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Daily Dose — Indigenous Talent Hits the Stage this Month at the Capitol Theatre

Ari Lord
By Ari Lord
November 8th, 2023

A range of Indigenous talent is being showcased this month at the Capitol Theatre, featured in today’s Hall Printing Daily Dose.

According to the theatre’s Community Engagement and Outreach Facilitator, Allison Girvan.

“Understanding the importance of Reconciliation and centering Indigenous voices, the theatre is dedicated to creating space for Indigenous-led conversations, performances, and celebrations.

This has been a commitment here for many years and we are excited to be collaborating with and featuring many Indigenous artists again this season,” says Girvan.

The  Hoop Dance Workshop, led by Cree artist Jessica McMann, opened the month of November.

She guided participants through dance moves while sharing stories learned throughout her career as a dancer.

McMann was back on the stage in a trio with Holly Bhattacharya, who specializes in orchestral, chamber, theatre, and commercial music, and Perri Lo who is a pianist and vocal coach, working in opera, chamber music, and dance.

“Jessica McMann presented a beautiful and moving concert of original music for flute, viola and piano. This would have been spectacular on its own, but Jessica wove in stories of her past, and her more recent connection with her Indigenous family. The integration of storytelling within the performance and the window into “classical” music through an Indigenous lens brought these
pieces to life in such a special way,” says Girvan.

On November 11 th , the theatre is showcasing singer-songwriter iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (short for waseskwan iskwew, meaning “blue sky woman”), who is a teller of stories that have impacted the past and will inform the future.

iskwē has been called “one of the most powerful performers in the country” by CBC Radio.

At its heart, the music is about supporting each other through life’s challenges.

On November 23rd Chuck Copenace: Oshki Manitou, Winnipeg-based Ojibway musician, will perform.

Oshki Manitou expands dramatically on his work as a trumpet player, arranger, and composer, fusing contemporary interpretations of sweat-lodge melodies with jazz and elements of dance and electronica.

He shares how ceremonial melodies have changed his musical outlook and united his creativity and spirituality.

November 14th will see the screening of Two Worlds, One Heart. After 25 years of writing and thinking about the upper Columbia River landscape and its complex Indigenous history, Eileen Delehanty Pearkes (Historian, researcher and author of The Geography of Memory and A River Captured) will speak about how following her passion has transformed her.

Pearkes asks some crucial questions like: What were the obstacles in writing about “extinct” people? What have the
ancestral and living Sinixt people taught her in the process?

Relatedly, November 15th is Changing Course, a 60-minute documentary by producer Jon O’Riordan featuring stunning footage by Nelson-based filmmaker Bohdan Doval, showcasing the significance of water, salmon, and culture tied to the Columbia River.

Featuring interviews with First Nation and community leaders, it highlights the river’s historic importance and how major dams for flood control and hydropower impacted it dramatically.

There will be a discussion following the screening with panellists Eileen Delhanty-Pearkes, Jan Inglis (independent educator, scholar, and practitioner), Greg Utzig (conservation ecologist and land use planning consultant), and Herb Alex (Senior Sinixt Policy Analyst).

On November 30 th , the Capitol Theatre’s 34th Annual Pantomime opens. The audience will get to see what happens when one steps into someone else’s shoes for the day.

This event will be a fun take on a classic tale: The Prince and the Pauper-Panto style.

“It’s so exciting to watch the community come together and put in all the hard work, time and effort to put this together. We have a great team doing the directing, musical direction and choreography. So many people all working together for a common goal,” says Kyla Hurst, Box Office Manager of the Capitol Theatre.

For more information or to buy tickets for any of these shows, please visit their website.

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