Dancers of Damelahamid present their 14th annual celebration of Indigenous arts, the Coastal Dance Festival, from March 12 to 18.
The free, online festival will feature performances and cultural sharing by many of the festival’s long-standing artists, including the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, Git Hayetsk Dancers, Git Hoan Dancers, Spakwus Slolem, ‘Yisya̱’winux̱w Dancers, and David Robert Boxley.
“As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times due to COVID-19, it’s essential that we also celebrate the resilience and strength of our Indigenous communities,” says festival executive and artistic director Margaret Grenier. “While the festival will be presented in a very different way than in past years, we are committed to providing a vital platform for the protection and preservation of Indigenous dance and protocols.
"Indigenous identity and cultural wellbeing are lived practices," Grenier ads, "and it’s essential for Indigenous people to continuously practice and share their songs and dances in order to maintain them, for the wellbeing of our communities.”
A highlight of the Coastal Dance Festival will be the world premiere of a new short dance work by Dancers of Damelahamid, filmed at New Westminster's Anvil Centre, in honour of the late Elder Margaret Harris and the impact she had on the revitalization of Indigenous song and dance along the Northwest Coast.
You can learn more about the festival here.