It’s been a minute since we’ve posted on here…! We wanted to let you know that after a pause and longer break that we’ve decided to end Sister Says. We’ll be celebrating all of our memories with some fun shows this summer with our full band. It’s been amazing having the opportunity for many years to organically song write, run a band & perform music with family. We’ve performed some pretty awesome shows over the years locally, throughout Canada, and internationally. We’d like to thank everyone that’s supported us & are grateful to have worked with all of the artists we’ve worked with. See you this summer! Much love. xox. Photo by us.
So, we have been taking a bit of a break and scaling back on shows as different members of the band pursue different music projects and myself heads back to school to pursue my formal music training. We’re back for the summer, though! We have a great collection of local shows & can’t wait to see you there. We have some new musician guests playing with us & will be performing mainly as a larger band. We hope we can be part of your summer plans, play music for you and hang!
Hey! Here’s a listing of our current 2018 summer dates. We’ll keep you posted on any edits & dates added:)
Hey! We’re starting to plan some new things for you. Expect some exciting posts soon! We’re currently in the process of updates & revamping. Also, upcoming spring & summer Vancouver + BC & Eastern Canadian summer dates TBA.
It is almost 2018!! Ahhhhh….
We’ve had our busiest year yet! Sister Says was booked all throughout late spring and summer and regularly throughout the months, performing at a mix of clubs, Indigenous community events, private events and BC festivals. Thank you to all the people who booked Sister Says, provided accommodations and support, attended our shows, connected us with new opportunities and to anyone who’s just been very nice in general. We appreciate you!!
-We released a video of a live studio version of new song “Full like the Moon” at the wonderful “Space Studios” in Vancouver through Indigenous music platform “Digital Drum”.
-Being included on Spotify Canada’s Feminist Friday playlist which brought more new listeners to our music!
-Curating, co-producing and performing at “Giving Voice,” a diverse concert with an Indigenous twist where Sister Says partnered with Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art and Christ Church Cathedral. 100 free tickets were offered through SFU’s Right to Culture Program to various community groups in the #DTES and beyond. Burgundy Asset Management, the City of Vancouver and Vancity provided financial support.
-Performing at shows/events including: “Forty Years of Room Magazine” event at Fox Cabaret in Vancouver, our first ever show at Skwachays Gallery in Vancouver, “Celebrating Together” event in Smithers, BC, Unceded Traditions Gallery Reception at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, Drum is Calling Festival in Vancouver, Kispiox Valley Music Festival in Kispiox, BC, National Aboriginal Day Celebration at Canada Place and “Night Shift: Supernatural Vibes” show at Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver to name more than a few…. We also enjoyed performing at Abbotsford Rotary Stadium this summer, sharing the stage with many talented indie artists!
Below are pics of “Giving Voice,” It was a highlight in many ways. Programming with diversity in mind is important (more female musicians and speakers/point of view and more Indigenous/diverse artists throughout various music and art scenes) and there’s always a need for more young Indigenous curators and voices- we wanted to highlight that. It was a bit of a statement via concert in a lot of ways. All artists involved were amazing. Photo credit: Derek Stevens Photography.
Gillian & the Sister Says family
This summer has probably been our most busy summer yet! We’re super grateful for all the gigs. We also feel that we’ve worked hard and it’s so nice to get a really positive response.
Kispiox Valley music Festival was such a good time. So many awesome people! Also, we really enjoyed all of the music. For those that don’t know, Kispiox is gorgeous Gitxsan territory. We stayed in a serene house with a big backyard, pigs, a dog and five little puppies during our time there. So idyllic….
It was an honour sharing the stage with inspiring Indigenous musicians Kinnie Starr, Diyet and Joel West at Celebrating Together Festival in Smithers. We were a little concerned about the forest fires on our way up there but everything ended up working out in the end. The organizers and everyone else involved were so lovely. It also rained previous to our performance slot which was great!
Drum is Calling in Vancouver was a treat to perform at as well. It was also the first time we had our own trailer and full on artist area. Talk about spoiled! The Unceded Traditions, Unceded Territories exhibit reception at Queen Elizabeth with the band was a blast too. We also had a chance to catch up with extremely talented Haida artist Jim Hart.
