Jun 15, 2017 | Announcements and updates Festival News Previews and reviews
The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival acknowledges the location of its Festival on the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin nation.
6 Days, 3 Venues
Celebrating National Aboriginal Day, Year 21
June 20-25, 2017
For Immediate Release
Ottawa, Ontario, June 15, 2017: The 21st of June marks a significant time when indigenous people across Canada traditionally gather and celebrate Summer Solstice, now officially declared National Aboriginal Day (NAD). For the past 21 years, NAD events in the National Capital Region have created an opportunity for all residents to celebrate the culture and contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. Most importantly, everyone is invited to come out and share the experience to learn and appreciate more about these rich and diverse cultures as a step towards reconciliation. The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival is a family-oriented multi-disciplinary arts festival that attracts over 40,000 visitors a year.
The Festival is coordinated under the direction of the National Aboriginal Day Committee comprises representatives from the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), The Assembly of First Nations (AFN), The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the 2017 presenting host organization, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) which represents 188 Friendship Centres across Canada.
For 2017, the Festival has expanded from a 3- day weekend event at Vincent Massey Park to a 6- day programme at three venues. Opening the Festival on June 20th is the highly anticipated Making Treaty 7, part of Canada Scene at the NAC with the “pay-as-you-decide” proceeds from the performance being donated to the Odawa Friendship Centre* one of the NAFC Centres.
On June 21st National Aboriginal Day, Major’s Hill Park is the setting for APTN’s AB Day Live Concert. Thousands of elementary students will participate in Education Day alongside community celebrations and daytime programming, welcoming the public to join the celebration as well. The Community Stage features local acts including Juno-nominated Metis performer Amanda Rheaume in the early evening before the Main Stage concert, one of eight taking place and broadcast live across the country, takes over at 7:00 p.m.
Vincent Massey Park plays host to Youth and Elders Gathering on Thursday and Friday June 22& 23rd and then the acclaimed international Competition Pow Wow returns on the weekend with Host Drum Black Bear and hundreds of drummers and dancers from across North America. There’s non-stop cultural performances throughout the day on the mainstage. Juno Award-winners Digging Roots co-headline on Saturday evening with Holly McNarland, who reunites with her original band to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of her own Juno Award.
Festival goers will also have the opportunity to mark Canada’s 150th year by visiting the Reconciliation Pavilion at Vincent Massey Park. The Pavilion is dedicated to showing the rich, diverse indigenous cultures of this land with an honest look at past shared history as well as revealing the future vision of “Reconciliation through Social Innovation”. In the Odawa 150 Years of Shared History Pavilion, visitors will learn more about the traditional unceded Algonquin territory that is now known as Ottawa. Algonquin cultural and historical displays, Manawiin (Together) Algonquin paddle exhibit and painting workshops and more will share the local Indigenous history and living cultures.
Finally, as in previous years, Summer Solstice brings families together and serves up FREE family fun and programming including the ever-popular Bungee Trampoline and 400 foot zipline plus inflatable amusements, Birds of Prey stage show, face painting, crafts, and other family entertainment. There’s also an Indigenous marketplace featuring incredible art, food and fashions.