Dreaming Roots

Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Whitehorse
  • Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer Alejandro Ronceria
  • Co-Artistic Director and Music Director Diyet van Lieshout

Building on What the Land Remembers, when Yukon First Nations artists shone on international stages at the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, Dreaming Roots is a multi-year legacy project that celebrates more than 50 Yukon First Nations artists drawn from across this vast northern territory.

Led by internationally acclaimed Indigenous artists, this multi-disciplinary, multimedia production includes new commissions in contemporary, traditional, and hybrid disciplines. Stories and performances from individual artists and groups will be woven together to explore multiple generations in Yukon First Nations communities.

The story’s artistic focus and themes are grounded in visioning and community consultations, and will illuminate what Yukon First Nations people want to tell and teach their communities – and the world – at this potent time of cultural reclamation and healing, calls for greater justice and inclusion, pandemic uncertainty, grief, and deep concern for the Earth and future generations from artists on the frontlines of our climate emergency.

Following the premiere in Whitehorse, Dreaming Roots will tour to both remote Yukon communities, and to national and international stages, resulting in lasting social development outcomes that promote ongoing artistic creation and development, health, cultural pride, language revitalization and economic opportunities for Yukon creators.

© Cathy Archibould
A group of Indigenous performers dance in regalia © Cathy Archibould

Company

The Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association (YFNCT) is a non-profit organization that is committed to growing and promoting vibrant and sustainable arts/culture and tourism sectors.

YFNCT offers creation, training, networking opportunities and co-operative marketing for First Nations artists, performers, cultural centres and tourism entrepreneurs in Yukon. YFNCT works closely with arts/culture, tourism and government organizations to maximize opportunities within the sectors.

YFNCT also presents the Adäka Cultural Festival – a world-class multi-disciplinary cultural festival held every summer at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre in Whitehorse.

Dreaming Roots is created in partnership with Gwaandak Theatre, the Yukon's only Indigenous-centered theatre company.  Gwaandak Theatre develops, produces and tours plays for both youth and adults.  Its programming also includes new play workshops, readings and training opportunities for Northern and Indigenous artists, as well as members of the public.

Creative team

  • Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer Alejandro Ronceria
  • Co-Artistic Director and Music Director Diyet van Lieshout
  • Producer Katie Johnson
  • Writer Nyla Carpentier
  • Dramaturgy and artist mentorships Patti Flather
  • Production Manager Kasey Rae Anderson
  • Lighting design and video projection David Sweeney
  • Sound design Jordy Walker
  • Set and props design Linda Leon
  • Costume Design Lea-Ann Dorval
  • Technical Director Katherine Kellner
  • Additional Choreography Michelle Olson
  • Additional Music Ruben Esquerra
  • Creator-Performers Lenita Alatini, Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, Dakwäkäda Dancers, Dena Zagi, Christine Genier, Erin Linklater, Kaska Drummers, Melissa Matheson Frost, Georgette McLeod, Victor Henry and Angie Joseph-Rear, Rising Sun Singers, Gary Sidney Johnson, Sean Smith, Teechik Dancers, Warren Strand, Vision Quest
  • Mentors & Cultural Supports Edz’iu, Gùdia Mary Jane Johnson, Louise Profeit-Leblanc, Sherryl Sewepagaham, Diane Strand

National Creation Fund investment

The National Creation Fund’s investment of $150,000 supports three creation gatherings with the artists and creative team, which will be dedicated to the integration of live performance, costumes and regalia, and sound, lighting and projection design.  In addition, the Fund’s investment will provide additional time for workshops and mentorship with individual artists and groups, and opportunities for the artists to work with translators and language coaches to include Indigenous languages properly and respectfully.  Following the premiere of the fully-staged production, additional time will also be dedicated to the development of a touring version that can travel to both rural communities and larger stages.

Credits

Dreaming Roots is supported by Global Affairs Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Lotteries Yukon and Makeway Foundation.

Developed with support from the National Arts Centre's National Creation Fund.

Performance dates

June 26 and 27, 2022:  World Premiere, Yukon Arts Centre (Whitehorse), presented as part of the Arctic Arts Summit.


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