Travelling music and arts festival New Constellations set to cross the country

October 30, 2017

There’s a brand new travelling roadshow making its way through Canada this fall. It promises not only spectacular sets from some of the country’s most exciting musicians, but celebration, mentorship, storytelling, workshops, a digital curriculum, and finally, a tour documentary once it’s all wrapped up. New Constellations is—in the words of its website—the first of its kind: “A music and literary, national tour travelling to cities, towns, and Indigenous communities, and featuring a core roster of Indigenous artists alongside a rotating cast of some of the country’s most celebrated musicians, writers, and poets coming together for an intimate evening of song and storytelling.” Sounds pretty rad.

The project has been masterminded by The Basement Revue (Jason Collett’s concert series) and Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), a global Indigenous music platform and record label. And the lineup is stacked, too. Among the performers—who are all making different stops on the tour, so check who’s dropping by the date closest to you—there’s Polaris Prize 2017 winner Lido Pimienta, electronic ‘Powwow-Step’ wizards A Tribe Called Red, A Complicated Kindness author Miriam Toews, activist Naomi Klein, and Toronto art-rockers Weaves. The tour will include a mentorship program where artists like DJ NDN, Narcy, Pimienta, IsKwé and Weaves’ Jasmyn Burke will get together with Indigenous youth to help them hone creative skills.

Once the curtains are closed on the 2017 edition, New Constellations will get its very own tour documentary, produced by Antica Productions, and directed by Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer. In a statement, Jarrett Martineau, who co-founded RPM, said, “The power of New Constellations is in the new relationships and creative connections that are being made. Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists rarely perform or create together, so this is an amazing opportunity to see what happens when they do. With where we are in this country’s history, that collaboration is more important than ever.” Hear, hear!

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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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