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Festival Artists
Santee Smith - NeoIndigenA - Kahai:wi Dance Theatre Co-presented by Brian Webb Dance Company Answer the call for connection, transformation and healing as Kaha:wi Dance Theatre presents NeoIndigenA. A performance of the soul exploring our relationship to all living entities and elements – it promises to be both transcendent and primordial. The solo performance of NeoIndigenA by award winning Artistic Director, choreographer and performer - Santee Smith, is produced by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. NeoIndigenA is an elemental search that fiercely cycles through the sacred portals between Skyworld, Earthworld and Underworld. Her solo journey places her in search of humanity, ancient ways of knowing and spiritual evolution, while intuitively discovering the sacred pathways of the human connection to self and universe. 2017 Performing Artists
Norma Dunning - Editing Workshop Co-presented by UAlberta Press I am an Inuk writer, scholar and researcher. I am a third-year Doctoral student at the University of Alberta with Educational Policy Studies within the department of Indigenous Peoples Education. I am not a young student. Writing is a discipline that I have maintained throughout my life time. My creative writing is a part of my spirit. If I am not writing a story, I feel out of balance. I never thought I would publish. This was not an area of pursuit for me. Writing in the genre that is true to my Inuk spirit has brought out the best in my work. I have found my true voice by allowing the voice of my ancestors to arrive into print. Annie Muktuk and Other Stories represents the hearts of those closest to me.
Peter Midgley - Editing Workshop Co-presented by UAlberta Press Peter Midgley is the Senior Editor (Acquisitions) at the University of Alberta Press. He has more than 25 years’ experience editing books from around the world. He is also a playwright, poet, and author of children’s books, and a past president of the Writer’s Guild of Alberta. His most recent collection of poetry, Unquiet Bones, was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize in 2016 and for the 2015 Canadian Author's Association Exporting Alberta Award. His previous book, Counting Teeth: A Namibian Story, was shortlisted for the Canadian Author's Association Exporting Alberta Award in 2014.
Anna Marie Sewell - Wide Awake for 30 Years Anna Marie Sewell is a multi-genre writer/performer based in Edmonton. She blogs at www.prairiepomes.com
Josh Languedoc- Starlight Tours Presented by Workshop West Playwright Theatre Hailing from St. Albert, Josh is a playwright, actor, improviser, and educator. Josh holds an Education After-Degree in Drama and Science from the University of Alberta, and an Honours Arts Degree in Sociology from MacEwan University. Josh is currently assistant directing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with Elope Musical Theatre and is the Artistic Director of KidLibs Theatre. He is an instructor with Workshop West Playwright Theatre’s #writesofpassage high school playwriting program and the Citadel’s Foote Theatre School. Josh is proud of his indigenous roots from the Saugeen Nation in Ontario, Canada.
Dianne Meili - Pottery Of Cree ancestry, Dianne Meili has an inner fire to create clay art that crackles with spirit. Each piece she hand forms and fires speaks to us of the mystical. She incorporates ancient symbology and animals, especially horses, in her work. Dianne high fires many of her sculptures, smudge bowls and spirit keepers in a gas kiln, but also uses the raku method, which involves pulling red hot pottery from the kiln and placing it in a sawdust pit to produce earthy-looking finishes. Dianne lives in the town of Stony Plain and has belonged to the Parkland Potters Guild there for ten years. She also writes, and owns a small publishing company. Dianne also relaunched her book Those Who Know: Profile of Alberta's Native Elders at Rubaboo 2013.
Bill Yong & Barry Bilinsky - Red Leather Yellow Leather Bill Yong is an actor, arts facilitator, teacher, director, clown and dancer. Bill is assistant director of the intergenerational theatre company GeriActors and Friends, a facilitator and actor with the mixed ability troupe Rising Sun Theatre, an outreach instructor with Mile Zero Dance Society and co-founder of Fool Spectrum Theatre, a clown company based in Edmonton. Bill is a graduate from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts and Education. Barry Bilinsky is an Alberta-based theatre artist of Metis/Cree descent. A graduate of the University of Alberta's Bachelor of Arts program. His work spans several disciplines. Barry is the Artistic Director of Fool Spectrum Theatre - a clown-based theatre company in Alberta, as well as an artistic associate with Iiniistsi Treaty Arts Society, Alberta Aboriginal Arts, and the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society. Todd Houseman & Ben Gorodetsky - Folk Lordz Braiding together high-octane improv comedy with folk storytelling, Rapid Fire Theatre’s Todd Houseman and Ben Gorodetsky present Folk Lordz! Folk Lordz have been featured at the Vancouver International Improv Festival, Philladelphia’s DuoFest, Winnipeg’s Gas Station Arts Centre, Toronto’s Combustion Festival, Edmonton’s Thousand Faces Festival of Mythic Art, LitFest, Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton Fringe Festivals, and headlined numerous CHiMPROV shows at Rapid Fire Theatre. Check out Stories on the Hill in March 2017 at Fort Edmonton Park.
