TORONTO, ON — Planet IndigenUS returns to Harbourfront Centre and Woodland Cultural Centre, its co-producing partner, July 31 – August 9. This contemporary 10-day festival showcases over 300 Indigenous artists from around the globe. For ten years Harbourfront Centre and Woodland Cultural Centre have worked alongside one another to create the world’s largest multi-disciplinary Indigenous arts festival, Planet IndigenUS. Planet IndigenUS 4 sees this partnership develop and grow to showcase the very best Indigenous art the world has to offer.
The 2015 festival takes place at Harbourfront Centre, Woodland Cultural Centre, and more than 25 sites across the GTA, including the Bata Shoe Museum, Fort York and the McMichael Gallery. There will be a shuttle bus available to the public from Harbourfront Centre to the Woodland Cultural Centre, as well as other participating venues. The festival kicks off with a gala performance by Cree music legend Buffy Sainte-Marie, presented by Scotiabank, at the historic Sanderson Centre in Brantford on July 31.
The thread that weaves this year’s Planet IndigenUS programming together is the concept of seven generations. This Indigenous ideology takes into account that present day actions must benefit seven generations to come. “It is always the belief of Indigenous people that we will move forward, embracing traditional Indigenous ways and passing that valuable knowledge from one generation to the next,” explains Artistic Director Janis Monture. “The young people today are finding balance between globalization and their traditions. They are defining for the next generations a process for reconciliation and moving forward. They are imprinting on all aspects of modern life through education, business, science, sports and the arts.”
Featured at this year’s Planet IndigenUS is Music Yet to Come, presented by RBC. This series highlights new music from Indigenous artists making their mark on the industry, such as Holly McNarland, Maxida Marak, Sak Tzevul and many more. Orchestral Pow Wow Project is a new music exploration combining pow wow songs with classical compositions, featuring cellist and looper Cris Derksen. Also not to be missed is Hoop Hop, an exploration of hip-hop music and culture in the global Indigenous community, featuring City Natives, Frank Waln and Tall Paul.
The integral role of dance in Indigenous civilizations will be reflected throughout the entire 10-day festival. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet will present excerpts from Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation, based on a story by award-winning author Joseph Boyden and featuring music by Tanya Tagaq. Visitors can also immerse themselves in Day of Dance, which brings together some of today’s leading Indigenous choreographers from across the world: Santee Smith, Frances Rings, Bulareyaung Pagarlava, Rulan Tangen, Penny Couchie and Sarain Carson-Fox. This unique showcase features new and existing works that deal with important Indigenous issues while celebrating the contemporary form. Discover the enchanting world of Uaajeerneq, the oldest theatrical expression of the Inuit people of Greenland, performed by mask dancer Vivi Sorensen. The public can participate in workshops and demonstrations throughout Planet IndigenUS, from hoop dance with World Champion Hoop Dancer Lisa Odjig to a contemporary dance workshop with Sarain Carson-Fox.
Planet IndigenUS – Highlights at a Glance:
Music: Buffy Sainte-Marie at the Sanderson Centre, presented by Scotiabank.
Visual Arts: Kelly Greene, Kevin Lamure, Kent Monkman, and Doug Smarch Jr. explore modes of transport in InterNations/InterSections. Funding for this project received from PANAMANIA and the Toronto Arts Council.
Dance: Excerpts from Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, based on a story by Joseph Boyden.
Comedy: Heck Init Comedy Nights featuring Howie Miller and Don Burnstick.
Film: films curated by the imagineNATIVE Film Festival.
Literary: In Conversation with Sheila Watt-Cloutier will explore her work The Right to be Cold.
Learning: Ombaasin, a collective of First Nations word and image warriors, presents a panel discussion with communities affected by the oil sands and proposed pipeline projects.
The public are invited to see the complete event listings at harbourfrontcentre.com/planetindigenus or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000.
Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.