May is for Manito Ahbee Fest

The 2016 Manito Ahbee festival is coming downtown May 18-22. What it’s all about? It’s an annual celebration of Indigenous arts, culture, music and heritage, and it showcases the talents of Indigenous artists from all nations.

The festival kicks off with the Lighting of the Sacred Fire at Oodena Circle at The Forks. There will be live music and dance as well as offerings of tobacco to the sacred fire. In the days to follow, you can take part in a variety of activities.

If you’re interested in music, you will want to register for the Indigenous Music Conference, which is a two-day conference facilitated by music industry entrepreneurs. Communicate and collaborate with other musicians and learn how to get your music career started.

Students are invited to join in the MTS Future First Education Day. Pre-register your school or group to take part in an exploration of traditional teachings mixed with music featuring drum and electronic beats.

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There are also opportunities to witness or take part in the traditional dance. The 2016 Getting Jiggy With It competition consists of the square dance competition and the jigging competition, both of which are taking place May 21 and 22. Register online if you want to take part or purchase tickets to watch from Ticketmaster.

The International Pow Wow will also take place May 21 and 22 at the RBC Convention Centre. You can buy tickets to watch or register online to take part in the dance competitions to win cash prizes. The Manito Ahbee International Pow Wow is the largest in Canada and the second largest in North America.

Other events during the festival include the Celebrate Indigenous Music Concert at the Club Regent Event Centre, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Indigenous Marketplace & Trade Show at the RBC Convention Centre, and the Art Expo & Art Challenge at the RBC Convention Centre. You can check out Manito Ahbee’s website for more information.

It’s a packed schedule! Be sure you free up some time to check out Manito Ahbee–I know I’ll make the time!

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