Elder Jerry Saddleback - Bow Making Workshop - Câhcacêp Elder Jerry Saddleback was the Spiritual Advisor for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; he is presently the Elder-in-Residence and Dean of Cultural Studies at Maskwacis Cultural College. He was raised in Samson Cree Nation by his father, a prominent Elder in the community. Throughout his upbringing Jerry was exposed to many Elders, learning much about the Cree language, stories and ceremonies. Today, Jerry uses his experience, education and Cree language skill to continue the legacy of our old people. He is also a Master Bow man and has given workshops on bow making and our traditions around bows and hunting, including techniques. He has also created conferences on the Origins of Cree Syllabics and Rising Indigenous Children. He has sat on public art steering committees. Traditions
Elder Jo-Ann Saddleback - Poet & Musician - Câhcacêp Traditions Elder Jo-Ann Saddleback spent years visiting Old People in the First Nations and Métis communities in which she was delivering Cultural workshops and remains grateful they entrusted her to continue to work in communities sharing their wisdom. She taught Cree Studies 101 and 121 about Culture, traditional Family practices and Identity at Maskwacîs Cultural College. She also served as Cultural Advisor to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission when it came to Edmonton. Many organizations ask her to serve as Elder Advisor, such as Alberta Justice, Nechi Health Institute, teachers' organizations and the Aboriginal Women's Justice Foundation. In her other life, Jo-Ann is an Elder artist, writer and designer. She also now works with her husband developing their business Câhcacêp Traditions.
Skye Demas - Dancer Skye Demas is 17 and a grade 12 Honours with Distinction Student at the Victoria School of Performing Arts. Since the age of 7 she has developed and competed in every form of dance and even took a year of acrobatics to throw in the mix to ensure her athletics skills and core strength carry her. Today, you can find Skye dancing 20 hours a week with her main time being at 3rd Street Beat Dance Studio and school productions. Her passion is Hip Hop. In April she will make her way to Vancouver to compete in the World of Dance and head to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico from May 19-24 to compete in Dancers Paradise. Her future goal is to attend a University, become a choreographer and start her own dance studio. Skye is a returning festival favourite since 2010.
Kendra Shorter - Dancer Kendra Shorter, dancing since the age of three, is trained in ballet (RAD and Cecchetti), contemporary, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theatre, and tap. Kendra began her dance training at the Sherwood Park School of Dancing and has since then trained in Edmonton (Edmonton School of Ballet), Calgary (School of Alberta Ballet), and Toronto (School of Toronto Dance Theatre). She has had the opportunity to attend pre-professional summer schools such as The Joffrey Ballet School, School of Alberta Ballet, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Performance experience includes: Edmonton Contemporary Dancers, Edmonton Festival Ballet, and the Edmonton Prospects Dance Team.
Ryan Summers aka Some-Sum - Spoken Word Artist Ryan James Summers “Some-Sum” is an Edmonton born spoken-word and freestyle artist. His work is known to bring audiences to a place of self-reflection and acceptance while demonstrating honest introspection through words. Some-Sum’s performances are composed of improvisational acts that engage willing listeners, written spoken-word poetry and freestyle rap. Using silence as his canvas Some-Sum portrays conscious thoughts and experiences through his unique style of spoken-word.