Performing in a project for so many years can be very rewarding. If you’re dedicated and fully into it you grow, get smarter about how you go about things, and make lasting meaningful connections and friendships. This summer was beautiful reminder of that.
Thanks to everyone that’s supported us this year!
Check it out! We’re looking forward to our upcoming shows in Smithers, Vancouver & Kispiox!
Wow! Giving Voice on June 15th was SO special! I’ve taken a little bit of downtime and time off from posting as much because we’ve been pretty busy with gigs. Also, Giving Voice required a lot of love and energy in order to happen. We are so happy that the night happened and that it was such a success. There was a great turn-out and all the diverse artists involved added their own unique magic to the night.
We’ll say it again…a BIG thank you to Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art and Christ Church Cathedral for being such awesome partners. THANK YOU all you lovely audience members that were in attendance! ALSO, a very big thank you to our concert funders! Some of the themes of the night included celebrating diversity, bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artist spaces and continuing the legacy of Bill Reid’s music concerts.
Below are some pics that the talented Derek Stevens Photography took during the night. The rest of the photos can be found on Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art’s facebook and Sister Says’s facebook pages.
Vancouver! You don’t want to miss Sister Says’s VERY special curated show on June 15th (which we are also performing in)…. We’ve partnered with Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art & Christ Church Cathedral Vancouver to present “Giving Voice” a concert that carries on the legacy of acclaimed Haida master goldsmith, carver, sculptor, writer and spokesman Bill Reid’s concerts at Christ Church Cathedral & celebrates diverse artists with an Indigenous twist! : https://www.givingvoice.ca/ Get your tickets now!
With performances by:
Tickets available at: https://www.givingvoice.ca/
RSVP by clicking HERE (Facebook event page)
My artist statement, which also includes notes from my brother Rob’s statement (more fully explaining the why behind “Giving Voice”):
Giving Voice Concert is a stage for Indigenous and diverse performers. It’s a celebration of an array of different types of sounds where music ranges anywhere from spinning electronic and EDM to performances of blues music, activist hip hop, live looping, ambient and soul in an exceptional acoustic setting at Christ Church Cathedral. Curated by mixed Haida-Tsimshian contemporary music artists Gillian and Robert Thomson, from the soulful pop band Sister Says, the concert was inspired by Haida master artist Bill Reid’s concerts at the Haida House which were popular and easily accessible to all. One hundred complimentary tickets will be distributed to non-profit organizations that support lower-income families and youth. Giving Voice is also inspired by a need for different voices to be heard. As Indigenous and diverse people it is important that we work together to provide various platforms for performance and art. For the spectrum of different voices to be heard and for a larger understanding of what community truly means we also need to reach out, develop and expand our audiences. By collaborating with Bill Reid Gallery and Christ Church Cathedral we are utilizing the power of partnership to create our own space which is key because there is a lack of different types of venues and spaces in this city with diverse programming in mind. It’s not just about creating dialogue and talking about what we could do or what should happen it’s about actually doing it. Grace Dove (actor in The Revenant and host of APTN’s UnderEXPOSED) and Linsay Willier (Canada’s Next Top model and Actor), examples of inspiring young Indigenous voices, will speak throughout the night. Senior member of the Squamish Council and spiritual and cultural guide Dennis Joseph will open the night with a prayer and will also join in on harmonica.
A lot has happened since I’ve last blogged.
We’ve done a series of shows in different formats & places. These include: The Talking Stick Festival as a duo at YVR, African Heritage Festival of Music & Dance as a full five piece band, at Leləm’ Arts and Cultural Cafe as a three piece, as a full band at Fox Cabaret for Room Magazine, Skwachàys lodge Gallery as a three piece and The Belmont as a four piece band. It’s been amazing having the chance to play so much and in so many dope venues/places.
At our Belmont Bar show, last Thursday, the lovely Jonas did a very nice review of our band. Check it out here: Ride the Tempo Concert Review
Also! Here’s some epic pics that Cumulus Photography by Skylar Santimeau did of us that night:
04/18/2017 The Roxy (trio performance), opening for acts Zulu Panda (Vancouver) & Friends of Foes (Saskatoon), 932 Granville St, Vancouver, more details to be announced
05/13/2017 May Day Block Party, Port Coquitlam, more details to be announced
Much love always,