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Billy Joe Green | Image Source: Aboriginal Music Manitoba

Winnipeg, MB –  Aboriginal Music Manitoba (AMM) and the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc. (Ma Mawi) are joining forces to produce the second annual Turtle Island Block Party on Thursday, August 20 during Aboriginal Music Week 2015 and Billy Joe Green, the Spirit Sands Singers, and the Junior Jiggers of the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers are on board for the concert.

The free community celebration is set for 12PM to 5PM at the Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre (510 King Street) and it will include free music workshops, a free community BBQ, activity stations for kids, and the concert. AMM has also rented a larger tent to provide shade for Elders who wish to take in the entertainment.

“Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre is thrilled to once again be partnering with Aboriginal Music Manitoba to bring a day of excitement and entertainment to the Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre, “states Diane Redsky, executive director of Ma Mawi. “We identify with so many aspiring young people who are moved by music and the performances always bring such inspiration to the community. We value such a meaningful collaboration with the festival and we’re certainly looking forward to this year’s event!”

The community BBQ will include free hotdogs, drinks, and snacks. It will begin at 2PM and conclude when all the food is gone. AMM would like to acknowledge the Amiskusees: Semaganis Worme Family Foundation for their financial support of the community BBQ.

  • Billy Joe Green is guitar slinging blues man who has earned the Best Blues CD (2006 & 2009 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards), Best Male Artist (2002 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards), and Best Aboriginal Recording (2001 Western Canadian Music Awards) titles over the course of his 30+ year career.
  • The Spirit Sands Singers are a pow wow singing group named after a small desert in central Manitoba, which is considered a powerful spiritual place.The singers come from Swan Lake First Nation, Sakgeeng First Nation, Standing Buffalo First Nation, Black River First Nation, and Wampole Island.
  • The Junior Jiggers of the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers carry on the traditions of their parent group by creating toe tapping enthusiasm from their audiences with modern, unique dance steps blended with the traditional Métis Red River Dance style.

“I see a bright and sunny day with lots of kids running around and a group of respected Elders seated comfortably under a tent in front of a great concert,” says AMM chairperson Alan Greyeyes. “The audience will watch in awe as Billy Joe Green puts together power chords; they’ll stand and clap when the Junior Jiggers hit the dance floor; and, they’ll be reminded of our connection to the land when the big drum is joined by the Spirit Sands Singers.”

The Turtle Island Block Party will be completely free. Audiences can expect a family friendly environment (no beer gardens) with great sound and exceptional music in a great community setting. Aboriginal Music Week produces concerts in neighbourhoods throughout the city in an effort to make it easier for families to walk to the venues, but music lovers from outside the neighbourhood are more than welcome to attend.

The concert is set for an outdoor stage beside the Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre and a dance floor will be constructed between the stage and audience for performances by the square dancers.

The Turtle Island Block Party
Billy Joe Green, Spirit Sands Singers, Junior Jiggers of the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers, special guests to be announced
Thursday, August 20, 2015
12PM – 5PM
Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre, 510 King Street
Free Concert | Free Music Workshops
Community BBQ sponsored by the Amiskusees: Semaganis Worme Family Foundation
All Ages, Families Welcome
Please bring lawn chairs
aboriginalmusicweek.ca | #IndigenousExcellence

Aboriginal Music Week 2015 is set for August 18 – 22 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It will include four community celebrations at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre, the Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre, the Austin Street Festival, and St. John’s Park. Four lunch hour concerts, three days of music workshops, two ticketed concerts, two networking dinners, and mentor meetings with three international artists round out the festival programming this year.

AMM has announced the following details for Aboriginal Music Week 2015 to date. Full details for the festival will be released in the next four weeks.

JUNE 3: Aboriginal Music Week welcomes the Austin Street Festival to it’s family, performers announced (read here)
JUNE 18: Spence Neighbourhood Block Party moves to Wednesday, concert lineup announced (read here)
JUNE 25: Legendary country singer to headline third annual Aboriginal Music Week Stage at Picnic in the Park (read here)

About Aboriginal Music Week

Aboriginal Music Week was launched in 2009 to develop Aboriginal youth as an audience for live music. The festival presents between 25 and 35 First Nation, Métis, Inuit, Native American, and Indigenous music acts each year. It is held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and is produced by AMM.

AMM would like to acknowledge the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of Manitoba, and the Winnipeg Arts Council for their financial support of Aboriginal Music Week 2015.

AMM would like to acknowledge RPM.fm, the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR) and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, Grassroots News, North End Revitalization Incorporated, the City of Winnipeg, the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation, the National Music Centre, and Amiskusees: Semaganis Worme Family Foundation for their support of Aboriginal Music Week 2015.

We acknowledge the financial support of FACTOR and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.

Visit aboriginalmusicweek.ca for more information about the festival.

Visit ammb.ca for more information about AMM.

About the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc.

The Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc. (Ma Mawi) was established in 1984 to reclaim Aboriginal people’s inherent role and responsibility as the caregivers for Aboriginal children and families in Winnipeg.

Ma Mawi is a community mandated, Aboriginal directed and supported human service organization, delivering children in care and community based programs and services to Aboriginal families.

Visit mamawi.com for more information.

For more information about Aboriginal Music Week, please contact:

Alan Greyeyes, Chairperson
Aboriginal Music Manitoba
P: (204) 296-9790
E: alan@ammb.ca

For more information about the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc., please contact:

Marlene Davis, Communications Officer
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc.
P: (204) 925-0329
E: mdavis@mamawi.com

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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