Thursday June 23, 2016
On June 23rd, 2016, we gathered in Paintbox Bistro to celebrate the closing of another season of Indigenous performing arts. With your help, we seek to bring focus to Indigenous stories and shape the future of performing arts in our community, our country, and around the world.
This engaging evening featured a unique excerpt of The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway, read in Cree by the incredible talents of Gail Maurice and Rosary Spence. Some of those who joined us for Shift the Focus, Shape the Future walked away with some of the most sought-after items from around the city in our eclectic silent auction and 50-50 raffle. Closing out the night, Artistic Director Ryan Cunningham announced our exciting 2016-2017 season line-up!
MEET THE ARTISTS
Gail is an actor and independent filmmaker. She grew up in a Métis village in Northern Saskatchewan. She speaks her language Cree/Michif fluently. Gail is passionate about telling Indigenous stories both in front and behind the camera. She’s currently working on a feature documentary about her 101 year old grandmother, titled “Nokum, the world through my grandmother’s 100 year old eyes”. She plans on incorporating animation with live-action to bring her grandmother’s stories to life. She also hopes to shoot her feature film, “Blood Lines” soon. Her short film, ASSINI, recently had its world premiere at the imagineNATIVE film and media arts festival. More About Gail
Originally from the coastal Cree community of Fort Albany First Nation, off the coast of James Bay, Rosary Spence is a well-recognized Indigenous singer, steeped in time-honoured Aboriginal rhythms and styles. As an actor, Spence has performed with Jumblies Theatre Company in Like An Old Tale (2011) and Nigamo (2012, 2014), in Native Earth Performing Arts 26th Weesageechak Festival (2013), Treaty 9 by Falen Johnson (2014), and in television series Paranormal Witness: Season 4 (2014). Spence has also added the title of playwright in her repertoire of skills and abilities with N’Mooshum Ayamehewin, a play dedicated to her late grandfather, Frederik Spence, debuted in the Animikiig program during Native Earth Performing Arts 24th Weesageechak Festival in 2011. In 2012, Spence collaborated with South-Asian writer and story-teller Sharada K. Eswar in When the Fish Met the Turtle which was showcased during the 25th Annual Weesageechak Begins To Dance Festival (2013). More About Rosary
Catering by Paintbox Bistro, redefining the Toronto food landscape- not only with delicious cuisine, but a strong social mandate.