Celebration Stage Program

Presented by OLG

OLG, Indigenous, Summer Solstice

2018 Celebration Stage Schedule

Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival’s Celebration Stage will ignite with emerging top talent! Who will perform this year? Check Celebration Stage Performers, below.

Click on the day to see more about that day’s schedule.

Thursday June 21st – National Indigenous Peoples Day

8:30 am – 4:00 pm: EDUCATION DAY presented by BMO Financial Group – Registered Schools Only

7:30 pm – 8:15 pm: Jah’Kota

8:15 pm – 9:00 pm: Fiddleground

9:00 pm – 11:00pm:  INDIAN HORSE Film Screening – FREE

Friday June 22nd

5:30 – 7:30 pm:  Boys with Braids

7:30pm – 9:00pm: REDx Talks with Cowboy Smithx

9:00pm – 9:45pm: Boogey the Beat with “glow in the dark” hoop dancer Theland Kicknosway

Saturday  June 23rd

10:00 am   Cultural Showcase:

Inuit Throat Singers

Prairie Fire Metis Jiggers

World Champion Hoop Dancer – Dallas Arcand

11:00am – 11:45pm: Debajehmujig Theatre presents Nanabush Stories

12:00pm – 12:45pm: Pow Wow Grand Entry (at Pow Wow Tent)

1:30pm – 2pm: APTN  National Round Dance – Everyone Welcome!

2:00pm – 2:45pm:

A Promise is a Promise Performance with Rag and Bone Puppet Theatre and Author Michael Kusugak

3:00pm – Cultural Showcase

Inuit Throat Singers

Prairie Fire Metis Jiggers

World Champion Hoop Dancer – Dallas Arcand

Sunday June 24th

9:30 am – 11:30 am: Pow Wow Pitch -1st Pitch

1:00 pm           Cultural Showcase

Inuit Throat Singers

Prairie Fire Metis Jiggers

World Champion Hoop Dancer Dallas Arcand

1:45 pm            Pow Wow Pitch -2nd Round Pitch

3:00 pm           Cultural Showcase

Inuit Throat Singers

Prairie Fire Metis Jiggers

World Champion Hoop Dancer Dallas Arcand

5:30 pm – 5:45pm: Pow Wow Pitch – Final Winners Announced

Celebration Stage Performers

Celebration Stage Performers! Click on the day to see performer bios and pictures.

Jah’Kota (Festival MC)

7:30 pm 

Jah'kota, Indigenous, FestivalJustin Alexander Holness is part Jamaican and part Nakota from Ocean Man First Nation in Saskatchewan so subsequently his artist name is Jah’Kota. He was born and raised in Winnipeg and moved to Ottawa in 2010. He believes everyone has a genius within, we just have to nurture our gifts. Jah’kota won first place at the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival’s talent show in 2013. He then released his first home studio album at the Festival that following year. He has performed at many prestigious events, a highlight was a collaboration with the Jamaican Youth Orchestra during their Canadian Tour. He was nominated for Rap Single Of The Year at the Canadian Urban Television Awards in Winnipeg in 2015 for his song Reconciliation ft. young Mohawk Native Hip Hop Artist LB and prominent traditional teacher Albert Dumont.

Most recently he made history for being the first to drop a verse in the Senate on National Aboriginal Day. His passion is to spread truth, love, and well-being throughout the world with words and music, and inspire young people to find their genius! Justin is also the owner/founder of Un1ty Entertainment which provides a creative environment for indigenous people to express themselves and their heritage through all forms of art, music, and fashion. Justin is responsible for Ottawa’s annual INDIGENIUS Art, Music and Fashion Show.



8:15 pm

FiddlegroundFourth generation fiddler Anthony Brascoupe from Kitigan Zibi, QC and multi-instrumentalist David Finkle from Tyendinaga Mohawk territory ON and Metis Jiggers Ginny Harmony and Brad LaFortune make up the Metis Fiddling Sensation, Fiddleground!

