This past week, MUSKRAT was extremely excited to officially launch our brand new web site and our new issue, Issue 7: Indigenous Arts Education. The web site includes many new features—media releases, a national news roundup, job postings, and soon-to-be music, business, and artist gallery pages—that aim to better serve and be integral to the Indigenous community across Turtle Island.
MUSKRAT teamed up with award winning actor and musician Glen Gould, as he celebrated the release of the Donna’s Boy debut album On the Road. The evening was kicked off by Master of Ceremonies and well-known Indigenous funny man Ryan McMahon. MUSKRAT publisher and editor Rebeka Tabobondung spoke about how the Indigenous Arts Education issue is inspired by The Wisdom of the Universe as depicted in the issue cover art by prolific Métis artist, Christi Belcourt. The new issue will roll out profiles and commentary on Indigenous artists, educators, and learners who believe it is possible for the planet and our communities to return to a state of well-being.
The music portion of the evening started off with solo bluegrass performer Arthur Renwick with his whittled down and gritty songs delivered on the dobro. Next up were the Big Sounds and dance-worthy melodies of Cheri Maracle. Cheri—also celebrating her new album release, Ache of Love —brought the funk and eased the way for the local songwriter, musician, and producer Nadjiwan. Nadjiwan gave the crowd a little bit of rock’n’roll, building the momentum for the headlining act, Donna’s Boy (a band conjured and fronted by actor Glen Gould). Donna’s Boy had everyone busting moves on the dance floor with their 10+ piece band which included a horn section, keyboards, dobro, and so much more.
The crowd was pumped and you could feel the energy building in the room as the night moved forward. Many community members came out to support these extremely talented artists, and to help everyone celebrate new beginnings by dancing the night away.
Highlights included an introductory performance by up-and-coming comedian Nigel Bsu, a surprise appearance by David R. Maracle who sat in with Donna’s Boy on percussion, and a contest to win free ad space on the new muskratmagazine.com!
Chi miigwetch to all of the talented performers for sharing their evening with MUSKRAT, thanks to Christi Belcourt for permission to use her breathtaking artwork for our cover, and thank you to every single community member who made it out to help us celebrate as we journey into Issue 7: Indigenous Arts Education.