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.
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:
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.
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.
Guess what?! Indigenous music platform, Digital Drum will be dropping a new episode of DD Studio Sessions Season One featuring us truly! Check out Digital Drum’s site HERE on January 4th for the behind the scenes recording process of a brand new Sister Says song at The Space Studios in Vancouver. Max Ley (drums) and Lonny Eagleton (guitar) complete the full band.
We had a great time at Hindenburg, Vancouver on Remembrance day. Thank you everyone who came out! The line up that night also consisted of amazing acts: Fortune Killers (Victoria), Cassandra Bangel and Zulu Panda.
Right now: We are the process of demoing our new songs for a brand new EP & more….expect a new single out in the New Year! We’ve been pretty busy songwriting and getting inspired but we promise that we’ll be releasing more soon.
We can’t wait for our show happening on November 11th (Remembrance Day) with Victoria based synth pop/rock band Fortune Killers (formerly Isobel Trigger), indie-folk rock act Zulu Panda and captivating loop artist Cassandra Bangel at Hindenburg in Vancouver! We’ll be performing with our full band which includes Max Ley on drums, Keith Sinclair on guitar and Trevor Ainsworth on percussion. Fortune Killers will also be releasing their brand new single “Fool’s Gold!”