Friday, 23 February 2018 05:31

International Peace Powwow and Festival will educate, inspire

Written by  Demi Knight
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Participants of the 2017 International Peace Pow-wow and festival come out to raise the flags at the 18th annual event. Participants of the 2017 International Peace Pow-wow and festival come out to raise the flags at the 18th annual event.

The Blackfoot Canadian Cultural Society is bringing indigenous arts to Lethbridge with the annual International Peace Powwow and Festival.


On Feb. 24-25, in an extraordinary celebration  there will be a showcasing of the best indigenous cultures have to offer in music, dance and visual arts, the 19th annual festival and powwow is back at the Enmax Centre to encourage, showcase and develop indigenous artists passions as well as allow Albertans of all backgrounds to be a part of this unique experience.
“In addition to providing incentive for Indigenous youth development through the arts,” says Maryann Healy, organizer of event. “The Powwow also provides Albertans with an opportunity to experience Indigenous performing arts and to take the lead in encouraging the cross-cultural and community development that is made possible through the International Peace Powwow.”
Taking place at the Enmax Centre this year, the festival usually brings together an average of four-hundred dancers, 12 drum groups and over 3,000 spectators, with performers from both Canada and the United States. Starting with a trade show and talent showcase, the two-day event will then see different stages of dancing including competitions for both women and men, tiny tots, juniors and teens as well as Inter-tribal which is a time open for everyone to get up and join in with the festivities.
However, it’s not only dance that this festival celebrates, but the international peace powwow itself and hearing from drum groups as well as participants of the Miss Blackfoot Canada pageant.
All the while, the atmosphere offers everyone in attendance a spiritual cultural experience that keeps audiences engaged from start to finish.
“The competitions are intense with so much talent in the arena. I am always amazed at the spontaneity of the dancers competing on the fly to songs unheard of before, armed only with their repertoire of steps, moves and a keen ear,” explains Healy. “Now that is spontaneous art — a one-of-a-kind experience."
With the International Peace Powwow and Festival being the largest social event many attend during the winter season, last year  a total of 3,469 tickets were sold. Organizers hope to continue its growth with this year’s festival.
From offering inclusive experiences for people of all different backgrounds to get involved with, the festival offers the perfect bridge for cultures to come together, understand and celebrate one and other in a fun and entertaining way, says Healy.
"This is the largest social event that I get to attend during the winter — a great cure for cabin fever. I get to catch up with old friends, make new friends and take in a dance or two and join in as a spectator at the Intertibals.”
Tickets for this year's event are currently still on sale for $17 general admission for each day, $15 for seniors and students and $7 for youths.
However since the festival is a two-day event occurring on both on Saturday Feb. 24 and Sunday Feb. 25 weekend passes to attend both days are available for a price of $29 for all.
Tickets are being sold through the Enmax centre and can be purchased online by visiting their website at: http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?orgid=48069&schedule=list&group_id=705052

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