In many aboriginal and First Nations communities, The Talking Stick is a symbol of order and respect. Traditionally, only those in possession of the talking stick are permitted to speak while others wait with respectful attention.
The Confederation Centre of the Arts Young Company’s new musical play, THE TALKING STICK, aims to respectfully tell our First Peoples’ stories; to use music, dance and spoken word to remind all people of the great diversity and surprising commonalities of our First Nations communities.
The Talking Stick runs daily at 12 noon from July 1 – August 20 at the outdoor amphitheatre at Confederation Centre of the Arts (beside Province House) or within Memorial Hall in case of inclimate weather.
Before there were provinces and borders, before there were territories and times zones, there were people. Canada’s Aboriginal and First Nations people were historically governed by the forces of nature and geography, rather than by political and financial alliances. They are the people of the North, the Plains, the Coast, the Mountains and the Woodlands. They are the people of earth and wind, of fire and water. In isolation and in concert, they have created language and culture, arts and music, history, agriculture and industry.
In THE TALKING STICK, First Peoples’ legends and traditions come to life; a Haida dance may tell the tale of THE WHALE’S GOOD DEED while a Blackfoot Story Robe details an historic and bloody battle with the Cree. Traditional language and customs combine with modern technology to bring sights and sounds to life. Audiences can expect the beat of a water drum to underscore a modern rap song as synthesizers introduce contemporary native music. While history is honoured, modern achievements in science, technology and the arts are celebrated.
As part of the Confederation Centre of the Arts Young Company’s celebrated, WE ARE CANADIAN series, THE TALKING STICK invited aboriginal and First Nations students from every province and territory to audition for one of twelve roles in the production. These young Canadians, pursuing post-secondary education in Arts and Social Sciences, work directly with the Charlottetown Festival’s Artistic Directors to research, create and perform the show. Their program incorporates intense training in all facets of the performing arts including voice, dance, drama and comedy, delivered by professional members of the Charlottetown Festival team.
From Saulteaux sweat-lodges of Saskatchewan to Malacite Wigwams of Newfoundland, THE TALKING STICK is a celebration on Kanata’s Aboriginal and First Nations people.