Adäka Cultural Festival

Adäka Cultural Festival

Adäka means “coming into the light” in the Southern Tutchone language. The Festival is committed to shining a light on the creative spirit of Yukon First Nations people, helping to preserve and revitalize our arts and culture

Voices Across The Water

Voices Across the Water follows two master boat builders as they practice their art and find a way back to balance and healing.

Coming into the light

  It was in 2011 that the first ever Adäka Cultural Festival was held on the waterfront outside the Old Fire Hall. The festival has grown exponentially since then and is now recognized as the biggest Indigenous music, arts and culture festival in the North. The festival’s mission is to showcase and celebrate the Yukon’s unique …

Coming into the light Read More »

The Junction and JAR (Junction Artist in Residence)

Landing in Whitehorse for the first time, Henry Navarro Delgado arrived in the Yukon knowing nothing about the place. Delgado wanted to remain as open-minded as possible when he settled into the coveted Junction Artist in Residence (JAR) Program in Haines Junction.

Canada Day

Make the Most of Your Canada Day!

Summer sun brings with it loads of visitors to the various Yukon campgrounds, especially on the long weekends. Those folks joining the campers for the Canada Day long weekend will be missing out! On July 1, Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday. The festivities, therefore, will be 150 times bigger than they have been in …

Make the Most of Your Canada Day! Read More »

Celebrate First Nations Culture

Take some time off work – that’s the only way you’ll be able to enjoy all the programming offered by the Adäka Cultural Festival this month. That’s the suggestion from Lynn Feasey, director of arts for Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association, which hosts the festival each year. Feasey is joking, but, looking at …

Celebrate First Nations Culture Read More »

Arts, Culture and Creation

“Artists show the world unseen,” says Tahltan First Nation artist Rhoda Merkel. “Teachers show students a better form of themselves.” Merkel, who was raised in Whitehorse but lives in Atlin, combines both talents in her newest project, the Sam Johnston Storytelling Festival, which takes place Tuesday, March 7 in Teslin. The festival is a collaboration, …

Arts, Culture and Creation Read More »

Calling Aboriginal Artists!

The Yukon First Nation Culture and Tourism Association is looking for artists, artisans, musicians and performers from the Yukon and abroad to be part of the seventh annual Adäka Cultural Festival, which takes place at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre from June 30th to July 6th.   “We generally reach out to the well-established group …

Calling Aboriginal Artists! Read More »

Resisting and Resurging

This year the Yukon Film Society (YFS) returns to the Adäka Cultural Festival with more First Nations programming. The collaboration between Adäka and YFS allows all the screenings to be free. Screenings run July 3 and 4 at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre during the festival, which takes place July 1 to 7. Screenings begin …

Resisting and Resurging Read More »

Invitation for an Authentic Experience

Yukon First Nations are planning ways to offer authentic cultural experiences for visitors. The plan to bolster cultural tourism among the Yukon First Nations has been in the works for a while, but this week people from across the Yukon Territory are getting together for a conference in Whitehorse to discuss ways to strengthen this …

Invitation for an Authentic Experience Read More »

Writing Across the Borders

An ambitious pan-Northern ensemble of seasoned musicians from all three territories will make its debut in Whitehorse next week as one of the performance highlights of the fifth annual Adäka Cultural Festival. The New North Collective will bring together the songwriting and performing talents of four Yukoners, two residents of the Northwest Territories, and a …

Writing Across the Borders Read More »

Playing With Fire by Theo Fleury

I heard Theo Fleury speak at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse last summer during the Adäka Cultural Festival, but hadn’t had a chance to read his autobiography, Playing With Fire, until recently. I finished it quickly. He writes forcefully about his addictions and the abuse and neglect that underpinned them. Much of the …

Playing With Fire by Theo Fleury Read More »

Ancestral Ways

Juanita Growing Thunder-Fogarty lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in the tiny community of North San Juan, on the same property her paternal ancestors settled during the California Gold Rush of 1849. But her heart is inextricably linked to the Great Plains territory of her Sioux and Assiniboine forebears, and the beading …

Ancestral Ways Read More »

Makushan-maker

Florent Vollant’s first exposure to music was in his family’s cabin on a trapline in Labrador. After a successful caribou hunt, the family would celebrate with traditional songs and dances, in the Innu tradition of the makushan, or pow wow.  “I was four or five years old the first time I remember the sound of …

