Kwe Performance Series: Ulali Project

Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the Kwe Performance Series: Ulali Project, in partnership with St. Anne’s Anglican Church and Big Medicine Studio. 

The evening will include a performance by world renowned a cappella group Ulali Project, with guest artist. This concert is the first event of our Kwe Performance Series for the second season.

Toronto Performance: Saturday, November 4, 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Venue: St. Anne’s Anglican Church, 270 Gladstone Avenue, Toronto, ON
Tickets: Adults $20.00/Elders, Students, Underemployed & Art Workers $10.00

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On Thursday, November 3, at Nipissing First Nation, Pura Fé and Jennifer Kreisberg of Ulali Project will present a free community workshop at Big Medicine Studio, followed by a community performance. Pura Fé and Jennifer Kreisberg will perform and discuss hand drum songs, invite participants to join in, and answer questions.

Nipissing Community Workshop: Friday, November 3, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Venue: Big Medicine Studio, 161 Couchie Memorial Drive, North Bay, ON
Admission: Free

Nipissing Community Performance: Friday, November 3, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Big Medicine Studio, 161 Couchie Memorial Drive, North Bay, ON
Admission: PWYC

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Ulali Project

Ulali Project

In 1987, the a capella trio Ulali was formed by original members Pura Fé, Jennifer Kreisberg, and Soni Moreno. The group really hit its stride with their debut album Mahk Jchi. It seemed like that Ulali was everywhere and their songs were played across Turtle Island and around the world. Soon after the phenomenal success of Mahk Jchi, the Miramax film (now a classic film) Smoke Signals was released in theaters. The film by Cheyenne-Arapaho filmmaker Chris Eyre featured the Ulali songs Forgive Our Fathers Suite (aka Wahjeeleh-Yihm) and All My Relations. Both songs were highlighted in some of the film’s most poignant scenes. The film experienced the same tremendous market crossover and international success that Ulali’s music had. Ulali’s audience went off the charts. Ulali traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe performing at venues like Woodstock ‘94, the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the 1997 Smithsonian’s Folkways 50th Anniversary Gala at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the 1998 WOMAD Festival in Seattle, the 1998 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, V Day 2001 at Madison Square Garden, the 2001 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2004 they performed at the Kennedy Center and the National Mall for the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. The list goes on in a wide range of impressive venues and benefit performances. They performed in Canada and abroad in Brazil, Corsica, Fiji, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, New Caledonia and Portugal.

The current incarnation of Ulali Project reformed in 2014. Their first performance was at the River People Music Festival in North Carolina, a festival celebrating southeastern American Indian music and traditions. Their haunting voices and rich percussion have connected with audiences across the United States, and they have shared their music in honor of environmental causes and Indigenous justice issues. The group-currently made up of original founders Pura Fé and Jennifer Kreisberg, along with new members Charly Lowry and Layla Locklear-brings together a unique blend of Native American music, including jazz, folk, and soul.

St. Anne’s Anglican Church

St. Anne’s Church was founded in 1862 to serve the small rural hamlet of Brockton.  As the city grew up around the church, the number of parishioners outgrew the small neo-gothic village church, and in 1907 the present church was constructed in the style of the Byzantine Revival.  In the early 1920s the church interior was decorated and painted with murals by artists who would later become members of Canada’s famous Group of Seven. These early 20th Century architecture and art decisions are the foundation for a continuing relationship between St. Anne’s and the arts community in Toronto.

Big Medicine Studio

Big Medicine Studio is located on the lakeshore of Lake Nipissing on Nipissing First Nation, near North Bay, Ontario. Big Medicine Studio is a 1,200 square foot multi-use studio with 14-foot ceiling height and seating capacity for 60 people. It is privately owned and operated by Penny Couchie and Sid Bobb.

Since it’s opening in October 2010, Big Medicine Studio has hosted four Salons to audiences up to 60 people, hosted a ten day mentorship with an internationally renowned theatre artist in story weaving, hosted a 7-day Arts For All workshop engaging 15 participants in visual, dance, music and theatre arts activities, hosted a number of research and development residencies in new works for dance and theatre, hosted a seven day workshop in Contemporary Indigenous Dance and Dramaturgy, holds ongoing dance,  theatre, visual arts, music and media arts for people of all ages and abilities and hosted many traditional ceremonies for the community in Nipissing First Nation, North Bay and surrounding area.

Big Medicine Studio is the only dedicated arts studio of it’s kind in the region, situated on a First Nations. Built as a home for the creation, development and exhibition of performing and visual arts, it is a place where community comes together to celebrate and engage in arts and culture.

Kwe Performance Series

The Kwe Performance Series is the evolution of NWIA’s long-standing Catalyst Series. Under the new name and with new direction, the Kwe Performance Series presents performances and workshops by performing artists from diverse nations and communities. The events always take place both in Toronto and in varying on-reserve and underserviced communities in arts in Ontario.