Reconciliation through the arts
in the heart of Old Montreal
The 5th Edition of the Mixed Arts Festival features Natives artists
By Luc Archambault
As part of the official program for the City of Montreal’s 375th anniversary, Sacred Fire Productions presents the 5th Edition of the Mixed Arts Festival, held at Place Jacques-Cartier and Place Royale in the heart of Old Montreal this weekend, from Friday till Sunday.
… multiple mediation activities allowed participants of all ages to learn more about the Great Peace Treaty, the meaning of hoop dances and learn how to make talking sticks.
This multidisciplinary event hosts a temporary art gallery, photo exhibit, workshops and musical performances featuring artists from several Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Nations. Florent Vollant, the great Innu singer, will be joined by Zachary Richard and Vincent Vallières, with Maten as an opening act for this show, held on Saturday, June 17 at 7 pm.
From the United States, Casper Lomayesva, a singer from the Hopi / Dine Nation in Arizona, took the stage on Friday with The 602 Band, offering a show that combined melodies from his Native heritage and reggae music. Also from Arizona, Montee Sinquah accompanied by The Sinquah Family Dance Troupe will begin every major show on each evening, with their hoop dance and grass dance. All these artists will also participate in workshops throughout the weekend.
Not to be missed also, the performance of Akawui, a Chilean singer-songwriter, combines salsa-cumbia and hip hop with Andean, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music. This artist will perform on stage with Casper Lomayesva and Mariame, a Montréal-based composer and performer of Cree and Arab origin. She won Best Pop Artist at the 2017 Indigenous Music Award this year.
To better build bridges between our cultures, multiple mediation activities allowed participants of all ages to learn more about the Great Peace Treaty, the meaning of hoop dances and learn how to make talking sticks.
As well, Alethea Arnaquq-Barild’s documentary film Angry Inuk , addressing the impact on Inuits of the seal hunt controversy, will be screened on Saturday, June 17 at 2 pm, part of the NFB’s Aabiziingwashi (Wide Awake) Indigenous film tour. This highly interesting documentary has won numbers of awards, including the Audience Award at the Hot Docs Festival and the TIFF Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival.
At the Ashukan Cultural Space, on Place Jacques-Cartier, the public can see the photo exhibition Concrete Indians by Nadia Kwandibens, renowned Anishinaabe Ojibwe photographer and founder of Red Works Photography. This exhibition wants to acknowledge the presence of Aboriginal peoples in Canada in a modern and urban context.
Finally, at Place de la Dauversière, just east of Place Jacques-Cartier, a temporary art gallery will be set up, with more than forty visual artists, sculptors, artisans, traditional dancers and musicians, Natives and non-natives, a mix of diverse backgrounds, all coming together.
“The 375th anniversary is a privileged opportunity to build bridges with all the community groups of Montreal and to celebrate the vitality of the city. The 5th Edition of the Mixed Arts Festival is perfectly in line with this vision. The event offers a rich program of activities that will allow the public to experience the wealth of Aboriginal cultures and to understand their connection to the past, present and future of Montreal.” Alain Gignac, General Manager of the Society of Celebrations of the 375th anniversary of Montreal.
About Sacred Fire Productions
It’s mission is to build bridges between Aboriginal artists in Quebec and audiences of all ages and backgrounds. By creating opportunities for these artists to express themselves, Sacred Fire Productions believes in the revitalization of Indigenous art and cultural practices, traditionally rooted in the communities. Through indigenization, Sacred Fire Productions focuses on bringing a positive and better understanding of First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture. So if you’re curious about our native neighbors, art afficionados, cultural freaks or just music enthousiasts, Old Montreal will be the place to be this upcoming weekend.
Images: Mixed Arts Festival
Read also Fringe Festival Report, part 2: June 10 to June 13
Writer and journalist, globe-trotter at heart, passionate about movies, music, literature and contemporary dance, came back to Montreal to pursue his unrelenting quest for artistic meaning.