sākihiwē festival 2023
We're working with the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre and the Spence Neighbourhood Association to take live music to Indigenous and newcomer families in Winnipeg's core and north end this summer. The 2023 edition of the sākihiwē festival, set for June 23 to 25, will begin with our annual Grand Entry concert on Friday night and include bigger block parties on Saturday and Sunday at the Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre and Central Park, respectively.
Grand Entry will be anchored by 2oolman, a JUNO Award winning pow wow step music producer and DJ, with performances by Prado Monroe, Valkyrie, Sherri Shorting, and Jossée Bernier kicking off the night in a big way.
After consultation with audiences and partners last year, we decided to focus our efforts on one block party on Saturday and one on Sunday. This means that the concerts will run into the evening hours, more seating will be available, we'll have more prizes to draw for at the end of the night, and the free BBQs will be bigger. We're also adding hoop dance lessons with Shanley Spence, jigging lessons, a free photo booth by SnapFox, face painters, and a couple more activities to each block party to keep kids busy.
We learned a couple years back that "best dancer" prizes are the best way to get kids on the dance floor so The Kaptain will be headlining our Turtle Island Block Party with a bunch of prizes at 8:00 pm on Saturday. The concert will begin with a pow wow demonstration featuring the Walking Wolf Singers, Buffalo Red Thunder, and Ma Mawi's pow wow club at 12:00 pm and include performances by country singer Gator Beaulieu, Anishinaabe composer and violist Melody McKiver, JUNO-nominated singer and Northern Cree member Joel Wood, hip hop emcee Valkyrie, singer-songwriter Wyatt C. Louis, and a workshop performance with Stun, Jossée Bernier, and Norway Rabliauskas sharing songs in-the-round.
Audiences will also have a chance to dance at the Central Park Block Party on Sunday with the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers hitting the stage at 7:00 pm. The concert will begin at noon and include performances by Inuit singer-songwriter Qattuu and throat singer Abigail Asheevak, R&B-pop singer Nimkish, thought-provoking poet Zoey Roy, country singer Martin Desjarlais, the indie-rock stylings of Tinge, singer-songwriter Kristen McKay, and hoop dancers Kimberly and Charisma Mason.
For Indigenous and newcomer families, the sākihiwē festival provides access to the arts. "We take music to families in Winnipeg's core and north end so they can participate in the arts without risking their personal safety, family obligations, or their ability to make ends meet," explains Festival Director Alan Greyeyes. "We do this because we believe that accessing the arts improves your mental health and we understand how hard it can be for Indigenous and newcomer families to find transportation, make childcare arrangements, and purchase tickets for other festivals or concerts in and around Winnipeg."
For Indigenous artists, the sākihiwē festival serves as a stepping stone to Canada's live music industry and we take great pride in the successes of artists like Fawn Wood, Jeremy Dutcher, and the Halluci Nation, who trusted us to present them in the early stages of their careers.
The sākihiwē festival 2023 schedule:
Grand Entry || sākihiwē festival 2023
with 2oolman, Prado Monroe, Valkyrie, Sherri Shorting, Jossée Bernier
Friday, June 23, 2023
9:00 pm - 2:00 am
Location: Exchange Event Centre, 291 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg
Tickets $20 plus fees (purchase here)
18+ | photo identification required
9:00 pm: Doors open
10:30 pm: Valkyrie, Sherri Shorting, and Jossé Bernier
11:30 pm: Prado Monroe
12:30 am: 2oolman (DJ set)
Turtle Island Block Party || sākihiwē festival 2023
with The Kaptain, Gator Beaulieu, Joel Wood, Melody McKiver, Valkyrie, Wyatt C. Louis, Jossée Bernier, Norway Rabliauskas, Stun, Pow Wow Club dancers, Walking Wolf Singers, Buffalo Red Thunder
Saturday, June 24, 2023
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre, 510 King Street, Winnipeg
Free concert, free BBQ by Foodfare at 5pm, prize draw at 9pm
Security by Sabe Peacewalkers
Photo booth by SnapFox Photography
12:00 pm: Pow wow demonstration
2:00 pm: Jossée Bernier, Stun, Norway Rabliauskas
3:00 pm: Wyatt C. Louis
4:00 pm: Valkyrie
5:00 pm: Melody McKiver
6:00 pm: Joel Wood
7:00 pm: Gator Bealieu
8:00 pm: The Kaptain
3:00 pm: Hoop dance lessons with Shanley Spence
4:00 pm: Hood dance lessons with Shanley Spence
5:00 pm: Jigging lessons
6:00 pm: Jigging lessons
Central Park Block Party || sākihiwē festival 2023
with The Norman Chief Memorial Dancers, Qattuu with Abigail Asheevak, Nimkish, Zoey Roy, Martin Desjarlais, Kimberly and Charisma Mason, Tinge, Kristen McKay
Sunday, June 25, 2023
12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Central Park, 366 Qu'Appelle Avenue, Winnipeg
Free concert, free BBQ by Foodfare at 4pm, prize draw at 8pm
Security by Thunderbirdz
Photo booth by SnapFox Photography
12:00 pm: Kristen McKay
1:00 pm: Tinge
2:00 pm: Kimberly and Charisma Mason (hoop dancers)
3:00 pm: Martin Desjarlais
4:00 pm: Zoey Roy
5:00 pm: Nimkish
6:00 pm: Qattuu with Abigail Asheevak
7:00 pm: Norman Chief Memorial Dancers
3:00 pm: Jigging lessons
4:00 pm: Jigging lessons
5:00 pm: Hoop dance lessons with Shanley Spence
6:00 pm: Hoop dance lessons with Shanley Spence
About the sākihiwē festival
The sākihiwē festival was launched in 2009 as Aboriginal Music Week to develop Indigenous youth as an audience for live music. The festival presents between 20 and 30 First Nation, Metis, Inuit, Native American, and Indigenous music acts each year. It is held in Treaty One Territory and is produced by Aboriginal Music Manitoba (AMM).
AMM received the name "sākihiwē" from Sundance Chief David Blacksmith during a ceremony on February 21, 2018. It means "to love" in Cree.
AMM would like to acknowledge the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Winnipeg Arts Council for their financial support of the 2023 edition of the sākihiwē festival.
AMM would like to acknowledge Manitoba Music, the West End BIZ, Foodfare, and the City of Winnipeg for their support of the sākihiwē festival.
The sākihiwē festival is made possible by partnerships with the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre and the Spence Neighbourhood Association.
About Aboriginal Music Manitoba
AMM is a non-profit organization that presents, promotes and nurtures Indigenous music and culture in order to build audiences at the community level and beyond. We do this by producing an annual music festival; producing capacity development projects; shining a spotlight on the accomplishments of Indigenous music makers and industry professionals; and, by building bridges between the Indigenous music community and our counterparts around the world.
AMM is governed by a volunteer board, which includes chairperson Brett Huson, vice-chairperson Sandra Seidle, secretary Kimberly Cleave, and directors Rhonda Head, Ivana Yellowback, Jennifer Duka, and Rheanna Merasty.