Get ready for blistering blasts of fiddling fury and the fastest feet in the west, Fiddleground will entertain you with traditional tunes from the time of the voyageurs paddling these very waters…


Indian Horse – FREE Screening

9:00 pm

Watch the film trailer HERE  Executive Producer:  Clint Eastwood.

An adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel, this moving and important drama sheds light on the dark history of Canada’s Residential Schools and the indomitable spirit of Indigenous people. INDIAN HORSE stars newcomers Sladen Peltier, Ajuawak Kapashesit and Edna Manitowabi as well as Forrest Goodluck (THE REVENANT), Michael Murphy (AWAY FROM HER), Michael Lawrenchuk (TOKYO COWBOY), Johnny Issaluk (TWO LOVERS AND A BEAR) and Michiel Huisman (THE AGE OF ADELINE).

In late 1950s Ontario, eight-year old Saul Indian Horse is torn from his Ojibway (Anishnaabe) family and committed to one of Canada’s notorious Catholic Residential Schools. In this oppressive environment, Saul is denied the freedom to speak his language or embrace his Indigenous heritage while he witnesses horrendous abuse at the hands of the very people entrusted with his care. Despite this, Saul finds salvation in the unlikeliest of places and favourite Canadian pastime — hockey. Fascinated by the game, he secretly teaches himself to play, developing a unique and rare skill. He seems to see the game in a way no other player can.

His talent leads him away from the misery of the school, eventually to the Pros. But the ghosts of Saul’s past are always present, and threaten to detail his promising career and future. Forced to confront his painful past, Saul draws on the spirit of his ancestors and the understanding of his friends to begin the process of healing.

Celebration Stage – FREE Evening Programming

Boys with Braids

5:30 pm

A community celebration hosted by Minwashin Lodge. “Boys with Braids” will share teachings about the sacredness of hair and to foster a sense of pride for boys who choose to grow their hair long.  


Redx Talks: “From the Land”

7:30 pm

REDx Talks makes its debut in Ancestral Algonquin Territory, and is proud to partner with #SSIF2018. REDx Talks founder and curator Cowboy Smithx will host a panel discussion featuring Gabrielle Fayant (Indigenous Youth Activist), Tony Belcourt (Former President of the Metis Nation of Ontario), Dara Chabot (Algonquin Youth Advocate) and Tim Kenny (Queer-identified Indigenous wordsmith & communicator). The panel will share personal stories from the land, while discussing the importance of Indigenous Languages. Followed by an audience Q & A.

REDx TALKS is a non-profit speaker series that expresses and embodies Indigenous worldviews from elders, teachers, youth and allies. They are Canada’s first International Indigenous speakers series and have proven themselves to be a leader in generating important discussions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous voices.


Boogey the Beat


Boogey The Beat is an Anishinaabe DJ and Producer from Winnipeg, Canada who blends traditional Indigenous songs with modern electronic beats.

His DJing skills have landed him on stages for the Indspire Awards, Canada Day 150 Main Stage in Ottawa, National Aboriginal Day LIVE presented by APTN, and multiple festivals across Turtle Island.

His first single, HOKA, reached number 1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown and landed him licensing opportunities providing music for CBC, APTN, and Vice Media. His latest single, “Smoke Signals”, also reached number 1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown. A collaboration with Winnipeg-based funk band Burnt Project-1 on the release titled ‘The Blacklist’ earned them a nomination for Aboriginal Recording of the Year at the 2013 Juno Music Awards.


Theland Kicknosway (with Boogey the Beat)


Theland Kicknosway is a loved Indigenous youth leader, helper, traditional singer/drummer, hoop/grass dancer, MMIW2S runner with FSIS & community. Theland Kicknosway is Wolf Clan, is Potawatami and Cree, and is a member of Walpole Island in Southern Ontario. a singer, a grass & hoop dancer, and helps in ceremonies in many places. He enjoys going to school in the Ottawa region where he is a part of sports teams. He enjoys offering his gifts of song/dance/voice for all. ‘Times have changed,’ says the boy who drummed Justin Trudeau into Rideau Hall at his 2015 swearing-in ceremony. UN!TY youth award 2016

