Proudly located on the traditional, un-ceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, Full Circle: First Nations Performance presents the 17th annual Talking Stick Festival on February 14-24, 2018 at various venues in Vancouver. Drawing meaning from the salmon’s journey to their spawning grounds, 2018’s Talking Stick Festival is aptly named Scháyilhen (S-ch-eye-yay-lh-un), which translates literally to “Salmon Going Up River,” and speaks to the journey the community is taking towards embracing and celebrating Indigenous art forms and practices.
Known as a place of gathering for over 18,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous attendees alike, the festival features 11 days of traditional and contemporary visual arts, film, theatre, dance, and music.
Highlights for the family:
The WAx HOLKS EN SHQALAWIN (OPEN YOUR HEARTS) GALA launches the festival with a buffet dinner and first class entertainment. February 15 at 7pm.
SOKALO, a vibrant work by [ZØGMA], a professional percussive dance company hailing from Quebec, shares their cultural diversity by combining music and choreography with a contemporary approach and aesthetic to folklore. Collaborating with Vancouver’s Louis Riel Metis Dancers, they merge song and dance into a powerful rhythmic work. February 16 and 18 at 7pm.
METIS KITCHEN PARTY invites you to tap your feet to the sound of the fiddle while the jiggers showcase some “fancy steps.” Learn traditional Metis crafts with hands-on, interactive workshops, or
browse the vendors’ displays for Metis art. Sunday February 18, 1-4pm.
MAP OF LAND, MAP OF THE STARS by Gwaandak Theatre (Yukon) tells the story of how the gold rush and the Alaska Highway changed connections between land and sky, through theatre, dance, and music. February 20 at 7pm, February 21 at 1pm and 7pm, and February 22 at 1pm.
THEATRE FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART! Two works are geared to audiences in Kindergarten to Grade Six. Th’owxiya: The Hungry Feast Dish by Axis Theatre Company plays February 17 at 12pm and 3pm. The new work, Salmon Girl by Raven Spirit Dance plays February 20-23 at 10am and 1pm and February 24 at 2pm.
REEL RESERVATIONS: CINEMATIC INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY SERIES, curated by Colin Van Loon consists of three days of short and feature films showcasing the creative work of Indigenous artists. All screenings are open to youth under 19. February 22-24.
CELEBRATION OF POWWOW CULTURE is one of the festival’s most popular events, gathering hundreds of people of all ages each year. Enjoy a display of traditional and contemporary dance exhibitions, join in the inter-tribal dances, and shop at the Aboriginal Artisan Fair, which includes exhibits and the sale of arts, crafts, music, and food. February 24, 12-5pm.
- General Admission: $5-45
- VIP/Nightlife/Industry Series Passes $55-150 for adults
- Some events are pay what you can.
Box office and information: talkingstickfest.ca