I had a GREAT time at Artswells Festival in Wells BC from August 4th-7th. I travelled up a day early on the 3rd. I got to hangout and fall asleep underneath the stars. Was very lovely.
I was joined up there by Janet Rogers, who linked the show, Kym Gouchie, Csetkwe, Ta'Kaiya Blaney, Kalilah Rampanen, Kasp and Mob Bounce. We had a pretty deadly squad with some awesome supporters as well.
The festival is held RIGHT in the town of Wells, an old mining town near Barkerville. My campsite was in Barkerville at the place called Government Hill, right next to a graveyard. I really didn't think about that when I was falling asleep watching stars. It was lovely none the less. There are a handful of very Kool venues there. The town sort of looks like a Rez in someways, the community atmosphere reminds you of a Rez.
My first work there was sitting in a workshop at St. Saviour's with a lovely singer-songwriter named Sarah Jane Scouten, who is from the Gulf Islands but lives in Toronto. She asked me to sit in on a workshop about Songs From The Pacific Northwest. She was adamant about having some Indigenous perspective there. I shared a spoken word piece and we showed some wax cylinder recordings of songs recorded at Spence's Bridge by James Teit in 1916 and then another track of kids singing Anglican songs in the N'laka'pamux language at Shullus in 1952, just after the potlatch ban was lifted.
Then I had nothing until the Sunday. Got to hang out with the Mob Bounce bros for a bit, shoot the breeze with Csetkwe and checkout other shows.
My first set was also at the St. Saviours Anglican Church in Barkerville.
I read my new bit about Canada 150+ and some other select spoken word pieces as well as a performance of "Where I Belong" that features Kinnie Starr. It all went really well.
Later that night we all went to the Sunset Theatre for the Indigenous showcase featuring Janet Rogers, Ta'Kaiya Blaney + Kalilah Rampanen, Csetkwe, Warren Hooley, Melawmen Collective and myself. The night moved into a hiphop collaboration which was REAL deadly. After that we all danced to Buckman Coe and Adham Shaikh. I got to jump on stage for that as well. It was real deadly.
All in all....Artswells is one of my new favourites and I hope I get to go back soon.
Here's some photos for you to check out.