Spirit Song is a celebration of First Nations tradition that is such an important part of our Canadian culture. This large-scale revue features both traditional Aboriginal songs, dances and rituals plus contemporary music based on Native themes.
Spirit Song: a First Nations Revue truly captures the Westcoast spirit and is ideal for any event of function looking for a unique example of the Canadiana experience.
Spirit Song members include:
The show begins with a traditional blessing and welcome dance by the The Eagle Song Native Mask Dancers. The First Nations troupe, comprised of elders and youth of the Squamish Nation, have performed internationally at cultural festivals in Switzerland, Taiwan, and Japan. They are well known for their important role in the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The Eagle Song Dancers have entertained many tourists with their beautiful mask dance and ancient stories.
Following the Eagle Song Dancers will be Gary Abbott, a Champion Hoop Dancer and an outstanding teacher of traditional native values. The Hoop Dance is a magical story of the creation of life through music and movement. It is one of the most difficult and advanced First Nation Dance styles and incorporates up to twenty-two hoops.
Arnie Leon (Lek’hoosh) is a Sts’ailles First Nations artist who plays the traditional Native Flute. Flute playing has been a part of Aboriginal cultures from South America to the Arctic tundra. The flute was traditionally used in storytelling, courtship, healing and entertainment. Arnie creates a truly Canadian soundscape with his beautiful delicate sounds of the First Nations wooden flute.
Spirit Song: a First Nations Revue continues with two beautiful First Nations female vocalists performing the Grammy nominated Aboriginal song “The Enlightened Time” in addition to “O Siem We Are All Family” by Canadian recording artist Susan Aglukark. The music of this Inuit singer/songwriter is filled of Native themes. The finale features all performers and the dramatic words and music of and the powerful Pow Wow rhythms of another Susan Aglukark song; “Hina Na Ho” .
Melody Courage of the Métis People is a Vancouver based coloratura soprano and has a great love for her work and art. She has earned a degree and a diploma in Opera Performance from the Vancouver Academy of Music. Melody has performed professionally with Vancouver Opera for the past eight years. Along with her dedication to singing, she is passionate about her Métis heritage. Melody has performed solo works with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for ‘Planet Indigenous’, as well as the solo soprano in The Spirit of Haida Gwaii oratorio for the opening of Vancouver’s Inaugural Cultural Olympiad.
Our show also features Leah Alfred from the ‘Namgis Band, Kwakiutl Nation. Ms. Alfred studied opera at UBC and the University of Victoria. She has appeared in UBC Opera’s production of Louis Riel and has been a featured soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in China and the Czech Republic in addition to numerous performances across Canada. Both Leah and Melody were featured vocalists in the Vancouver Opera’s First Nations themed production of ‘The Magic Flute” in which Bob Baker of Eagle Song Dancers, was cultural advisor.
“Ernie Philip, a full-blooded Shuswap First Nations elder, is a Champion fancy dancer who taught me a great deal about Native Customs and First Nations Protocol. He is not as active as when I first met him at Expo 86 but still meets and greets tourists at Quaaout Lodge in Shuswap.
The wisdom that he shared over the years has given me a deep understanding for Native culture and enabled me to produce Aboriginal performances for corporate events in a manner that is both respectful of First Nations traditions and entertaining for the audience. PLUS he is a pretty funny guy: After parking at the Museum of Anthropology for a major event, Ernie refused to pay for parking saying ‘we own all this land..how can you charge me?’ I was happy to insert a few loonies into the meter!” Al Guraliuk