamid bridge the ancient with a living tradition.

Coastal First Nations Dance Festival Vancouver Anthropology Museum

Besides the Dancers of  Damelahamid, this year’s line-up includes a range of returning audience favourites as well as first-time festival performers. Among the performers scheduled are Spakwus Slolem, Dakhká Khwáan, Git Hayetsk Dancers, Nukariik, Rainbow Creek Dancers, Alex Wells, Git-Hoan Dancers, Kwhlii Gibaygum, Kwa Kwa Ka Wakw, and Yvonne Chartrand with Compaigni V’ni Dansi.

In addition to signature evening performances, the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival includes afternoon festival stage events and school workshops.

For additional information on the festival, please visit

The Museum of Anthropology is located at 6393 N.W. Marine Drive.

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6 Responses to Coastal First Nations Dance Festival March 6 – 10

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  2. claudia tait

    cant wait to see some photos of the event :) coastal first nations dance festival

  3. Wing Chief Reginald Daniels

    I want to know how much Gitxsan you all have, and what song you sing from Gitsegukla, and when we here in the REAL GITXSAN AREA, we preform in front of our REAL GITXSAN PEOPLE and songs are only song at feasts and events that our chiefs put up, you have to be fully Gitxsan and mother and father have to be 100% gitxsan and a person in the Gitxsan Society is Matrililineal, that is citizenship and inherency flow through the mother’s side. And “Adaawx” is each wilphl Gitxsan has an Oral history, The adaawx indenifies the wilphl gitxsan as a Gitxsan entity with associated assets. It may include their creation and migation since the ice age, associated animal crests, symbols, limx,oo’y (time immemorial songs), Limx sinaahl (breath songs), and limx nox nok (spirit songs), LAXYIP – ALL WILPHL gITXSAN HOLD RIGHTS AND TITLE TO AND THUS HAVE JUSTIFICATION OVER THEIR TERRITORY ADN RESOUCES THERIN, SURFACE AND SUB-SUREFACE. The wilphl Li’iliget is the fest house and is seen as the Gitxsan Parliament building. The wilphl Li’iliget is a Gitxsan Metaphor for the House of law or the house of Respect, A Li’iliget take on different formats pendiong the type of Gitxsan Business or obligation to be fulfilled. There are 20 to 50 Li’iliget performances and performed in front on our Simidimhanak, and Sim’oyget’d, from birth to Death, retirement of chiefs, and cutting of poles, setup of poles, Etc., I am still researching all dance groups and people who have dance groups performing Gitxsan songs and Report back to my chief of Gitsegukla.

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