Dream Big 2019: The Northern Conference for Indigenous Arts

This Fall, (September 28-29) the Dream Big conference returns to the North as Indigenous artists from Northern Ontario gather in Batchewana First Nation and Baawating (Sault Ste. Marie) for two days of collaboration and exchange as we seek to answer the question – what do Indigenous artists need to thrive in the North?

Dream Big 2019 will feature:
➡ Panels, presentations & discussion
➡ Tips & tools for professional development
➡ Arts showcase featuring music, comedy & film
➡ Arts, craft & food vendors
➡ Interactive art-making

Dream Big 2019 is presented by the Northern Indigenous Artist Alliance (NIAA) and is designed for Indigenous artists, curators, and cultural producers to share their work and develop strategies for strengthening Indigenous arts in Northern Ontario. If you’re interested in attending Dream Big 2019, sign up to become a NIAA member to receive updates.

Dream Big 2019 is made possible thanks to the support of the Ontario Arts Council Indigenous Arts Projects program.

Dream Big 2019: Baawating Arts Festival

September 27-29, 2019, the Northern Indigenous Artist Alliance (NIAA) hosts the Baawating Arts Festival in Baawating (Sault Ste. Marie), part of Dream Big 2019. Over three days, venues across the city will host performances, film screenings, and art exhibitions featuring Northern Ontario’s top Indigenous talent, including Batchewana’s Two Spirit darling Teddy Syrette, comedian Jonas Shawanda, and film-maker and poet Ardelle Sagutcheway, with more names to be announced soon.

Day two of the festival will include an Indigenous Arts Market showcasing arts, crafts, and food vendors. Vendor applications are available online here.

The Baawating Arts Festival is open to the public and all events are offered on a no cost/pay-what-you-can basis, thanks to the support of the Ontario Arts Council Multi and Inter-Arts Projects program.

Support Travel for Indigenous Artists, Curators & Cultural Producers

The Northern Indigenous Artist Alliance (NIAA) has received funding from the Ontario Arts Council to host Dream Big 2019: The Northern Conference & Festival for Indigenous Arts. NIAA is currently raising funds to help offset the high travel costs in the North so more Indigenous artists can attend the gathering. Featuring presentations, panel discussions, art creation, and performances, Dream Big attendees will be able to network, develop hands-on skills for promoting their work, widen their audiences, and add their voice to an ongoing dialogue about contemporary Indigenous arts in Northern Ontario. Your donation will help cover travel and accommodations so artists from all across Northern Ontario can take part.


The Gathering: Pluralism in Arts Practices – Contemporary Intersections

We are very pleased to annouce that we are joining forces with Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO), Aboriginal Curatorial Collective/ Collectif des commissaires autochtones, Polyphonic Ground, OCAD University, Feminist Art Collective, The Proscenium Club to produce “The Gathering: Pluralism in Arts Practices- Contemporary Intersections”

Join us May 29 to 31, 2018 in Toronto at Aki Studio & OCAD University

This Gathering will feature:
Panels and sharing of strategies
Performing arts showcases
An interactive and transformative convening of academics, creatives and arts leaders

Geared towards sharing strategies in the engagement of Indigenous, racialized, disabled and mad, women and other historically-marginalized artists and communities since it was initiated by CPAMO in the Spring 2016. The Gathering is a very powerful, positive and transformative convening of academics, creatives and Arts leaders in the creative industry.


Dream Big North is Postponed

Dear Friends, 
Sometimes dreams do come true.  
We’re writing today to share with you the wonderful news of our partnership with Native Earth and the Centre for Social Innovation for the Dream Big Conversation. We’ve dared to vision vast and epic and have been rewarded.  However, like all earth-bound realities, time has been needed for reflection, and to ensure that everyone who has indicated interest in the divide between rural and urban theatre creation and production can take part.
To make this dream a reality, we have decided to reschedule our conversation to May 29-30 from our previous scheduled dates of Dec. 4-6.  We’re currently aligning teleconference and live-streaming to ensure that the maximum amount of Northern ON artists possible can join us in our conversations.  
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.  For those of you who have already registered, we will be in touch to either issue a refund or re-register you for the May 28-30 date. 
Thanks for being a part of the conversation.  We’re excited!
Jane A. Smythe

Conference Coordinator, Dream Big North 2017


Attention #theatre #artists!

Playwrights Guild of Canada will be facilitating a Creator Exchange as a part of Dream Big North 2017, a low pressure and informal networking event for theatre creators to talk about the work they are doing or the work they would like to do!

Learn more about the Creator Exchange happening at Dream Big North 2017 here. 

Register for Dream Big North 2017 – theatre summit to reserve your spot – tickets are only $25 for the whole event: http://bit.ly/DreamBigNorth2017


May 27th @ 7pm at the Capitol Centre Theatre

Derek Miller – Vancouver to Winnipeg
Guitarist and singer/ songwriter Derek Miller is a journeyman musician with eclectic taste and a knack for roots inflected rock. Born on the Six Nations of the Grand River, Mohawk Territory, in Canada, Miller became interested in music in his early teens, and by the late ’90s had not only toured with iconic Canadian vocalist Buffy Sainte-Marie but was also garnered a Juno for both his debut album, and sophomore album in 2008. Derek’s latest album takes us to the heart of Native Americana romanticism. It uses vintage tones and aesthetics of 50’s rock and roll with a modern twist, telling the story of a mythical man who has a blind moment of insanity and the events that got him to that point. The development in his newest recordings describe in a metaphoric way, the trials and tribulations of the artist.

Kristi Lane Sinclair (Vancouver to Montreal)
Fierce and feisty, Haida/Cree singer-songwriter Kristi Lane Sinclair is emblematic of a new wave of Canadian indigenous artists who are turning perceptions upside down. Raised in British Columbia’s backwaters, and drawing more from a DIY/indie aesthetic than traditional or mainstream music, Sinclair’s musical roots create a darkly intoxicating mix of grunge, folk and classical. Her smoky folk is rich and orchestral, underpinned with alternately snarling guitars and warm strings. Her new album Dark Matter (produced by Derek Miller) will be released at the Vancouver opening date of the tour. The six-part documentary series Face the Music follows Kristi’s journey as she releases and plays the Red Ride Tour.

Cris Derksen – Winnipeg to Montreal
Performing from Norway to Australia, Cree cellist and composer Cris Derksen is known for building layers of sound into captivating performances. Her music braids the traditional and contemporary in multiple dimensions, weaving her traditional classical training and her aboriginal ancestry with new school electronics, creating genre-defying music. Derksen’s critically acclaimed debut solo album, The Cusp won the 2011 Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for instrumental album of the year. Her third album will feature what Cris is calling orchestral powwow and will be released later in 2015. Cris has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist and performing her own compositions with Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq.

Binaeshee-Quae Couchie-Nabigon (Aurora, ON)
Binaeshee-Quae is a singer songwriter from Pic River First Nation. Her musical style is a jazzy-alterna-folk mix that has been described as haunting and unconventional. Her first album Ooof will be released this winter with the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council. This onomatopoeically crafted album is inspired by life events of trauma and joy that have left a mark. Ooof is the sound of that impact. Although often a solo act, it is not uncommon for Binaeshee-Quae and her mother, Bonnie Couchie, to share the stage. Bonnie’s deep, rich sound with Binaeshee-Quae’s bright vocals makes for a captivating combo.