Posted on Jun 6, 2019

Young singers from Kitigan Zibi and JP Longboat.

A beautiful evening for a gathering!

Last week the Ottawa Riverkeepers hosted their Annual Gala event at 50 Sussex, the Royal Canadian Geographical building. The view was perfection, overlooking Kichi Sipi (Ottawa River) due west. Our Mother Earth treated us all to a stunning sunset.

The evening opened with a performance by Circadia Indigena’s JP Longboat dancing Men’s Traditional style along with Josée Bourgeois (Fancy Shawl), Adrian Smith (Jingle Dress), and Randy Kakegamick (Grass Dance). At the centre of the circle and at the drum were the beautiful voices of the youth the Young Woman Singers from Kitigan Zibi, Anishinabeg First Nation, and the Young Men Singers from Algonquins of Barriere Lake First Nation. The circle sang and danced for the Four Directions and in Thanksgiving and Honour of Kichi Sipi and its ecology which continues to sustain us. The performance ended with the artists inviting and leading the guests in a Round Dance around the impressively built canoe drum also known as the “Conundrum II”, which the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough graciously provided for the event. Link for more information on Conundrum II.

Many guests commented on how moving this opening was, setting the tone for an evening honouring the waterways of the Ottawa Valley.

From the Riverkeeper Gala website:

Thank you to everyone who attended this beautiful evening – it is always inspiring to gather such a fantastic community of river supporters! 50 Sussex was completely transformed into a magical setting for the party, with marvelous work done by Tania Kratt, Penny Schroeder and the outstanding members of the Gala committee to turn this event into an evening that will never be forgotten. We are so grateful to them for making this River Chic evening a reality!

…Guests also got to watch and take part in a beautiful and powerful performance from JP Longboat, co-choreographer and dancer Josee Bourgeois, and youth cultural dancers from Kitigan Zibi. Lara Van Loon from the Gala Committee made the performance possible, and we are so grateful. Finally, the evening was capped of by some energetic music and dancing, featuring the talents of Kellylee Evans and Rebecca Noelle, who got the crowd pumped up and moving around! In total, you, our river-loving community, raised a record-breaking $303,000 for clean water – a phenomenal show of support for the mighty Kichi Sibi!

Meegwetch and Nya:wen to Lara Van Loon of Ottawa Riverkeeper’s Gala Committee for her work in collaborating with Circadia Indigena and to all the performers for their contribution.

Find out more about the annual gala on