Makushan-maker Read More »

Feels Like a Celebration

First, she says, it allows artists, performers and cultural sector workers “to come together once a year to share inspiration, to share ideas, to learn new skills, to inspire each other.” Alexander is a co-founder and executive producer of the four-year-old festival, which runs this year from Friday, June 27 through Thursday, July 3 at …

Feels Like a Celebration Read More »

The Adäka Cultural Festival Aims to Include Everyone

The Adäka Cultural Festival will kick off for the third time in Whitehorse on Friday, June 21, which is also National Aboriginal Day. Adäka (pronounced Aw-daw-kah) means “coming into the light” in the Southern Tutchone language and each year this festival continues to expand, like the sun rising on a new day, spreading its light …

The Adäka Cultural Festival Aims to Include Everyone Read More »

Making New Tracks

In the past 10 years more and more First Nation dance groups have been popping up. People have decided it’s pretty cool to learn their traditional drumming, singing and dancing. Bracken Hanuse Corlett calls it de-colonization. Hanuse Corlett is an audio-visual artist with the group Skookum Sound System, which uses current technology and traditional sounds …

Making New Tracks Read More »

Pelly Dancing

After their initial inception, the Selkirk Spirit Dancers had a hiatus, and some wondered if they would ever dance again. Started by Carmen Baker, the dance group is based in Pelly Crossing and is now comprised of 45 dancers. The large number in itself is enough to set the group apart, however what makes the …

Pelly Dancing Read More »

African, French and Japanese Groups Showcase Their Culture

They are not always featured in history books, but since the Klondike Gold Rush people of many ethnic backgrounds have called the Yukon home. On Sunday, June 23 the Adäka Cultural Festival will host the Sharing Our Spirit Community Celebration, a day of events bringing together the culture of these different groups that have put …

African, French and Japanese Groups Showcase Their Culture Read More »

Healing and Transformation: Ravenstail Weaving

“A woman needs to have an art form,” says Tlingit Tutchone master weaver Ann Smith. And she feels a responsibility to pass on the art of weaving to the next generation of First Nations women – which is exactly what she and Alaskan Tlingit Chilkat master weaver Clarissa Rizel will do during the Adäka Cultural …

Healing and Transformation: Ravenstail Weaving Read More »

Keeping the Stories Alive

Tammy Lee Josie was literally pushed onto the stage at 14 years old. She was watching her grandmother, Edith Josie, perform her family’s Vuntut Gwitchin stories at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival in 1998 when festival coordinator Louise Profeit-Leblanc asked if Tammy Lee knew Edith’s tales. “Then my grandmother pointed at me and said ‘Your …

Keeping the Stories Alive Read More »

From his Basement to the Stage

If you’ve had your ear to the Yukon ground in the past year, you’ve probably felt a vibration shaking from 86Heaven – they’re an informal conglomerate of Yukon hip hop artists headed by Warren Strand a.k.a. Abstract Original. Strand is of Southern Tutchone decent, representing the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and the majority of …

From his Basement to the Stage Read More »

Adaka – A Festival for Sharing

The wild, infectious fiddling of Old Crow’s Boyd Benjamin rings through Shipyards Park, coaxing people to dance as he works his way through jigs, reels and duck dances with his band, Home Sweet Home. For Benjamin, performing at the National Aboriginal Day festivities in Whitehorse with fellow fiddler Keitha Clark and guitarist-songwriter Kate Weekes is …

Adaka – A Festival for Sharing Read More »

Nomination Hat Trick

Les Walker had a particular goal in mind when he teamed up with guitarist Clancy McInnis in 2009 to form the band, Common Knowledge. He wanted to perform at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (CAMA) and have an album in nomination. When the alt-rock group’s debut album, Colour Blind, came out this May, it brought …

Nomination Hat Trick Read More »

Blending Colours and Cultures

Later this month, the Adäka Cultural Festival will bring to the Whitehorse waterfront its second year of celebrating the diverse heritage of the Yukon. The festival has gathered an impressive lineup of First Nations musicians and artists from B.C., Yukon, NWT and Alaska to entertain and educate festivalgoers. One artist eager to return to the …

Blending Colours and Cultures Read More »

Scroll to Top