Celebration of Nations, an exciting new festival of Indigenous arts, culture and tradition, will be held at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) in downtown St. Catharines, Ont. from September 8 to 10, 2017.
The weekend gathering features diverse arts programs, including an impressive list of local and national artists such as Buffy Sainte-Marie, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, and The Ollivanders. A visual arts exhibit featuring previously unseen artworks by Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Carl Beam, Roy Thomas, Vince Bomberry, Simon Brascoupe, Bruce King, and others will illuminate the blossoming of contemporary Native art.
In addition to the headline performances, the gathering is filled with a wide range of free and ticketed events all weekend long, including an outdoor Métis encampment, interactive cultural arts workshops, drum circles, a film and speakers series, a reading of a new play for young audiences by Falen Johnson, and a highly anticipated workshop and performance by acclaimed EDM artist DJ Shub.
The gathering will culminate in a very special grand finale, RUMBLE: Unity All-Star Jam Session featuring Kenny Lee Lewis of the Steve Miller Band, Derek Miller (two time JUNO Award-winner from Six Nations), and several special guests including JUNO Award-winner Harrison Kennedy.
Celebration of Nations was an idea brought to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre by Michele-Elise Burnett (Métis). She had recently re-established Kakekalanicks Indigenous Arts and Consultancy, intending to continue in the footsteps of her mother Suzanne Rochon Burnett’s trailblazing work to build stronger First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities. Michele-Elise saw the new four-venue arts hub in downtown St. Catharines as the natural home for this dream and the PAC was eager to create a long-term partnership.
Working closely with Artistic Producer Tim Johnson (Mohawk), a group of Advisors and the FirstOntario PAC’s programming staff, the team has put together a rich array of Indigenous artists to illuminate the missing histories and stellar contributions of Indigenous peoples.
Celebration of Nations aims to strengthen and renew a legacy founded upon national equality, peace, and freedom and provide a meaningful opportunity for Canadians and First Nations peoples to build a more empowered, inclusive, and self-determined community as a priority for a shared future.