Artists & Performers

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Aboriginal artists from across Canada light the mainstage on fire this year!!! All concerts are family friendly – with no alcohol or drugs allowed on site. Grab a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the shows! All shows will go on RAIN OR SHONE (with large tent for shelter).

MAINSTAGE HOST:   All weekend:  Suzette Amaya – Big Brother Canada! 

Friday June 21 – National Aboriginal Day 

5:00 pm  Ottawa Métis Council – Community Event Stage

7:00 pm JRez-  a Hip-Hop Artist from Georgina Island First Nation Ontario.

7:10 pm Aboriginal Experiences presents a preview to “Medicine Beats” with performances by Dirty-D and Jason Gullo followed by the 2012 Juno nominated Flying Down Thunder.

7:40 pm Andy Mason Band –winner of the 2012 “Aboriginal Canada We’ve Got Talent” contest

8:30 pm Murray Porter – 2012 Juno Award  winning blues legend.

Saturday June 22 –  Celebrating our Aboriginal Women! 

11:30 am Kehewin Native Performance – Stories from Mother Earth (tent by mainstage)

12:30 pm Cultural Showcase – Jaime & the Jiglets,  Sunsdrum (Siqiniup Qilauta) and more!

2:00 pm  “Aboriginal Canada, We’ve got Talent!” Contest  Performances and Judging

5:00 pm  Cultural Showcase – Jig on the Fly, Sunsdrum (Siqiniup Qilauta) and more!

5:30pm Janet Panic – 2013 Juno Nominee for the Best Aboriginal Album

6:30pm Lucie Idlout – an established Inuit singer/ songwriter with a very powerful voice

7:30pm Joanne Shenandoah – Iroquois singer/composer &  a GRAMMY Award winner!

8:30pm Fire Hoop Dancing performance by Beany John, Kehewin Native Performance

8:45pm Holly McNarland – Métis powerhouse, JUNO  winner, with  gold and platinum albums!

Sunday June 23 –  Celebrating our Aboriginal Women!

11:30 am Rag and Bones Puppet Theatre –  A Promise is a Promise production (tent by mainstage)

12:30 pm Cultural Showcase – Jaime & the Jiglets,  Sunsdrum (Siqiniup Qilauta) and more!

2:00 pm  Aboriginal Canada, We’ve got Talent!  Contest.  Performances and Judging.

5:00 pm  Cultural Showcase – Jig on the Fly, Sunsdrum (Siqiniup Qilauta) and more!

6:00 pm  Announcement of Winners – Aboriginal Canada We’ve Got Talent!

EmCee/Host: Suzette Amaya

Suzette Amaya_size1

Suzette Amaya – Big Brother Canada on SLICE Houseguest, Winner of “Best Aboriginal Radio Show” for ThinkNDN 100.5fm, Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards 2008, 2009 and 2011 and Alumni NAHO National Role Model. A Kwakawaka aw, Cree, Nisga, Coast Salish. Born and raised in East Vancouver, BC. Obtained a Diploma in Criminology and Associates of Arts Degree. Currently Ms. Amaya hold many roles within the Vancouver Community, a Support worker with St. James Community Services Society, working with Women & Children in the Downtown Eastside with Homelessness, Poverty, Addictions, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health and those suffering from Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Sexual Abuse.

Pow Wow Co-EmCee: Denis Bowen

Denis Bowen_size1A Community activist for Indigenous Rights, Denis Bowen has been part of sovereignty cases in the New York State  as recent as 1995  (and won!) and was earlier arraigned the same Buffalo U.S. Federal District court on during the American Indian Movement days which were dropped later.  A community leader, Denis held many positions such as Chair of the Board Seva Foundation (2006-2007), Seneca Nation President (1994-95), and School Board President for TCUD #15 (1979-1980). Denis developed the Nine-Voices Cultural Prevention Model and is a certified trainer of Applied Suicide Intervention Skill Training which help through traditional teaching and thought.  Denis concentrating on a budding art career which he specializes in landscapes, portraits and figurative painting.

Pow Wow Co-EmCee: Ryan McMahon

RyanMcMahon1_size1Ryan McMahon is one of the most dynamic Aboriginal/Native American Comedians working in Canada and the United States today. He’s also a graduate of the prestigious Second City Conservatory(Toronto). His show is a loose, fast paced, silly but always honest look at society from the perspective of a “Native dude.” Ryan’s comedy is irreverent and boundary pushing as he focuses his attention on the good, the bad & the ugly of the collision between Indian Country and the mainstream.

