The Prince George Folkfest Society (Coldsnap) has partnered with the Immigration and Multicultural Services Society, Lheidli T’enneh Nation, Le Cercle des Canadiens Français (CCFPG), and the Prince George Métis Association to enhance existing events and create a signature event that celebrates culture, all under the banner Heatwave – Celebrate Cultures.
The event will be held June 21-23 with nightly musical performances connecting the music to the cultural festivities. All evening concerts will take place on the main stage in Canada Games Plaza.
“Prince George Folkfest Society is very proud to be a part of this vibrant and important festival to celebrate cultures,” said Sue Judge, executive director of the Prince George Folkfest Society. “Our artistic vision is to use music and musicians to bring the community together to celebrate Northern BC culture, and to promote understanding and communication between all cultures. We accomplish this at every Coldsnap festival and are now very excited to continue the vision through Heatwave.
“We are thrilled to announce that the Baker Twins will be emceeing this year’s National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrations at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park on June 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and at the Heatwave Celebrate Cultures at the Canada Games Plaza on June 22,” said Kym Gouchie, Arts and Culture Coordinator for Lheidli T’enneh. “Shannon and Shauna Baker are identical twins from the Stellat’en First Nation. They currently live in Los Angeles, California and are excited to be able to have this opportunity to come home and celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day with us. They are actresses, models and fitness enthusiasts. We are so excited to have them join us.”
Also joining the festivities on June 21 at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park will be Saltwater Hank, Doris Munger and the Old Fort Traditional Dancers, the Khast’an Drummers, Thundering Eagles, Tazzy Fraser, The Northern Outlaws, Ivan Paquette, The Vegabonds and many other talented Indigenous performers. In addition, there will be activities taking place throughout the park showcasing Indigenous artists including chainsaw carver Randy Gauthier and local carver Len Paquette will be onsite carving his totem pole. There will be children’s activities, food vendors, and arts and crafts vendors as well. There will be free workshops offered at the Pavilion which include learning about medicinal plants and medicines, beading, drumming and singing and learning some of the Dakelh language while listening to elder’s stories.
The Friday evening performances will begin at 7 p.m. at Canada Games Plaza. Saltwater Hank, born in Prince Rupert and a member of the Gitga’at community, and a well‐known Tsimshian folk artist, will open the evening. Rivière Rouge, a high‐energy traditional folk band that use the button accordion, the fiddle and the guitar in the Métis and Québécois style take the stage next.
Tonye Aganaba Band, of Nigerian and Zimbabwean descent, will finish the evening by lending their dynamic and sultry voice to all ranges of styles and genres. Tonye’s style, like her gender, is fluid (or at the very least non‐binary) ‐ but can be described as Soul/Neo‐Folk/R&B, the kind of singer/performer that turns heads wherever they go.
June 22, A Day of Cultures, events will begin at 4 p.m. in Canada Games Plaza and will feature local and cultural performers. Laura Grizzlypaws, born and raised in Lillooet, will perform a song, dance and creation story about the Grizzly Bear. The performance showcases how Grizz now marks his ancestral footprints to provide hope, and sustainability through cultural education to empower, promote and to increase awareness of cultural identity, community and family values.
Navaz, is an eclectic band that fuses Persian music with a variety of Western genres ranging between folkloric traditions and Iranian pop music, followed by Vancouver‐based Bhangra band En Karma, who has created a unique sound that is steeped in tradition yet at the same time all their own, guaranteed to get any audience dancing! Indigenous singer‐songwriter George Leach will end the evening by taking you on an adventure covering classic rock, balladry, and R&B – it is the sound of a restless musical explorer coming into his own. The energy level of a George Leach show is astounding. Onstage, George and his band disappear into the moment, chasing the promise of fleeting transcendence that music offers and taking us all with him.
The final day, showcasing Saint‐Jean Baptiste day on June 23 will take place in Canada Games Plaza at 4 p.m. Kicking‐off the evening performance at 4:30 p.m. is Madame Diva. Madame Diva and Micah the Voyageur are children’s performers who offer a generous repertoire of captivating and educational songs, including themes of the seasons, and friendship inspired by everyday life – sure to please the young and the young at heart. Local Lheidli T’enneh Nation performer Kym Gouchie, a self‐taught guitar player and a traditional hand drummer, utilizing her eclectic background to inspire her as she combines elements of traditional, folk and country to create a unique voice will take the stage at 6 p.m.
Singer‐songwriter, Shauit, originally from Maliotenam in northeastern Quebec, will be singing in Creole, French, English, but especially in his native language Innu. This one‐of‐a‐kind artist offers honest and committed songs with a fantastically upbeat reggae/pop/dancehall flavour. Finally, a perennial favourite, Juno Award‐winning Cuban‐ Canadian Alex Cuba will wrap up the Heatwave series with his electrifying show, full of highly danceable energy.
“We encourage everyone to come out and take in these wonderfully diverse musical acts with the entire family. It’s going to be a great three days of free entertainment and fun,” says Martine Belanger, Executive Director of CCFPG.
These activities have been made possible thanks to the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Heatwave – Celebrate Cultures has received a $75,000 grant through the Community Support, Multiculturalism and Anti‐Racism Initiatives Program, allowing the Prince George Folkfest Society to attract such a high calibre and diverse talent lineup to the main stage.
For a full listing of event details and schedules are available at www.celebratepg.com.