The Drum is Calling Festival celebrates Indigenous culture

To commemorate the Canada 150th anniversary, the City of Vancouver, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Wauthuth First Nations will launch The Drum is Calling Festival. People who come to the nine-day festival can experience Indigenous culture, art and food.

Making appearances at the festival are Buffy Sainte-Marie, PowWowStep creator DJ Shub, Chantel Kreviazuk, Literary giant Tomson Highway, and spoken word poet Shane Koyczan.

The artistic and cultural program will be in sync with the theme of each day, starting with Three-Host Nation Day. Then, it will be Our Elders Day, Matriarch Day, Seven Generations - Youth Day, Warriors Day, Friendship Day, Gathering Our Relations Day, Transformation Day. The last day will be Intertribal In Action Day.

People can take part in workshops and live programming inside the Indigenous housing forms located on Turtle Island. The Indigenous Fashion Week will feature emerging artists of Indigenous fashion design and modelling. While Having Soup is an installation in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous Vancouverites can have a “three-course” dialogue about charged issues during Canada 150+.

Also taking place are carving and weaving workshops, play readings, curated short films by the National Film Board, From Oral to Written, which is presented in partnership with the Vancouver Writers Fest. People can also watch exhibition games and a basketball tournament in nearby streets. Sal Ferraras, renowned percussionist and cultural collaborator, will lead the intercultural drumming event.

The festival will take place at Larwill Park, Queen Elizabeth Lobby, Vancouver Playhouse Theatre and Vancouver Public Library. Events are free, but some indoor venues may require advanced registration. The festival runs from July 22 to 30.

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