Talking Stick | "Circles"

By Ila Barker

Talking Stick shines a spotlight on artists and new music from the local Indigenous music community. It also offers the artists a chance to add professional-filmed videos to their own marketing toolkits, which can be critical for career advancement and accessing new markets in a business that relies on exceptional live video more than ever.

Anishinaabe and settler singer-songwriter Ila Barker launches the new season on January 20, 2023. Coming up: country act Jerry Sereda on January 27, hip hop artist Stun on February 17, and Metis singer/songwriter and actress Victoria Turko on February 24.

With her soulful voice and lyrics that wash over the minds and hearts of audiences like waves, singer-songwriter Ila Barker is a force to be reckoned with. This Winnipeg based folk-soul artist of Anishinaabe and settler heritage, takes listeners on an introspective journey, inviting them to connect deeply with their own emotions. As an act of reciprocity, Ila mentors emerging Indigenous artists in AIRsessions, her self-curated music workshop series. Ila has taken the stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Regina Folk Festival, sākihiwē festival, and opened for Jeremy Dutcher’s sold out performance at the Indian River Festival in PEI. After the release of her self-titled debut album (2013) Ila took time to mindfully refine her artistry, embarking on a creative evolution, and emerging with a self-determine sound. Her newly released album Fool Under Water (2022) is an honour song to her metamorphosis into the powerhouse she is today and a promise that the tide will turn.

Produced with Kejic Productions, a Winnipeg-based company owned and operated by Cree/Ojibway producer and director Erica Daniels, Talking Stick was filmed on location in the light-filled space at the Southeast Resource Development Council’s Wellness Lodge.

“We’re so excited to share a new season of Talking stick and support these four inspiring artists and their creative work,” says host and producer Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais, the Indigenous Music Development Coordinator at Manitoba Music. “We’re grateful to the artists, to Erica and the team at Kejic for helping bring this vision to fruition and of course to the funders for making this series possible.”

IMDP was launched in 2004 to support First Nation, Métis, and Inuit artists and music companies develop sustainable careers in the music industry. The program delivers projects and services that respond to the needs of the industry as identified by a steering committee. IMDP is supported by the Province of Manitoba and Manitoba Film & Music.

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