The Spirit Horse Returns: A Fun Afternoon of Artmaking with Rhonda Snow

Three children look at an artwork with a dark background, sun, and depictions of horses.
© Photo: Curtis Perry
Rhonda Snow is joined by musicians on stage with her artwork in-hand.
© Photo: Curtis Perry

The NAC’s Canal Lobby was a creative playground for audience members of all ages on February 11, preceding the NAC Orchestra and NAC Indigenous Theatre’s sold-out performance of The Spirit Horse Returns. Anishinaabe artist and Ojibwe horse breed expert Rhonda Snow delighted patrons with crafts she designed to teach them about Indigenous culture and Ojibwe horses to enrich their experience of the performance.  

Families made their own coloring books with doodles featuring the Spirit Pony, learned about wildlife items that they could look at and touch, created wooden beaded pendants, and much more. 

Rhonda Snow, whose tireless work preserving the Ojibwe horse breed inspired The Spirit Horse Returns, visited the interactive activity stations and chatted with guests. Her beautiful artwork, featured in the performance, was exhibited throughout the Canal Lobby. 

After an hour of exploration, learning and creativity, patrons were filled with new understanding about the magnificent “small horses of the deep woods” that are the only known Indigenous breed of horse to Canada. They would encounter these rare and endangered creatures again on the large NACOtron screen during the 75-minute concert.   Filled with orchestral music, delightful songs and traditional teachings, it provided young audiences with an inspiring and an age-appropriate exploration of truth and reconciliation. 

The performance was a huge success. One social media user wrote, “That was phenomenal! The Spirit Horse…left me in tears. Compelling storytelling and majestic Indigenous artwork by Rhonda Snow.”  

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