Taking place in February each year, the Talking Stick Festival is an annual event in Vancouver that showcases Indigenous art and First Nation’s culture.
Talking Stick Festival
The Talking Stick Festival is an inclusive multi-day festival that’s open to the public and features storytelling, dance, music, theatre and other performing arts and cultural works by a wide range of Indigenous artists.
Information about the following 2019 events is featured in this article:
Click on any of the above links to jump to information about a specific topic, or continue reading for comprehensive details about the festival in general.
Talking Stick Festival in 2019
In 2019 the Talking Stick Festival runs from February 19th to March 2nd in Vancouver (on the traditional un-ceded territories of the Coast Salish People). In its 18th year, the 2019 festival feature artists from across the country and events at various venues.
Below is a list of events from the 2019 schedule.
Each year many of the events take place at the Roundhouse in Yaletown, although others take place at various other venues around town.
Wax hoks en Shqalawin Gala
(February 21, 2019)
Wax hoks en Shqalawin means “Open Your Hearts” and it’s both the name and theme for the gala celebration kicking off the Talking Stick Festival for 2019. The event takes place at the Roundhouse at 181 Roundhouse Mews and includes entertainment and a buffet dinner.
The cost is $45 for adults and $35 for students and seniors (plus service charges).
Click Wax hoks en Shqalawin for details.
t? sy??: Tradition – Reality, Allegory, Dimension Visual Arts Exhibition
(February 19 to March 2, 2019)
Each year there is a Visual Arts Exhibition at the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall at 181 Roundhouse Mews. It usually features a small collection of art from about a dozen or so local and other BC First Nations artists.
Curator Talks take place on Sunday, February 24th, at 3 pm, and on Friday, March 1st, at 5 pm. The exhibition itself runs from February 19th to March 2nd all day every day. Admission is free.
The Visual Arts Exhibition is usually fairly small, but interesting. It’s worth checking out in combination with other festival events also taking place at the Roundhouse.
Celebration of Indigenous Dance
(February 23, 2019)
Called the Celebration of Powwow Culture last year, the Talking Stick Festival’s 2019 Celebration of Indigenous Dance event presents a display of both contemporary and traditional First Nations dances as well as a market featuring art, crafts and food.
Featured in 2019 are performances by the Kwakwakwa’wakw Urban Dance Group, Eastern Sky Ambassadors, Oceanside Dakota, Immigrant Lessons and other local Turtle Island groups.
The event takes place on Saturday, February 23rd, from noon until 5 pm at the Roundhouse Gymnasium at 181 Roundhouse Mews. Admission is “Pay-What-You-Can.”
For details about the event click 2019 Celebration of Indigenous Dance.
(March 2, 2019)
The Métis Fair features live music, entertainment by the Louis Riel Métis Dancers, traditional Métis crafts and a small vendor market. It takes place on Saturday, March 2, from 12 to 4 pm at the Roundhouse Performance Centre at 181 Roundhouse Mews. Admission is “Pay-What-You-Can” (i.e., by donation.)
See the 2019 Metis Fair for more information.
Reel Reservations: Cinematic Indigenous Sovereignty Series
Reel Reservations is a series of Indigenous films that show over the course of the festival. Movies in 2019 are listed below.
(Note: attendees of the films must be members of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). If not already a member, the cost for an annual membership is about $2).
Thursday, February 28 (2019)
- Falls Around Her – starring Tantoo Cardinal, it’s a 2018 film about an Anishinaabe musician, Mary, who returns to her home in northern Ontario. Tickets cost $13 for adults and $11 for students and seniors (plus service fees). The screening takes place at the Vancity Theatre at 1181 Seymour Street in downtown Vancouver.
Thursday, March 2 (2019)
- Anori (Wind) – a film by Pipaluk Jorgensen, the first woman director from Greenland to have a feature film produced in Greenland. Tickets are $13 for adults and $11 for students and seniors (plus service fees). The film is in the Greenlandic language with English surtitles and shows at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at 149 West Hastings Street.
In addition to the above, there is also a third film, Sgaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife), which is in the Haida language (with English subtitles) and about Haida Gwaii in the 1800’s. It is for school groups, however, and not open to the general public.
Other Festival Events
Above are just some of the events that take place during the Talking Stick Festival in 2019. Other events include everything from educational talks to night life activities. Truly it’s a diverse festival with something for everyone!