Archive for April, 2012


 Augie’s Dream via HokaHeh

King Lear, or Native Lear as it’s more commonly known, is currently playing at The National Arts Centre (Ottawa, ON) May 8-26. This post cherry-picks from Kevin Loring on Native Earth Performing Arts’ blog HokaHeh: Augie’s Dream

When the Ecstasy of  Rita Joe opened at the Vancouver Playhouse in 1967, after a pregnant pause, Canadian Theatre was born. It was at this time that, Actor/Director/Producer John Juliani approached his dear friend August “Augie” Schellenberg about how wonderful Chief Dan George would be as King Lear; and the idea of an all-Aboriginal Lear was born.

They asked Chief Dan George if he’d do it.
But Dan George said No.
We asked him, why not? It’s a good part.
Dan laughed and shook his head, Too many lines, too many lines.

–  August Schellenberg



 RSD Dance Intensive!


Spring Training Intensive in Contemporary & Traditional Aboriginal Dance, Story & Song
presented by Raven Spirit Dance & The Dance Centre

May 25th – June 2nd, 2012 in Vancouver, BC

Join us for a 9-Day intensive dance program full of classes, workshops, artist talks & professional development that focus on Contemporary & Traditional Aboringal Dance, Story & Song. Raven Spirit’s training and mentorship activities are formulated with the intent of providing artists the opportunity to make work in the creative field, as cultural workers fully invested in communicating, creating, performing and disseminating work as broadly as possible. The intent is to develop training opportunities for the emerging Indigenous community of artists, address break between the professional realm and training programs, foster the creation of critical skills, and ultimately work towards a stronger community and better developed pool of performers.

For more information, to register, or to see a class schedule please visit the RSD website!
See Schedule and Instructor Biographies!

Email: or Phone 604-646-0010

Latest: Can’t attend the whole 9 day training but want to experience some exciting new dance styles? Buy a 4-Class Card for only $20! (reg. $50). RSD still has spots left for this promotion to the first 20 people!



Vancouver Moving Theatre & DTES Heart of the City Festival in partnership with the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre invite you to witness


May 11-13 & 18-20, 2012
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre
Weaving First Nation Memories from the
Past into the Future

Twining together stories, poems and personal memories
With oral histories woven from cultural teachings,
West Coast dances and the ancient bone game of Slahal.

A cast of aboriginal artists, elders, dancers and Downtown Eastside community members help an old man- The Old One – open up to his life’s journey, his regrets and hopes, through the teachings of the medicine wheel. His journey home gives voice to experiences of the urban aboriginal community, to voices not heard, to lives left behind. Over the course of the Old One’s journey, ancestral memories emerge of the history of the Coast Salish area shared by many peoples.  Songs, dances and stories are shared about traditional roles, protocols and ways of seeing and doing.

For more information visit:


 Candice Jacko on TSF ’12

Picked this gem up via Facebook via Full Circle via Planet Indigenous (loves the world wide web). On Planet Indigenous’s News Blog, Candice Jacko describes her experience at this year’s Talking Stick Festival:

I had the great pleasure to visit the beautiful city of Vancouver for the 11th annual Talking Stick Festival. The Talking Stick Festival is a 14-day event, created in 2001 by Full Circle: First Nations Performance, to provide a unique showcase and forum for talented Aboriginal artists and to introduce both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal audiences to contemporary Aboriginal artistic practice. This year it was held from February 20 to March 4 but I only attended for the first week.

I arrived in Vancouver on Family Day (although it wasn’t Family Day in BC) for the Taste of the Festival Gala Opening. The night started off with Spakwus Slolem (Eagle Song Dancers) whose members are from Squamish Nation whose traditional lands span across the lower mainland of BC which includes Vancouver. They welcomed the festival and audience to their traditional territory and blessed the floor with their traditional dances. This was the first time that I’ve seen West Coast dance and really enjoyed watching; their culture is so different from what I’m accustomed to seeing from Anishnawbe peoples. The next performance was an excerpt from the play Metis Mutt, an autobiographical one-man show, performed by Sheldon Elter, which recounts a young man’s coming of age through difficult family and cultural circumstances. Sheldon is a great actor and I enjoyed the short excerpt so I was looking forward to watching the full play the following day. There were also other short performances by Kinnie Star, Zaccheus Jackson, Bear Witness (from a Tribe Called Red), Git Hayetsk (another West Coast dance group) and the Eastern Sky Ambassadors.
The next day began with the full performance of Metis Mutt. Again, Sheldon is a great actor who played a few different characters and easily transitioned from one character to another.

Wednesday night, I went to the Café Deux Soleils for a spoken word event titledFrom Talking Stick to the Microphone hosted by Zaccheus Jackson. I really enjoyed Zaccheus as a host and a spoken word performer. He also encouraged a few youth from his poetry group to perform as well.

