A Look at This Year’s Indigenous Day Live Lineups

The name may be new, but the celebration will be as epic as ever.

Coming off last year’s historic seven-hour live broadcast featuring 70+ artists in eight cities across Canada, Indigenous Day Live (formerly Aboriginal Day Live) will make its return on June 23. This year’s edition, which falls on Canada’s inaugural National Indigenous Peoples Day, will take place in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto.

While Indigenous Day Live features a full day of activities for the whole family – including a pow wow, a round dance, local artisans, food vendors, games and more – the highlight is the live music. With three stages and more than 30 acts covering every genre from folk and pop to rock and hip hop (many of whom have been featured on Digital Drum), there’s a little something for everyone. And for those of you who don’t live in a host city, not to worry: you can catch the concerts live on APTN, via participating radio stations and online.

Here’s a look at the lineups for each host city.

WINNIPEG (The Forks)

Pre-show (5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. CST)

The Bloodshots

Lakes & Pines

Snotty Nose Rez Kids

Concert (7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. CST)

Walk Off The Earth (with Walking Wolf and Angela Gladue): Based in Burlington, ON (just outside of Toronto). Unconventional, multi-talented five-piece phenomena. Vocal stylings mesh seamlessly with haunting harmonies. Soaring over epic melodic arrangements fused with prolific percussion work.

Midnight Shine: Seamlessly mixes roots, classic and modern rock with touches of Mushkegowuk Cree. Pushing musical boundaries and boldly taking new strides. Eight years, three albums, five Top 10 online radio singles, and 200 + media stories later.

Sister Says: Soulful indie-pop duo/group based out of Vancouver, fronted by mixed Haida-Tsimshian siblings Gillian and Robert Thomson. Dreamy, eclectic and lyrically rich roots stem from the soul, blues and pop.

William Prince: Raised on the Peguis First Nation, MB and JUNO-winning singer-songwriter. Full of emotionally charged experiences that linger in memories. Influenced by Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and his preacher/musician father.

Skyler (with Cameron Fraser-Monroe): Ojibwe-German rapper from Sandy Bay, Manitoba. Over 100,000 views and four mixtapes, and at only 19 years old, has opened for Grammy nominee Fresh I.E. Debut album “Colourful” features many Canadian rappers in the game.

Oh My Darling: Some of the hottest players on the Canadian roots scene! The right infusion of emotion and elation with their unique country sound. Prairie roots with bluegrass, Appalachian old-time, southern twang, and Franco-funk.

OTTAWA (Vincent Massey Park) 

Pre-show (5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST)

Cody Coyote

Mimi O’Bonsawin

Nigel Irwin

Concert (7 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST)

Lido Pimienta: Toronto-based, Colombian-born interdisciplinary musician and artist-curator. Sways from electronic beats, analog synths and Afro-Colombian rhythms to out-of-this-world chanting. An improv virtuoso of her generation.

Tom Wilson: Hamilton songwriter – the progenitor of “Acid Folk.” Previous two albums were long-listed for the Polaris Prize and nominated for a JUNO. Creator of a dynamic footprint on Canada’s song-scape, a deeply personal, but universally affecting sound.

Brooke Simpson: Recorded her first song at the age of two! Just a happy girl writing sad songs and a full-blooded member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. Rose to international attention in 2017 as a contestant on The Voice.

Julian Taylor Band: Travellers of ‘Funk, Soul & Roll.’ Their soulful beats resound from wider horizons. Rhythm and blues, hard rock, thoughtful folky songs, and dabbling in hip-hop. A signal of something new.

Mike Paul Kuekuatsheu: Singer-songwriter from Mashteuiatsh, an Innu community in QC. Folk, pop and traditional sounds in French, Innu-aimun and English. Rich in emotions, his show will make you vibrate to the rhythm of Mother Earth.

Kelly Fraser (with Buffy Handel and dancers): Originally from Sanikiluaq, NU. Singer and rapper in both English and Inuktitut, seamlessly blending the two languages with her powerful, insightful, and politically-relevant lyrics. Her latest album influenced by contemporary pop, EDM, and hip-hop.

