Dances of Resistance

Arts, Culture and Heritage are the building blocks of society as they represent the health that comes from fundamental aspects of “community” working properly. When the management of a community, municipality or first nation band has a good relationship with their residents as well as stable planning for their infrastructure, people on the ground feel empowered to do good work and the quality of life increases. Nipissing First Nations is one of the communities within the Nipissing District that has that quality. Things are done efficiently and as a result the creative sector is growing and thriving.

aanmitaagzi_webOne of the local arts groups that are based on Nipissing is Aanmitaagzi who works from the Big Medicine Studio located at 161 Couchie Memorial Drive. Aanmitaagzi is a multi-arts group working primarily in Dance and Theatre but engaging in Visual, Literary and Media arts as well. Each summer Aanmitaagzi conducts their “Aanmitaagzi Summer Arts Program” or ASAP, which is a training program for local youth entering into the field of the arts. This year’s program has reached new levels of engagement as they have more than 30 participating emerging artists and young professionals collaborating together while previous years hosted approximately 12 professionals instead. The reason why the amount has increased so much from previous years is that this year Aanmitaagzi is finishing its three-year “Dances of Resistance” project with a big presentation. They have pulled out all the stops and committed a huge amount towards making this presentation a huge success. In addition to the 30 existing artists, 30+ more are expected to come from local volunteers as well as several travelling from all over the province from partnering arts organizations eager to make a contribution to this monumental event.

The Dances of Resistance presentation is scheduled over three days August 27th – 29th leading up to the Nipissing First Nation 26th Annual Traditional Pow wow. Aanmitaagzi will be continuing their exploration of Aboriginal identity and artistic practices with incredible courage and tenacity. Exploring themes that affect us every day yet are seldom recognized and acknowledged. This project seeks to honor and celebrate the many ways that we all Resist and to share these triumphs of spirit and resilience with the world, through the powerful language of art. It will be a spectacle of all forms of contemporary and traditional arts taking place at Big Medicine Studio, Nbisiing Secondary School, White Water Gallery and several outdoor areas around Nipissing First Nations. For more information on the event itself as well as how you can get involved in being part of it, go to Aanmitaagzi’s website: or call them at: (705) 474-2227. This event will be a landmark presentation for our region; I hope to see you there.

Article originally Published in North Bay Nipissing News