Skookum Indigenous Arts Program

By Erin Jeffery In Uncategorized January 11, 2018

Savage Society and the Massey Theatre Society have joined their artistic forces and are launching the inaugural Indigenous multi disciplinary arts series: The Skookum Indigenous Arts Program. This program is made possible by a three-year grant from the Vancouver Foundation.

This program consists of original plays, dance, film and mixed arts utilizing the theatrical resources of a colonial institution in helping make Indigenous talent visible, raising awareness of the talent and fostering cultural exchange and dialogue.  It is truly reconciliation in action.

The first schedule of events is taking place in the month of January in New Westminster at the Massey Theatre, the Plaskett Gallery (in the Massey Theatre) and the Anvil Centre.

January schedule of events

Jan 13             Public Reading of White Noise by Taran Kootenhayoo – 7pm, Plaskett Gallery FREE

White Noise is a comedy on racial commentary – an effort to dissect the micro and macro nuance of racism that exists within Canada, particularly between indigenous and non-indigenous folks.  The hope is to explore the layered racism through comedy that exists within ourselves and to witness it in others.

Jan 15             Public Reading of Thanks for Giving by Kevin Loring – 7pm, Plaskett Gallery FREE

The New Canadian play with lots to chew on!  While Nan bastes the turkey and prepares the stuffing, her husband hides a freshly hunted bear in the garage and her troublesome daughter is raiding her purse again. To top it all off, her grandchildren have chosen this Thanksgiving to disclose some unexpected personal truths to the family. In this intimate and restorative new play, the table is set and the main course is legacy, but the dessert is pumpkin pie.

Jan 18             Gathering: Skookum Arts Programming Launch at Massey Theatre     FREE

Family Pow Wow Dance Class – 3:30pm Massey Theatre Lobby            

Catered Public Reception by BigHeart Bannock Catering  Plaskett Gallery         

Artlatch – 5pm, Massey Theatre

Artlatch will transform Massey Theatre into a gathering/witnessing space for the work of reawakening + sharing artistic and culture gifts. You are asked to witness.

The potlatch is often remembered for its grand giveaways and redistribution of wealth by a chief or respected leader in the community. Canoes would travel from many distances around to witness the work the host of the ‘sɫənəq’(pronounced sl-t-en-ek)or gathering had in mind. In the same essence, we look to use art as a gift and reason to gather and take space in our own ‘Artlatch’. A space to gather, to share, to bundle and to give with arts, performance, music, history, stories, dance, drumming and all other creative gifts.

Jan 24 & 25    The Pipeline Project – 1pm daily & 7:30pm Jan 25 at Anvil Centre Theatre Produced by ITSAZOO Productions and Savage Productions Society

The Pipeline Project brings three people together – two Indigenous and one white – to confront prejudices, while wrestling with their own fossil fuel dependency, and cultural heritage. It is a provocative yet comedic take on the political conflicts surrounding Canada’s oil industry.

Jan 26             Story Catching Gathering – 3:30pm – 7:30pm, Plaskett Gallery FREE

Jan 29             Rumble The Indians who Rocked the World at 7:30pm, Massey Theatre

Last Monday at the Movies Arts Council New Westminster & Massey Theatre film series

The Indians Who Rocked the World film is outstanding. This is a feature documentary about the role of Native Americans in popular music history. The Indians who rocked the world tells the story of a profound, essential, and, missing chapter in the history of American music: The Indigenous Influence.

Featuring music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Robbie Robertson, Redbone, Randy Castillo, and Tabu. Rumble shows these talented First Nations musicians in they helped shape the soundtracks of our lives

Ongoing to Jan. 30  

Mixed Reviews – The Art of Carrielynn Victor & Bracken Hanuse Corlett                               Plaskett Gallery FREE

All events are FREE except The Pipeline Project and The Indians Who Rocked the World. Tickets can be purchased at on

Venues:   Massey Theatre & Plaskett Gallery, 735 Eighth Ave, New Westminster

                 Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St. New Westminster