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Vancouver Coastal First Nations Dance Festival in 2019

Dancers of Damelahamid

Previously held at the Museum of Anthropology, the Dancers of Damelahamid’s Coastal First Nations Dance Festival is at New Westminster’s Anvil Centre in 2019.

It’s a cultural experience that’s highly recommended and you won’t want to miss!

Dancers of Damelahamid First Nations Dance Festival in New Westminster

The Dancers of Damelahamid First Nations Dance Festival takes place in the early spring each year and in 2019 it is during the week of February 20th to 24th.

2019 marks the event’s 12th season, and its first time at its new venue. The festival promises to be yet another remarkable series of cultural performances.

In addition to afternoon shows, there are also special evening performances, which not surprisingly usually sell out.

MOA at Coastal First Nations Dance Festival
Dancers of Damelahamid at the Museum of Anthropology

Festival Location

The Coastal First Nations Dance Festival used to happen at the Museum of Anthropology on the University of British Columbia‘s campus. As of 2019, however, the festival now takes place at the Anvil Centre at 777 Columbia Street in New Westminster.

The Dance Festival

The annual Coastal First Nations Dance Festival showcases Canadian Indigenous artists from BC, Western Canada and the Yukon, as well as out-of-country groups from places like Alaska, Hawaii and further abroad.

Highlights of the season last year included performances by the following artists (all of which are back again in 2019 for another season):

  • Boyd Benjamin – “The Flying Gwitch’in Fiddler” from the Yukon (and he’s back again in 2019)
  • Git Hayetsk and Git Hoan – performers from Alaska
  • Dancers of Damelahamid

2019 Performance Schedule

In 2019 the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival runs from Wednesday, February 20th, to Sunday, February 24th.

On the Wednesday and Friday there are daytime performances for local school groups. For the general public there are Signature Evening Performances on the Friday and Saturday nights, and Festival Stage events on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

MOA First Nations Dancer Masks

Signature Evening Performances

Signature Evening Performances take place on the Friday and Saturday of February 22-23 in 2019 at 7:30 pm with the doors opening at 7 o’clock.

Tickets for the Signature Evening Performances are $30 for adults and $25 for students, seniors and museum members.

Advanced tickets are available through TicketsTonight, although service charges that way do usually apply.

Performances on the Friday evening in 2019 include the following:

  • Welcome to Territory
  • Spakwus Slolem (Squamish)
  • Dancers of Damelahamid
  • Émilie Monnet (Anishnaabe/French) and Nahka Bertrand (Dene/Quebec)
  • Git Hayetsk (Nisga’a/Tsimshian)

Performances on the Saturday evening in 2019 include the following:

  • Welcome to Territory
  • Boyd Benjamin and Kevin Barr (Gwitch’in and Anishinaabe)
  • Dancers of Damelahamid
  • Barbara and Emily Diabo (Kanienkehaka)
  • Git Hoan (Tsimshian)
Dancers of Damelahamid Performance
Dancers of Damelahamid

Festival Stage Performances

Festival Stage shows take place from 1:00 until 4:00 pm on the Saturday and Sunday of February 23rd and 24th in 2019.

This year they include the performances and times listed below. Admission for these events is “pay as you can.”

Saturday (February 23, 2019) Performances

  • Émilie Monnet (Anishnaabe/French) and Nahka Bertrand (Dene/Quebec)
  • Dakhká Khwáan Dancers (Inland Tlingit)
  • Kwhlii Gibaykw (Nisga’a)
  • Barbara and Emily Diabo (Kanienkehaka)
  • Le La La Dancers (Kwakwaka’wakw)
  • Git Hoan (Tsimshian)

Sunday (February 24, 2019) Performances

  • Náakw Dancers (Tlingit)
  • Dakhká Khwáan Dancers (Inland Tlingit)
  • V’ni Dansi (Métis)
  • Kwhlii Gibaykw (Nisga’a)
  • Git Hayetsk (Tsimshian/Nisga’a)
  • Chinook Song Catchers with the Mathias Entertainers (Nisga’a/Squamish)

First Nation Dancer with Totem

Tips and Advice

Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your experience at the dance festival.

  • TIP #1: The Coastal First Nations Dance Festival is a popular event. If you go to a free show, arrive early to make sure you can get in. Also, for all shows, arrive early to find a good seat.
  • TIP #2: Book your seats to the ticketed evening shows well in advance as they almost always sell out.
  • TIP #3: Don’t forget your camera! The costumes and dancing are impressive!

Dakhka Khwaan First Nation Dancer

Other Information

Click First Nations Dance Festival for more information on the event.

Click Museum of Anthropology for more details about the venue where the event used to take place in previous years.

For information on similar events, check out First Nations Culture in the Lower Mainland or Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar.

 

 

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