The Farquhar at UVic announces the launch of Voices in Circle, a new presenting series amplifying Indigenous cultural voices in the 2022-23 season.
The University of Victoria and the Farquhar at UVic are proud to announce Voices in Circle: Amplifying Indigenous Cultural Voices; a presenting and engagement series featuring established and emerging Indigenous artists.
Guided and curated by a programming circle of Indigenous artists, arts administrators, academics and leaders, the series will present diverse artistic expressions, including music, dance, theatre, burlesque, drag, comedy, mixed media, lectures and visual arts with a regional, provincial and national scope.
“This initiative is taking the first steps in true decolonization of institutionalized artistic spaces,” says programming circle member, carver and musician Tejas Collison.
“It’s a new way of doing things,” says Ian Case, director for the Farquhar at UVic. “UVic is committed to walking the path towards Truth and Reconciliation and Canada’s arts and cultural sector is changing. We’re committed to changing with it. We’re reconsidering our traditional role as a cultural gatekeeper and making space for a new approach.”
Community engagement activities will complement performances with talk-back sessions, workshops, artistic collaborations, knowledge sharing, mentorships, residencies and engagement with local Indigenous artists, Elders, communities, audiences and the public.
“Voices in Circle is doing the important work of talking the talk and more importantly walking the walk, by implementing a decolonized approach to meetings and discussions,” says Collison. “These values are carried throughout all aspects of the initiative … shining a much-needed light on the often underrepresented Indigenous artists from around B.C.”
“It has been so powerful to sit together with other Indigenous people and to speak openly and honestly about what we see in our communities, what is needed, and how to best offer that up.”
“To speak for those who have not been in these spaces is a responsibility, but also so encouraging,” says Rebecca Hass, programming circle member, Métis performance artist and Director of Engagement Programs at Pacific Opera Victoria.
Hass adds, “Working with the Farquhar through Ian Case has given us the time and space to co-create a circle of leadership and a way of co-leading that honours all the voices in the room, creating more opportunity to be of benefit to our local Indigenous communities. We are building trust through relationships built on respect and a true sharing of power. “
Voices in Circle went on sale to the public on July 22 through the UVic Ticket Centre at 250-721-8480. Tickets are also available online at tickets.uvic.ca.
Those seeking creativity, culture and community will find it at the Farquhar at UVic. More info at uvic.ca/farquhar.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated from its original version.