Host Drum: Young Bear

Young Bear Photo_size1Young Bear is a talented young group of singers deeply rooted in the Mandaree community of North Dakota. Rich in family tradition, Young Bear started with the sons of well-respected singers, Randy Phelan and Sidrick Baker, Sr. Both Randy and Sidrick handed down the knowledge taught to them by their legendary fathers, Alonzo Young Bear, Sr. and Bill Baker.

Young Bear is the next generation of great singers to come from the Fort Berthold Reservation. The Phelan and Baker boys have come together with their drum brothers from across the U.S. & Canada to form the powwow circuits next up-and-coming drum. They’re “Keepin It Old Style” because that’s what they’ve been taught, adding a new chapter in the singing books. No, it’s not the last chapter or even claiming to be the best, but just something all their own.

Holly McNarland


Holly McNarland is a singer-songwriter with the unique whisper-to-a-scream voice.  She first burst on the music scene with her 1995 independent EP, Sour Pie, and 1997 major label debut, Stuff, which was certified platinum. She won a Juno for Best New Solo Artist in 1998, and toured all across North America, performing for thousands. Holly has not only received a JUNO Award, but has gold and platinum albums under her belt!

Outside of her pop-rock career, Holly also acknowledged and embraced her Metis roots, performing at some of Canada’s most important Aboriginal events, such as headlining the 2004 National Aboriginal Achievement Awards in Calgary, and being highlighted, alongside Buffy Sainte-Marie, at the 2008 Celebration of Aboriginal Canadian Women. Now, between parenting, Holly writes her own songs and songs for other artists, whenever the mood strikes, triggered by things around her – people, places, film and other media.

Lucie Idlout


Lucie Idlout (pronounced Id-lowt) is a vibrant and talented singer songwriter with a very promising future. She lived much of her early life in the High Arctic on North Baffin Island, Northwest Territories as it was known at the time, now Nunavut. Of Inuit heritage, Lucie has obvious ties to the culture of the North and the struggles that come with its unique geography. As a singer/songwriter she draws the listener in with the strength of her voice and the power of her words. Her songs cut through the surface and heads straight into that place only true artists can touch.

Lucie Idlout has opened for acts/artists such as The White Stripes and the legendary and highly respected Buffy Sainte-Marie. She has performed at Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary celebrations, venues all over Europe and festivals including Northern Scene Festival, the Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Northern Lights Festival and The Great Northern Arts Festival, the Tilburg Festival in the Netherlands and the Ravenna Festival in Italy.

Joanne Shenandoah


Joanne Shenandoah, GRAMMY Award winner, is one of America’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed musicians. Her music focuses on a blend of contemporary folk and traditional music. Shenandoah has recorded in her Iroquois tongue as well as performed ancestrally inspired music, performed with a full symphony as well as her own original compositions. She has great flexibility to write and perform folk, pop country and new age music.

Shenandoah has performed at prestigious events/venues such as: The Vatican, The White House, Carnegie Hall, 5 Presidential Inaugurations, Hummingbird Centre, Toronto Skydome, Woodstock ’94 and many more. She has also collaborated and/or performed with Pete Seeger, Bruce Cockburn, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Rita Coolidge and scores of other renowned musicians. She has captured hearts of audiences all over the world and has received tremendous praise for her work to promote universal peace.

Murray Porter


Murray Porter is Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in southern Ontario. Through his blues he tells the Aboriginal side of history with a mixture of country, blues and humour. Murray is a self-taught, singer, songwriter and piano player, who’s spent the last 30 years playing the blues throughout the world, spreading his unique style of foot-stomping, hand clapping, rockin’ blues piano! He has been compared to the likes of Dr. John, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Elton John and Delbert McClinton.

Now living in North Vancouver, British Columbia, his latest CD ‘Songs Lived & Life Played’, was released to rave reviews on September 26, 2011. In 2012, Murray won a 2012 JUNO Award for `Aboriginal Album of the Year’. He was a 2005 JUNO nominee for ‘Full Circle’ with his former group THE PAPPY JOHNS BAND, and Canadian Aboriginal Music Award winner for ‘Best Blues’. Murray has shared the stage with hundreds of Artists including B.B. King, the late Etta James, The Neville Brothers, Tom Cochrane, Burton Cummings, Marcia Ball, Pura Fe, Derek Miller, Keith Secola and The Funk Brothers (twice).

