Today marks National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, as part of the National Indigenous Peoples Month. Soundstreams has a proud history of working with Indigenous artists from Canada and around the world – most recently with Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit, and going back to 1999 with How a Promise Made the Buffalo Jump, a music theatre piece for young audiencescreated by Michael Greyeyes.This year’s celebrations are overshadowed by the sombre news of the discovery of the remains of 215 children at what was once Canada’s largest residential school. For our part, there is much we all can, and should, do to elevate the voices of Indigenous artists. At Soundstreams, we are committed to continuing to learn and remember the historical and current oppressions of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and attempt steps at reconciliation. We are guided by the following principles:We will deepen our level of understanding in all aspects of our workWe will challenge our biases and hold ourselves accountableWe are not afraid to fail, and it is okay to feel uncomfortable We will never stop learning
Coming Soon – Encounters: Indigenous Voices In early July, we will be releasing Encounters: Indigenous Voices. This special program, the first of a continuing series and free for all to view, will feature mezzo-soprano Rebecca Cuddy and be entirely curated by Ian Cusson. It is dedicated to the memory of those 215 Indigenous children, and countless others. We will also be partnering with Arts Etobicoke for a special Town Hall discussion one week after the event, which we hope you can all join. Watch soundstreams.ca for event updates.
Exclusive Clip – Zipangu, choreographed by Michael Greyeyes We are currently developing three works by Quebec composer Claude Vivier with choreography by Michael Greyeyes (co-director of Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit). One of the works, Zipangu, was premiered in 2017 at Koerner Hall in our Northern Encounters production, featuring the Lapland Chamber Orchestra and dancer Ceinwen Gobert. Please enjoy this exclusive clip from the performance!
Excerpt from Zipangu, 2017 at Koerner Hall
Further ReadingToronto Arts Foundation recently launched the Indigenous Artists Award to support and strengthen the creative lives of Indigenous artists working in all artistic disciplines. Nominate an individual or a collective by August 16, 2021.Learn about the residential schools in Canada using Residential Schools in Canada Interactive Map.Read The 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final ReportRead Lost Children by CBC News for historical records, the oral history of survivors on the lives and suffering of the students who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential SchoolThe Canadian Roots Exchange has been driving initiatives empowering youth to play a leading role in reconciliation. Learn more by visiting their website.
Photo of Yolanda Bonnell and Melody Courage from Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábartnit byDahlia Katz. Mask commissioned by co-director Michael Greyeyes, created by Nisga’a carver Mike Dangeli
Photo of Rebecca Cuddy by Brenden Friessen
Photo of Ian Cusson by John Arano.