Aboriginal Day Live

Perfect timing for new collaborations in festival’s 10th year


To celebrate their 10th year, a special genre-mashing collaboration will be gracing APTN’s free evening concert for Aboriginal Day Live at The Forks. On June 25, Polaris Prize winner Buffy Sainte-Marie will take the stage with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

“It just so happened that all the scoring, the music was being prepared, it just was perfect timing,” APTN COO Sky Bridges says. 

The musical lineup also boasts acts like A Tribe Called Red, Dragonette, and more – but the music is only one aspect of the day-long celebration.

Ten years ago, APTN created this event “to change the talking points with Canada, in order to celebrate the very best about the culture and to invite non-Aboriginal people in to celebrate,” Bridges says.

“You would turn on the news, they would mention that it was National Aboriginal Day and then they would talk about how there’s all these issues that are still facing Aboriginal people,” Bridges says. “And I thought, we need to turn this into a day of celebration.”

The festival includes a second stage where First Nations, Inuit and Métis groups will be performing throughout the day. In the afternoon, they’re also holding both a Pow Wow and skateboard competition.

While the event is also broadcast live on APTN, the goal of the event is to bring people together at The Forks, Bridges says.

“When you see the audiences, it is a mix. We’ve reached it. Canadians are celebrating with us, and that is an achievement.”

Published in Volume 70, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 2, 2016)

Related Reads