Canada’s 150th has not been without controversy, many pointing out that Indigenous peoples were living here with their own rich and vibrant cultures well before Canada’s inception 150 years ago. To boot many of us are unfamiliar with much of Indigenous history. Thankfully, this summer is a golden opportunity to explore the many forms of arts, culture and traditions around Vancouver. Here are some FREE family friendly activities and events around town to help you connect with some of our nations’ deepest roots.
Five family-friendly Indigenous events around town this summer
Canada 150+ Murals
Re-discover Vancouver as Indigenous land! New Indigenous artist-created murals and other 2-D artworks are appearing around Vancouver this summer. Chosen by a selection panel, works will contemplate the city, its defining features, and their relationship to significant cultural sites.
The Gathering of the Canoes
July 14th, Vanier Park
Bring the kids down to witness a traditional landing of the Pulling Together Canoe Journey along with an afternoon feast and celebratory gathering. During a 10-day journey along traditional highways from the Sunshine Coast to the City of Vancouver, up to 30 canoes will request permission to land on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Cheer on the skippers and canoe families as they paddle to their next stop at Ambleside in West Vancouver.
Thunderbird Sharing Ceremony
July 15th at Stanley Park
You may have seem these nimble dancers climbing up the library walls in downtown Vancouver. This time they will be climbing trees! And not just any trees! Aeriosa aerial Dance and Spakwus Slulem/Eagle Song will scale the heights ofStanely Park’s ancient forest in a collaborative performance. You’ll aslo get to witness ceremonies of local Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh artists.
Meet at the Stanley Park Bus Loop (outside the gates of the Mini Train)
The Drum is Calling Festival
July 22 – 30, 2017
This FREE nine-day of Indigenous arts and culture is a must-go. Featuring showstoppers like Buffy Sainte-Marie, PowWowStep creator DJ Shub, Chantal Kreviazuk, Kinnie Starr, literary giant Tomson Highway, and poet Shane Koyczan as well as hands-on workshops theatre for young people, play readings, carving and weaving workshops, literary and speaker series, and film screening as well as authentic Indigenous artisans, vendors and food will be on site to nourish your mind, body, and soul, and this is a must-go festival!
Larwill Park, Playhouse Theatre, Vancouver Public Library Atrium, Queen Elizabeth Theatre Lobby, and QET Plaza
Indigenous Fashion Week
Who does not love a fashion show? Attend the first-annual Indigenous Fashion Week in Vancouver. The brainchild of former international model Joleen Mitten, the shows will feature the super-stars and emerging artists of Indigenous fashion design and modelling.
Larwill Park & Queen Elizabeth Theatre Lobby
Find out more on all of these events at Canada 150 Plus
Harriet Fancott is the Editor and Social Media Manager for Vancouver Mom. She has over 20 years experience in the arts, tech and mom-based blogging arenas. She lives in East Vancouver with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring all that Vancouver has to offer from festivals and events to playgrounds and beaches to sushi and ice cream (although not together).