Cultural Showcase: Dallas Arcand, Prairie Fire Metis Jiggers and Siqiniup Qilauta

10:00 am and 3:00 pm

Dallas Arcand  

Dallas Arcand is a multi-talented artist who won the world spotlight with his astonishing Hoop Dancing at the 2010 Olympic Games opening ceremonies. Dallas is a three-time World Champion Hoop Dancer from the Alexander (Kipohtakaw) Plains Cree Nation near Edmonton, Alberta. He is best known as a champion Hoop Dancer as well as a motivational speaker, storyteller, and musician. From an early age, Dallas has exercised his artistic talents through Pow-Wow, Hip-Hop, and Métis music.

“The Hoop Dance has made me into an athlete, choreographer, healer, storyteller, craftsman, composer, musician, teacher and a three-time World Hoop Dance Champion. As a Hoop Dancer, I also needed to learn and know my history and the history and evolution of the dance, the language, and our culture. As a student of this circular lifestyle and the dance for the past 24 years, I have since performed in eight countries, been a featured Artist on the Grandstand Stage at the Calgary Stampede for eight years, featured on the nationally televised “Canada’s Got Talent,” earned my Diploma in Behavioural Sciences, and learned basic Spanish when the dance brought me to Spain for eight months. I performed at both the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. What keeps me going are those new experiences and the evolution that my career continues to offer. I understand that this is my purpose and gift. I believe this is what I’ve been put here on this Earth to do. After 24 years in this business, I have been humbly referred to as the Hoop Master. It’s been a worldly, spiritual and educational journey of self-discipline and of guidance through ceremony and practice.”
  –  Dallas Arcand

Prairie Fire Metis Jiggers

Prairie Fire is a fun family dance group that shares their Metis and First Nation’s heritage with audience members. The Prairie Fire Metis Dancers closed the Swearing-In Ceremony for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, leading the ministers out of the chamber to a sprightly tune and have shared that same energy and enthusiasm with many festival and event audiences across the region and province.  Prairie Fire are a family consisting of twins Riley and Hunter McKenzie and their brother Jacob who have all been dancing since they were small and Jaime Morse, the troupe’s fourth member and their mother.

Siqiniup Qilauta (Sunsdrum)

There is a legend among the Inuit about the halo that appears around the sun. Known in some parts as siqiniup qilauta—roughly translated, “the sun’s drum”, it is a good sign; a symbol of good luck. Siqiniup Qilauta is also name of the musical group formed by Heidi Langille and Lynda Brown. Located in Ottawa, they have travelled nationally and internationally demonstrating traditional and contemporary Inuit throat singing, drum dancing, and games—as well as providing interactive workshops on the history of the Inuit, and their current realities. They believe strongly in the strength and resiliency of a culture that moved from igloo to iPod in such a short time. Sharing the beauty and the strength of this dynamic culture, they hope to create a better world, full of understanding, for our children—and for all Inuit children.

Debajehmuijig Storytellers

11:00 am

Debajehmujig was the first – and remains the only – professional theatre company located on a Reserve in Canada. They create original work based on an Anishnaabag/Chippewa Nation worldview and build bridges between cultures, generations, and territories. They also support the development of Aboriginal artists in remote rural areas as well as cities.  As an Aboriginal theatre company, Debajehmujig represent an Aboriginal worldview and reflects the reality of Native life. This worldview is a holistic approach to life and how all things are connected. They believe that as humans we create with our entire being – our physical, our emotional, our intellectual and our spiritual selves. Stories have been passed down for thousands of years by storytellers, musicians, record keepers and dancers. It is because it was never written down, that it survives. The history and the culture of the people is contained within the bodies of the people, in the muscle memory of the dancer, in the songs of the singers, in the stories of the storytellers.   

