Five reasons to check out Talking Stick Festival 2019

Talking Stick programming focuses on the diversity of visual arts, dance, theatre, music, powwow and film in both traditional and contemporary formats.

Talking Stick Festival 2019

When: Feb. 19 to March 2

Where: various venues

Corey Payette’s musical Children of God. EMILY COOPER / PNG

1. Children of God. Presented by Full Circle: First Nations Performance, the multi-disciplinary Indigenous arts festival Talking Stick is now in its 18th year. Among this year’s highlights is the return of Children of God.(Feb. 20 to March 2, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., The York Theatre, Tickets: $10-$59) Corey Payette’s musical about residential schools, healing and reconciliation struck a chord with audiences when it was first performed in Vancouver in 2017, and has since toured the country.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids. PNG

2. Snotty Nose Rez Kids with DJ Kookum. Originally from Kitimaat Village, Snotty Nose Rez Kids is a Vancouver-based hip-hop duo. Their 2018 album The Average Savage received glowing reviews and was shortlisted for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize. They’ll perform as part of the festival’s Muyuntsut ta Slulum music series, which also features indigenous Australian singer Emily Wurramara. (Feb. 24, 8 p.m., 
Roundhouse Community Centre, tickets from $15)

3. Sgaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife). Set in the 1800s in Haida Gwaii, where Sgaawaay K’uuna was filmed, the mystery-thriller draws on Haida storytelling elements. The Vancouver Film Critics Circle selected the film, the first made in the endangered Haida language, as the 2018 Best Canadian Feature. (Feb 27 & 28, 1 p.m., Vancity Theatre, tickets from $7)

4. Virago Nation Burlesque. The all-Indigenous burlesque troupe presents Calling in the Dancestors, an evening of dance, comedy, and striptease set to an Indigenous soundtrack, including music by Redbone, Kinnie Starr, and Link Wray (March 1, 8PM, Roundhouse Community Centre, tickets from $15).

5. Family-friendly shows. Debajehmujig Storytellers, a multi-disciplinary arts organization from Manitoulin Island in Ontario, presents Nanabush Stories — stories centred around the trickster Nanabush (Feb. 18, 1PM & 3PM, Feb. 19-22, 10 a.m. and 1PM, Vancity Culture Lab @ The Cultch, tickets from $6). And in Teepee Theatre, young performers wearing traditional regalia sit inside small teepees to present traditional First Nations stories in their own words (Feb. 23, March 2, 12 p.m., Roundhouse Community Centre, free).


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