Posted on Sep 11, 2019

Today Canoe Stories Festival begins.

The starting event is Canoe Journeys, an open studio community art project creating a traditional birchbark canoe which runs Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week. Also on schedule for this week is the Light Tipi and Welcoming Cermonies and Traditional Feast for the Mother Earth Water Walkers.


1-3 pm CANOE JOURNEYS (Community Drop-in)

Aanmitaagzi presents, Canoe Journeys, an interactive multi-arts installation and performance, creating art in relation to the processes of building a birchbark canoe and the stories that travel alongside. Where do We Come From? Where Are We Going? What Carries Us? Community, audience and participants are invited to come and activate the space with movement, song, dance, poetry, or engage with the continuation of weaving roots, shaping bark, and mixing pitch.

Three days of making, September 11, 12, 13, will culminate in an interactive performative event on September 14, 2019.

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6-9 pm CANOE JOURNEYS (Community Drop-in Continued)

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1-4 pm CANOE JOURNEYS (Community Drop-in Continued)

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10 am-1 pm CANOE PROCESSION (National Arts Centre’s Indigenous Theatre Launch)

The official launch of Mòshkamo Indigenous Arts Festival takes place on Saturday, September 14th. Journeying from Patterson Creek, traveling under the Corktown Bridge, paddling past the NAC and docking at the Sappers Bridge docks, an Algonquin-led flotilla that includes members of the local Indigenous Arts community and representatives from the NAC’s new Indigenous Theatre department will take up paddles to usher in a new era at the NAC.

As part of this year’s 50th anniversary, the NAC is set to celebrate another new beginning: Indigenous Theatre’s first season. The first event of the season, Mòshkamo, centres the host Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation with a multi-National canoe voyage to 1 Elgin. Sixty Indigenous folks from across unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory will depart en masse down the historical waterway, claiming space for the NAC’s first all-Indigenous festival.

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2-3 pm CANOE JOURNEYS (Interactive Performative Event)

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8-9:30 pm LIGHT TIPI / YAHKÂSKWAN MÎKIWAHP / TIPI DE LUMIÈRE (Interactive Performance)

Facilitated by Artists Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Joseph Naytowhow, Light Tipi / Yahkâskwan Mîkiwahp / Tipi De Lumière is a community-based art activation that will bring light into the darkness of the night with storytelling, song, language and Indigenous teachings.

The Tipi “structure” is created by organizing the community to position and hold high-powered handheld lights that are illuminated by smouldering bundles of Prairie sage that are specially prepared for this performance. As the Light Tipi becomes illuminated the circle sharing begins. The performing artists share storytelling, song, teachings and language to illuminate our minds and open our hearts, and connect us to the land and waters.

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9:30 am-3 pm MOTHER EARTH WATER WALK (Pipe & Water Ceremonies and Traditional Feast)

Join us to welcome the walkers who carried the sacred water for more than 800 km from Matane (Gaspésie) to Ottawa. This event includes a Pipe Ceremony, Water Ceremony, Traditional Offering Ceremony, Water Walker’s Sharing Circle, and Traditional Feast.

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3-5 pm Sunday, September 22 LANDS, WATERS, AND STORIES (Walking Tour)

More info coming soon.