Four Nations: Indigenous Performance Showcase

Black Arm Band, photo courtesy of the company

Tuesday, September 1, 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

SFU Goldcorp’s Wong Experimental Theatre

149 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1H4

For Indigenous people around the world, performance continues to be a core component of cultural transmission, identity, and heritage. For the eleven professional artists and companies performing in the Indigenous Showcase, performance is an artistic extension of who they are and where they come from.

Join us for an evening of diverse, distinctive, and powerful performance including contemporary dance, music theatre, “Inuit soul,” performance art, theatre, Aboriginal roots music, traditional music, and more.

There’s a great big world of high-quality Indigenous performance ready to tour to communities across North America. Let’s find new opportunities to present Indigenous artists that excite audiences and engage your communities. It starts here.

Thanks to a grant from the City of Vancouver, WAA is providing continuous shuttling for all showcases. From 6:30 – 11:30 pm on Tuesday, shuttles will loop continuously between WAA’s hotels and showcase venues.

The Indigenous Performance Showcase is made possible by grants from the BC Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and in partnership with Full Circle: First Nations Performance, the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative New Zealand, and the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation.

Sponsored by:

Performance Schedule

Artists Showcase Time
Horomona Horo 7:00 pm
Leela Gilday 7:20 pm
Wayne Lavallee 7:40 pm
Emily Johnson / Catalyst 8:00 pm
Pamyua 8:20 pm
Djuki Mala 8:40 pm
Black Arm Band 9:10 pm
ILBIJERRI Theatre - Jack Charles v The Crown 9:45 pm
Native Earth Performing Arts - Huff 10:05 pm
Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole 10:25 pm
Red Sky Performance - Backbone 10:45 pm


Featured Artists

Horomona Horo

Represented by Koru Artists / Four Nations Exhibit - Creative New Zealand
Exhibit # 203

Composer, practitioner and cross genre collaborator, Horomona Horo is a master of the traditional instruments of the Maori, taonga puoro (singing treasures). Playing the instruments and composing within their unique indigenous, cultural and musical context - over the past decade he has led the exploration of the instruments from a Maori perspective within a diverse range of cultural and musical forms. Horomona’s recent touring includes the Konvergencie Festival in Slovakia, WOMAD NZ, Sydney Opera House, Celtic Connections Scotland, and WWI commemorations in Turkey.

Leela Gilday

Represented by Magnum Opus Management
Exhibit # 618

TA passionate singer/songwriter and soulful performer, Leela Gilday has a voice that comes straight from the heart. Confessing her stories to her audiences with a gutsy voice and open stage presence, Gilday weaves her experiences as a northerner, a member of the Dene nation, and a traveler into a beautiful world that transports the listener. With four full-length recordings and a long touring history, Gilday has numerous awards to her credit, including a Juno, two Western Canadian Music Awards, Aboriginal Female Entertainer of the Year to name a few.


Wayne Lavallee

Self-represented / Four Nations Exhibit – Canada Council​
Exhibit # 205

Wayne Lavallee is an award winning recording artist, singer/songwriter and producer from the Metis Nation. The fusion of Wayne’s “Rock n’ roll Indian cowboy” sound with stylized Native chanting makes this West Coast performer a unique and innovative artist. His unique vocals and aggressive acoustic sound evokes pure emotion. Accolades include two Juno nominations, Canadian Folk Music Awards’ best Aboriginal singer/songwriter (2006), and multiple Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. Lavallee’s latest album, Trail of Tears (2010), was released on the French label DixieFrog.


Emily Johnson / Catalyst

Represented by Meredith Boggia / Four Nations Exhibit - US
Exhibit # 209

Emily Johnson, originally from Alaska, is of Yup’ik descent and since 1998 has created body-based work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance with a rotating ensemble of collaborators and artists, 'Catalyst'. Her works function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment—interacting with a place's architecture, history, and role in community. Her current work, SHORE is equal parts feast, volunteerism, story, and performance, and has premiered in Minneapolis and toured to New York City, San Francisco, Homer (AK) and will tour to Seattle this October. 