Later on this week the programme was packed with another theatre play titled In a World Created by a Drunken God written by Drew Hayden Taylor and performed by Trevor Duplessis and Kurt Spenrath. There were many great workshops, a reading with Paul Seesequasis for his new book Tobacco Wars, a music project with Kinnie Starr, Pacific Curls, Dave Larocque and the Borealis String Quartet. The Talking Stick also programmed late nights; I attended the late event on the Friday and had the chance to see musician Wayne Lavalle perform. I had the pleasure of meeting him afterwards and he is very nice and modest.

Sunday was my last day in Vancouver and I attended the “Celebration of a Pow Wow”. One of the festival staff had mentioned to me earlier in the week that this was the first time they planned a pow wow during their festival. I really enjoyed my time at the pow wow before my flight home. Each head dancer had their chance to show their dance and talk about the history of that dance. They also had a Snake Dance, which is the first time that I saw this at a pow wow. The host explained that a snake dance was a dance specifically for youth/children.

Overall, I had a great time in Vancouver and enjoyed the Talking Stick Festival. I would like to thank Harbourfront Centre for the wonderful opportunity to attend the festival. I’d also like to thank the Full Circle staff, Margo Kane and Nyla Carpentier for their warm welcome to the festival.

Chi-miigwetch (Thank you!)


 The Language of Love

SCREENING AT HOTDOCS: The Language of Love
Featuring Stephen Lytton
Directed by Marie Clements
A frog girl films production

Friday, May 4th – 9:30 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Saturday, May 5th- 1:15PM Isabel Bader Theatre
Sunday, May 6th- 6:30PM Cumberland 3

The Language of Love is an eleven minute documentary featuring writer/actor/activist Stephen Lytton’s raw and poetic articulation of the fourteen years he endured in the residential school system — a child’s survival redefines itself as the artful embodiment of a man. The Language of Love was commissioned by The Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival under their Building Bridges project as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Commemoration Initiative.


 Kaha:wi TransMigration

Photo by Shelley Niro

Photo by Shelley Niro

Look at this pic! Go see TransMigration!


 Oskayak LOL Fundraiser



 Indigenous Dance Residency

Indigenous Dance Residency
Program dates:
August 1, 2012 – August 25, 2012
Application deadline: May 4, 2012
Program Information

Program InformationFacultyTestimonialsProgram FeesHow To ApplyApply Now

About the Indigenous Dance Residency

The Indigenous Dance Residency provides an inspirational training intensive residency with acclaimed Indigenous choreographers and leading dance instructors from around the world. This three-week intensive at The Banff Centre is where dancers gather to share, investigate, and strengthen contemporary Indigenous dance practice. The residency includes daily technique classes, improvisation classes, performance skills, and the creation of a new choreographic work that will be performed as part of The Banff Summer Arts Festival at The Banff Centre.

The Indigenous Dance Residency provides a rare opportunity for dance practitioners to push boundaries of perception and possibilities with regard to contemporary Indigenous dance. It also provides an unprecedented opportunity to establish career-changing relationships with national and international dance professionals and communities. Dancers accepted to the program will participate in an exceptional artistic process with Indigenous artists from various nations,  backgrounds, and countries.

Emerging dancers will train with high-level faculty, “shadow” professional dancers in classes, and develop performance skills in-studio. Professional dancers will work with choreographers and teachers at the top of their fields to create a new short work that will be performed professionally at The Banff Centre.

Enrollment is limited to 12 dancers — seven professional dancers and five emerging dancers.

Dancers accepted to the program will receive full scholarship for tuition, room, and meals. Travel to and from The Banff Centre will be the responsibility of participants.

Faculty: Taane Mete – Lead Choreographer, Jock Soto, additional faculty to be announced, please check back.

Who Should Apply

If you are a professional or an emerging dancer of Aboriginal descent looking to advance your technical, improvisation, and performance skills in a supportive community of international dancers and leading Indigenous choreographers — this program is for you. As this residency will build upon existing skills and knowledge, all participants must have fundamental dance training or experience in any form or genre of Indigenous dance. The program welcomes applications from Canadian and international Indigenous dancers from any nation and dance background. For more information, see the Eligibility section.



 Native Voices at the Autry

Native Voices at the Autry, Call for Scripts: Submissions Due July 1, 2012

Native Voices at the Autry is the nation’s premier Equity theatre company dedicated to the development and production of new works for the stage by Native American and First Nations artists. We accept submissions year-round, but all submissions for the specific event listed below must be received by July 1, 2012.

2nd Annual Short Play Festival
Selected short plays and one-acts will be presented during the Autry National Center’s American Indian Arts Marketplace in Los Angeles. This year’s theme is “Indians in America: Native American Athletes Take the Field,” for which we invite a wide range of short scripts.

Plays can be about professional, student, or amateur sports or athletes, on or off the field. They can be about family members of athletes. They can be about coaches. Plays do not have to be biographical or autobiographical. Use your imagination! Native Voices will be posting interesting stories on Facebook and Pinterest about Native athletes, athletics, families of athletes, coaches, and other supporters. Be sure to visit our page and add your own stories as well!

