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Harbourfront Centre WORLD ROUTES 2009 presented by RBC
Planet IndigenUs
Weekend One: Inspired by the World
(Festival runs August 14-23)

Note: Below are Planet IndigenUs full weekend one listings organized by Music, Dance, Film, Family Activities, Lectures/Workshops, Visual Arts, Other. The first section notes activities at Harbourfront Centre and the second section at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford. Images are available in high-resolution at our media site. More images are also available upon request. This detailed listings release is also available as a word document.

Planet IndigenUs

First Weekend: Detailed Listings (Listings from August 14 -20, below)

Buses run daily from both Harbourfront Centre and the Woodland Cultural Centre (Brantford) for Planet IndigenUs festival-goers. Schedules will be available on and onsite during the festival.

Maestro John Kim Bell appearing with the Planet IndigenUs Festival Orchestra. Featuring sopranos Melody Mercredi and Mavis Callihoo:
Friday, August 14, 8:30 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
This world premiere performance for the opening night of Planet IndigenUs brings together the legendary talents of maestro John Kim Bell, singers Melody Mercredi and Mavis Callihoo complemented by a 72-member orchestra composed of many members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Songwriters Circle featuring Pamela Levi, Lucie Idlout and Dave West:
Friday, August 14, 11 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
This Songwriters Circle event features singer/songwriter Pamela Levi from the Mi'kmaq territory of the Maritimes, Lucie Idlout - an Inuk Canadian rock singer from Iqaluit, and Toronto-based Ecuadorean guitar virtuoso Dave West.

James Bay Cree Bay Indian Old Tyme fiddle performances with James Cheechoo:
Saturday, August 15, 1:30 P.M. (Redpath Stage)
James Cheechoo has been playing the fiddle for over 65 years. His repertoire of fiddle tunes echo those early musical encounters between the fur traders and the native people of James Bay.

Pacific Curls: Saturday, August 15, 2:30 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
Hailed as a "... standout act..." by The Wellington Dominion Post in their native New Zealand, the trio uses the unprecedented combination of fiddle, ukulele, and Maori traditional instruments including cajons, guitar, stomp peddles and percussion while singing lyrics in Maori, Rotuman and English.

Asani: Saturday, August 15, 4 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Asani, which means “rock” in the Cree language, are a contemporary Aboriginal women’s trio from Edmonton who captivate audiences with their breathtaking harmonies, dynamic vocal artistry and powerful rhythmic style.

[Workshop] Tracy Bone: Sunday, August 15, 4 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
This interactive workshop with Country music singer Tracy Bone aims to empower, raise confidence and encourage participation in songwriting. Participants will experience first hand what it takes to work in the music industry.

Digging Roots: Saturday, August 15, 8 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
ShoShona Kish and Raven Kanatakta are a couple who make music together. Their June 2009 self-released full-length album “We Are” was produced by Kinnie Starr (who also guests on the album) and features Tanya Tagaq and Melanie Storm. The new music steps away from their roots and blues beginnings and instead goes toward a more trip-hop direction.

Crystal Shawanda: Saturday, August 15, 9:30 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
Multiple award winner and 2009 Juno nominee for Best New Artist (and Best New Country Album), Crystal Shawanda was born in Wikwemikong, Ontario. She is a First Nations member of the Ojibwe band. Her surname translates to "Dawn of a New Day” which was also the name of her first album. It debuted at number two on the Canadian Country Music Charts and number sixteen on the Billboard Charts.

Derek Miller: Saturday, August 15, 11 p.m. (Brigantine Room) Late Night NOW presented by Heineken
Guitarist and singer/songwriter Derek Miller is a journeyman musician with eclectic taste and a knack for blues-inflected rock. A twice Juno award-winner, Derek grew up on the Six Nations reserve and now lives in downtown Toronto playing the fender guitar his mother gave him when he was 13 years old.

Tracy Bone and J.C. Campbell: Sunday, August 16, 2 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Winnipeg musical collaborators and partners Tracy Bone and J.C. Campbell are both singers in the folk and country genres of music. Lauded in their aboriginal music circles, this appearance at Planet IndigenUs gives them an opportunity to strum and sing for new Canadian audiences.

Northern Cree Singers: Sunday, August 16, 3 p.m. (Sirius Satellite Radio Stage)
Four-time Grammy award nominated Canadian traditional drumming group the Northern Cree Singers are led by the Wood Brothers and have members from the various Treaty 6 areas. They make a detour from the Pow Wow trail to perform, drum and sing in this free public concert in downtown Toronto.


Opening Spectacle: Friday, August 14, 7 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
The opening spectacle is choreographed by award-winning artistic Director/Dancer/ Choreographer Santee Smith from Six Nations of the Grand River. The performance features dancers such as Gaetan Gingras, the Doonooch Dance Company and Kaha:wi Dance Theatre as they unite in celebration of the opening of Planet IndigenUs.

