Aboriginal Cultural Festival June 16 to 18th
By trudy chiswell
Join the celebration with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations for a day of dance, food and arts at the Aboriginal Cultural Festival June 16 to 18. Living on the traditional territories of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations, we are fortunate to have this special event on our door step. The festival is a great opportunity to enjoy the uniqueness of our First Nations people, their arts and culture. It has been over ten years since the outdoor event has been held on the steps of the Royal BC Museum. It’s a great opportunity for locals and visitors to enjoy the more than 30 scheduled performances on the stage out front of the Museum. Come enjoy traditional clam chowder, fry-bread and many more treats at the outdoor dining area. This year the outdoor dining experience will include a Songhees seafood steam food truck.
The festival begins at 10:30 Friday morning with Aboriginal canoes paddling into the Inner Harbour. Songhees, Esquimalt and local dignitaries paddle into Commonwealth Corner for a welcoming ceremony by the Songhees and Esquimalt chiefs. This is a great photo opportunity to start your festival experience. Opening ceremonies begin Friday at 11:30 am, out front of the Royal BC Museum. Don’t miss the totem tour of Thunderbird Park with Andy Everson Saturday and Sunday at 11am; an inspiring presentation of the totems we pass every day. The tour begins with a smudge ceremony at the Mungo Martin house at the side of the museum. Many Indigenous dancers will perform each day on the main stage including the famous hoop dancer Alex Wells, Indigenous dancers from New Zealand, plus many other talented local dancers.
Mark your calendar and come join the fun. Appreciate the amazing history of our First Nations People. For more details on the schedule, check out the website:
The three day event is spearheaded by The Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC in partnership with the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations. Sponsors include Royal BC Museum, Tourism Victoria, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, First Peoples Cultural Council, Butchart Gardens, Times Colonist and CTV.