Andy Mason Band


Andy W. Mason is an Upper Cayuga Mohawk singer songwriter with over 20 years of experience on stage as a solo musician, bandleader, back-up musician, session player and actor. His primary instrument is the guitar, but he also plays mandolin, harmonica, drums/percussion and bass. Andy Mason has played as a solo artist as well as in many different bands. In 2008 Andy’s solo album, “Long Walk 49,” received 5 Native-E Music Awards nominations and won ‘Mainstream Song of the Year’ for his song, “Battle Raging.”

Andy currently leads The Andy Mason Band with band members David Finkle, Sean Harris, Ken MacNeill, Pierre Lemire which was originally formed in 2011, to play for the Aboriginal Day Celebration, at the Aboriginal’s Got Talent showcase.They play mostly original music, songs written by Andy Mason, as well as songs or co-writes by Ken MacNeill and David Finkle, members of the band. The Andy Mason Band original songs and cover songs are influenced by a wide genre; blues, rock, folk, country-rock, r&b-sounding stuff, even bluegrass. The band is quite versatile; and each musician in the band is a veteran of the stage and the music industry.

Janet Panic


“Artist Janet Panic writes beautifully crafted songs, from clever finger picking guitar melodies to cheeky turn of phrase. In the past 2 years her captivating solo/band performances have been seen on 4 telecasts on 3 different National networks: Global, CTV and APTN.  Her music has attracted the attention of names such as Bruce Allen, Daniel Lanois and Ani DiFranco all the while expanding a dedicated fan base nationwide. Produced by Jeff Dawson (Dan Powter, Kelly Rowland, The Dudes, State Of Shock). Ms. Panic’s new single, “Sweet Music” is the latest addition to her delectable music storytelling. Call her music “essential pop”. This B.C. based singer/songwriter has been casting her spell over an ever-expanding fan base on the strength of her great songs. She was nominated for a 2011 Canadian Folk Music Award and for an Aboriginal People’s Choice Award in 2011 and 2012.  A polished and engaging performer, Ms. Panic is earthy and unpretentious – drawing you onto her stage with raw charisma. But at the end of the day, the thing you will remember is the songs – and her name. (And yes, that’s her real name!)


J-rez 2_size1Explosive, Strong and In-depth is one way to describe the lyrical delivery of J-Rez.

After releasing the much anticipated “Mini-Van Music’ mix tape J-Rez has gained much recognition and respect from the communities he serves. Influenced by lyrics that leave an imprint on the soul, J-Rez became inspired to put pen to paper at a young age as a way to express his world and the world around him. The once timid, soft-spoken youth combined this ability with music and has matured into a full-blown musical powerhouse with an explosive stage presence – and belief that everyone has a unique gift to offer. J-Rez is currently involved in a Diabetes Awareness Initiative called “Reztore Pride” He has a song called “It ain’t Easy” which addresses the issue of diabetes in the native community. The song is due to be released on the second Reztore Pride album.

Aboriginal Experiences presents “Nanabush & the Ducks”


Don’t miss this highly interactive, entertaining and endearing puppet production based on the popular legend “Nanabush & the Ducks” on the Main Stage (see Main Stage schedule). Keep an eye out around the festival for some of the popular puppets, the ducks, Kookum (Grandma), wolf & of course Trickster!

Kehewin Native Performance – Stories from Mother Earth

Kehewin Native Dance1_size1Stories from Mother Earth, brings different stories about our Mother Earth to life with mask, movement and dancers. Kehewin Native Dance Theatre is Canada’s most celebrated Native Dance company. For 21 years, Kehewein has entertained and dazzled audiences of every culture and age with champion dancers world renowned storytellers. Creation stories, trickster stories and stories from Healing come alive with the vibrance and passion that comes celebrating age old traditions.

