By Oyindamola Esho
This month Canada celebrates National Indigenous History Month through all forms of art. From Thursday June 21st to Sunday June 24th Torontonians will be able to enjoy the Indigenous Arts Festival at Fort York National Historic Site. This celebration includes music, dance, theatre, visual arts, crafts and food by Indigenous artists from across Canada.
“Each year, the Indigenous Arts Festival energizes Fort York with powerful traditions and compelling contemporary creation by Indigenous artists. It is an opportunity to celebrate the significant contributions of the 35,000 Indigenous Canadians who live in Toronto today.” – Mayor John Tory
One of the most exciting parts of this year’s festival is the line up of Indigenous musicians that will be performing. Today’s Indigenous music scene is constantly growing and incorporating different sounds from various genres. Modern rock singer and songwriter Kristi Lane Sinclair will be one of the many musicians to perform on the TD main stage. Kristi takes influences from her Haida/Cree heritage, grunge, and classical music to create a unique sound that tells her story. Her album Dark Matter won Best Rock Album honours at the 2017 Indigenous Music Awards. Kristi has a bold voice that is perfect for the storytelling she incorporates in her music. It’ll be a treat to hear her perform live.
© Kristi Lane Sinclair | YouTube
If modern rock is not your cup of tea, not to worry, there are many amazing artists from different genres, with different sounds scheduled to perform. In attendance from British Columbia will be Mob Bounce; they have a Hip Hop sound that’s mixed with EDM and their Indigenous roots. Toronto-based Anishinaabe singer-songwriter Ansley Simpson will also be present to incorporate a taste of lyrical hymns and haunting vocals. Other artists scheduled to be in attendance include: Ziibiwan, an Anishinaabe experimental-electronic producer, husband and wife duo Raven and ShoShona of the Digging Roots, and DJ Classic Roots who will be accompanied by hoop dancer Rhonda Doxtator.
“It will be the singers, the dancers, and the artists who decide the future of our world. The arts bridge the gaps, connecting people on an emotional and spiritual level and transcends boundaries of culture and language.”
– Chief Stacey Laforme, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.
The Indigenous Arts Festival is a great opportunity for people across the city to come together and celebrate. The festival will provide Indigenous culture education programming for students amidst all the festivities so it’s a great event for the whole family. Stay connected and follow VIBE105 on all social media platforms to stay up to date on other great events happening around the city.