Coastal Dance Festival 2020 Celebrates the Future of Indigenous Culture

Coastal Dance Festival Celebrates Future of Indigenous Culture

with Spotlight on Youth and Emerging Artists

Program highlights intergenerational exchange and international cultural sharing
with visiting artists from New Zealand and expansion to two venues

Dancers of Damelahamid is proud to announce the vibrantly forward-looking 13th annual Coastal Dance Festival, a celebration of Canadian and global Indigenous stories, song, and dance, February 25–March 1, 2020 at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster and at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC (MOA), where school performances will be performed in the Great Hall. Program highlights in 2020 include the festival debut of Arctic Song, a collective of Inuit musicians from across Canada’s Arctic, and youth workshops between the New Zealand-based Tuakana and Teina Leadership Academy Group, and two BC-based groups Ewk Hyaha Hozdii (Wet’suwet’en) and Yisya’winuxw(Kwakwaka’wakw).

“We’re thrilled to expand our 2020 edition to two venues that have become home to the Coastal Dance Festival,” says Margaret Grenier, Festival Executive & Artistic Director. “We found such engaged new audiences at the Anvil Centre last year and it was a joy to present our innovative, ancestral performances within the state-of-the-art space. We’re also honoured to perform for student audiences once again in MOA’s Great Hall, which will bring together the energy of local and international youth groups in a setting full of iconic Indigenous artworks. Looking to the future of Indigenous culture and the transference of knowledge forward through the generations, I can think of no better way to bridge communities in the Northwest Coast and beyond than through our 2020 program.”

This year’s festival welcomes 14 Indigenous performance groups from throughout British Columbia, Alaska, the Yukon, and Nunavut as well as international guest artists from as far away as New Zealand. New and not-to-be-missed this year: the emerging talents of Arctic Song, who revitalize Inuit drum songs through pairings with contemporary dance; and the Vancouver debut of New Zealand’s Tuakana and Teina Leadership Academy Group (TNT), a talented company of artists aged 5 to 18, who focus on cultivating leadership abilities through shared learnings. TNT will participate in workshops alongside Ewk Hyaha Hozdii and Yisya’winuxw from Alert Bay, BC.

Other highlights include the return of several festival favourites: Chinook Song Catchers, with 10 cultural presenters performing a Squamish Welcome Song, Killer Whale Song, Owl Song, and more; the Squamish-based dance company Spakwus Slolem, with works representative of their canoe culture; performances by Git Hayetsk and Git Hoan, groups with long-standing connections to Dancers of Damelahamid; the multigenerational Coast Salish Tsatsu Stalquayu (Coastal Wolf Pack); and the Haida company Rainbow Creek Dancers, featuring renowned artists Robert Davidson and Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson. The mother and daughter team of Chesha7 iy lha mens will return alongside the award-winning Inland Tlingit Dakhká Khwáan Dancers and the Nisga’a Kwhlii Gibaykw.

Dancers of Damelahamid proudly acknowledge the festival takes place on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Qayqayt and Musqueam peoples.

The 2020 Coastal Dance Festival is comprised of three performances, located at two venues:
SCHOOL GROUP PERFORMANCES | Weekday sessions introducing K-12 students to the rich history and traditions of First Nations dance, performance, and storytelling

Museum of Anthropology at UBC
Tuesday, February 25 at 10:30am and 1pm 
Chesha7 iy lha mens – Squamish
Tuakana and Teina Leadership Academy Group – Māori
Dancers of Damelahamid
Anvil Centre
Wednesday, February 26 at 10:30am
Ewk Hyaha Hozdii – Wet’suwet’en
Tuakana and Teina Leadership Academy Group – Māori
Dancers of Damelahamid
Thursday, February 27 at 1pm 
Ewk Hyaha Hozdii – Wet’suwet’en
Tuakana and Teina Leadership Academy Group – Māori
Dancers of Damelahamid


Anvil Centre
Friday, February 28 at 7:30pm, doors open at 7pm
Spakwus SlolemSquamish
Dancers of Damelahamid 
Arctic Song – Inuit
Rainbow Creek – Haida

FESTIVAL STAGE PERFORMANCES | Presentations from visiting performers offered by donation

Anvil Centre
Saturday, February 29 
Program 1 at 1pm: 
Tsatsu Stalquayu – Musqueam
Dakhká Khwáan – Inland TlingitProgram 2 at 2pm: 
Yisya’winuxw – Kwakwaka’wakw
Tuakana and Teina Leadership Academy Group – Māori

Program 3 at 3pm:
Git Hoan – Tsimshian

Sunday, March 1
Program 1 at 1pm: 
Kwhlii Gibaykw – Nisga’a
Dakhká Khwáan – Inland Tlingit Program 2 at 2pm: 
Arctic Song – Inuit
Git Hayetsk – Nisga’a/TsimshianProgram 3 at 3pm:
Chinook Song Catchers – Squamish

Tickets from $25. For more information visit:

About Dancers of Damelahamid (
Dancers of Damelahamid is an Indigenous dance company from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. The company is founded upon over five decades of extensive work of song restoration. It is the current directive of the Dancers of Damelahamid to redefine their contemporary practice and to honour this history in order that the dances may continue to be tangible and accessible for the next generation. The company has produced the Coastal Dance Festival annually since 2008, presenting Indigenous dance artists from the BC coast, with guest national and international artists. The festival’s predecessor, Haw Yaw Hawni Naw, was produced in Prince Rupert, BC, from 1966–1986.

LISTING INFORMATION Dancers of Damelahamid presents
13th Annual Coastal Dance Festival
Dates: February 25–March 1, 2020
Ticket Prices:
School Group Performances | MOA
February 25, 10:30am + 1pmSchool Group Performances | Anvil Centre
February 26, 10:30am
February 27, 1pmSignature Evening Performance | Anvil Centre
February 28, 7:30pmFestival Stage Performances | Anvil Centre
February 29, 1–4pm
March 1, 1–4pm
Pre-booking required, call 604-521-5050$30 for Adults; $25 for Students/Seniors

By donation

Address: Anvil Centre
777 Columbia Street
New Westminster, BC  V3M 1B6Museum of Anthropology
University of British Columbia
6393 NW Marine Drive
Vancouver BC  V6T 1Z2

Media release and image provided by Ines Min, Murray Paterson Marketing Group. Coastal Dance Festival. Photo by Carlos Castillo.

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