[Workshop] Hoop and Women’s Fancy Dance with Naomi Powless: Saturday, August 15, 3:30 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Powless will be demonstrating and teaching Hoop Dance and Women’s Fancy Shawl Dance. This dance is a very contemporary style of dance as it is less than 100 years old. It evolved from the women’s traditional dance into its current athletic form with lots of footwork, spinning and high energy.

[Workshop] Maori Dance with Pacific Curls: Saturday, August 15, 6 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Pacific Curls lead a Maori dance workshop where all ages can learn a number of dances including Kapa haka (traditional dance), action songs, body percussion dancing and Tititoria (a traditional Maori stick dance).

The Doonooch Dance Company: Saturday, August 15, 7 & 9 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
The Doonooch Dance Company is the world's premier traditional Aboriginal dance company. They will be presenting their stories in a contemporary context that feature songs from the Monero people of Australia.


ImagineNATIVE presents Failure to Comply: Shorts from the Underground:Friday, August 14, 11 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Danis Goulet, the Executive Director, imagineNATIVE Film Media Arts Festival curates a programme of nine short films which are all directed by people of Aboriginal heritage. Some of the films include Betty has a Bad Hair Day, The Speaker and Hush.

Ja Me Transformei em Imagem/I’ve Already Become an Image: Saturday, August 15, 1 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
From the first encounters with the white man and the ensuing years of enslavement on the rubber tree plantations to the recovery of their lands and cultural traditions, the Hunikuis’ story of loss and renewal unfolds through the experiences shared by community members. Screened in Hunikui with English subtitles.

Right.Here. (A Planet IndigenUs youth film project): Saturday, August 15, 3 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Watch the final films created by a group of youth from the Six Nations reserve in southwestern Ontario and from the House of Ghesig (Native Child and Family Services in Scarborough) and 7th Generation Image makers. These youth participated in an intensive film making workshop called Right.Here. Over the course of 5-day workshops, youth participants wrote, shot, and edited their own short films under the guidance of a team of mentor filmmakers from the Aboriginal community including Shane Belcourt, Amanda Strong, Miles Turner, and Pamela Matthews. (This programme is supported by the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.)

Older Than America: Saturday, August 15, 11 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
A woman's haunting visions reveal a Catholic priest's sinister plot to silence her mother from speaking the truth about the atrocities that took place at her Native American boarding school. A contemporary drama of suspense, Older Than America delves into the lasting impact of the cultural genocide and loss of identity that occurred at these institutions across the United States and Canada.

They Call Me Chief: Sunday, August 16, 2 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
A fascinating documentary film which follows the fast-paced journey down the hockey trail from remote reserves to the NHL Hall of Fame. (Director Don Marks and Fred Sasakamoose who is the first Professional Native hockey player will be taking part in a Q&A following the film.)

Sima Urale: Tuesday, August 18, 7 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Join us for a trio of films from New Zealand director Sima Urale. O Tamaiti offers insight into Samoan family life through the eyes of eleven year-old Tino. The playful documentary Velvet Dreams explores the kitschy genre of “exotic” velvet paintings of South Sea maidens. Still Life counters the invisibility of the elderly with its moving story ofaging, lasting love and death. (Presented in partnership with the Power Plant)

Family Activities:

Wampum Belt Workshop: Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16, 1 p.m. (KidsZONE Tent)
The Eastern Woodland people produce a type of beadwork referred to as wampum belts which consist of bands of woven purple and white beads made of clam or conch shells from the northeast Atlantic coast. During this craft workshop participants will be able to create a wampum belt depicting their own personal stories by using bright, colorful plasticine, cutters, forms, and many more tools. The workshop is led by Serene Porter and Lorrie Gallant from Six Nations of the Grand River.


Indigenous Land Rights Panel: Saturday, August 15, 1 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
The purpose of the panel is to discuss the way in which Indigenous land research directors, lawyers and Chiefs who utilize Indigenous research methods confirm land rights in traditional territories. Moderated by Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill
Tawata Productions. Ka whawhai tonu matou: Struggle Without End: Politics & Populist!: Saturday, August 15, 4:30 p.m. (Brigantine Room) This lecture sets to discuss the evolution of Contemporary Maori Theatre in the 21st Century. Drawing upon 10 years of Maori theatre production in Aotearoa, the discussion is led by playwright & producers Hone Kouka (Ngati Porou, Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Kahungunu) and Miria George (Te Arawa, Ngati Awa; Rarotonga, Atiu, Cook Islands.)


Polytoxic: Friday, August 14 & Saturday, August 15, 8 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets are $25, 416-973-5000 or
An entertaining blend of dance, theatre, comedy and social commentary, this show is an episodic ride through the past and present, and features an island-style drag show, historic colonial diary entries, a hilarious Elvis-inspired advert, and an insight into a Samoan girl’s experience of everyday life.