Presentation of A Promise is A Promise: Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre with Michael Kusugak 

2:00 pm

Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre has toured across Canada and the U.S. since 1978. Founders John Nolan and Kathy MacLellan are joined by musician Russell Levia and Ainsley McNeaney in productions of exceptional creativity and value for young audiences. Over 100 performances a year take the company to schools, libraries, children’s festivals and theatres.  They will perform an Inuit legend brought to life through puppets in Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre’s adaptation of A Promise is a Promise, a collaboration between children’s writer Robert Munsch and Nunavut storyteller Michael Kusugak. The story of takes place in the faraway setting of Pangnirtung, Nunavut.

Allashua is eleven years old, and she lives in a town in the Canadian Arctic called Pangirtung. Her parents have told her not to fish on the sea ice, but she breaks her promise to her parents and goes fishing in the cracks of the Arctic sea ice. There she meets the monster Qallupilliut, the monster that her parents warned her would steal children who go on the sea ice without their parents and drag them under the ice. In her desperation, Allashua tells that Qallupilluit that she will bring back all of her siblings if she is released. The Qallupilluit lets her go, and now Allashua must face a difficult decision. A promise is a promise. How will she keep hers? Robert Munsch and Michael Kusugak’s A Promise is a Promise was the first children’s book to be written and published in the Inuit language of Inuktitut. Preparations for the adaptation of the book into a puppet show included a trip to Baffin Island, where Pangnirtung is located, and a subsequent presentation to the schoolchildren and elders there. For the show, Rag & Bone Theatre Company employ a modern puppet style of open manipulation, in which the puppeteers work in plain sight of the audience.

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the publication of this important children’s book.  

Michael Kusugak grew up in Repulse Bay, NWT (now Nunavut). During his childhood, his family travelled by dog sled, living a traditional Inuit lifestyle. He is the author of 15 children’s books including: A Promise Is A Promise (written with celebrated childrens autheor Robert Munsch) , Baseball Bats for Christmas, Hide and Sneak, Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails, My Arctic 1, 2, 3, Arctic Stories,  Who Wants Rocks, his most recent titles include; his first novel for children, The Curse of the Shaman, The Littlest Sled Dog,T is for Territories and 5 leveled Readers in the Northern Series.
Michael’s books have been nominated for many awards. Northern Lights the Soccer Trails won the Ruth Schwartz Award, the best children’s book in Canada in 1993. Michael was also awarded the prestigious Vicky Metcalf Award in 2008 for a body of work in Children’s Literature. Michael Kusugak recently moved to Vancouver Island, BC from Rankin Inlet Nunavut to allow him better access to travel for touring. Michael continues to write and travel extensively throughout Canada, the United States and the world telling stories.

Pow Wow Pitch

9:30 am – 11:30m, 2:30 pm-3:30pm, and Finalists: 5:15 pm-6:00 pm

Pow Wow Pitch is a Dragons-Den style program that supports Indigenous Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs have a minute to “pitch” their business in front of celebrity judges moving through rounds, working with a business mentor to perfect the pitch. 3 winners are chosen. This opportunity is intended for people starting out on their entrepreneurial journey, wanting to take their business to the next level and connecting with Indigenous entrepreneurs. – From Website

Pow Wow Pitch is about: Supporting Indigenous entrepreneurship

What is Pow Wow Pitch?

  • 30 entrepreneurs get 1 minute to “pitch” their business idea in front of a panel of celebrity judges.The judges will chose 10 finalists to continue to the final round
  • The 10 finalists will work with a business mentor for 3 hours to perfect their pitch
  • The 10 finalists will get 3 minutes to pitch for a 2nd time to the panel of celebrity judges
  • 3 winners will be chosen

Pow Wow Pitch is for People:

  • Starting out on their entrepreneurial journey.
  • Wanting to take their business to the next level.
  • Wanting to connect with and support entrepreneurial women and youth.  

Pow Wow Pitch is about acknowledging:

  • Pow Wow is historically a place of social enterprise through entrepreneurship and trade.
    Indigenous people have the ideas to make a difference in their own communities, Canada and the wider world.


Cultural Showcase: 1 pm and 3 pm. Dallas Arcand, Prairie Fire Metis Jiggers and Siqiniup Qilauta

1:00 pm-3:00 pm

(See bios, above)

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