Drums Across Canada
Sun 12 Sept 4pm EST // The Backyard at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre + Virtual Livestream
New to Celebration of Nations this year, Artistic Director Michele-Elise Burnett has created a powerful program called Drums Across Canada to bridge our country together in unity, to send love, and to heal. Beginning in downtown St. Catharines in the backyard of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, the drum will be shared with three anchor drum circles in Saint John New Brunswick, London Ontario and Nanaimo British Columbia. These anchor drum circles will be presented live in-person and broadcast through a virtual livestream.
Done in the traditional “Call and Response” we will drum for the children’s spirits who never made it home, for our ancestors, our matriarchs, MMIWG, the next generation, for healing, and for wisdom. The message will echo unity, peace, respect and friendship in order to forge a new paradigm shift needed to create transformative and sustainable change for the next 7 Generations.
The call and response starts in Niagara and the drum travels back and forth across Canada. The Call and Response will culminate with a sharing of Strong Woman Song by all communities. The program closes after each anchor drum circle shares some reflections on being part of Drums Across Canada.
All are welcome to join in! Drum circles across are invited to join the call and response in their local communities – share your videos and photos through social media! Use the hashtags #DrumsAcrossCanada and #CelebrationofNations when you share your videos and photos of your pop up drum circle through your social media accounts. This way we can easily search and share your experience! A social media toolkit is available to provide more information.
Drums Across Canada is the vision of Celebration of Nations Artistic Director Michele Elise Burnett (Métis/ Algonquin Bear Clan) and collaborators Angela DeMontigny (Cree/Métis), Audra Sewell Malone (Mi’kmaw), and Erin Moraghan (Settler).
ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO
The Strong Water Women singers are a collective of indigenous and non-Indigenous women. Created in 2015, this community-based initiative uses drumming and singing as a means of achieving wellness, strength and unity. Housed at the fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, the group is compromised of Indigenous women across the Niagara region .
SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK
The Imperial Centre in Saint John, New Brunswick will host this anchor drum circle with Pokuhulakon Witsehkehsu – Sisters of the Drum and Eastern Circle.
The Drum Group is made up of ladies that have committed their hearts and voices to share the beautiful songs of their people.
These women have been drumming together since the spring of 2016. They are a self-taught, devoted group of ladies that have worked diligently from day one to learn the songs of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people and to share those songs with others. They also work closely with elders to learn the language and to learn traditional Wolastoqiyik songs. These women have grown together, supported each other and are living proof of when women support one another amazing things can happen.
In a short period of time, these ladies have accomplished a lot and have definitely made a name for themselves. They have appeared in the Canadian Geographic magazine; sang at State of the Province Addresses, performed with artists such as Diyet and the Love Soldiers, Matt Comeau and M3D14, to name a few.
The sky is the limit for these ladies, and they are so thankful every day for the opportunities the creator has given them.
Eastern Circle Saint John is an Indigenous-run organization in the greater Saint John area dedicated to bringing back our culture, roots, and traditions back into the Menahwehsk area! Located in the heart of the Wabanki Confederacy. Eastern Circle is dedicated to keeping Indigenous Sovereignity in Urban Centers, honoring our histories, supporting primarily MMIWG2SLGBTQ awareness, fundraising for First Nation causes, and helping others heal through shared messages.
A collaborative group of Warrior Womyn from different Nations, paths and ages. We were brought together by the Positive Voice program and passion for singing.
Known by her Indigenous name Medicine Song Woman, Brenda MacIntyre has shared her evocative melodic voice, hand drumming and unique healing music across Turtle Island. The London, Ontario-based Juno Award-winning singer reached the CBC Searchlight2020 TOP 100, was nominated for the 2021 Ontario Arts Council Indigenous Arts Award and is a 2021 Powwow Pitch semi-finalist. Her recent media features include CityNews Toronto, Global News and a Toronto Star front page headline. After losing her parents as a teenager and her son to murder in 2016, Brenda has developed a 13 Moon resilience program based on her healing music to help women rewire their brain, body and mind with love, hope, possibility and purpose especially during challenging times.
NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Drumming from the traditional unceded sacred lands of the Snuneymuxw people, otherwise known as Nanaimo, BC on Vancouver Island.
Founder of Sacred Matriarch Creative – Facilitator, speaker, performer, digital creator and decolonizing leader in system disruption