Rag and Bone Puppet Theatre –  A Promise is A Promise

Allashua Rag and Bone_size1Sure to be a family favourite.  Rag and Bone Puppet Theatre will delight your sense with this production that based on  a Inuit story shared between the world famous children’s author, Robert Munsch and Inuit storyteller Michael Kusugak “A Promise is A Promise”.  This is story is based on a Inuit story that parents and grandparents tell their children to keep their children from getting hurt by telling stories monsters , the Qallupilluit, that live under the ice and would often pull children down into the freezing waters. Meet Allashua, who lives in the town, and the Qallupilluit who live under the sea ice. Rag and Bone specialize in puppetry theatre, storytelling and music for schools and families.

Jaime and the Jiglets

Jaime and the Jiglets1_size1Jaime and her three children have been dancing together as a group for two years. Originally from Lac La Biche, Alberta, Jaime has lived in Ottawa since 2000. Jaime has performed and competed locally, nationally and internationally for about seven years and was a member of the group, Jig on the Fly. Twins, Hunter and Riley were born in 2002 and Jacob in 2003. In the summer of 2010, the children competed at Batoche, Saskatchewan for the first time. The goal of the group is to teach people about the Metis culture in a fun, informative and interactive way. They aim to pass on the knowledge and joy of the dance to all generations through the next generation.

Jig On the Fly Reunion

jigonthefly_size1A long overdue reunion of the talented trio Jig on the Fly!  These three talented dancers were all originally from the Western part of Canada.  The trio consist of Jaime Koebel, a Metis woman originating from Lac La Biche, Alberta; . Pauline Huppie-Parsons is a Metis woman originally from Bonneyville, Alberta and Daryle Gardipy originates from Duck Lake, Saskatchewan.  Jig on the Fly is a Metis dance group that was based in Ottawa before Pauline moved out east.  During their years together, the  group performed at many events events such as the Nation’s Capital “Winterlude”, National Aboriginal Day and  Expo 2000 in Hanover Germany and high profile venues like the  Canadian Museum of Civilization, Black Creek Pioneer Village, and at various Government Departments, British High Commission.

Siqiniup Qilauta (Sunsdrum)

Sunsdrum_size1 Siqiniup Qilauta (Sunsdrum) presents Inuit cultural performances that include throat singing, drum dancing and singing traditional Inuit songs (ayaya). This talented group of youth have been actively performing since 2001, to both national and international audiences including Prince Charles and the Prime Minister. Members of the group have traveled the globe to Mexico, Greenland, Germany and more to share this unique performance. The groups dedication to preservation and education on Inuit culture has been praised the world over.

Aboriginal Experiences presents “Medicine Beats” Preview

Rise Ashen and Flying  Down Thunder 2

An exciting collaboration between the professional traditional dance artists from Aboriginal Experiences, urban/ hip hop dancer artists, Dirty D and musical score by Rise Ashen and Flying Down Thunder, resulting in a new touring dance productions that will resonate strongly with children and youth. “Medicine Beats” will help engage, inform and encourage greater understanding and respect between urban Aboriginal youth and their peers.

Flying Down Thunder_size1Juno Nominated Kevin Chief (a.k.a. Flying Down Thunder) delivers a new and unique sound, sharing Algonquin language and chanting through Indigenous and urban electronic music. Honouring Aboriginal culture through collaborative composition, this new sound is a fusion of the traditional Pow-wow sounds of Flying Down Thunder’s Algonquin heritage with futuristic dancefloor beats. Spanning deep house, afro, nu jazz, breaks, neo-disco to hip hop, breakbeat and beyond, the sonic architecture is like nothing you have heard.

Dirty D_size1Dirty D studies the art form of b-boying which is the original dance of the hip hop movement. A hip hop practitioner, student of life and environmental and indigenous rights activist. Rise Ashen and Flying Down Thunder deliver a new and unique sound, sharing Algonquin language and chanting through a hybrid of Aboriginal and Urban music. Their performance “Cypher Medicine” will represent the circle or cypher, where everyone shares with each other. 2012

Doreen Stevens

doreenstevens_size1An Anishinaabe of the Kitigan Zibi, Quebec, is an Actor, singer and visual artist.  Doreen Stevens will be creating an original title mosaic depicting the wampum belts, the original Algonquin treaty agreements. Doreen completed a large mosaic at the Toronto Zoo which depicted the Algonkian Creation Story and its importantance to Anishnaabe people incorporating the four elements , original spirit being Mishi Pishoo (Great Water Lynx) and the importance of water (the lifeblood of Mother Earth)