Fort York comes alive with Indigenous Arts Festival, pow wow

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Traditional dancing, drumming, theatre, visual arts until June 19

 A variety of family-friendly events celebrating National Aboriginal History Month – June – begins on Thursday at the Fort Fort York National Historic Site.

The fourth annual Indigenous Arts Festival at Fort York, taking place from June 16 to 19, celebrates traditional and contemporary music, dance, theatre, literature, storytelling, visual arts, crafts and food created by indigenous artists from across Canada.

“The Indigenous Art Festival and pow-wow provide a meaningful community space for everyone to join together and celebrate the vibrancy of Aboriginal arts and culture,” said Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina), Co-Chair of the City’s Aboriginal Affairs Committee.

Music from Juno Award winners Derek Miller and Leela Gilday will be featured alongside performances from Drezus and T Rhyme with DJ Nathan Down, Plex and DJ Divinyl, Don Amero, IsKwé, DJ Classic Roots, Logan Staats and the Black Bull Moose Singers.

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Montana-based hip hop maestro and champion fancy dancer Supaman will also be performing and speaking at the festival for the first time. Rising young Toronto choreographer Brian Solomon will perform his recent dance work “The NDN Way” while contributors to the new book of essays “In This Together” lead a collective conversation on truth and reconciliation to launch the festival on June 16.

The Indigenous Arts Festival is presented by Fort York and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. The festival is produced by Fort York with the financial support of TD Bank and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and is sponsored by Tim Hortons.

The 15th annual Native Men’s Residence (Na-Me-Res) Traditional Outdoor Powwow will be held on June 18. It features traditional dancing, drumming, a children’s area and over 40 artisans and craft vendors. Seven Aboriginal drum groups will perform, including host drum Chippewa Travelers and co-host drum Big Train. Over 100 traditional dancers are expected to participate including head dancers Tee Lyn Copenance and Mike Healy.

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The grand entry takes place at noon, with dancing and drumming until 4:30 p.m., followed by a feast for all. Concerts begin at 6 p.m. as part of the Indigenous Arts Festival featuring Derek Miller, Great Lakes Project, Indian City and more. This event is presented by Na-Me-Res, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and Fort York.

Located at 250 Fort York Blvd., Fort York is one of 10 historical museums operated by the City of Toronto. The public can call 416-392-6907 or visit for more information. The public can also interact with Fort York at and on Facebook at – CINEWS

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