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Talking Stick Festival 2023: Summer Reverb kicks off National Indigenous History Month on June 1

by ahnationtalk on May 26, 2023128 Views

May 25, 2023

Full Circle: First Nations Performance presents North America’s premiere Indigenous Arts and Culture Festival, featuring film, theatre, visual arts, music, industry series and more

Vancouver, B.C. – On June 1, 2023, the 22nd annual Talking Stick Festival 2023: Summer Reverb celebrates and honours National Indigenous History Month. The highly anticipated festival is proudly located on the traditional, unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples. The Talking Stick Festival 2023 will take place at diverse locations within the city of Vancouver from June 1 to July 2.

The Talking Festival is a one-of-a-kind, inclusive event which features multidisciplinary artists.

Headlining this year’s festival, is singer-songwriter and musician Logan Staats. Staats won the Indigenous Music Award for Best Radio Single “The Lucky Ones.” Also headlining, is DJ KOOKUM, an open format DJ and multi-media maker from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and Cold Lake First Nations. Indigenous singer-songwriter, activist, and storyteller Pura Fé will also perform at multiple events throughout the month, intertwining her talents with cultural traditions.

The Festival’s theme, “Summer Reverb” brings together the idea of amplified sound and amplified voices in musical performances, similar to the star and water ripples reverberating outwards. The Talking Stick Festival celebrates diversity and inclusivity, welcoming Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Artists, and promises vibrant entertainment. The vast range of events include: a documentary screening, a theatre performance, a book launch (accompanied by a conversation with an award-winning author and local journalist), a Burlesque show, the Summer Reverb Gala, Dj Spins, and an immersive 4D audio performance. Sofar Sounds will connect audiences to a live music show with a secret venue and secret artists revealed 24 hours prior to the event.

June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day, and on this day, the Talking Stick Festival features a diverse mix of ceremony, storytelling, dance and music, paired with a fashion show curated by a local designer. Indigenous Day Eve, on June 20, is also celebrated with an unforgettable event, spotlighting hip-hop and its connection to Indigenous traditions.

The festival concludes with a series of roundtables,welcoming an open discussion on various topics, including the evolving Canadian art landscape, which has been impacted by social justice movements, digital shifts, and new funding models.

“As a Māori Pacific Islander producer from Aotearoa, I’m proud to be part of this year’s Talking Stick Festival. This event truly enhances the visibility of Indigenous arts, culture, and narratives. As we navigate beyond COVID-19, we stand on the precipice of a new era. Through the continued sharing and uplifting of our stories, we move towards an unequivocal truth – the future is Indigenous,” says Nathan Mudge from Full Circle.

The month-long celebration includes a mix of exclusive in-house produced events as well as co-productions with arts partners such as: The Cultch, Punctuate! Theatre, Massy Books, Massy Arts, Vancouver Public Library, Queer Arts Festival, Coastal Jazz, VIFF, Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires, and Delinquent Theatre.

Talking Stick Festival 2023 welcomes all ages and promises something for everyone. The event unites Indigenous art and culture with people from all walks of life and offers a unique opportunity to reflect and reconnect.

For full lineup and venue locations, see details below.

Festival Details:

Opening Reception following 7:30pm showing of The First Métis Man of Odesa

Thursday, June 1, 9pm-11pm

Cultch Historic Theatre

Free and all ages

Kick-start your summer and National Indigenous History Month on June 1st at the soft opening of Talking Stick Festival 2023: Summer Reverb! The evening commences with the captivating tale of the First Métis Man of Odesa, an extraordinary narrative interweaving love, resilience, and hope.

Celebrate the Festival launch with a post-show gathering, featuring refreshments and entertainment. Join us in the lobby for energetic rhythms of traditional Ukrainian dancing, Métis jigging and the soulful strains of fiddle music, marking the beginning of our festival. Be part of this unique cultural echo that will reverberate throughout the summer!

The First Métis Man of Odesa

May 25-June 4, 7:30pm

Cultch Historic Theatre

Tickets can be purchased through the Cultch.

*If you identify as Indigenous, use promo code INDIGENOUS for $15 tickets to First Métis Man of Odesa.

All ages

Discover the inspiring true story of “First Métis Man of Odesa” at the launch of the 22nd annual Talking Stick Festival. The Cultch presents this captivating play by Punctuate! Theatre in partnership with Talking Stick Festival. Witness Matt and Mariya’s extraordinary journey of love and resilience amidst a global pandemic and an invasion. Gain an intimate perspective on the war in Ukraine, as well as moments of joy and inspiration.

Michelle Good: Truth Telling About Indigenous Life in Canada

Thursday, June 8, 7pm-8:30pm

Vancouver Public Library, Alice MacKay Room, lower level

RSVP through VPL

When the time for apologies and acknowledgements is over, do you know what the real, necessary steps towards Truth and Reconciliation must be? In Truth Telling: Seven Conversations About Indigenous Life in Canada, award-winning author Michelle Good presents an essay collection that asks non-Indigenous Canadians to reconsider what they think they know about Indigenous life and to confront the human cost of colonialism.

Come hear Michelle Good in conversation with journalist Andrea Crossan.

 This event will feature a performance by singer songwriter, Zofia Rose, organized by Talking Stick Festival along with Books for sale and a book signing by the author.

This event is presented in partnership with Massy Books, Massy Arts, and the Vancouver Public Library.

Talking Stick Festival Summer Reverb Gala

Friday, June 9, Doors open at 7:30pm

SFU Woodwards, Fei and Milton Wong Experimental TheatreTicketed event, all ages

We warmly invite you to the Talking Stick Festival’s Summer Reverb Gala – an evening of vibrant entertainment, thoughtful reflection, and rekindling connections.

