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City of Brandon & Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba Partner on Downtown Celebration of Indigenous Arts

August 2, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brandon, MB – An evening where Indigenous music and art meld into the local landscape is on tap for this year’s second ‘City of Brandon 100th Meridian Concerts’ event, set for Thursday, August 9th, in the heart of downtown Brandon.

Organized by staff of the City of Brandon’s Community Development section in partnership with the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, the August 9th event at the corner of 7th Street and Rosser Avenue brings together the music of two Indigenous singers with Manitoba roots with the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba’s continuing Billboard art series, a 12x30 foot installation on the north-facing wall of the AGSM Building, featuring Indigenous artists. Winnipeg-based Métis singer-songwriter Sonia Eidse will kick things off as the event’s opening act, followed by a feature performance from Manitoba-born Cree/Métis singer and recent Juno nominee, Iskwé. In addition to the musical performances, the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba will introduce their billboard’s next artist, local Métis artist Cameron Flamand. For his piece, Flamand has designed a 30-foot image of the Métis flag emblazoned with powerful words in Michif, the Métis language, produced with the guidance of local knowledge keeper, Verna DeMontigny.

“Working with community groups to bring musical performances into the heart of the community is one of the main goals of the ‘City of Brandon 100th Meridian Concerts’ program, so partnering with the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba to add an Indigenous music element to its next artist billboard launch was a very natural fit,” says City of Brandon Community Development Coordinator Richard Greer. “We’re very excited to feature two such talented female Indigenous musical acts, Sonia Eidse and Iskwé, against the backdrop of another display of compelling Indigenous art.”

“Michif was born in Canada’s central provinces, with roots in both Indigenous and European languages, but it is nowhere to be seen on Brandon's signs, buildings, or the broader visual landscape. Flamand’s artwork seeks to increase the visibility and awareness of Michif, and to honour the fact that Métis culture is still strong and alive here. It tells us all that Métis people are still here and always will be, while celebrating the tremendous value they have brought to shaping this region,” adds Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba Executive Director John Hampton. “Working with the City of Brandon to launch this billboard with these two incredible musical acts makes my heart swell.”

Admission into this event is FREE for people of all ages beginning at 6:30 p.m., with musical performances to follow at 7 p.m. Complimentary bannock tacos will also be available to the crowd on a first-come, first-served basis, made with a Mexican/El Salvadorian twist by Karla’s International Foods as a homage to the Indigenous Latinx influences of this popular cultural food.

The public is encouraged to bring a lawn chair for ideal music-listening comfort. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved indoors to Central United Church, located at 327 - 8th Street.

For more information about the ‘City of Brandon 100th Meridian Concerts’ program, including full performer biographies for 2018’s concerts and information about planned artist workshops, visit www.brandon.ca/100thmeridian. More information about the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba’s Billboard public art initiative can be found by visiting www.agsm.ca.

City of Brandon - 410 9th Street - Brandon MB - R7A 6A2 - Phone: 204. 729. 2186