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Today I had a chat with Chair of Aboriginal Tourism BC, Brenda Baptiste, about Victoria Aboriginal Culture Festival 2016!

The event starts TOMORROW MORNING and runs the whole weekend on the grounds of Royal BC Museum.

Here’s our chat;

Here’s a wealth of information about this weekend. (Need more? Click this.)

Aboriginal Cultural Festival to launch with ceremonial canoe arrival, greeting, and Parade of Nations.
Friday, June 17 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Four canoes to launch from Songhees point and travel to Inner Harbour

What: The opening of the 2016 Aboriginal Cultural Festival will be marked by the arrival of four canoes that will launch from Songhees Point and arrive in the Inner Harbour (Commonwealth Corner), followed by a Parade of Nations to the festival site.

Why: The Aboriginal Cultural Festival is being held on the traditional lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations and, as per cultural protocol, the visiting performers from other nations will join in the paddle welcome ceremony, arriving by canoe from Songhees Point and travelling to the Inner Harbour (Commonwealth Corner).

The three-day festival will take place at the Royal BC Museum (full performance schedule below) from Friday, June 17 to Sunday, June 19.

When and Where:

• 9:00 a.m. – Paddlers, crew, and ceremony guests to begin loading into canoes at Songhees Point Ferry Dock
• 9:20 a.m. – Canoes to depart from Songhees Point Ferry Dock
• 9:40 a.m. – Canoes arrive at Commonwealth Corner (near the 1994 Commonwealth Games plaque to the left of the Welcome to Victoria garden)
• 10:05 a.m. – Canoes to be docked at Inner Harbour wharf
• 10:30 a.m. – Parade of Nations from the Inner Harbour to the festival site
• 11 a.m. – Aboriginal Cultural Festival opens on main stage at the Royal BC Museum (located at the base of the stairs to the main entrance)

Additional information:

In addition to the main stage performances the Aboriginal Cultural Festival will feature an Authentic Indigenous Artisans Marketplace.
Songhees Seafood & Steam food truck – The outdoor dining area will offer visitors the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of traditional and modern fare including West Coast clam chowder, fry-bread, and BBQ sockeye salmon.
Created in partnership between Aboriginal Tourism BC, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, the Royal BC Museum, The Butchart Gardens, Tourism Victoria, the Robert Bateman Centre, and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, the goal for the festival is to honour and showcase the rich Aboriginal culture and history throughout Victoria and British Columbia.
Last year, more than 15,000 people visited the Aboriginal Cultural Festival.
For more information about the Aboriginal Cultural Festival, visit www.aboriginalbc.com/yyj and follow the conversation on social media through #YYJAboriginalFest

Aboriginal Cultural Festival Performance Schedule
Friday, June 17

• 11 a.m. – Festival & Artisan Village Opens
• 11:45 a.m. – Greeting of the Day on the Main Stage
• Noon – Host Nations: Lekwungen Traditional Dancers (Songhees Nation) & Esquimalt Singers & Dancers (Esquimalt Nation)
• 1 p.m. – Le-La-La Dancers (Kwakwaka’wakw Nation)
• 2 p.m. Alex Wells, 3-Time World Champion Hoop Dancer (Lil`wat Nation)
• 3 p.m. – Nuu-chah-nulth Dance Group (Nuu-chah-nulth Nation)
• 4 p.m. – Youth Performers: The Next Generation (multiple Nations)
• 5 p.m. – Host Nations: Lekwungen Traditional Dancers (Songhees Nation), Esquimalt Singers & Dancers (Esquimalt Nation)

Saturday, June 18

• 11 a.m. – Festival & Artisan Village Opens
• 11 a.m. – Totem Pole Tour with Andy Everson
• 11:45 a.m. – Greeting of the Day on the Main Stage
• Noon – Host Nations: Lekwungen Traditional Dancers (Songhees Nation) & Esquimalt Singers & Dancers (Esquimalt Nation)
• 1 p.m. – Le-La-La Dancers (Kwakwaka’wakw Nation)
• 2 p.m. – Git Hayetsk (Haida, Haisla, Tahltan, Tlingit, Lil`wat and Musqueam Nations)
• 3 p.m. – Alex Wells, 3-Time World Champion Hoop Dancer (Lil`wat Nation)
• 4 p.m. – Le-La-La Dancers (Kwakwaka’wakw Nation)
• 5 p.m. – Git Hayetsk (Haida, Haisla, Tahltan, Tlingit, Lil`wat and Musqueam Nations)

Sunday, June 19

• 11 a.m. – Festival & Artisan Village Opens
• 11 a.m. – Totem Pole Tour with Andy Everson
• 11:45 a.m. – Greeting of the Day on the Main Stage
• Noon – Host Nations: Lekwungen Traditional Dancers (Songhees Nation) & Esquimalt Singers & Dancers (Esquimalt Nation)
• 1 p.m. – Le-La-La Dancers (Kwakwaka’wakw Nation)
• 2 p.m. – Nuu-chah-nulth Dance Group (Nuu-chah-nulth Nation)
• 3 p.m. – Alex Wells, 3-Time World Champion Hoop Dancer (Lil`wat Nation)
• 4 p.m. – Le-La-La Dancers (Kwakwaka’wakw Nation)
• 5 p.m. – Nuu-chah-nulth Dance Group (Nuu-chah-nulth Nation)

Thanks for stopping by,
Jon

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