Indigenous Resilience Festival

Sunday, March 26, 2023 | 10am – 9pm

FREE COMMUNITY EVENT - way kʷu yaʔyaʔtiʔ xast ullus

Join us at the Rotary Centre for the Arts for the Indigenous Resilience Festival. The Indigenous Resilience Festival (IRF) showcases Indigenous Elders, youth, leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs sharing knowledge on their challenges that lead to triumphs. You can expect to witness a variety of Indigenous excellence presented to you through the creative expression of storytelling, dance, fashion, plant medicine, music and much more.

Come celebrate Indigenous culture with us at the RCA during a FREE day-long celebration. You'll have the chance to experience performances by over 40 artists who represent a range of Indigenous communities across BC. There will also be opportunities for you to engage with the artists and presenters, as well as a mini-market featuring presenters, a fun zone for kids, food, and workshops.

It is crucial to bring attention to the Indigenous experience that has not currently been shared multiculturally. In addition to Western perspectives, we need holistic solutions to coping and healing through the trauma of the pandemic. This festival will provide an opportunity for Indigenous individuals impacted by pandemic to explore, share, and celebrate their resilience with the public. Amplifying the Indigenous experience in a creative context, where the narrative will be recognized through thoughtful dialogue and performance art.

The festivities will commence at 10:00 AM with a welcoming ceremony and prayer at the Mary Irwin Theatre, followed by an entire day filled with an array of performances, including music, storytelling, dance, and visual art, among other forms of creative expression. Krystal Withakay, a beloved Syilx Indigenous artist, will take on the role of MC in the Mary Irwin Theatre, while Dani Lion, the Dakelh Dene & Secwepemc Indigi-pop and hip-hop star, will be the MC in the Sun FM Room. Attendees are encouraged to come and go as they please, enjoying the artists of their choice or discovering new ones. See what amazing experiences await you at IRF.



"Indigenous Resilience Festival supporters and coaches have experienced firsthand the transformative power of coaching," says Medicine Woman, Rochelle McFarlane of ESP Wellness Learning Center, who helped prepare Indigenous artists, storytellers, and performers for the event. "Through workshops and individual coaching, we guided the participants to craft presentations based on their values and experiences, and they trusted us with their stories. Healing is a deeply personal process, and I believe this project will help foster a greater appreciation of the importance of individual approaches to healing."

Some performances and stories may deal with mature issues which include both triumph and trauma-related experiences, therefore audience members may find the strong adult-oriented and emotionally charged subject matter to be sensitive or triggering and not always be suitable for younger listeners.

Register for Free

The Celebration of Indigenous Cultural Resilience program is a Rotary Centre for the Arts outreach and engagement initiative. More information on the history of this program can be found at

The Rotary Centre for the Arts respectfully acknowledges that it is located on the unceded, traditional territory of the Syilx/Okanagan People.