September 29, 20232023 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation & the RCA

September 30th is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation - a day to honour the lives of Indigenous children who never returned home, Survivors of residential schools, and Indigenous families and their communities. Today and every day, it is crucial we remember this painful history and its ongoing effects on Indigenous people throughout Canada. 

At the RCA, we advocate for an environment that values and supports Indigenous culture and Indigenous artists. From Indigenous art displays to Indigenous festivals to reading circles, we are proud to present events that elevate the voices of Indigenous peoples. As an organization located on the unceded, traditional territory of the Syilx/Okanagan People, we need to recognize what we can do to ensure Indigenous voices are heard.

September 30th is also Orange Shirt Day. This Indigenous-led commemorative day is to raise awareness of the impacts of residential schools, promoting the fact that “Every Child Matters”. Last year, the RCA team took a trip to the Okanagan Heritage Museum to learn more about the history and culture of the Syilx people. We hope that all in our community can use this time to learn and reflect.

Some of the RCA team at the Okanagan Heritage Museum, Sept. 30, 2022

In March of this year, 2023, the RCA was pleased to host the Indigenous Resilience Festival (IRF). This was a free and accessible cross-cultural day of learning for our community on the Indigenous narrative told through performing visual art and storytelling. We welcomed over 50 Indigenous artists, performers, and storytellers from across BC in this all-day event. We were thrilled that our community was so receptive and supportive, with over 1,000 patrons attending the festival throughout the day. 

“Creating this event for the Kelowna community was huge honour,” said Colleen Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, “Not only did the Festival  provide a much-needed platform for the Indigenous experience, but it also strengthened relationships between communities. None of this would have been possible without the incredible support from the planning team and community members.”

Our friends at Half 9 Media joined us at IRF to document the Festival for Shaw TV. We are honoured to have had this event captured for people across Canada to see - bringing the stories told at the Indigenous Resilience Festival to an even wider audience. Shaw will run the program on rotation throughout the coming year.

Some material in this video may deal with mature issues which include both triumph and trauma-related experiences; viewers may find the subject matter to be sensitive or triggering.

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

The Indigenous Resilience Festival was funded by the Government of Canada.

Read more about the RCA’s efforts to bring awareness to Indigenous history:

June 12, 2023 - National Indigenous History Month & Quilts for Survivors
April 3, 2023 - The Indigenous Resilience Festival Recap
February 21, 2023 - The RCA Indigenous Resilience Festival
September 30, 2022 - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation & the RCA
June 21, 2022 - Pianos in Parks & National Indigenous Peoples Day 2022
June 7, 2022 - RCA Presents: Body Extended - An Interview with Jessica McMann

2023 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation & the RCA