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

Haida Hip Hop Art Exhibit Opening in Vancouver

Photo sourced from Native Northwest

Photo sourced from Native Northwest

Chances are you’ve never seen First Nations art quite like this.

The monumental works of Haida spray-can artist Corey Bulpitt are coming to downtown Vancouver’s Bill Reid Gallery.  The Akos exhibition, which opens June 5, shows the natural fusion between hip hop culture (in particular, street art and graffiti) and traditional Haida culture.

Bulpitt is a member of the Naikun River clan of the Haida nation, but he grew up in the Vancouver area.  After graduating from the Langley Fine Arts School, he returned to Haida Gwaii in northwestern B.C. to apprentice with traditional carvers.  Bulpitt’s masterful carvings – including a 20-foot cedar totem poll for Scouts Canada – can be seen across the province.

But it’s his affiliation with the Beat Nation movement – an artist community that seeks to merge hip hop and Aboriginal culture – that has brought him the most attention.   Continue reading:
Haida Hip Hop Art Exhibit Opening 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 meets Japanese culture in Red graphic novel

Red_sml

Meet Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. A B.C. Haida artist, Yahgulanaas is the creator behind Red: A Haida Manga, a 2009 groundbreaking graphic novel that combines Haida myth and Japanese storytelling. To celebrate the book’s publication in softcover, as well as a new solo art exhibit, Yahgulanaas will be at the Douglas Udell Gallery May 3.

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First Nations meets Japanese culture in Red graphic novel