Adäka Cultural Festival Announces the 2014 Festival Program Highlights
For Immediate Release - Whitehorse, YT
April 10, 2014
Over 150 aboriginal artists and performers from Canada, Alaska and New Zealand will descend upon Whitehorse this summer to share their arts and culture with Yukon residents and visitors from around the world.
Taking place from June 27 – July 3rd at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, the Festival will present a world-class program featuring traditional and contemporary music, drumming, dance, storytelling, film, visual art exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops, interpretive programming, a community feast and more! The Festival start date has moved to late June to align with Yukon’s peak tourism season.
The 2014 program will feature a special collaborative project titled Journey with our Hearts and Hands, which will bring 15 master sculptors from New Zealand, Alaska, Haida Gwaii, Vancouver, Northwest Territories and Yukon together to exhibit their work and share ideas, inspiration and knowledge through discussion forums and informal studio time in a carving tent by the Yukon River.
The group will include renowned Canadian and international artists Dempsey Bob (B.C. Tahltan/Tlingit), Wayne Price (Alaska Tlingit), Reggie Davidson (B.C. Haida), Stan Bevan (B.C. Tahltan/Tlingit), Ken McNeil (B.C. Tahltan/Tlingit) Abraham Anghik Ruben (N.W.T. Inuvialuit), Arlene Ness (B.C. Giskaast), and Lyonel Grant (New Zealand Māori) They will be welcomed by Yukon sculptors Keith Wolfe Smarch (Carcross Tagish Tlingit), Ken Anderson (Teslin Tlingit), Eugene Alfred (Southern Tutchone/Tlingit), Doug Smarch Jr. (Teslin Tlingit), Dennis Shorty (Ross River Dena) and Brian Walker (Kwanlin Dün citizen). Journey will be a landmark event for Yukon sculptors, enhancing linkages with artists throughout the Pacific Rim and Northwest regions.
Adäka’s main stage program will also feature an impressive line up including 3 award-winning performers:
Florent Vollant, a dynamic Innu singer-songwriter, formally part of the internationally acclaimed duo KASHTIN. “Well-rounded, mysterious, simplicity but always rich, the Montagnais’s music eases life. Opulent.” Voir
Don Amero, a rootsy country, folk and soul singer songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba. “Since he burst onto the local scene with his sweet tenor voice and his beautiful acoustic songs, Don Amero has been called one of its brightest lights.” – John Kendle, Uptown Magazine
Westley Hardisty, a Dene fiddling sensation whose unique blend of rock, folk, Celtic and Métis music is compelling and emotional.
“We are very excited about our main stage program this year”, says Executive Producer Charlene Alexander. “Many Yukoners will remember the rich sounds of Florent Vollent from his Kashtin days. Florent has gone on to have a very successful solo career; he is a richly talented writer-composer-performer, who is inspired by the land and the Elders of his hometown of Maliotenam, in
Northern Quebec .”
The festival audience will also enjoy many of Yukon’s favourite performers including Diyet, Boyd Benjamin, Jerry Alfred and Vision Quest to name a few, as well as 15 traditional dance groups from Yukon, Alaska and Atlin.
Join us on June 29th for our annual “Sharing Our Spirit” celebration featuring traditional dance and drumming groups from across Yukon, NWT, Alaska and Atlin. The audience will be invited to join performers around the fire pit at the end of the day for a community drumming circle and feast.
“Sharing our Spirit celebration gives the festival audience an opportunity to experience the incredibly rich and diverse traditions, ceremony and regalia of First Nations in this powerful showcase of traditional drumming, dance and song,” says Marilyn Jensen, leader of Dakhka Khwaan Dancers. “ It is also an honour for us to share the stage with so many diverse groups from across Yukon and beyond.”
On Tuesday, July 1 – Adäka will present an action packed program in celebration of Canada Day. The events will kick off with public workshops on bannock making, square dancing and jigging followed by fiddle music, dancing, comedy, stick gambling competition and the ever-popular jigging contest.
“This is an excellent opportunity for all Yukon residents and visitors alike to experience a traditional community gathering” says Associate Producer Jessie Stephen. “The day will be filled with high-energy fiddle music, dancing, free flowing campfire tea, award winning bannock and lots of laughter. It’s an event that will appeal to all ages and cultures.”
The Adäka Cultural Festival is presented by the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association (YFNCT). YFNCT is a non-profit organization that aims to help grow, promote and celebrate strong and sustainable Yukon First Nations culture and tourism sectors.
Our public funders include Government of Canada-CANNOR, Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Yukon Government and the City of Whitehorse. Program partners include Kwanlin Dün Cultural Society, Yukon Arts Centre, Yukon Electrical/ATCO, Northern Cultural Expressions Society, Skookum Jim Friendship Centre, Yukon College and Yukon Film Society. Founding partner is Council of Yukon First Nations.
For more information contact:
Adäka Cultural Festival