Susan Point Whorls the Imagination in Current Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibit

Susan Point - Salish Vision and Ravens and Moon

Left: Salish Vision, 2002. Courtesy of the Museum of Anthropology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver. | Right: Ravens and Moon, 2001. Collection of George and Christiane Smyth. Both photos: Janet Dwyer

An exhibit of work that elevates the importance of women and Indigenous women that merges spirituality with practicality and pairs tradition with playfulness is on at the Vancouver Art Gallery right now, and until May 28th, 2017.

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Susan Point Whorls the Imagination in Current Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibit

5 Must-See Shows at Vancouver’s aboriginal culture fest: Talking Stick 2016

Image from fullcircle.ca

Image from fullcircle.ca

Slam poetry. Independent films. Original theatre and dance. And one powwow to remember.

The best of aboriginal art and culture is coming to Vancouver this Feb. 18-Feb. 28 as part of the 2016 Talking Stick Festival. Staged at venues throughout the city, from night clubs to community centres, the festival puts the spotlight on emerging and established indigenous artists.

For anyone seeking perspective on contemporary aboriginal culture in Vancouver and beyond, Talking Stick is a rare window into a world of rich history and cutting-edge art. Here are five can’t-miss events this year:  Continue reading:
5 Must-See Shows at Vancouver’s aboriginal culture fest: Talking Stick 2016

5 Can’t-Miss Events at Talking Stick 2015 – Vancouver’s Aboriginal Culture Fest

Throat singer Tanya Tagaq

Throat singer Tanya Tagaq

One of Canada’s biggest celebrations of Aboriginal music, art and theatre is coming to Vancouver.

The 14th Talking Stick Festival is on Feb. 17-March 1. Dozens of events and performances throughout the city highlight everything from traditional dancing and drumming to contemporary spoken word and multimedia performances.

Here’s a look at 5 can’t-miss events at the 2015 Talking Stick Festival in Vancouver:

Throat singing on Commercial DriveThroat singing is a unique Inuit tradition which combines low growling and husky chanting.  It’s absolutely mesmerizing and you can catch the undisputed star of throat singing, Tanya Tagaq, doing a solo performance at Talking Stick. Tagaq’s recent hit album, Animism, was named the second best Canadian album of the year by the CBC. York Theatre; Feb. 28; $35 Continue reading:
5 Can’t-Miss Events at Talking Stick 2015 – Vancouver’s Aboriginal Culture Fest

Aboriginal Boutique Hotel Opens in Vancouver

Photo sourced from Skwachays.com

Photo sourced from Skwachays.com

The first aboriginal boutique hotel in a Canadian city has officially opened in downtown Vancouver.

Skwachays Lodge, located at 29/31 West Pender St. in Chinatown, features 18 unique suites each decorated with a different aboriginal theme. The suites were designed collaboratively by aboriginal artists and interior designers and combine original artwork with high-end furnishings.

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Aboriginal Boutique Hotel Opens in Vancouver

Free Classes to Learn First Nations Singing in Vancouver

Free classes offer anyone a chance to learn First Nations song.  Pictured here: A First Nations  performance at Thompson Rivers University.  Photo credit: Thompson Rivers | Flickr

Free classes in Vancouver offer anyone a chance to learn First Nations song. Pictured here: A First Nations performance at Thompson Rivers University. Photo credit: Thompson Rivers | Flickr

Ready to belt out a few songs in Kwak’wala?

That’s the language spoken by the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation people of northern Vancouver Island and Alert Bay.  Through June, free workshops in Kwak’ wala are being offered at community centres across the city, giving anyone a chance to brush up on First Nations song and dance.

The workshops are being taught by a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation as part of the Indigenous Artist in Communities Project, which marks the year of reconciliation over the dark legacy of residential schools.  Attendees have the chance to learn nine songs and a chant in the Kwak’wala language, then perform the routine at Trout Lake Community Centre on National Aboriginal Day, June 21.

Each of the songs would have been learned by a child in Kwakwaka’wakw culture, according to a fascinating article by the Vancouver Sun’s Kevin Griffin.   Continue reading:
Free Classes to Learn First Nations Singing in Vancouver

First Nations Dance Festival Returns to Museum of Anthropology, March 8-11

Photo credit: Dancers of Damelahamid

If you’ve been to the UBC Museum of Anthropology, then you’ve probably stopped to admire the Great Hall.  Glass walls rise several stories high, flooding the enormous hall with light.  Inside are towering totem poles from Haida and other first nations villages along the British Columbia coast.  It’s a breathtaking way to glimpse the area’s rich aboriginal history.

Now imagine the Great Hall filled with with some of the best aboriginal dancers from throughout the province and around the world.  From March 8-March 11, the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival returns to the Museum of Anthropology for four days of world-class performances in the shadow of the totem poles in the Great Hall.  Celebrating its fifth year, the festival brings together acclaimed dancers from British Columbia, Manitoba, the Yukon, Alaska and as far away as Australia.

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First Nations Dance Festival Returns to Museum of Anthropology, March 8-11

A New Take on Native Art: Shawn Hunt at Blanket gallery

In Vancouver, we’re surrounded by Northwest Coast art, from the totem poles in Stanley Park to the intricate sculptures in the Bill Reid Gallery.  Even if you’re not a big fan, you can probably instantly recognize the style – bold colors, clearly outlined forms and a repetition of basic shapes.

All of which makes a new exhibition of Northwest Coast art at downtown’s Blanket Contemporary Art gallery unique.   The show by local artist Shawn Hunt offers a dramatically new, and sometimes controversial, take on a tradition that stretches back thousands of years.

Hunt’s pieces use unconventional colors and distort common shapes.  He also tackles taboo subjects, like eroticism and cultural conflict, that rarely surface in traditional aboriginal art.

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A New Take on Native Art: Shawn Hunt at Blanket gallery