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We are committed to giving Aboriginal artists a forum and platform to perform their art, grow as artists, contribute their work to the community, and to bring audiences of all backgrounds together to enjoy the vast artistic expressions that exist in Aboriginal culture.
What We Do AAPA is very pleased to announce a two-year partnership agreement with the Dreamspeakers Festival Society. Our goal is to connect in a meaningful way, to learn how to be more impactful to the needs of artists, filmmakers and our greater community. The activities we annually propose will advance our effective strategic planning for years and put us in a better position to honour the visions of Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and the Dreamspeakers Film Festival. It is vital to move forward strategically and in tune with the artists and community that is fluctuating and changing as we are. We need to be responsive to the community that we helped grow by increasing our own capacity for growth. We can create more opportunities and make a better impact on arts, film, culture and our collective identity. And we can do it all here in Edmonton.
AAPA's flagship annual event is the...
Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and Punctuate! Theatre are two award-winning Alberta theatre companies’ with a national scope. We are proud to be embarking on a tour across the country, presenting two brand new, Indigenous-led, Canadian plays: Minosis Gathers Hope by Christine Sokaymoh Frederick and Bears by Matthew MacKenzie. NATIONAL TOUR DATES TORONTO, ON @ Toronto Theatre Centre - January 15 to 27, 2018 EDMONTON, AB @ The Rubaboo Festival at The Backstage Theatre - February 1 to 4, 2018 CANMORE, AB @ artsPlace Canmore - March 21 to 24, 2018 MASKWACIS, AB @ Jonas Applegarth Theatre - March 28, 2018 SADDLE LAKE FIRST NATION, AB @ SL Boys and Girls Club - March 31 2018 CALGARY, AB @ The Arts Commons - April 4 to April 7, 2018 VANCOUVER, BC @ The Cultch - May 9 to 12, 2018
2018 Festival Attractions
MINOSIS GATHERS HOPE Minosis Gathers Hope is about a young Métis girl named Minosis (Cree for kitten), hurting from feelings of abandonment, self-doubt and racism. In the piece, Minosis travels the four directions of her grandparents yard in search of medicine wheel-coloured ribbons. This sparks the magic of ceremony, cultural teachings, mythology and legends, and ultimately connects her to the mythical figures of her grandparents’ stories.
BEARS Bears is a multidisciplinary dark comedy about the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline. This unapologetically political play gives a voice to the voiceless animals, and vulnerable landscapes, desecrated by the insatiable human desire for industrial expansion, while striving to increase dialogue about the devastating effects on Canada’s First Nations peoples.
THE SASH MAKER A collaboration of dance, poetry, and traditional finger- weaving, The Sash Maker promotes the healing of long standing cultural wounds. The work communicates a collective yearning for family, understanding, and peace. By reflecting on our past, together we can move forward as people woven from diverse strands and circumstances.
RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD Screening at the Metro Cinema at the Garneau Theatre on January 27 at 4:30 pm Rumble tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. Featuring music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Randy Castillo, and others, Rumble shows how these talented Native musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.
PIKISKWE Lost My Talk - Mixed-Media Sculpture & Other Artworks by LANA WHISKEYJACK A representation of Lana’s uncle; much loved and remembered for the good and sad memories he left behind. A reflection of the intergenerational silences learned from the Indian Residential School (IRS) legacy and an effort to break those silences through the recovery of language, tradition, and cultural identity. Lana Gets Her Talk - Documentary Film by BETH WISHART MACKENZIE A cinematic observation of Indigenous artist Lana Whiskeyjack as she works to complete a mixed-media sculpture of a tortured face, the face of her uncle (centre panel of triptych). Lana calls the piece Lost My Talk. This brief study of an artist and her work helps us come to some understanding of the trauma experienced by Canada’s Indigenous people in the IRS system, of its enduring effects on the children of Survivors, and of one woman’s journey to recover what was lost: dignity, identity, and voice. A story of resilience, Lana’s journey speaks of the power of Indigenous “ways of being” in our time.
OUR PEOPLE WILL BE HEALED Screening at the Metro Cinema at the Garneau Theatre on February 4 at 2:00 pm Our People Will Be Healed, Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film, reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education. The Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre in Norway House, north of Winnipeg, receives a level of funding that few other Indigenous institutions enjoy. Its teachers help their students to develop their abilities and their sense of pride. In addition to teaching academic subjects, the school reconnects students with their ancestral culture.