Selection Process

Short plays and one-acts (5-page min, 16-page max) received by July 1, 2012, will be read and evaluated by a national reading panel composed of Native American theatre artists and community members who will select 6 to 10 plays for the festival based on the creative use of the theme, originality, theatricality, and execution.

Selected plays will be given a staged reading in November 2012, and panel of judges will select the 2012 Award for Excellence in Playwriting, a $1,000 cash prize based on the creative use of the theme, originality, theatricality, execution, and audience response.

Checklist for Submissions

  • If submitted by e-mail, label the script file attachment as follows:
    PlayTitle_Author’s Last Name, First Initial (Example: MyNewPlay_Scott, J.doc)
  • Use a standard play-script format (one-inch margins, Times or Courier #12 font, number all pages).
  • Include a title page with full contact information (mailing address, phone number, e-mail address).
  • Include a character breakdown.
  • Provide a 75-word biography, including tribal affiliation. If submitted by e-mail, label the file attachment as follows:
    Bio_Author’s Last Name, First Initial (Example: Bio_Scott, J.doc)
  • Provide the development history for the play. If submitted by e-mail, label the file attachment as follows:
    DevHistory/PlayTitle_Author’s Last Name, First Initial
    (Example: DevHistory/MyNewPlay_Scott, J.doc)

DO NOT send treatments or outlines. Playwrights are encouraged to make multiple submissions (up to three), but selection will be limited to only one play per playwright for this event. Materials will not be returned.

Send submissions in PDF or Word format by July 1, 2012, to

For more information, e-mail


 Kaha:wi: TransMigration

kaha:wi transmigration

Inside Invention Artist Salon

TransMigration, Inspired by Norval Morrisseau’s life & iconic paintings!
May 10 – 13, 2012

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT) will bring together an incredible cast of performers for the upcoming world premiere of TransMigration, a co-production with Harbourfront Centre’s Planet IndigenUS as part of the NextSteps11/12 Series. This new production runs May 10-13 2012 at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay West, Toronto). All performances begin at 8:00 pm, on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Tickets: $35 (adult), $15 (student), $20-$22.50 (senior)
Packages: $18-$20 (senior package), $25-$30 (Nextstep)
Group discounts (10 people +) are available by calling Harbourfront Centre’s Group Sales Coordinator, Daniel Palmo at 416-973-4000 ext. 4856.

For Tickets, call Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office at 416-973-4000 or visit their website.

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre and Harbourfront Centre will be hosting our “Artist Salon” Inside Invention on April 26 at 7:30 at the Lakeside Terrace.  For an incredible insight into contemporary indigenous art and personal look at Norval Morrisseau’s work and life join the discussion with guest speakers: curator, scholar, writer and media artist Steven Loft and poet, scholar, inspirational speaker and television personality Duke Redbird. Our informal look into the work-in-process includes excerpt presentation of developing choreography.



 Kaha:wi Student Position

Summer Student Position

Available for Secondary and Post-Secondary students returning in the fall.

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s mission is to create, present and promote Aboriginal artistic expression to diverse audiences through dance, music, storytelling, theatre and design, drawing inspiration from contemporary and traditional Aboriginal dance forms.

Position Description: The Summer Student(s) will work with KDT’s Artistic Director, General Manager and Executive Assistant to learn a variety of skills to run a not-for-profit arts organization.

Responsibilities and Duties: Will work with our Artistic Director in coordinating our Summer Dance Training and with our General Manager to begin archiving historical company documents


Computer proficiency (MS Office and Database knowledge preferred)
Ability to multitask
Have a good phone and personal manner
Background and/or interest in performing arts
Familiarity with Aboriginal culture and practice

NOTE: Must be eligible for Miziwe Biik Employment and Training funding. Must be returning to school in September 2012
Contract Dates: May 7, 2012 – August 31, 2012
Hours: 35 hrs/wk
Location: Jarvis/Gerrard (Toronto, Ontario)
Deadline for submissions: April 27, 2012
Please email a cover letter and resume stating “Summer student placement’ in the subject line to: Cynthia Lickers-Sage

For information about KDT, please visit our website at

*We appreciate your interest but only those considered for an interview will be contacted*


 Internship at CIT

Internship Opportunity at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT)

CIT would like to invite emerging Aboriginal administrators/artists to submit a one page letter that describes your areas of interest, career goals, and how a one-year internship at CIT would help you realize your aspirations as an artist/performer/administrator etc. Please note that the internship will focus on the areas such as project management and will focus on the skills required to support/further your practice and career. The internship will be tailored to the needs of the successful candidate. Deadline for the letter of interest is Wed April 18, 2012.

Please send your letter to

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The Cycle: Indigenous Theatre
A collaboration between IPAA, Debajehmujig Storytellers and the National Arts Centre English Theatre called The Cycle: Indigenous Theatre.

Indigenous Body of Work - an uncomprehensive list we maintain as a result of this collaboration.

The Summit - 12 Indigenous performing artists led the conversation at the Banff Centre (April 21-24, 2014)

#Study/Repast - 40 Indigenous performing artists explored Indigenous theatre at the Debajehmujig Creation Centre (May 5-16th, 2015)

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