Indigenous musical artists to perform at Toronto art exhibit this week

Evan Redsky is one of the artists performing at the Locating Self Care in Urban Centers exhibition in Toronto. – Photo provided

By Sam Laskaris

TORONTO – Indigenous musicians from North and South America will give free concerts later this week as part of an art exhibit currently taking place in Toronto.

Musical entertainment will be offered during the Locating Self Care in Urban Centers exhibition, which opened in September and continues until the end of the year, at the Collision Gallery.

AM // PM Productions, a company that prioritizes Indigenous, colored, non-binary and female artists and musicians, is hosting this week’s musical efforts at the exhibit.

Adam Moffatt, director at AM // PM Productions, and Emily Granville, member of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, are the co-curators of the concert series.

“What was great about this series is that a lot of artists haven’t had a lot of luck performing in Toronto recently,” Moffatt said, adding that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has, for the most, prevented the live shows from happening. in the city. “So all the artists were ready to jump in and play a show. “

For starters, Evan Redsky and Quique Escamilla will perform on Friday, November 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Lacey Hill. – Photo provided

And then on Saturday, November 27, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., there will be performances by New Tradition, Lacey Hill and Cody Berry-Ottertail.

Redsky, a singer-songwriter from Blind River, was a member of Single Mothers, a Juno-nominated rock band, for five years. He has since left the group to return to his roots as an Indigenous storyteller.

Escamilla was born in Mexico but now lives in Toronto. He plays a variety of instruments and is also a singer-songwriter and producer.

Hill, who is from the Six Nations, has Oneida and Mohawk ancestors. She is a singer-songwriter and speaker who released her first album titled 528 in 2013. Her third album is due out later this year.

Meanwhile, New Tradition is the stage name of Ruben (Beny) Esguerra. He came to Toronto via Bogota, Colombia, with his parents as political refugees. He is now a JUNO Award nominated musician who plays multiple instruments, a producer, a speaking poet, an arts educator and a community worker.

Saturday’s entertainment will also include a Berry-Ottertail dance performance.

“We’re just trying to get more eyes on this amazing exhibit that Emma put on,” Moffatt said of this week’s concert series.

Emma Steen, an Anishinaabe without status living in Toronto, is the curator of the exhibition Locating Self Care in Urban Centers.

It focuses on indigenous and black perspectives on care as a method of resistance and sovereignty.

The exhibition highlights the work of two Indigenous artists, Susan Blight and Laura Grier. Blight is a member of the Couchiching First Nation while Grier is of the Deline First Nation since she was born in Yellowknife. Blight and Grier now live in Toronto.

Moffatt, who is not Indigenous, said he brought in Granville, who is in his first year of music studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, to be this week’s musical entertainment co-curator.

Granville previously worked with Moffatt at the Weengushk International Film Festival on Manitoulin Island. Moffatt is the director of the festival.

Granville said she was excited to be a part of the exhibit as it helps reduce harm to Indigenous people. And having a role in this week’s entertainment is also a plus.

“It also gives more visibility to indigenous artists,” she said.

The Collision Gallery is located at 18 Wellingston Street West in downtown Toronto.

The Locating Self Care in Urban Centers exhibit is part of Toronto’s year-long celebration of the public arts, which began in the fall and is called ArtworxTO.

William N. Fernandez