The Drumming Tradition Returns to La Loche, SK

The Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange, in partnership with the Amiskusees Semaganis Worme Family Foundation and the La Loche Friendship Centre, is helping the sound of the drum ring out again in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche. In mid-August and in conjunction with the Yanessa Days celebrations, the organization is holding a series of workshops to help rejuvenate the tradition of Indigenous drumming in the area.

“Due to historical reasons, the drumming tradition has been all but silent in parts of the north,” says Leonard Montgrand, executive director of the La Loche Friendship Centre. “This unique partnership aims to bring this First Nations tradition back to our people, especially to benefit our youth.”

Musician and Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange Outreach Coordinator Carol Rose Daniels will be conducting drum-making and song creation workshops in La Loche from August 17 to 25. She is a multi-disciplined Cree/Chipewyan artist who has taught singing, drumming, and drum making for two decades.

“I am honoured at this opportunity,” says Rose Daniels. “When I lived in the Northwest Territories, the drum dance was a regular part of celebrations, especially winter community gatherings. People gathered, brought food for an impromptu potluck, and visited into the night, enjoying drumming, dancing, and singing. It was a family-friendly event and I hope this tradition is resurrected as a way of life for the people of La Loche.”

The drum-making and song creation workshops are taking place from August 17 to 25, encompassing the community’s annual Yanessa Days Festival. Rose Daniels will remain in the community, facilitating song and storytelling workshops at the La Loche Friendship Centre.

This project is part of the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange’s Artists in Communities program, which is possible thanks to the generous funding of the Saskatchewan Arts Board. The program seeks to bring artists into small and rural communities. This project in particular was helped by funding from the Amiskusees Semaganis Worme Family Foundation. The Saskatchewan Cultural also thanks SaskCultural for their continued funding and support.

The Common Ground Project Partners with the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange

The Common Ground Project and the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange are hosting a series of art and culture workshops looking to bring understanding, acceptance, and friendship among Prince Albert, Saskatchewan’s Indigenous and newcomer communities.

From August 1 to 3, Victor Thunderchild will facilitate workshops educating students in First Nations culture. The students will come evenly from the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre of Prince Albert and from the children of recently settled immigrants working with YWCA Settlement Services. The workshops will be held at the Friendship Centre.

Prince Albert’s Common Ground Project works to bring together First Nations and Métis peoples with newcomers to bridge any gap among them. They work with programming to bring the groups together and realize the commonalities of our shared humanity.

After a successful Phase II pilot project, the Common Ground Project begins Phase III with a fantastic partnership with the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange. This is also part of Artists in Communities, a Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange program looking to support artists working and interacting with small and rural communities across the province.

Thunderchild is well known in Prince Albert as an educator and a traditional dancer with a strong background in First Nations traditional stories and songs. In a fun environment, he will involve the students in the history of First Nations and Métis people, Cree language, and traditional drumming. Prince Albert-based music educator and vocal coach Pamela Cochet will assist Thunderchild.

The Artists in Communities program is possible because ofthanks to the generous funding of the Saskatchewan Arts Board. This project in particular was helped by funding from the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators as well as in-kind donations from the Saskatchewan Choral Federation. The Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange also thanks SaskCulture for their continued funding and support.

In Phase III, the Common Ground Project is working with the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan with local partners Prince Albert Multicultural Council, the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre of Prince Albert, and Prince Albert YWCA Settlement Services.

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sarah and ringo

Meet Our Arts Ambassadors

We’re happy to introduce our new Arts Ambassadors, Ringo and Sarah!

Throughout the summer of 2017, we’re sending these two students across Saskatchewan to events to talk about what the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange does in the province and also to spread art and goodwill.

So far, they’ve made it out to the SaskPower Windscape Kite Festival in Swift Current, the Regina Beach Farmer’s Market, the Festival Francophone Saskatchewan in Pine Lake,  the Creelman Agriculture Society’s Summer Fair, and the Kawacatoose First Nation Powwow.

Coming up, find them at the Gateway Festival in Bengough, the Mid Summer’s Art Festival in Fort Qu’Appelle, the John Arcand Fiddle Festival outside of Saskatoon, and the Bow Valley Jamboree in Oxbow, with more to come. Keep an eye out at any arts festival or cultural event happening now through the end of August in Saskatchewan –– you might just see our Arts Ambassadors!

This program is made possible with funding from the Canada Summer Jobs program through Service Canada. The Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange is pleased to recognize their support.

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Community Arts at Athabasca Health Authority

The Athabasca Health Authority invites members of the community to contribute to two collaborative artwork projects developed and hosted by visiting community artist Laura Hale. Laura is working with Stony Rapids and Black Lake until the end of June and then in Fond du Lac until the end of July as part of the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange’s Artists in Communities programs.

All projects are held in the Multipurpose Room at the AHA facility.

Make Your Mark Beading Project
Thursdays (June 8, 15, and 22) from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Laura has brought a deer hide up with her in hopes of getting as many people as possible to bear a simple mark or design on it before she returns home. She will find a special place to display this collaborative artwork when she heads back down south. No beading experience necessary –– just come, contribute, and make your mark.

Greetings from the North Postcard Project
Saturdays (June 10, 17, and 24) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
On one side of the postcard, share a story that you would like our friends int he south to know about the north, or about your community, yourself, or your culture. On the other side, draw, colour, and customize your postcard. Laura will mail out all postcards randomly to people in the south.

Support provided by the Saskatchewan Arts Board and SaskCulture. The Athabasca Health Authority provides health services to the five main communities in northern Saskatchewan.

Keep an Eye Out for New Opportunities!

We here at the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange are always updating our website with the latest opportunities, whether it’s new programs for people across the province to participate in, chances for communities to bring art to their area, or openings for artists to bring their work and experience to small and rural communities.

Are you curious about upcoming programs? Or are you a community or artist look to work with us in the future? Keep an eye on our Outreach page for the most up-to-date information or reach out directly to our Outreach Coordinator via email.