TORONTO (Fort York)

Pre-show (5:20 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST)

Ansley Simpson

Trans-Pacific Noise Club

Concert (7 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST)

Kardinal Offishall (with Que Rock): Rapper, producer, DJ, executive at Universal and known as “Mr. International”. Born and raised in “The Six” (Toronto). His notable twist of hip-hop music, spirited stage performances and captivating persona makes him stand out on a world stage.

Ria Mae: Versatile artist and 2012 East Coast Music Award for Pop Album of the Year winner. Collaborated with JUNO winner Classified on her second album, and released the single ‘Leaving Today’. Debuted on Top 40 radio stations across the nation.

Shauit: From Maliotenam in northeastern Québec. Singer-songwriter, Shauit creates honest and committed songs ingeniously combining his native language and traditional rhythms. New folk sensibility enriching the mix of reggae and dancehall influences.

Shawnee: Two-Spirited powerhouse singer/songwriter challenging boundaries to unite, heal and empower strength. Has become known internationally for her anthems of inspiration, and Billboard has recently named her on their list of people you should know in music.

Logan Staats: Born on the Six Nations of The Grand River. Armed with his guitar and harmonica, Staats live performances are juxtaposed. A level of self-possession and control that still wildly careen through emotions of sadness, hope, longing and joy.

Beats Collective: Braiding together spoken word, percussion, voice, throat singing, traditional drumming, and dance to touch our core. Tap into this moving and unimaginable collaboration. Featuring Daniel Roy, Valerie Dee Naranjo, Rich Brown, Illustrated, Fawn Wood & Dallas Waskahat, Jera Wolfe, Natasha Poon Woo, and Cody Berry.

Daniel Roy: Multi-instrumentalist, composer and award-winning singer-songwriter. Contributing to Manitoba’s arts scene for over two decades through his skill and versatility reaching across all genres of music.

Valerie Dee Naranjo: Marimbist, percussionist, vocalist, and composer, exploring the relationships between Indigenous music in West Africa and popular music in America. Topping it off she plays percussion for NBC’s Saturday Night Live Band.

Rich Brown: Electric bassist/composer and 2016 JUNO nominee, Jazz Album of the Year. Over 70 recordings ranging from jazz to funk to traditional Arabic and Asian. Performed with a plethora of artists: Angelique Kidjo, Kim Mitchell, and The Parachute Club to name just a few.

Jera Wolfe: Of Métis heritage, former finalist on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, and Indigenous dance forms top his list. His love of dance emerged in hip-hop, breakdance and jazz. The National Ballet of Canada and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School lifted him to new heights.

Fawn Wood & Dallas Waskahat: Born into the acclaimed multi-generational traditional singing Wood family. Fawn (Cree/Salish) and Dallas (Cree) present a collection of songs to soothe the lonely, honour the earth and celebrate the joy of being alive.

Illustrated: First and foremost as a poet. And at 16 discovered his flamboyant and socially conscious prose. For him, poetry is a path to overcoming past hardships.

Quantum Tangle: 2017 JUNO Indigenous Album of the Year winner. Combines the wide-ranging artistic visions of Greyson Gritt and Tiffany Ayalik to fuse old-world sounds and new-world flair. Part of the rising vanguard of Indigenous musicians transforming Canadian culture.

About Indigenous Day Live

Indigenous Day Live, formerly Aboriginal Day Live, has been delighting audiences since 2007. This event features some of the biggest names in Indigenous music and television, including JUNO Award winners and on-the-rise artists. It showcases talent from all genres, regions and nations, ensuring the recognition and inclusion of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

The first show debuted in a park outside the network’s headquarters in downtown Winnipeg and then moved to the historical Forks site in Winnipeg, MB. The celebration evolved to include twin stage performances from different locations across the county, including Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Ottawa, Regina, Iqaluit, Halifax, Edmonton, Montréal and Vancouver. IDL has grown year to year and continues to expand its grassroots reach to Indigenous communities across the country.

About National Indigenous Peoples Day?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement on the National Aboriginal Day past, June 21st. The Government of Canada announced its intention to rename this day National Indigenous Peoples Day, and the 2018 summer solstice will mark a move forward and together in the spirit of reconciliation.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. The original National Aboriginal Day it was first celebrated on June 21, 1996, after being recognized through a proclamation by then Governor General Roméo LeBlanc. That former national day was part of the Celebrate Canada program, and in its present form most provinces do not recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day as a statutory holiday.

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