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Canada 150+ signature events revealed

April 26 2017

Aboriginal man in a crowd at a torch lighting event

Experience Indigenous culture throughout Vancouver

Vancouver residents and visitors will have plenty of opportunities to experience Indigenous culture throughout the city. The City's Canada 150+ events will be held during the year on streets and sidewalks, in theatres, parks, and other open spaces.

The events will highlight the vibrant living culture of our three host First Nations:

  • Musqueam
  • Squamish
  • Tsleil-Waututh

Traditional and contemporary arts from the Urban Aboriginal and Métis people will also be presented.

Three signature events revealed

Today, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Festival Artistic Director Margo Kane announced the unique Indigenous and diverse cultural programming for this festival.

The program announcement was attended by a number of speakers including:

  • Chief Wayne Sparrow from Musqueam Nation
  • Chief Ian Campbell from Squamish Nation
  • Chief Maureen Thomas from Tsleil-Waututh

"Vancouver is proud to be a City of Reconciliation and commemorating our heritage this Canada 150+ year in partnership with our host First Nations, the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh," says Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Vancouver's 'plus' in our Canada 150+ celebrations recognizes the heritage of our land before 150 years, our journey to the present, and moving forward with mutual understanding and respect with our local First Nations and Urban Aboriginal community. I encourage all Vancouverites to experience the music, traditions, art and more of our Host Nations at one of our many events this year."

Pulling Together Canoe Journey - July 14

The first signature event of 2017 will be the chance to witness a landing of the Pulling Together Canoe Journey at the Gathering of Canoes. Up to 30 canoes, with First Nations, Public Service Agencies, and youth paddlers, will request permission to land on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Drum is Calling Festival - July 22 to 30

The nine-day Drum is Calling Festival is the second signature event and will be held in Larwill Park. Festival headliners include:

  • Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • DJ Shub
  • Chantal Kreviazuk
  • Crystal Shawanda
  • William Prince
  • George Leach
  • Kinnie Star
  • Tomson Highway
  • Shane Koyczan

Throughout the festival, hands-on workshops, and live programming will be held inside the Indigenous housing forms built by the Kanata installation.

Indigenous Fashion Week - July 26 to 29

Indigenous Fashion Week was created by former international model Joleen Mitten and will feature the super-stars and emerging artists of Indigenous fashion design and modelling.

Walk for Reconciliation - September 24

During the third signature event, tens of thousands of Vancouverites are also expected to participate in the second-ever Walk for Reconciliation. In partnership with Reconciliation Canada, and as part of the legacy of the inspirational Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, OBC, the walk will remind Vancouverites of the healing and transformational power of "Namwayut - We Are All One".

Visit the Canada 150+ website