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Planet IndigenUs - Literary and Panel Discussions
Event times and dates below (all events are free admission)

Profile and provocative literary events and panel discussions occur on both weekends of Planet IndigenUs. Renowned Canadian Aboriginal writers and satirists Thomas King and Drew Hayden Taylor both have readings, with Hayden Taylor launching his new book Futile Observations of a Blue-Eyed Ojibway: Funny, You Donít Look Like One #4.

Richard Van Camp also reads from his new work The Lesser Blessed and his collection of short stories Angel Wing Splash Pattern. Kegedonce Press presents a night of Red Hot Erotica featuring a number of writers while three panels tackle the issues and history behind the Roots of Blues, Roots and Rights and "Tribal" Tattoo & Body Art.

LITERARY listings:

August 14 - Thomas King (2:30 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace)
A leader in Canadian literature, Thomas King's widely acclaimed novels include Medicine River, Green Grass, Running Water and most recently, The Truth About Stories. He is also well known nationally as the creator, writer and performer of the very popular CBC radio series, Dead Dog Café.

August 14 - "Eskimo-Tales"  (7 p.m. and August 15 at 2 p.m. - Studio Theatre)
 "Do people really live in Greenland"?, "Why do you call yourselves Inuit"? Tired of being asked these questions, creator, actress and director Makka Kleist presents a story about Inuit people and how some ended in Kallallit Nunaat, Greenland

August 20 - Red Hot Erotica! (10:30 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace)
Join Kegedonce and a renowned group of writers for the hottest evening of the festival. Red Hot Erotic!, where the readings performances and music sizzle! Co-produced by Kegedonce Press.

August 21 - Drew Hayden Taylor book launch (2 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace)
Futile Observations of a Blue-Eyed Ojibway: Funny, You Donít Look Like One #4
Award-winning playwright Drew Hayden Taylor has done it again. Quoted by many as the best observer of contemporary Aboriginal life in Canada. Completing the "Funny" series, this fourth and final edition will have readers laughing at Drewís satirical and insightful humourism.

August 22 - Frangipani Perfume - Play Reading  (2 p.m. - Studio Theatre)
Strengthened by references to their Samoan homeland, three sisters  redefine their identity within New Zealand society. Readers/Performers: Cheri Maracle, Michelle St. John and special guests. Director: Yvette Nolan. This play reading will be followed by a Q&A with Playwright Makerita Urale. Co-produced by Native Earth Performing Arts Inc.

August 22 - Richard Van Camp (4 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace) - Reading from his latest book The Lesser Blessed

PANEL listings:

August 14 - Roots of Blues  (1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. - Brigantine Room)
The `Roots of the Blues', an interactive music & theory panel discussion, will explore the influences of Native music on the development of the early blues.  Some suggest that Native Americans and runaway slaves in the south came together and shared cultural influences to create the blues.  A stellar panel will discuss this and debate if the sharing of these cultures gave birth to the blues. Panel members: Sadie Buck, Harrison Kennedy, Amos Key, Jenesa Brown and other special guests. Host and moderator: Elaine Bomberry. Co-produced by Rez Bluez Productions

August 21 - Roots and Rights (1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. - Brigantine Room)
The importance, history and necessity of oral tradition and culture (spoken word, radio, hip-hop, storytelling) in today's world.  Can a clear message be heard in today's society? How do we bring back the roots? Participants: Kinnie Star, Richard Van Camp, Rebeka Tabobondung and Edna Manitowabi. Moderator: Brian Wright McLeod. Co-produced by SPIRIT Magazine

August 21 - "Tribal" Tattoo & Body Art  (4:30 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace)
Distinguished guests discuss the issues around cultural appropriation and the commercialization of "tribal" tattoo trends in relation to the rights of designs, histories, cultural roots and the similarities of their respected cultural tattoo patterns. Participants include Makerita Urale (Samoan), Riki Manual (Maori) and Trish Collison (Haida). Host and moderator: Kent Monkman

