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July 22 - 30, 2017

Signature Event

The Drum is Calling Festival

Immerse yourself in this nine-day festival of Indigenous and diverse arts and culture. Highlighting the festival will be stellar performances from iconic artists such as singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, PowWowStep creator DJ Shub, singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, country sensation Crystal Shawanda, northern Ontario rockers Midnight Shine, Juno Award winner William Prince, rising R&B star George Leach, genre-defying artist Kinnie Starr, literary giant Tomson Highway, and powerful spoken word poet Shane Koyczan. For a full list of performers check out our daily calendar below.

Additional highlights will include hands-on workshops and live programming inside the Indigenous housing forms built by the Kanata Festival on Turtle Island. The inaugural Indigenous Fashion Week is the brainchild of former international model Joleen Mitten. The shows will feature the super-stars and emerging artists of Indigenous fashion design and modelling. A spectacular night of intercultural drumming will ignite the thunderous power of dancers and drummers from around the world and is led by renowned percussionist and cultural collaborator Sal Ferraras.

Artistic Director Margo Kane and the curators have themed each day, so festival-goers will experience something new at every return visit. From honouring Elders and Matriarchs to Youth, Warriors, and Friends, the themes bring together cultural presentations such as theatre for young people, play readings, carving and weaving workshops, literary and speaker series, and film screenings. The best of authentic Indigenous artisans, vendors and food will be on site to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

General Details

  • Date: July 22 - 30, 2017
  • Time: 1:00-10:00pm (with some exceptions)
  • Location: Larwill Park, Playhouse Theatre, Vancouver Public Library Atrium, Queen Elizabeth Theatre Lobby, and QET Plaza
  • Registration: Required for some events, please open PDF schedule below for information
  • Address: At the intersection of Cambie and Georgia Streets in downtown Vancouver, BC.
More Information

Sample of what's happening Day-by-Day

(For full details, view, download or print the full schedule of events above.)

3-Host Nation Day

Saturday, July 22, 2017
Morning
  • Pancake Breakfast
Afternoon
  • Kanata Installation
  • Workshops & Storytelling
  • NFB Curated Short Film Series
Evening
  • Bitterly Divine
  • Murray Porter
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie

Our Elders Day

Sunday, July 23, 2017
Afternoon
  • Kanata Installation
  • Workshops & Storytelling
  • NFB Curated Short Film Series
Evening
  • William Prince
  • Crystal Shawanda
  • Tom Jackson

Matriarch Day

Monday, July 24, 2017
Afternoon
  • Kanata Installation
  • Workshops & Storytelling
  • NFB Curated Short Film Series
  • Danny + Lizzy
  • Red River Special
Evening
  • Amanda Rheaume
  • Headliner TBA

7 Generations - Youth Day presented by Shaw

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Afternoon
  • Kanata Installation
  • Workshops & Storytelling
  • NFB Curated Short Film Series
  • Theatre for Young People presented by Shaw
  • Fara + Sister Clan
  • Sister Says
Evening
  • Boom Booms With Ta’Kaiya Blaney
  • Midnight Shine
  • Shamik Bilgi

Warriors Day

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Afternoon
  • Kanata Installation
  • Workshops & Storytelling
  • NFB Curated Short Film Series
Evening
  • Indigenous Fashion Week
  • Dj Kookum

Friendship Day

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Afternoon
  • Kanata Installation
  • Workshops & Storytelling
  • NFB Curated Short Film Series
  • Indigenous Fashion Week
  • From Oral to Written presented in partnership with the Vancouver Writers Fest
Evening
  • The Jerry Cans
  • Drums over Salish Sea

Gathering Our Relations Day

Friday, July 28, 2017
Afternoon
  • Kanata Installation
  • Workshops & Storytelling
  • Sports Street
  • NFB Curated Short Film Series
  • While Having Soup
  • Indigenous Fashion Week
  • From Oral to Written presented in partnership with the Vancouver Writers Fest (PT)
Evening
  • Donny Parenteau
  • Sierra Noble
  • Chantal Kreviazuk

Transformation Day

Saturday, July 29, 2017
Afternoon
  • Kanata Installation
  • Workshops & Storytelling
  • Sports Street
  • NFB Curated Short Film Series
  • While Having Soup
  • Indigenous Fashion Week
Evening
  • George Leach
  • Kinnie Starr
  • DJ Shub

Intertribal in Action Day

Sunday, July 30, 2017
Afternoon
  • Kanata Festival on Turtle Island
  • Workshops & Storytelling
  • Sports Street
  • While Having Soup
Evening
  • Leonard Sumner
  • Leela Gilday
  • Shane Koyczan and The Short Story Long