June is National Indigenous History Month and this year, Ottawa’s Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The festival brings together the diverse talent of Indigenous artists, creators and community members to lead workshops, education days and cultural events all month long.
This year’s festival is a mix of in-person and virtual events with Creation and Culinary Workshops and Education Days where participants can learn about and celebrate Indigenous artistry and legacy. The Creation Workshops run from June 3rd – June 19th with fun events like Canada Goose Paint Night with Algonquin Artist and Curator, Simon Brascoupé and a Paddle Painting Workshop with Claire Brascoupé. Each of the six workshops throughout the month are hosted virtually but come with an event kit to participate. The Culinary Workshops , lead by some of the country’s most esteemed chefs, feature classic dishes like curried caribou, seared rainbow trout with sweet corn succotash or homemade fish tacos. These intimate and engaging virtual workshops come with meal kits that serve 2 or 4 people that are delivered right to your door, anywhere in Ottawa.
Interested in music? The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival has a virtual Pow Pow competition on June 14th, with hundreds of dance performers. Furthermore, the Festival’s Music Awards will be hosted on June 12th that highlights the incredible talent of Indigenous music artists from all over the country.
If you’re wanting to get closer to the action, on June 15th there will be a Cultural Celebration and Drive-In Movie Night from 7-11PM. Also, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21st, there will be another Drive-In Concert and Celebration. Both Drive-In events will take place at Wesley Clover Park and are completely free!
For family-friendly cultural activities, check out the festival’s page here for more information on Colouring Contests, Movie Nights and other fun events. Can’t make it in person? Shop the online marketplace to help support Indigenous Small Businesses. Items available include paintings, quill baskets, traditional jewelry and much more.
Ottawa’s Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival is a really meaningful way to engage and learn more about Indigenous cultural presence and talent. This year’s integrated virtual festival is a great opportunity for everyone to join and experience the diverse talent of Indigenous peoples in the country. Be sure to share photos from your experience and help increase visibility of such an important festival in the Ottawa community.
Feature image courtesy of Julie Findlay