The National Music Centre (NMC) will open Studio Bell with free admission on September 30, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. As part of this important day of dialogue and understanding, NMC will present a discussion at 1:00 pm on the power of music for reconciliation, hosted by David McLeod, curator of the National Music Centre’s Speak Up! exhibition. The event will also be livestreamed on amplify.nmc.ca.
Joining the panel are Cree artist Fawn Wood, recipient of the first JUNO Award for Traditional Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year in 2022 and one of latest artists to be featured in the Speak Up! exhibition; néhiyaw rapper, educator and activist Eekwol, who uses her voice to spread messages of resistance, revolution and keeping the language, land, and culture alive for future generations; and Calgary-based Métis artist Shane Ghostkeeper, founder of the band Ghostkeeper, whose most recent solo album, Songs for My People, is a reverential tribute to the music he absorbed while growing up in Northern Alberta Métis communities.
Visitors to Studio Bell are also encouraged to check out the recently updated Speak Up! exhibition, which is supported by TD Bank Group. The exhibition recognizes powerful Indigenous voices in music, including recently added artists Tom Jackson, Elisapie, Ferron, Fawn Wood, and Drezus. Featuring storytelling, audio, and artifacts, visitors to Speak Up! can learn how Indigenous artists are fostering dialogue and understanding to radically shift the Canadian paradigm of who First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people are.
“Music has an ability as a universal language to bring people together and share stories, and hopefully bridge reconciliation and foster understanding that can break down stereotypes and misconceptions,” said David McLeod (member of the Pine Creek First Nation), Curator of Speak Up, NMC Board Member, and Chair of NMC’s National Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee. “Through this panel and exhibition, we ultimately hope to promote healing, understanding, and empowerment, which can break down barriers and build relationships; this ultimately promotes reconciliation at both an individual and collective level.”