Plan it Indigenous at Planet IndigenUs this August - Highlights
More than one hundred events at Harbourfront Centre and the Woodland Cultural Centre
as well as events at galleries, museums and concerts throughout the GTA

A canvas of connected cultures emerges at Planet IndigenUs: An International Indigenous Arts Festival. Performers and artists in multiple disciplines from around the globe gather at Harbourfront Centre and at events throughout greater Toronto all through the month of August to explore and celebrate the vitality of Indigenous expression. Harbourfront Centre's Planet IndigenUs festival takes place from August 13 through August 22, 2004. All events at Harbourfront Centre are free admission. For further information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit

For complete festival information visit

One of the largest festivals of its kind ever staged in North America, Planet IndigenUsis co-produced by Harbourfront Centre and the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ontario. Seven of Toronto's most prestigious cultural institutions are partnering with Planet IndigenUs with complementary innovative Indigenous art programming. These partners include: the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Bata Shoe Museum, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Royal Conservatory of Music and The Textile Museum of Canada. In total, more than 40 separate events (exhibitions, concerts, artist residencies and workshop) are being presented by these seven participating organizations featuring hundreds of contemporary and traditional works by Indigneous artists.

Planet IndigenUs at Harbourfront Centre - Event Highlights:
Complete festival media release available at

Planet IndigenUs events at Harbourfront Centre present a number of Toronto premieres and debuts in all disciplines (music, film, theatre, dance, literary, visual arts). Notable international and Canadian performers present unique works seldom seen in Toronto. Throughout the festival, rarely seen Australian and New Zealand performers are also featured. Music highlights include concerts by Mexican vocalist Lila Downs and U.S. Rock N' Roll Hall of Famers Redbone, Australia's Christine Anu, New Zealand acts Wai, King Kapisi and Tama Waipara. Some of Canada's top Aboriginal acts perform, including Susan Aglukark, Kinnie Starr, George Leach, Leela Gilday, Lucie Idlout, Burnt and many more. Dance highlights offer three Canadian premieres - which includes Agua, dance performances in the Natrel Pond,and works by Mexico's renowned Ultimo Tren. Theatre highlights include rare musical cabaret performances by Canadian literary icon Tomson Highway and a solo work by Greenland artist Makka Kleist, who also performs in the theatre production 4 Arias. Film highlights encompass a number of screenings from Australia and New Zealand as well as innovative offerings from North American filmmakers. Acclaimed Canadian writers Thomas King and Drew Hayden Taylor present readings of new works while Red Hot Erotica! features Aboriginal writers reading erotica. Provocative panel discussions tackle issues like the Roots of Blues, Roots and Rights and "Tribal" Tattoo & Body Art. Eight exhibitions and artist workshops in photography, textiles, metal work and mixed media at Harbourfront Centre's galleries number among the visual arts highlights while numerous events for children and their families occur in the fifty foot tall Great Tee Pee and at locations throughout Harbourfront Centre each weekend. An International Indigenous Arts Market with more than 20 booths featuring the finest in professional Indigenous visual art, craft, literary, fashion, jewelry and textile art provides a unique shopping experience. Planet IndigenUs at Harbourfront Centre discipline highlights below:

Planet IndigenUs at the Woodland Cultural Centre:
Thursday August 19 - Ode:ka ge: (Big Fire)
Woodland Cultural Centre's Community Celebration (3:30p.m.)
Information: 519-759-2650, Ext. 241 (184 Mohawk Street - Brantford, Ontario)
Guests are invited to tour the Woodland Cultural Centre site, enjoy an evening barbeque and experience Six Nations performers such as Elizabeth Hill, Old Mush Singers, Sadie Buck, Kanata Native Dance Theatre and Old Chicago. An evening bonfire will mark the opening of the exhibitions; NATIVity: the art of Alan Michelson, Natural Inclinations and the Butterfly Garden.


Attention Media: Hi-res jpegs and event releases available at:

Media Contacts:
Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655,
Rebecca Webster, 416-973-4397,
Bill Bobek, 416-973-4428,

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