Coastal Dance Festival 2020 Celebrates The Future Of Indigenous Culture

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Dancers of Damelahamid is proud to announce the vibrantly forward-looking 13th annual Coastal Dance Festival, a celebration of Canadian and global Indigenous stories, song, and dance, February 25-March 1, 2020 at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster and at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC (MOA), where school performances will be performed in the Great Hall.

Program highlights in 2020 include the festival debut of Arctic Song, a collective of Inuit musicians from across Canada's Arctic, and youth workshops between the New Zealand-based Tuakana and Teina Leadership Academy Group, and two BC-based groups Ewk Hyaha Hozdii (Wet'suwet'en) and Yisya'winuxw (Kwakwaka'wakw).

"We're thrilled to expand our 2020 edition to two venues that have become home to the Coastal Dance Festival," says Margaret Grenier, Festival Executive & Artistic Director. "We found such engaged new audiences at the Anvil Centre last year and it was a joy to present our innovative, ancestral performances within the state-of-the-art space. We're also honoured to perform for student audiences once again in MOA's Great Hall, which will bring together the energy of local and international youth groups in a setting full of iconic Indigenous artworks. Looking to the future of Indigenous culture and the transference of knowledge forward through the generations, I can think of no better way to bridge communities in the Northwest Coast and beyond than through our 2020 program."

This year's festival welcomes 14 Indigenous performance groups from throughout British Columbia, Alaska, the Yukon, and Nunavut as well as international guest artists from as far away as New Zealand. New and not-to-be-missed this year: the emerging talents of Arctic Song, who revitalize Inuit drum songs through pairings with contemporary dance; and the Vancouver debut of New Zealand's Tuakana and Teina Leadership Academy Group (TNT), a talented company of artists aged 5 to 18, who focus on cultivating leadership abilities through shared learnings. TNT will participate in workshops alongside Ewk Hyaha Hozdii and Yisya'winuxw from Alert Bay, BC.

Other highlights include the return of several festival favourites: Chinook Song Catchers, with 10 cultural presenters performing a Squamish Welcome Song, Killer Whale Song, Owl Song, and more; the Squamish-based dance company Spakwus Slolem, with works representative of their canoe culture; performances by Git Hayetsk and Git Hoan, groups with long-standing connections to Dancers of Damelahamid; the multigenerational Coast Salish Tsatsu Stalquayu (Coastal Wolf Pack); and the Haida company Rainbow Creek Dancers, featuring renowned artists Robert Davidson and Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson. The mother and daughter team of Chesha7 iy lha mens will return alongside the award-winning Inland Tlingit Dakhká Khwáan Dancers and the Nisga'a Kwhlii Gibaykw.

Dancers of Damelahamid proudly acknowledge the festival takes place on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Qayqayt and Musqueam peoples.


Tickets from $25. For more information visit: damelahamid.ca.



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