About the Conference and Festival

The Northern Conference and Festival for Indigenous Arts

September 27-29, 2019


This Fall, the Northern Indigenous Artist Alliance (NIAA) will host Dream Big 2019: The Northern Conference for Indigenous Arts in Baawating (Sault Ste. Marie). From September 28-29, Indigenous artists, curators, and cultural producers from across Northern Ontario will convene for two days of collaboration and exchange as we seek to answer the question – what do Indigenous artists need to thrive in the North?

As part of Dream Big 2019, NIAA will also present the Baawating Arts Festival, which will run concurrently with the conference. Taking place at multiple venues across the city, the Baawating Arts Festival will feature music, art, comedy, and film from Northern Ontario’s top Indigenous talent; as well as an Indigenous Arts Market showcasing local Indigenous arts, crafts, and food vendors.

For more information, contact northernindigenousart@gmail.com.

TAKE ACTION: Donate to our crowdfunding campaign to support Indigenous artists, curators and cultural producers travel to attend Dream Big 2019 in Baawating (Sault Ste. Marie).



In 2015, Dream Big emerged as the Northern conference for the arts with a multi-day gathering in North Bay for arts leaders to explore issues of regional relevance, arts ecology, funding impacts, and the collective futures for Northern Ontario. In 2018, Dream Big moved south to Toronto for The Gathering: Pluralism in Arts Practices – Contemporary Intersections, an interactive and transformative convening of academics, creatives, and arts leaders. These previous iterations of Dream Big were coordinated by Métis artist and arts administrator, Clayton Windatt, and it’s with his support that NIAA is bringing Dream Big 2019 back to the North this Fall (September 28-29) in Baawating (Sault Ste. Marie).

FUN FACT: NIAA’s co-founders, Rihkee Strapp and Cora-Rae Silk, first met at the Dream Big 2015 gathering in North Bay!