She:kon! I am honoured to be appointed as the new chair of the Grand Council of IPAA. I am also humbled to be following in the footsteps of the former chair, Margo Kane – her experience and talents inspire me! I appreciate all the work she has done to bring us so far along this path. I look forward to working with the rest of the Grand Council, the Executive Director, staff, community members, and allies on this powerful and important journey. I am excited and motivated to be a part of IPAA’s growth as we continue to support and advocate for Indigenous performing artists across this land.
Our community is strong and continues to become stronger as we work together across territories and generations. Nia:wen.
Winnipeg-born Sophie Dow is a multidisciplinary creator, inspired by dance, music, collaboration and her Métis-Assiniboine and settler roots. An avid adventurer, Sophie has a passion for busking, yoga and travelling on top of holding a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography. With a unique list of credits deeply impacting personal process and vocabulary, Sophie’s had great fortune of working with some of the country’s wonderful dance innovators, including Chimera Dance Theatre and Kaeja d’Dance. Presently Sophie is Artistic Associate of Chimera Dance Theatre, writes music with The Honeycomb Flyers and is a licensed practitioner of Traditional Thai Massage.
âpihtawikosisâniskwêw (Métis / nêhiyaw / Norwegian / French / British) multidisciplinary artist Moe Clark is a 2Spirit singing thunderbird. She fuses together vocal improvisation with multilingual lyricism to create meaning that is rooted in personal legacy, ancestral memory and embodied knowledge. Originally from the prairies in Treaty 7, she’s called tio’tiá:ke / mooniyang (Montreal) home for over a decade. Her last solo album “Within” toured across North America and her collaborative video poem “nitahkôtan” won best indigenous language music video at the ImagiNative film festival. Apart from performance, Moe’s work as a creative facilitator and activist aims to remember and reconnect belonging to territories of land, body and voice through creative continuums of indigenous language immersion, song creation and ceremonial practice. In 2016 she founded nistamîkwan: a transformational arts organization. Her work has appeared the world over, including the Lincoln Centre (US), UBUD Writers & Readers Festival (ID) and Origins Festival in London (UK).
Métis/Canadian Mezzo-Soprano Rebecca Cuddy is a fast up and comer on Canadian operatic stages. Acknowledged as ‘moving’ (Gilks, Opera Canada 2019) and ‘the next generation who are going to do incredible things’ (Newman, The Whole Note 2019), her 2020 season saw her twice nominated at the Dora Awards for exceptional ensemble work, winning for Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys; Pimootewin and Gállábártnit.
Career highlights include world premieres of the roles La Métisse in Riel; Heart of the North (Regina Symphony Orchestra), Kwe in Shanawdithit (Tapestry Opera/Opera on the Avalon), Bunny in Flight of the Hummingbird (Vancouver Opera/Pacific Opera Victoria) Rebecca is a member of the Canadian Opera Company Circle of Artists and is the current Indigenous Artist in Residence at the National Theatre School of Canada in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal).
Olivia C. Davies is a Contemporary Indigenous artist who creates and collaborates across multiple platforms including choreography, creative writing, film, improvisation, and sound design. Davies’ body of work explores the emotional and political relationships between people and places. Her work has been presented in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec since 2011. She is the Artistic Director of O.Dela Arts, the Matriarchs Uprising Festival, and is a founding member of the Crow’s Nest Collective (Vancouver), MataDanze Collective (Toronto) and Circadia Indigena Arts Collective (Ottawa). She honours her mixed Anishinaabe, French Canadian, Finnish and Welsh heritage in her work.
A proud member of Hiawatha First Nation, Barry Payne is a socio-economic entrepreneur, as well as the Founder and President of OnNation Group of Companies and Adirondack Information Management Inc. From humble beginnings, he grew his start-up venture Adirondack Technologies Furniture Inc., starting in his basement into a nationally recognized organization with sales in excess of $20 million annually.
Barry personally mandates that all his ventures are to employ First Nations people whenever/wherever possible and has always been an advocate for developing young entrepreneurial minds amongst Aboriginal youth.
Geneviève Pelletier is a Metis actor and theater director from Winnipeg and leads the Théâtre Cercle Molière, as its artistic and general director since 2012. She is inspired by the meeting of cultures, the possibilities that stem from these encounters and how to nurture safe and fertile creative spaces to spark conversations of change.
Karen Pheasant is an experienced professional performing artist, writer, and cultural programmer/advisor. She has dedicated her life to researching, writing, and teaching about Aboriginal performing arts.
Pheasant has work-shopped, created, and choreographed innumerable dance pieces. Some students and fellow choreographers include Penny Couchie, Sandra Laronde, George Leach, and Santee Smith. Pheasant notes that blending and balancing Traditional and Contemporary artistic expressions has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
Christine Sokaymoh Frederick