Brittney Pastion - Festival Ambassador/Musician Brittney Pastion, from Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, is proud to represent Treaty Six as Northlands inaugural Indigenous Princess. A singer and performer, Brittney’s most recognized performance to date was performing the Canadian National anthem in Cree at the 43rd Annual Canadian Finals Rodeo in November 2016. As a recent graduate of NAIT’s Radio and Television Broadcasting program Brittney is looking to where her next adventure will take her. While her education has took her on a new path, her passion for music and performing still lives deep within. Connie LeGrande - Singer Connie LeGrande is a Nehiyaw soul singer and songwriter. Her musical background is rooted in Woodland Cree traditions, with creative influences ranging from throating singing, afro beats, rhythm n' blues, soul, and reggae. LeGrande is a fluent Cree speaker and sings in her mother tongue, as well as in English. Not Forgotten is a short project being toured in select cities this summer to raise awareness regarding indigenous issues and the importance of love. Conor McNally – Filmmaker Conor McNally is Métis from amiskwaciwâskahikan. Bypassing formal film training, Conor creates works though a combination of instinct, hands-on trial and error, and a keen ability to make friends who are talented and helpful. Conor has made numerous short films, with his most recent being ôtênaw (2017). Conor is a proud father, a consummate garlic grower, and a yerba mate connoisseur.
David Garneau - Visual Artist David Garneau (Métis) is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. His practice includes painting, drawing, performance art, video, curation, and critical writing. Garneau has given talks in Australia, the United States, and throughout Canada. He is currently working on curatorial projects in Sydney, New York, and South Africa; is part of a five-year, SSHRC funded, curatorial research project, “Creative Conciliation;” and is working on two public art projects in Edmonton. His paintings are in numerous public and private collections. 2017 Visual Artists
Gallerie Cite
Dawn Marie Marchand - Visual Artist Dawn Marie Marchand is a member of Cold Lake First Nation and is a Cree and Metis Artist who is no stranger to Indigenous issues and activism. As a student of the Boreal Forest Institute, she met and was in studio with some great teachers and mentors who continue to influence her work. She has spent many years using her artistic abilities to work with at-risk youth through art integration, helping them express their knowledge, and creating safe spaces to confront and heal from trauma. She believes that art is a necessary tool to help people. It is essential to cultural survivance and revitalization. www.dawnmariemarchand.net
Lana Whiskeyjack - Visual Artist Lana Whiskeyjack is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who is a treaty member from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Alberta. Lana began her artistic training as a toddler drawing on blank empty walls to graduating from an Art and Design program at Red Deer College, continuing on in figurative sculpture at the University of Alberta. She completed her B.A. (Honours) in Art and Culture, majoring in Art History and obtained a M.A. in Canadian Studies, researching and writing on First Nations women and contemporary art. Lana is currently working on her doctorate degree in iyiniw pimâtisiwin kiskeyihtamowin (IPK) at University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’įnistameyimâkanak Blue Quills. Arsan Buffin - Visual Artist Arsan Buffin was born in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan and spent most of his life growing up in northern Saskatchewan communities like Beauval, Canoe Lake, and Ile La Crosse. He moved to Edmonton in 2004 and started along an Artistic path with photography. He incorporates his love of film, video games, and literature into his photos. Arsan had received the Aboriginal – Culture & Heritage Award from the Alberta Aboriginal Youth Achievement Awards in recognition of his work. Arsan has also been featured three times in Edmonton’s ‘Works Art Festival’ in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as well as being featured in the Rubaboo Arts Festival for the last 4 years. Melissa-Jo Belcourt Moses - Visual Artist Melissa-Jo Belcourt Moses comes from a rich Metis ancestry and possesses a wealth of cultural skills, acquired from Metis and Aboriginal elders throughout northern and central Alberta. As an instructor, she has taught decorative arts and creative skills within Native Cultural art programs on Native reserves and Metis settlements. Melissa-Jo is a recognized cultural art instructor and has a fondness for people and in sharing conversation and ideas. In 2009, Melissa-Jo was awarded the Aboriginal Role Model of Alberta Art Award for her work as an Artisan and as a recognized cultural art instructor. Melissa-Jo currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta, where she continues to exhibit her work in local art galleries and to give instruction on Aboriginal art.
Brandon Atkinson - Visual Artist Brandon Atkinson is 28 years old, happily married with his wife Dani Ames and they have 4 young children together. He has been drawing since he was 8 years old with dreams of becoming a great artist one day. His grandparents have always influenced him throughout his whole life while he was growing up. His grandparents would often tell him that if he could see it in his mind then he could draw it. ^ TOP