Montreal International First Peoples Festival

August 9-18, 2022

A landmark event in the renaissance of Indigenous cultures from throughout the Americas and the world, the international Montréal First Peoples Festival takes place at the Place des Festivals.

Concerts, craft demonstrations, traditional dances, street theatre, etc. bring Aboriginal arts into the limelight. In addition, several indoor activities are part of the program: in particular, an international cinema competition and also, art exhibitions, public readings, masterclasses by Indigenous filmmakers, etc. The International First Peoples Festival is the meeting place for the artistic movement that expresses, in the 21st century, the reality of Indigenous Peoples here and elsewhere. Several indoor activities are also on the roster: film screenings, art shows, public readings by authors, university symposium, concerts, etc. Présence autochtone is the meeting place for all 21st century currents crossed by the reality of the peoples whose cultures come down from the earliest days of human presence in the Americas.

Concerts and theater
On the Place des festivals, an emblematic scenography will emerge from years of pandemic torpor with new finery. The Québecor stage will be set up there, where prodigious concerts will take place.

On the Québécor stage, a program of great evening concerts will be presented. Starting on Wednesday, August 10th, the curtain will rise with Leonard Summer, Anishinaabe singer and songwriter, followed by Beatrice Deer, an “Inuindie” artist with an impressive track record. On August 11st, with Nikamotan MTL-new, a concert featuring a host of artists brought together by Musique Nomade. Then, the Atikamekw band Pinaskin from Manawan will precede the Digging Roots duo composed of ShoShona and Raven. On Saturday, August 13rd, Mack MacKenzie (formerly of Montreal’s Three O’Clock Train) will perform before Innu singer Matiu takes the stage to perform songs from his new album Tipatshimushtunan (“tell us about it”), which will be released on site for the occasion. True to its tradition, the Nuestroamericana Friendship show will celebrate the brotherhood that unites the First Nations, the peoples of our America and those of other regions and continents of the world. On Monday, August 15th, the autobiographical play Uteï, récit d’un survivant (Menuentakuan Productions), written and performed in Innu and French by Omer St-Onge from Maliotenam, will be presented.

On Sunday, August 14th, Quelques part et autres lieux, a large concert will bring together the Nouvel Ensemble de Montréal and Forestare in the auditorium of the Grande Bibliothèque. Deantha Edmunds, Inuk soprano, will be the guest of honour, with Lorraine Vaillancourt at the music stand, performing poems in Innu-aimun by the now famous Joséphine Bacon, whose texts have been set to music by Tim Brady: this will be the world premiere of Uiesh, a piece for one voice and fourteen instruments. In the same program, Andrée-Lévesque-Sioui, Wendat author, will perform her poems to chords conceived by Alexandre Ethier.

Like the great chief whose Adeus, Capitão by Vincent Carelli and Tatiana Almeida traces the heroic journey as leader of the Gavio Nation in an impressive film: a summit of Brazilian cinema. In addition, Carelli will receive a historical achievement award for his four decades of work in giving image and voice to the indigenous peoples of Brazil. Aboriginal women like Phyllis Jack-Webstad, initiator of the orange sweater movement (Returning Home); those who organized the resistance at Standing Rock (We Are Unarmed; Powerlands); those who denounce intra-community sexual violence (Tysnaden in Sapmi) and feminicides (Flores de la llanura).

Those who direct, such as Courtney Montour and Sonia Bonspille-Boileau, will each give a film lesson at the prestigious NFB, more specifically in the Alanis-Obomsawin Room. Incidentally, Incidentally, the Abenaki filmmaker, haloed with prestige, will also have films in the festival (including Bill Reid Remembes, Au Upstairs Jazz Bar with David Amram).

The fiction also presents combative figures such as Elder (El gran movimiento), as Virginio and Sisa (Utame); two Bolivian feature films noticed in the major international festivals and presented in Montreal premiere.

Prestigious awards will be presented on August 16th, including the Rigoberta Menchu Award; the same day, the new format of the magazine PANORAMA-Cinéma will be launched with an issue devoted to indigenous cinema; an international symposium, Regards autochtones sur les Amériques, will be held on the 15th and 16th.

Guests will come from all over the world: Maoris from Aotearoa, Kal’inas from French Guiana, Mi’gmaqs from Acadia, Wayu from Venezuela; exhibitions on Ste-Catherine Street (electronic works by Buffy Ste-Marie) and at the House of Sustainable Development (Parallel Paths).

In Kahnawake, a Haudenosaunee film program will be offered at Legion Hall on August 15 at 6 pm with films by Brooke Rice, Nicolas Renaud, Roxann Whitebean and Courtney Montour.

Continuous activities will be offered on the Place des festivals from August 10 to 15: songs and dances from the Mohawk tradition, the Tupiq ACT circus, drums from Guyana and here (Northern Voices, Buffalo Hat Singers), kiosks with exhibiting artists, etc.

The Jardins Gamelin will host lunchtime concerts starting August 4 with Corey Thomas and the Backwater Township Band, followed by Mi’kmaq singer/songwriter Esther Pennell on August 11th and Mack Mackenzie again on August 18th. And to end it all with grace and beauty, on the evening of August 18th, Mapuche musician and artist Akawui and Kawawachikamach Naskapi band Violent Ground will share the final stage.

At the Quai des Brumes, Tim Armstrong will perform a [email protected] show on Wednesday August 17th.

An invitation for all ages to meet Indigenous people from across the continent and to discover their cultures in the spirit of celebration and sharing.

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