Kym Gouchie is among the performers for the sixth annual Indigenous Culture Celebration. Photo: Submitted

Kym Gouchie is among the performers for the sixth annual Indigenous Culture Celebration. Photo: Submitted

Capitol Theatre celebrates Indigenous culture

The theatre is streaming performances throughout March

Submitted by The Capitol Theatre

A year ago this month, the Capitol Theatre was filled with the sounds and traditions of Indigenous culture. Students and patrons in the house were delighted by Métis jigging, drumming circles and storytelling and cheered when Dan Nanamkin brought his two husky dogs on stage with him.

This year, the auditorium space looks and sounds a lot different, as did the planning and delivery of the theatre’s annual Indigenous Culture Celebration. Committed to its mission to provide community enrichment through the arts, the Capitol pivoted from bringing people to the stage, to bringing the stage to the people.

This March, the Capitol Theatre will be streaming performances and events as part of the Sixth Annual Indigenous Culture Celebration from its website and will reach more people, farther abroad and for the longest duration than this event has ever been able to do before.

“Resilience and resourcefulness are the key to keeping on the cultural radar this year,” says Stephanie Fischer, executive director of the Capitol Theatre. “And there was no way we were going to miss this annual celebration!”

Recordings of special guests are available for viewing for free on the Capitol’s website and social media channels for the duration of the month of March and include; Shelly Boyd, the Arrow Lakes Cultural Facilitator and member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservations, students from the Salish School of Spokane, Don Courson, president of the West Kootenay Métis Society, and Elder Donna Wright. Links will also be made available to view a book reading with author Eileen Delehanty Pearkes, From the Heart: Fire and Flow, and Brent Kennedy Students in a short documentary celebrating their connection to the forest.

For a limited time, March 8 to 15, there is the unique opportunity to view the 30-minute documentary film, Older Than The Crown by filmmaker Derrick LaMere, which follows the trial of Sinixt tribal member Rick Desautel who in 2010 was charged with hunting as a non resident and without a proper permit in Canada.

In addition, ticketed events include musical performance recordings by the Kym Gouchie Trio and Tony Louie. Gouchie’s (Lheidli T’enneh, Cree and Secwépemc) music brings awareness to First Nations and women’s issues, promoting reconciliation and community building, and Tony Louie, the Sinixt singer songwriter from Inchelium, Wash., offers a soulful sound that has a way of grounding even the most restless of spirits.

Two separate 30-minute Q&A segments are also included this year, with special guests Derek LaMere and Shelly Boyd and another with Kym Gouchie. Hear what these artists and knowledge keepers have to share about Indigenous culture and the arts.

“Whatever the obstacle in front of us,” says Fischer, “We’re committed to finding ways to celebrate artistic expression, work to advance reconciliation and to support the acknowledgement of the traditional territory in this area.”