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Vancouver Coastal First Nations Dance Festival

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 2020.

2020 dates are from February 24th to March 1st.

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 2020 it takes place during the week of February 24th to March 1st.

2020 marks the event’s 13th season, and its second time at its new venue in New Westminster. The festival is always a remarkable series of cultural performances, and promises to be so again in 2020.

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

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

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. In 2019, however, the festival took place at the Anvil Centre at 777 Columbia Street in New Westminster. The venue in 2020 is again at the Anvil Centre.

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 in previous years have included performances by the following artists:

  • Boyd Benjamin – “The Flying Gwitch’in Fiddler” from the Yukon
  • Git Hayetsk and Git Hoan – performers from Alaska
  • Dancers of Damelahamid

2020 Performance Schedule

In 2020 the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival runs from Monday, February 24th, to Wednesday, March 1st.

On the Wednesday and Friday last year there were daytime performances for local school groups. For the general public there were Signature Evening Performances on the Friday and Saturday nights, and Festival Stage events on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We expect 2020 details to be similar.

MOA First Nations Dancer Masks

Signature Evening Performances

Signature Evening Performances took 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 were $30 for adults and $25 for students, seniors and museum members.

Advanced tickets were available through TicketsTonight, although service charges that way did usually apply.

Performances on the Friday evening in 2019 included the following. 2020 details are expected to be similar, but details are to be confirmed:

  • 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 included the following. 2020 details are expected to be similar, but details are to be confirmed:

  • 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 took place from 1:00 until 4:00 pm on the Saturday and Sunday of February 23rd and 24th in 2019.

Last year they included the performances and times listed below. Admission for these events was “pay as you can.” The schedule for last year is listed below. 2020 details are expected to be similar

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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