Public Energy and O'Kaadenigan Wiingashk bring the third annual Ode'min Giizis (The Strawberry Moon Festival)—see promo video above—to Peterborough's downtown and Del Crary Park from June 16 to 21, with more than 200 Indigenous artists participating.
The city of Peterborough lies on the traditionally lands of the Anishinaabe. These lands have been long known as a meeting place among the rapids where ideas and knowledge were exchanged. Hence, it’s the perfect home base for a cultural festival like Ode'min Giizis.
The festival takes its name from the sweet and generous strawberry, which is harvested at this time of year. It is said to also represent the human heart. As well, the festival falls on the longest day of the year: the summer solstice.
Ode'min Giizis is a diverse six-day festival of indigenous art which marks the beginning of summer. The festival takes its shape via a selection of multi-disciplinary arts spread out across multiple venues (Historic Red Dog, Artspace, The Art Gallery of Peterborough, Gordon Best Theatre, Kubo Lounge and Confederation Park, to name a few) in the downtown area. Featured is a cross section of disciplines, including visual art, dance, film, storytelling, music and theatre.
Opening ceremonies on Wednesday, June 16th, kick off with a traditional gathering and Powwow at Del Crary Park. One of the featured performers there will be Mihirangi, otherwise known as the “Queen of Loops”. Singing in both Maori and English, Mihirangi blends sultry jazz, ska and rap with her incredible vocal range. Mihirangi’s music has taken her around the world, and that experience, and energy, will be ours to witness during this festival.
Among the other artists taking part include the likes of musician Lester Alfonso, artist Jason Baerg, musician Samantha Crain and local musical personality Sean Conway.
On the Saturday night (June 19th), the stars come out to Del Crary for a night of music and dance. Featured performers include local musician Missy Knott and world renowned throat singer Tanya Tagaq.
The event comes to an end with a wonderful Powwow on June 21st at Del Crary Park. This gathering takes the form of a procession which makes its way from City Hall down George Street to Del Crary Park for more music and festivities. The parade will feature many dancers, large puppets and music.
—Jeffrey Macklin, PtboCanada contributor
[If you are interested in volunteering for the festival, call 705.740.9189 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The festival headquarters are located at 400 Hunter St.]