WSO Launches Inaugural Indigenous Festival

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On April 27, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will launch its first Indigenous Festival.  The four-night festival is a celebration of several different cultures from around the globe, featuring music from Europe, Australia, China and North American, with a special focus on Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.

The festival will explore different elements of music, rhythm, and film, with performances by a diverse group of artists including Juno Award-winning group Eagle & Hawk, choral ensemble Camerata Nova, drummer Corey Campbell, and the WSO itself.

The festival will kick off its first night at Circle of Life Thunderbird House with a drum circle and traditional greeting, followed by performances of work by composers Sara Hopkins, Anthony Niiganii, and Andrew Balfour.

Night two will include an Inuit art display in the lobby of the Park Theatre and a screen of Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), the first Inuktitut-language feature film that was also an official selection at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. There will also be a pre-film talk with Inuit art collector Fred Ford.

Night three at the Burton Cummings Theatre will showcase world folk music by Barbara Croall, Zoltan Kodály, Zhou Long, and Malcolm Forsyth, as well as a performance of Bach's in Cree, translated by Balfour.

The final evening will feature a not-to-be-missed event: rock outfit Eagle & Hawk will perform with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. With arrangements by Charles T. Cozens, many of Eagle & Hawk’s well-loved repertoire of songs have been transformed into full-orchestral versions.

For more info, including tickets and showtimes, please visit

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