As the 20th Anniversary of the Talking Stick Festival continues for 2021, Full Circle: First Nations Performance invites audiences to join in online to celebrate and keep communities connected throughout the 4 seasons of this year: winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Following on from The Winter Lodge: Sitting with our Ancestors, Talking Stick invites audiences to the warming fire of Spring Awakening, a line-up of free performance and events, from April 29-May 1. Spring is a season where new ideas bloom – a celebration of Indigenous performance and culture online with music, dance, spoken word, teachings and more. Spring Awakening includes:
Thursday, April 29 at 6pm: Plant Walk with Cease Wyss and Margo Kane
T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss is an ethno-botanist, media artist, educator, and activist of Skwxwu7mesh/Stó:l?/ Hawaiian/Swiss ancestry who has been traditionally trained by Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders. On a recent sunny spring day, she led festival Artistic Managing Director, Margo Kane, on a journey of botanical discovery through Stanley Park. Cease shares her extensive plant and forest knowledge, talks about medicines, traditional teachings and the interconnectedness of nature and the forest.
Friday, April 30 at 7pm: PIQSIQ with special guest Francis Baptiste in concert (Recorded at the Historic Theatre at the Cultch)
Talking Stick in partnership with the Vancouver Folk Music Festival present, the duo PIQSIQ, Inuit-style throat singing sisters Tiffany Kuliktana Ayalik and Kayley Inuksuk Mackay, perform ancient traditional songs along with those taking inspiration from the world around them. Opening the concert is Syilx/Okanagan singer-songwriter Francis Baptiste. Currently working on his debut solo album, Francis incorporates his language, N?syilx?n? – currently spoken fluently by only 150 people – into his songwriting.
Suzette Amaya, radio host, producer, speaker and role model, is the evening’s MC.
Saturday, May 1 at 7pm: the Spring Fling Ab-Cabaret
This lively event, one of the favourite parts of Talking Stick Festivals over the years, features V’ni Dansi, a Vancouver-based traditional Métis and contemporary dance company; up-and-coming Indigenous singer/songwriter, Michelle Heyoka; alternative R&B and soul artist, Zach Saunders, and: Eagle Ex Machina, a local Vancouver alt rock band led by fiddle master Matt Cook-Contois (Cree). The cabaret is hosted by rising Indigiqueer pop artist, Nimkish.
On both Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1, the Talking Stick Industry Series presents a variety of workshops, panels, discussions, videos and teachings on subjects of use and interest to both up-and- coming and veteran Indigenous artists in a range of disciplines. Topics include writing for the stage, artists’ personal and community development-related issues, legacy building, songwriting and music publishing.
Full schedule and details of all performances and events is available online at fullcircle.ca