Tawata Productions Presents - He Reo Aroha: Saturday, August 15 and Monday, August 17, 7 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
A boutique Maori musical written by Miria George & Jamie McCaskill, He Reo Aroha and directed by Hone Kouka. The show features music by acclaimed composer Hone Hurihanganui He Reo Aroha and original music by Kali Kopae & Jamie McCaskill.

Visual Art Exhibitions:

Red Pepper Spectacle Arts and the NDN Media Project: Friday, August 14, 6 p.m., Saturday, August 15, 12 p.m. and Sunday, August 16, 12 p.m. (Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
An exhibition featuring photography, drawing and painting, printmaking, light-box art, poetry and video created by city-wide youth in a series of festival-themed related workshops. Red Pepper Spectacle will feature up to 30 11” x 17” framed photographs, video and copies of their magazine.
Artist Talk on August 16 at 1:30 p.m. (Marilyn Brewer Community Space)

The Soul House by Shu_Yen Chen: Friday, August 14 – Sunday, August 23 (Orchard)
This physical branch structure installation is inspired by Mother Nature and the interaction of humans and nature in their daily lives. A physical habitat is created for the soul in this installation.

RESPECT A Photo Odyssey Celebrating Canada's Boreal Forest :June 27 – October 12
RESPECT is the result of a journey that began in 2006 to document and capture the essence of Canada's Boreal Forest in order to raise awareness for the preservation of our natural environment, and promote the boreal region as one of the Earth's most crucial resources. Outstanding works from a team of nine renowned photographers demonstrate the complexity and beauty of the boreal region. The exhibition at Harbourfront Centre features exclusive, never-before-seen photographs of the Far North of Ontario taken between October 2008 and June 2009.

Birch Bark Canoe Demonstration with Marcel Labelle: Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16, 12 p.m. (Natrel Pond)
Kids can experience the art of canoe building with a hands on demonstration at The Natrel Pond.

First Talent Tent: Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16, 3 p.m. (Community Tent- East Lawn)
The community tent is a space that allows the community to have their say at the festival through art workshops and singing contests. (Community members are encouraged incorporating the word ‘Indigenous’ into their song lyrics.)

Woodland Culture Centre


Kids Workshops: Monday, August 17 until Friday, August 21, Various Times (Workshop Tent, Woodland Cultural Centre)
Kids workshops in art, singing, dance, storytelling and puppet making conducted by Six Nation residents Serene Porter, Lorrie Gallant, Tesha Emarthle and Sara Kewayosh.

Art Exhibits:

Opening of E. Pauline Johnshon Exhibit: Saturday, August 15, 3 p.m.
Chiefswood Museum National Historic Site is pleased to announce the launch of a first ever exhibition dedicated to the life and times of E. Pauline Johnson – Tekahionwake. Pauline was a Canadian writer and performer popular in the late 19th century, and was notable for her poems and performances that celebrated her aboriginal heritage.


Is the Crown at War with Us?: Tuesday, August 18, 7 p.m. (Orientation Room, Woodland Cultural Centre)
The summer of 2000 and the country watched with disbelief as federal fishery officers appeared to wage on the Mi’gmaq fisherman of Esgenoopetitj, or Burnt Church, New Brunswick. Alanis Obomsawin casts her cinematic and intellectual nets into history to provide a context for the events at Miramichi Bay.

Dish with One Spoon: Tuesday, August 18, 8 p.m. (Orientation Room, Woodland Cultural Centre)
This documentary provides an overview of the principles of the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace, early treaty arrangements verifying Six Nations’ long standing relationships to lands in the southern Ontario region, and subsequent nation to nation agreements made between the crown and the Six Nations Confederacy.

Uprepentant: Wednesday, August 19, 7 p.m. (Orientation Room, Woodland Cultural Centre)
A film about native residential schools by Kevin Annett, Louie Lawless and Lori O’Rorke. (Short film which is also a first person perspective on residential schooling opens this screening.)

Lacrosse: The Creators Game (The Canadian Collection): Thursday, August 20, 7 p.m. (Orientation Room, Woodland Cultural Centre)
This film is a documentary on lacrosse, the oldest organized sport in North America, which was first played by Aboriginal peoples. It explores the history of lacrosse and its spiritual significance within the Aboriginal community.

War on the Floor: Thursday, August 20, 8 p.m. (Orientation Room, Woodland Cultural Centre)
This film focuses on the sport of lacrosse and, in particular, the Toronto Rock lacrosse team. It showcases the speed, skill strength and toughness qualities that make the sport so exciting to watch.


Paddle Song: Sunday, August 16, 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Orientation Room, Woodland Cultural Centre)
A new play starring actress Cheri Maracle as E. Pauline Johnson premieres at Woodland Cultural Centre.

About World Routes
A series of FREE festivals that run from July through September, World Routes presented by RBC explores ideas in contemporary culture, bringing together rich, artistic traditions from around the globe. For complete information visit or call 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West, in Toronto.

Media Contacts:
Rebecca Webster 416-973-4518
Althea Linton 416-973-4428
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