Self-Represented by Phillip Blanchett / Four Nations Exhibit – US​
Exhibit # 209

Pamyua brings Inuit music and dance to the world. Pamyua (pronounced: bum yo-ah) is an Inuit word that describes the conclusion of a Yup’ik dance. Their performance derives from Inuit traditional melodies reinterpreted with contemporary vocalization and instrumentation…call it “tribal funk” or “Inuit Soul.” In 2003, Pamyua won a Native American Music Award (Nammy) for Record of the Year for their album Caught in the Act. Their music is featured in the films Christmas in the Clouds, Dear Lemon Lima and in the Discovery television series Flying Wild Alaska. 


Djuki Mala 

US Representation: Elsie Management Exhibit # 506
Canadian Representation: Kids Entertainment Exhibit # 615


Direct from North East Arnhem Land, Indigenous dance and YouTube sensations Djuki Mala tell their story in a high-energy, one-hour show. Unique, infectious, always exuberant, Djuki Mala fuse traditional Yolngu and contemporary pop culture, dance and storytelling to create work that is a marvel of timing, comedy and clowning. Their appearances have electrified audiences at major festivals and events worldwide with multiple award nominations and wins alongside huge media interest. Djuki Mala’s performances offer a rare and insightful view into Aboriginal Australia.


Black Arm Band

Represented by Koru Artists / Four Nations Exhibit – Australia Council for the Arts
Exhibit # 207

“an uplifting experience that said more about black and white solidarity than a million parliamentary speeches” Black Arm Band is one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, widely acclaimed for distinctive music theatre performances, celebration of indigenous music, culture & language and uniquely powerful visual imagery. Our musical tradition and presentation is forged from over 40 000 years of living culture, infused with contemporary styles that have been adopted as their own by First Nations Australia. We’re a flexible ensemble of highly skilled blackfella & whitefella musicians and artistic technicians who represent the apogee of Australian music.​


ILBIJERRI Theatre - Jack Charles v The Crown

US Representation Elsie Management
Exhibit # 506

Find the company at the Four Nations Exhibit – Australia Council for the Arts
Exhibit # 207

Aboriginal Elder. Actor. Addict. Residential School Survivor. Burglar. Jack Charles is a living legend. This highly entertaining and autobiographical work runs the gamut of a life lived to its utmost. Charles’ unswerving optimism transforms this tale of addiction, crime and doing time into a kind of vagabond’s progress – a map of the traps of dispossession and a guide to reaching the age of grey-haired wisdom. This one-man show is a celebration of one of Australia’s near forgotten treasures brought to us by ILBIJERRI – Australia’s leading Indigenous theatre company.


Native Earth Performing Arts - Huff

Self-Represented / Four Nations Exhibit – Canada Council for the Arts
Exhibit # 205

Video games meet’s Trickster in Huff as Cliff Cardinal conjures a theatrical storm. His one-man tour-de-force is a heart-wrenching yet darkly comic journey into a First Nations ‘Heart of Darkness’ in a land called Ontario. Huff will begin a three-month national tour in January 2016 with International tours in the 2016-17 season. Native Earth Performing Arts is Canada’s oldest professional Indigenous theatre company. Currently in our 32nd year, we are dedicated to creating, developing and producing professional artistic expressions of the Indigenous experience in Canada.


Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole​

Represented by Pasifika Artists Network
Exhibit # 403

“[She] vaulted through various registers…from bass to witchy contralto rasp to sweet soprano…a traditionalist tour de force.” –NY Times

A remarkable and riveting performer, Kaumakaiwa Kanaka‘ole has been on the stage since she could walk. A multi-award winner, first Hawaiian performer at New York’s globalFEST, she shares her immense talent as singer, chanter, and dancer as well as a deep understanding of her culture and her place as a modern transgender Hawaiian. Her music captivates with a powerful mix of ancient chant tradition, modern melodies, and original verse.


Red Sky - Backbone

Represented by Holden & Arts Associates
Exhibit # 900

BACKBONE is a new dance creation inspired by the 'spine' of the Americas, a continuous sequence of mountain ranges spanning North, Central, and South America, as well as Antarctica. Backbone combines live music and contemporary Indigenous dance with athleticism to express their power, formation and spirit. Red Sky Performance is one of Canada's leading companies of contemporary Indigenous dance, theatre and music. Founded by artistic director Sandra Laronde in 2000, the award-winning Red Sky has toured extensively across Canada and around the globe.