New Virtual Feast gives thriving Indigenous music scene its own digital streaming hub

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      A new one-stop virtual hub for Indigenous performance called Virtual Feast is launching July 24.

      The project is created by the Lytton-based 2 Rivers Remix Society (the three-day, Nlaka’pamux-hosted ‘Q’emcin 2 Rivers Remix known as 2RMX), along with Vancouver arts forces Full Circle: First Nations Performance, Savage Production Society, and the eco-oriented Vines Art Festival.

      Virtual Feast is set to stream concerts for the rest of the summer. The First Peoples’ Cultural Council is lending streaming support to a project created in response to COVID lockdown, when many festivals and venues are shut down.

      It's already lined up 40 Indigenous artists across genres that range from folk to hip-hop. The roster so far includes singer-songwriter Kinnie Starr and rap icons Snotty Nose Rez Kids.

      Virtual Feast kicks off with a live stream at 7 p.m. on July 24, with a Full Circle presentation of singer-songwriter Lola Parks.

      Other programming includes 2 Rivers' Decolonise 2.0 on July 31. Commemorating the 110th anniversary of the Declaration of Interior Tribes (the unification of the Nlaka’pamux, Secwepemc, and Syilx Nations to resist the B.C. government over unceded land), it features Secwepemc/Nlaka’pamux the Melawmen Collective performing their folk-rock-hip-hop fusion from a stunning canyon location where the declaration was signed in 1910, and a set from 2-Spirit DJ O Show.

      And Vancouver's Vines fest will stream its Resilient Roots performances on August 15. 

      The content will go far beyond concerts, with interviews and educational workshops. For example, Mimi O’Bonsawin explores the subjects of stories in an interactive song creation workshop at 6 p.m. on July 28.