The gala will kick off with soulful jazz on the grand piano followed by the Melawmen Collective taking centre stage and showcasing their unique blend of contemporary Indigenous Fusion that beautifully marries genres like hip-hop, rock, folk, and thick harmonies. The night will be enriched with an array of other performances, rounding out an unforgettable celebration of Indigenous art and culture. We can’t wait to celebrate with you.

June 14 – Sofar Sounds

(secret venue and artists)

Ticketed event, tickets purchased through Sofar website

QAF + Talking Stick Festival: a day in celebration of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Artists

Sunday, June 18, 3pm-late

Roundhouse Performance Centre

QAF and Talking Stick Festival present a trilogy of events centered on Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer art.

Love After the End: Joshua Whitehead & Friends | Jun 18 | 3pm | Roundhouse Performance Centre | ASL | Tickets start at $20

Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction is an exciting and ground-breaking fiction collection showcasing a number of emerging and established Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer writers, edited and compiled by acclaimed writer Joshua Whitehead. Whitehead joins us with fellow visionary authors Nathan Adler, Jaye simpson, and Nazbah Tom for an afternoon that demonstrates how Queer Indigenous communities can bloom and thrive through utopian narratives.

Cinq-à-Sept Reception | Jun 18 | 5 pm – 7pm | Roundhouse Exhibition Hall | Free

Join us in the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall for a book signing, DJ spins and a special reception courtesy of Talking Stick Festival.

Virago Nation Burlesque | Jun 18 | 7pm | Roundhouse Performance Centre | Ticketed The day concludes with a powerful performance by the badass Indigiqueer burlesque babes of Virago Nation! Please note: this performance is 18+.

DJ KOOKUM’s Indigenous Day Eve

Tuesday, June 20, 9pm-midnight, doors at 8pm

Performance Works

$15 online and at the door 19+ event

Dive into the exhilarating world of hip-hop at “DJ KOOKUM’s Indigenous Day Eve” an unforgettable night where creativity and cultural fusion take center stage. The dynamic lineup features exceptional Indigenous artists including Sekawnee,, Ms Shellz, and explore the connection between Indigenous traditions and the powerful influence of hip-hop, as we honor the past, present, and future of this vibrant music scene.

Summer Solstice Celebration with Logan Staats

Wednesday, June 21, 8pm-11pm, doors at 7pm

Performance Works

$20 in advance, $25 at the door

Experience an unforgettable evening at “Indigenous Day Cabaret,” where Indigenous art and culture come to life. This captivating event features a diverse mix of ceremony, storytelling, dance, music, fashion, and more. Be moved by headliner Logan Staats’ soulful melodies and amazed by the talent of ILA. Discover the powerful connections that unite us all, as inspiring performances celebrate the spirit of Indigenous cultures in a captivating blend of tradition and contemporary expression.


Tuesday, June 27, 2023, 6:30pm

VIFF, 1181 Seymour Street; Vancouver

Tickets can be purchased through VIFF

Exploring the profound influence of Native American music and musicians on rock and pop, this assertive and engaging doc (winner of the Audience Award and Best Canadian Film awards at Hot Docs) sets the record straight, with reference to Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Saint Marie, Robbie Robertson, and more.

Following the screening, please join us for a conversation with Indigenous singer-songwriter, activist, and storyteller Pura Fé, moderated by Doreen Manuel, a celebratory reception with a performance by M’Girl singers.

Talking Stick Festival presents in partnership with Primary Colours / Couleurs primaires


Three In-person Roundtables

June 27, 28 and 29 2023, 11am-1pm with lunch provided at 1pm SFU Woodwards, World Art Centre This event is free, RSVP required

Talking Stick Festival & Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires present a series of roundtables discussing the evolving Canadian art landscape, impacted by social justice movements, digital shifts, and new funding models.

IBPoC artists drive discourse and redefine the arts, while mainstream organizations seek reconciliation with Indigenous artists. Progress is often slow and complex.

Topics include:

  • IBPoC artists learning from each other
  • Impact on the arts system
  • Decolonial approaches in art
  • DIE paradigm limitations
  • Representation in cultural & social justice
  • Lessons for mainstream organizations

Join us for engaging discussions, followed by lunch and conversation.

The Seventh Fire

June 27-July 2

Lobe Studios, 713 E Hastings St

You are invited to connect to the medicine that lives within you with The Seventh Fire, an immersive audio performance inspired by ceremony. Drawing from Anishinaabe stories and oral traditions, artist Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen invokes sound and story as the somatic link to ancestral realms.

The audience enters Lobe Studio, free to stand, sit, lie down or move around according to their ability. As The Seventh Fire commences, the studio’s 4D Sound System envelops all, serving as a portal to dreams and the story of sisters Daanis and Nimise and their grandmother Nokomis.

Cooke Ravensbergen’s creation blurs time and space, bringing emotional and ancestral connection into being through deep collaboration with sound designer Mishelle Cuttler and a matriarchal creative team. The Seventh Fire takes place in past, present and future, above and below the earth. It is the realm of the spirit, where a better future can be co-conceived.

About: Full Circle was established in 1992, by Margo Kane (Cree/Saulteaux Métis), Full Circle is a registered Canadian non-profit, Indigenous Arts organization that provides a platform for Indigenous artists to create, work, and train in the Arts. We engage our community in year-round Indigenous programs (Moccasin Trek: Arts on the Move!, Indian Acts and the Aboriginal Ensemble) in addition to our annual signature event, the Talking Stick Festival.

For more information please visit:

Ticket Information

Digital Assets

60 Second Video Trailer

For more information or to arrange an interview with Margo Kane, Founder and Artistic Managing Director of Full Circle: First Nations Performance please contact Communications at:

Simi Kaila

Tel: 604-782-9464




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