Talking Stick Festival 2018


February, 2018

The 2018 Talking Stick Festival is on right now, until February 25, 2018 at various venues in Metro Vancouver.

The Festival features traditional and contemporary Indigenous visual arts, films, theatre, dance and music. Drawing meaning from the salmon’s journey to their spawning grounds, the theme for this year’s Talking Stick Festival is Scháyilhen (S-ch-eye-yay-lh-un), which translates to “Salmon Going Up River”;  speaking to the journey the community is taking towards embracing and celebrating Indigenous art forms and practices.

Here are a couple of events we’re excited about – check out the full program guide to see all of the events!


Twelve Indigenous artists have been gathered to address the notion of “Salmon Going Up River”. Within a climate of reconciliation, the metaphor of “Salmon Going Up River” speaks about remembering, of going home—it’s about the future and of survival.

DATES & TIMES: Feb 14 – 24, 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
LOCATION: Roundhouse Exhibition Hall (181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC)


Reel Reservations has some of the most exciting films screening in Western Canada, with an amazing line-up of up from veteran and emerging Indigenous filmmakers.

Red Carpet Gala Opening & Reception:

  • C̓ƏSNAʔƏM: THE CITY BEFORE THE CITY – In late 2011, the Musqueam First Nation learned that a 108-unit condo development was planned at one of their ancestral village sites dating back over 4,000 years, and that ancestral remains were unearthed during an archaeological “investigation”. In response, the Musqueam community held a round-the–clock vigil at the site for over 200 days at the site commonly known as Eburne Midden-while Musqueam, the City of Vancouver, the BC provincial government and the condo developers struggled to find resolution. This is their story (75 mins)
  • NO RESERVATIONS – Social commentary inspired by true-life events, giving a hypothetical look at what life would be like if the roles in Standing Rock were reversed. Protests erupt as an upper-middle class Caucasian neighborhood attempts to thwart the construction of a pipeline from an Indigenous Corporation. Starring Lorne Cardinal as Joseph Stillwater, No Reservations aims to provide an alternative point of view of the political threads that have become so tense after the events in North Dakota. Bravely challenging its viewer from the perspective of both First Nations and Caucasian. (11 mins)
  • REEL INDIGENUITY! – Reel IndiGenuity! Is a Mentorship Program which pairs Indigenous youth with established filmmakers to create short films capturing both image and sound using only an iPhone and Snapchat. Made over a 2-3 day period during the height of the festival, these new and innovative short films (1-2 minutes in length) promise to be exciting, dynamic, surprising, and innovative!

DATE & TIME: FEB 22, 2018 @ 7:00 PM (Q&A to follow screening)
LOCATION: Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC)


Fun for the whole family. Enjoy a brilliant display of traditional and contemporary dance exhibitions from across Turtle Island featuring dancers of all ages. Join in on the inter-tribal dances. Features a variety of vendor exhibits including arts, crafts, music, and food.

DATE & TIME: FEB 24 @ 12:00 – 5:00 PM
LOCATION: Roundhouse Gymnasium (181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC)


Salmon Girl explores the worlds of water and salmon through theatre, dance, music and puppetry. This visually stunning piece follows the journey of a young girl into this magical world that shares an Indigenous perspective on the importance of Salmon. Suitable for family audience’s ages 6+.

DATES & TIMES: FEB 20–23 @ 10:00 AM & 1:00 PM FEB 24 @ 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Vancity Culture Lab The Vancity Culture Lab @ The Cultch (1895 Venables St, Vancouver, BC)


One of our most beloved events is back! Molly Bellows (Metis) pulls together a slam dunkin’ evening in honour of “East Van ghetto poet” Zaccheus Jackson (Blackfoot), the original curator of this event. Be prepared for a selection of this country’s best independent musicians and slam poets going head to head!

DATE & TIME: FEB 23 @ 8:00 PM
LOCATION: Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive, BC)

Share This