Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Canadian Aboriginal Festival

I attended the Canadian Aboriginal Festival, the largest of its kind in Canada on Sunday. It was my first time at this event which has been held at the Rogers Centre (Skydome) in Toronto for the last several years.

I got there for the Grand Entry of the native dance contestants and it was certainly a great spectacle to witness, much like the entry of athletes at Olympic games. It was great to see so much representation of different age groups and native bands from across North America.

Lots of video footage and photos were take so this will keep me busy. There will definitely be lots of new video clips and info articles to be added at our Native art website over the next few months. So stay tuned for announcements of additions to the website. The best way is to subscribe to our free monthly newsletter at the top right of this blog page.

I was very impressed with the dancers and the powerful drum music which accompanied each dance performance. I was less impressed with the quality and range of native artwork though. Most were bead work, dream catchers, low range jewelry and t-shirts on sale. The only Northwest Native representation was a single booth offering blankets. No Northwest Native artwork was present. There was one Inuit art booth with only a minimal number of small carvings available.

The traditional food was okay. I had a salad venison stew combo which was delicious. I also tried the buffalo burger but found the deep fried buns to be much too oily for my taste. At $7 per burger, the price was a bit steep too. This was the same price for the stew.

They had fashion shows there too but they were more contemporary and most of the action was still at the main dance areas. There were many other booths representing native groups and related businesses but I think these were of little interest to most attendees.

The Rogers Centre Skydome was a good indoor location for the event but given the relatively sparse attendance especially of non-natives, it might have been too large a venue as I would estimate that only 10 percent of stadium seats at most were ever occupied at any one time.

Would I go again? Sure, for the $10 ticket entry, the native dance and music performaces were certainly worth it.

Artwork at the event was disappointing but lots of great quality Native Aboriginal art is available at our gallery.

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