New Gathering to Focus on Indigenous Arts and Unity – St. Catharines Tourism

New Gathering to Focus on Indigenous Arts and Unity

News | August 21, 2017

Celebration of Nations, an exciting new festival of Indigenous
arts, culture and tradition, will be held at the FirstOntario
Performing Arts Centre (PAC) in downtown St. Catharines,
ON from September 8 to 10, 2017. The weekend gathering
features diverse arts programs, including an impressive list of
local and national artists such as Buffy Sainte-Marie, Kaha:wi
Dance Theatre, and The Ollivanders. A visual arts exhibit
featuring previously unseen artworks by Norval Morrisseau,
Daphne Odjig, Carl Beam, Roy Thomas, Vince Bomberry,
Simon Brascoupe, Bruce King, and others will illuminate the
blossoming of contemporary Native art.

In addition to our headline performances, the gathering is
filled with a wide range of free and ticketed events all
weekend long, including an outdoor Métis encampment,
interactive cultural arts workshops, drum circles, a film and
speakers series, a reading of a new play for young audiences
by Falen Johnson, and a highly anticipated workshop and
performance by acclaimed EDM artist DJ Shub.

The gathering will culminate in a very special grand finale,
RUMBLE: Unity All-Star Jam Session featuring Kenny Lee
Lewis of the Steve Miller Band, Derek Miller (two time JUNO
Award-winner from Six Nations), and several special guests
including JUNO Award-winner Harrison Kennedy.

Celebration of Nations was an idea brought to the
FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre by Michele-Elise Burnett
(Métis). She had recently re-established Kakekalanicks
Indigenous Arts and Consultancy, intending to continue in
the footsteps of her mother Suzanne Rochon Burnett’s
trailblazing work to build stronger First Nations, Métis, and
Inuit communities. Michele-Elise saw the new 4-venue arts
hub in downtown St. Catharines as the natural home for this
dream and the PAC was eager to create a long-term

Working closely with Artistic Producer Tim Johnson
(Mohawk), a group of Advisors and the FirstOntario PAC’s
programming staff, the team has put together a rich array
of Indigenous artists to illuminate the missing histories and
stellar contributions of Indigenous peoples.

Celebration of Nations aims to strengthen and renew a legacy
founded upon national equality, peace, and freedom and
provide a meaningful opportunity for Canadians and First
Nations peoples to build a more empowered, inclusive, and
self-determined community as a priority for a shared future.
Visit to learn more.