Ontario Presents is pleased to announce a new initiative as part of our ongoing efforts to support the presentation of work by Indigenous performing artists in Ontario.
OP presenter members can now apply for funds to cover the costs of travelling to see Indigenous work.
Adam Moffatt has worked with Ontario Presents to create a list of presentation-ready Indigenous artists currently performing in the province (or nearby). The list is available below and will be updated as new works are identified.
While this listing is publicly available (please feel free to share), the funding program is open to Ontario Presents presenting members only. Funds will cover tickets, accommodation, and a contribution towards travel. To apply, simply complete this form and send it to Ceilidh Wood.
This is an ongoing program with continuous intake until funds are spent.
If you have any questions about this program, please contact Ceilidh.
We encourage you to review OP’s Guiding Principles for Presenting Indigenous work for further guidance on this important topic.
Ka’tarohkwi Festival of Indigenous Arts, Kingston
Wed, Mar 6 - Sun, Mar 24
The Isabel Bader Center for the Performing Arts and the Agnes Etherington Arts Center have partnered to present the Ka’tarohkwi Festival of Indigenous Art, curated by Dylan Robinson, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University. In addition to film screenings, the festival includes:
Mar 6: The National Arts Centre Orchestra and Tanya Tagaq (I Lost My Talk & Qiksaatuq) (Tickets and Info)
Mar 16: Digging Roots (Tickets and Info)
Mar 22: Jeremy Dutcher + See Monsters (Tickets and Info)
Mar 23: Wani’ / Lost by Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen (Tickets and Info)
Mar 24: Niigaani-gichigami / Oniatarí:io (Tickets and Info)
Find out more on the website
Isitwendam at Aki Studio, Toronto
Sun, Mar 17 - Sun, Mar 31
When Conservative idealist Brendan, a young half white, half Ojibway man is hired by Aboriginal Affairs to discredit a Residential School survivor’s reparation claim, his whole world is turned upside down.
Isitwendam (An Understanding) is the story of a young man in search of a truth, whose journey leads to a discovery about the father he loathed and lost, and an awakening of himself and his generation.
A fusion of western and Indigenous storytelling that includes Ancient Indigenous Sign Language, drumming, dance, and song, this powerful, heart-wrenching, yet humorous theatrical production explores various perspectives of atrocity and the steps we all need to take to find Isitwendam.
Lacey Hill at The Burdock, Toronto
Fri, Mar 22
Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, this show has been changed from the planned appearance by Digawolf, to a performance by Lacey Hill.
A soulful musician, singer, and songwriter. Lacey Hill composes her music in Southern Ontario on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve. She grew up “down the bush” (slang for ‘on the reserve’) where her passion for singing emerged when she was just a toddler.
Maggie and Me at the Capitol Centre, North Bay
Fri, Mar 29
This piece began with the offering to be a jingle dress dancer evolving into the creation of a contemporary healing dance allowing gifts and ancestral experience’s to guide the choreographer in creation and manifestation. In this signature solo, the dancer-choreographer (Christine Friday) travels with us through dimensional realms of existence – spirit, dream and present – performing a journey within her life. “The healing and revitalization of our Anishinaabe culture.” Stage lighting is stripped down, the soundscape a euphoric blend of hand drums and voices. With a movement style that is at once free, lyrical, explosive an expression of indigenous contemporary dance, she walks into her own power.
Photo by Nathalie Duhaine
Diyet & The Love Soldiers at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa
Sun, Mar 30
Born in a tent and raised in a cabin on the shores of a glacial lake in the Kluane region of Canada’s Yukon, country-roots artist Diyet is a seamless amalgam of cultures. Via folk music and Aboriginal forms, she channels her various linages (Southern Tutchone, Japanese, Tlingit and Scottish) into stories and melodies deeply rooted in her Indigenous world view, and northern reality. The owner of a formidable voice, she performs as a trio with husband/guitarist/collaborator, Robert van Lieshout, and multi- instrumentalist, Bob Hamilton. Diyet’s music is an adventurous show and tell, effortlessly balancing modernity and tradition.
Hot Brown Honey at the Bluma Appel Theatre, Toronto
Fri, Apr 5 - Sun, Apr 7
Hot Brown Honey turns up the heat to deliver lashings of sass and a hot pinch of empowerment. This posse of phenomenal women smashes stereotypes, remixes the system, and dares to celebrate our similarities and differences.
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
Mon, Apr 15 & Sat, May 18
Mon, Apr 15: Phog Lounge, Windsor (Tickets and Info)
Sat, May 18: The Garrison, Toronto (Tickets and Info)
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan is a Noh-Wave prog collective, a black-and-white (and sometimes red) theatre company, an operatic psych cult, rock band and the speculative prophets of humanity’s impending doom.
Photo by Richmond Lam
Leela Gilday at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa
Sat, May 4
Born in Yellowknife, on the shores of Great Slave Lake, Leela Gilday writes warm and effortless folk-pop, steeped in the history of her people and the ruggedness of land that created her. Leela Gilday has toured extensively across Canada, the US, Greenland, Denmark, and Europe. A gifted storyteller, NAC Presents welcomes Leela Gilday as she releases her fifth studio album (Spring 2019).
Photo by Shawna McLeod
Inner Elder at the Aki Studio, Toronto
Wed, May 8 - Sun, May 12
Inner Elder takes the audience on a journey of transformation through laughter and real-life memories of Gemini Award-winning Cree artist Michelle Thrush as she explores her own inner elder. Using a delicate blend of Bouffon and Indigenous clowning, this performance offers a magical experience in the theatre and an extraordinary vision of our world.
Shanawdithit at the Aki Studio, Toronto
Thurs, May 16 - Sat, May 25
A new opera centered on the story of Shanawdithit (1801-1829), the last recorded surviving member of the Beothuk Nation in Newfoundland, and the extinction and erasure of her people. In the last months of her life, she created a series of coded drawings that speak of the loneliness of survival and lost history.
Collaboratively interpreted by Indigenous artists from across Turtle Island, including Aria Evans, Michelle Olson, Jerry Evans, Jordan Bennett, and Lori Blondeau, Shanawdithit is a work unlike anything in opera.
Digging Roots at the Aurora Cultural Centre
Fri, May 24
Juno Award-winning “roots, rock soul-folk and blues” (CBC Radio) group Digging Roots, fronted by ShoShona Kish and Raven Kanatakta, together with their band have performed the world over – from Glastonbury, to Canada’s remote far north, Australia and Scandinavia – bringing their message of love, activism and positive change.
Winner of the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year.
Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools at Luminato, Toronto
Wed, Jun 12 - Sun, Jun 16
Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and queer theatre-maker Evalyn Parry met on an Arctic expedition from Iqaluit to Greenland. Now they share the stage in Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools; a concert, dialogue, and symbolic convergence between the North and the South of our country. These two powerful storytellers map new territory together in a work that gives voice and body to the lived histories, culture, and climate we have inherited, and then asks how we reckon with these sharp tools.
Find Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools on: Facebook
Jeremy Dutcher at Westben, Campbellford
Fri, Aug 2
Jeremy Dutcher is a classically-trained Canadian Indigenous tenor, composer, musicologist, performer and activist, who currently lives in Toronto, Ontario. This classically trained operatic tenor takes every opportunity to blend his Wolastoq roots into the music he creates. He is most noted for his album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, which won the 2018 Polaris Music Prize.
Photo by Matt Barnes