Dreamspeakers presents Arts in the Alley – Autumnal Sun in Edmonton: September 17 & 18

Dreamspeakers Arts in the Alley. Photo by Eric Kozakiewicz from Marc J Chalifoux

(ANNews) – Dreamspeakers Festival Society is pleased to present Arts in the Alley – Autumnal Sun featuring the animated Indigenous art installation – Light Strikes.

The event will take place in Edmonton on Saturday September 17 from noon to 11 pm and Sunday September 18, from noon until 6 pm at the Mihcêtohtâwin building (The Place Where Things Happen) located at 11051 – 97 Street NW. Arts in the Alley will feature Indigenous artisan booths, performances, food, and a unique outdoor immersive art installation known as Light Strikes.

“Arts in the Alley was born out of our desire to create safe spaces for our community to thrive in,” says Christine Frederick, Dreamspeakers Executive Director. “We are situated in the inner city of Edmonton and our back alley has been the site of accidental drug poisonings, makeshift shelters and vandalism. Many of the people we’ve encountered in this context were, like us, Indigenous but they were often people living outside the circle, vulnerable and in need of safe spaces to exist.”

There is a direct connection between the residential school experience and the vulnerable people on our doorstep, added Frederick.

“When the graves were discovered last year on residential school sites, we were conscious that as we grieved the lost children, there were still many lost children alive on our streets who were equally deserving of our compassion and attention. We needed to respond, but it had to be reflective of who we are as Indigenous arts organization. Arts in the Alley will celebrate Indigenous lives and art – where every member of the community is welcome. The Autumnal Sun version of Arts in the Alley will be our 3rd outing. As an organization, our response also included ensuring staff were trained in First Aid and crisis management, and developing policy and practice on how to respond with compassion to those we encounter, while also ensuring the safety of everyone who uses the space.

“We are especially excited this time to present Light Strikes. Dreamspeakers, working with local Indigenous artists and Sokaris Inc., animated their work and will video map and project it onto our building, creating an immersive experience and powerful statement of Indigenous presence and resilience. Light Strikes is an ongoing project of Dreamspeakers and we hope to evolve it over time to project on bigger and bigger outdoor spaces with live musical performances. This will be phase 4 of a 6 phase development process. Phase 2 had an unexpected presentation at the Dubai World Expo in November of 2021 for the Te Aratini Global Indigenous Showcase.Through the many years we’ve worked with Indigenous artists and community we have heard most fervently, we want to see ourselves, our culture reflected in the landscape of Edmonton.

“This project is a direct response to this call,” concluded Frederick.

Light Strikes will only be presented on Saturday from 9:30 pm until 11 pm. The artists featured in Light Strikes are Lana Whiskeyjack, Dawn Marie Marchand, JCat and Brandon Atkinson.

Additional features will be:

Artists booths: Dawn Marie Marchand, Edmonton’s First Indigenous Artist in Residence, Tashina Makokis fresh from the Santa Fe Artist Market, JCat, Krista Leddy, members of I AM Indigeneous Artist Collective and more throughout the 2 days.

Performers: IndigiHauz Drag Queen Troup, and musical stylings by Injun Josephine, Theresa Poirer, Damas Elis, and Joshua Jackson.

Gourmet Indigenous Cuisine pop up by Pei Pei Chei Ow at 6:00 pm on September 17th on the rooftop patio with Chef’s Talk and an Artist talk with Lana Whiskeyjack at the Whiskeyjack Art House ($125 ticketed event).

DJ and Cocktails: on the rooftop patio on September 17th from 1-4 pm and 8:30-11 pm.

Arts in the Alley is an Alberta Culture Days Event

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