Aboriginal Cultural Festival 2017

The Royal BC Museum is honoured to host the Aboriginal Cultural Festival again from Friday, June 16 to Sunday, June 18 in celebration of Aboriginal culture, values, language and cuisine.

The festival begins with a ceremonial welcome canoe paddle through traditional lands to Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The Songhees Nation and Esquimalt Nation—the event hosts—will then lead the traditional protocol and opening ceremony before a parade of Nations officially launches the three-day celebration in anticipation of National Aboriginal Day on June 21, 2017.

This year’s program features more than 100 performers from across BC and around the world, who will tell their compelling stories through song and dance to educational tours. Visitors won’t want to miss the mesmerizing athletics of three-time world champion hoop dancer Alex Wells, who comes from the Lil’wat Nation and performs as a guest of the Songhees and Esquimalt nations. Adding to the excitement this year are special guests from Maori performing arts group He Waka Kōtuia, who will travel all the way from New Zealand to perform exclusively at the festival.

Other must-do activities include browsing beautiful wares at the Indigenous Arts Marketplace, observing a traditional smudge ceremony, joining an educational tour centred on the history of totems, and indulging in tantalizing treats like fry-bread, barbecued sockeye salmon and West Coast clam chowder from the Songhees Seafood and Steam food truck at the outdoor dining area.

In partnership with Aboriginal Tourism BC

Friday, June 16

10:30 am Canoe crossing protocol welcome at Commonwealth Corner
11:00 am Canoe protocol procession to Festival Stage
11:00 am Authentic Indigenous Arts Marketplace opens
11:30 am Festival official opening ceremony
Acknowledgement and introduction of partners and dignitaries

Main Stage Performances

12:00 pm Host nations’ welcome
     Lekwungen Traditional Dancers (Songhees Nation)
     Esquimalt Singers and Dancers (Esquimalt Nation)
1:00 pm Le-La-La Dancers (Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw Nation)
2:00 pm Hoomis Dancers (Nuu-chah-nulth Nation)
3:00 pm He Waka Kōtuia Dancers (Māori)
4:00 pm Alex Wells, three-time world champion hoop dancer (Lil’wat Nation)
5:00 pm Hoomis Dancers (Nuu-chah-nulth Nation)

Saturday, June 17

12:00 pm Host Nations’ Welcome
     Lekwungen Traditional Dancers (Songhees Nation)
     Esquimalt Singers and Dancers (Esquimalt Nation)
1:00 pm Le-La-La Dancers (Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw Nation)
2:00 pm Alex Wells, three-time world champion hoop dancer (Lil’wat Nation)
3:00 pm He Waka Kōtuia Dancers (Māori)
4:00 pm Le-La-La Dancers (Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw Nation)
5:00 pm Alex Wells, three-time world champion hoop dancer (Lil’wat Nation)

Sunday, June 18

11:00 am Festival and 1 Authentic Indigenous Arts Marketplace opens
11:00 am Smudge ceremony with Frank Antoine (Bonaparte Nation)
11:00 am Wawadit’ła and totem tour with Andy Everson (K’ómoks Nation)

Main Stage Performances

12:00 pm Host nations’ welcome
     Lekwungen Traditional Dancers (Songhees Nation)
     Esquimalt Singers and Dancers (Esquimalt Nation)
1:00 pm Le-La-La Dancers (Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw Nation)
2:00 pm Git Hayetsk Dancers (Haida, Haisla, Tahltan, Tlingit, Lil’wat and Musqueam Nations)
3:00 pm He Waka Kōtuia Dancers (Māori, New Zealand)
4:00 pm Alex Wells, three-time world champion hoop dancer (Lil’wat Nation)
5:00 pm Git Hayetsk Dancers (Haida, Haisla, Tahltan, Tlingit, Lil’wat and Musqueam Nations)

Indigenous cuisine provided by the Songhees Seafood & Steam food truck open 11:00 am – 5:00 pm daily.

Artist demonstrations and Authentic Indigenous Arts Marketplace open 11:00 am – 5:30 pm daily.

*schedule subject to change. For up-to-date information see the Aboriginal Cultural Festival website

You can view the full program and plan your cultural experience at aboriginalbc.com/yyj and follow the conversation on social media through #YYJAboriginalFest.

Organized by the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC (AtBC) in partnership with the Songhees and Esquimalt nations, the Royal BC Museum, Tourism Victoria, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and the University of Victoria.

 

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