Coastal First Nations Dance Festival Celebrates Indigenous Cultural Expressions

Coastal First Nations Dance Festival Continues Legacy of Traditional
Stories, Songs & Dances for Artists and Audiences 


New educational opportunities for youth and emerging artists 
nurture future generations at eighth annual festival



Dancers of Damelahamid in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA) present an unforgettable six-day celebration of the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast and beyond during the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival, March 3 to 8, 2015 in the spectacular Great Hall at MOA. This year, the ever-popular festival enhances its educational offerings through the introduction of a new Artist Talk, in addition to five school performances and professional development opportunities for dance artists. These occasions will run alongside its much-beloved – and frequently sold out – Signature Evening Presentations and daytime Festival Stage performances.

“Each year the festival serves as an important cultural bridge between First Nations and non-First Nations communities by providing opportunities for artists and audiences to witness living traditions,” says Artistic Director Margaret Grenier. “We are proud to play an important role in the development and sharing of Indigenous dance by increasing our commitment to educational programming for youth and emerging artists.”

In addition to these vital educational activities, diverse public performances will also be presented by internationally renowned artists from throughout British Columbia, Alaska, Yukon, and Washington. Special to this year’s festival will be a performance from Arizona-based artists – and sisters – Urseloria Kanuho and Nikollane Kanuho, an accomplished traditional pow wow group. Also welcomed back is sensational prairie hoop dancer Jesse McMann Sparvier from Calgary, Alberta, an emerging contemporary artist and choreographer with firm roots in the pow wow styles of the Blackfoot and Cree traditions.

New this year is the introduction of an Artist Talk with award-winning Haida artist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, co-founder of the Haida Gwaii Singers Society, Tuesday March 3 at 4pm at MOA’s Michael Ames Theatre. Drawing on her experiences as a traditional Haida singer, Terri-Lynn will enlighten youth and emerging artists in ways to strengthen their own traditional artistic practices.

The 2015 Festival consists of three primary components:                                                                               

  • Signature Evening Presentations – Ticketed gala events featuring headline performances from Dancers of Damelahamid and special guest artists.
  • Festival Stage Performances – Showcase presentations from visiting performers. The Festival Stage Performances take place on weekend afternoons and are included with regular admission to MOA.
  • School Group Performances – Weekday sessions introducing K-12 students to the rich history and traditions of First Nations dance, performance, and storytelling.

The 2015 Festival line-up hosts a range of returning audience favourites, as well as first-time festival performers, including: Eagle Song Dancers, Chinook Song Catchers, Rainbow Creek Dancers, Git Hoan, LeLaLa Dancers, Tsatsu Stalqayu Coast Wolf Pack, Kwhlii Gibaygum, Urban Kwakwaka’wakw, hoop dancer Jesse McMann Sparvier, pow wow dancers Urseloria Kanuho and Nikollane Kanuho, Jeanette Kotowich, and Dancers of Damelahamid.


About Dancers of Damelahamid (
Dancers of Damelahamid is a professional Aboriginal dance company from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. The Gitxsan, ‘people of the river of mists,’ are part of the coastal group of cultures that have the distinctive button blanket regalia. Their rich history of masked dance inspires a compelling performance, celebrating the diversity and time depth of the many beautiful Indigenous cultures across Canada. Through dramatic dance, captivating narrative, intricately carved masks and elaborate regalia the Dancers of Damelahamid transform time and space, and bridge the ancient with a living tradition. The Coastal First Nations Dance Festival is produced and presented annually by Dancers of Damelahamid.

LISTING INFORMATION Dancers of Damelahamid + UBC MOA present
Coastal First Nations Dance Festival
Date: March 3 to 8, 2015
School Group Performances: March 3 & 4 at 10am & 12:30pm
March 5 at 10am
Signature Evening Performances: March 6 & 7 at 7:30pm
Festival Stage: March 7 & 8 from 1 – 4pm
Ticket prices:
School Group Performances:
Included with MOA Admission
Signature Evening Ticket prices: $25 for Adults; $20 for Students/Seniors/MOA Members
Festival Stage Ticket prices: Included with MOA Admission. Admission to MOA is free during the day-time performances for persons of Aboriginal ancestry.
Address: Museum of Anthropology at UBC
6393 Northwest Marine Drive
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Box Office:

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