Watch traditional and contemporary First Nations dance in Vancouver

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Each year, internationally renowned artists from throughout British Columbia, Alaska, Yukon, and Washington come to Vancouver for the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival (March 3-8). The festival is a chance to enjoy both traditional and contemporary First Nations dance in an amazing setting – the Great Hall at the Museum of Anthropology.

This year’s lineup is as colourful and dynamic as ever, and includes a pair of sisters from Arizona, a hoop dancer from Calgary, and many more.

The annual festival is presented by Dancers of Damelahamid, a professional Aboriginal dance company from the Northwest Coast of B.C. in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA).

“Each year the festival serves as an important cultural bridge between First Nations and non-First Nations communities by providing opportunities for artists and audiences to witness living traditions,” Dancers of Damelahamid Artistic Director Margaret Grenier is quoted as saying in a press release.

“We are proud to play an important role in the development and sharing of Indigenous dance by increasing our commitment to educational programming for youth and emerging artists.”

The Dancers of Damelahamid will perform at the festival. Guests include Arizona’s Kanuho sisters, Urseloria and Nikollane, who will perform traditional pow wow dances. Calgary hoop dancer Jesse McMann Sparvier, an emerging contemporary artist and choreographer with roots in the powwow styles of the Blackfoot and Cree traditions, will perform as well.

Jesse McMann Sparvier.

Jesse McMann Sparvier.

Other artists include Eagle Song Dancers, Chinook Song Catchers, Rainbow Creek Dancers, Git Hoan, LeLaLa Dancers, Tsatsu Stalqayu Coast Wolf Pack, Kwhlii Gibaygum, and Jeanette Kotowich.

The 2015 Festival includes ticketed evening presentations and weekend afternoon performances that are free (with regular admission to MOA).

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Admission to the Museum of Anthropology is $25 for adults and $20 for students/seniors/MOA members. Admission to MOA is free during the day-time performances for persons of Aboriginal ancestry.

The Museum of Anthropology at UBC is located at 6393 Northwest Marine Drive Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1.

For tickets, visit ticketstonight.ca or damelahamid.ca.

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