** Summer Solstice ** ** “Celebrating National Aboriginal Day with Festival & Competition Pow Wow” ** ** Vincent Massey Park, Ottawa ** ** June 17-19, 2016 ** ** ** Recognized as an Aboriginal arts event with national significance, Summer Solstice Aboriginal Festival (SSAF) is proud to present a world-class showcase that fosters incredible energy and instills pride in the rich cultures of Canada’s First People embracing First Nations, Métis, and Inuit organizations and artists. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day.
Traditionally the Festival presenting partner rotates among indigenous organizations that represent their respective cultures on the National Aboriginal Day (NAD) Committee and collaborate to produce Summer Solstice. For this reason, a particular culture is highlighted each year. Since Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) is co-hosting the Festival, the 2016 Festival edition is honoured to present the Inuit culture by shining the spotlight on Inuit cultural and stage programming over the 3-day period on June 17, 18 and 19 at Vincent Massey Park in Ottawa.
As Canada’s national Inuit organization, ITK represents 60,000 Inuit, living primarily in the four Inuit land claims regions: Nunavut, Nunavik (Northern Quebec), Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador) and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories.
Joining Summer Solstice and ITK to make a substantial and proactive difference in the lives of young Inuit living in northern communities, is First Air, The Airline of the North, celebrating its 70
year of operations in 2016. Together with the National Inuit Council, and the support of Qikiqtaaluk Corporation (QC), First Air is flying down 70 youth and chaperons to the National Capital to attend Summer Solstice.
To further honour the Festival’s co-host Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Summer Solstice will present the Inuit Art Pavilion with its “Arctic Summer” theme. Inuit artists will explore their participation in traditional and contemporary visual art through curated arts exhibits, installations, demonstrations, and workshops.
The Competition Pow Wow with the Ghost River Singers and presented by Greyhound, takes place Friday, June 17 from 5 pm to 10 pm.
In addition, the ever popular Education Day scheduled for Monday, June 20, offers Ottawa area school children the exclusive day-long opportunity to visit Summer Solstice and experience Inuit culture first hand.
A truly family-friendly festival, Summer Solstice and kids really do mix. The always popular KidZone is back along with the bouncy castle. The Ottawa Circus School, presented by the Royal Bank, is giving trapeze and circus workshops. And not to be missed is the 400 foot Zipline – all FREE fun for kids of all ages.
Summer Solstice visitors can enjoy Festival appearances by Artcirq and the Inuit throat singers Tarniriik, formerly known as the “Ministers of Cuteness”, who touched people across Canada following their heartwarming performance at Justin Trudeau’s inaugural. TD Canada Bank proudly presents DJ Shub from A Tribe called Red, and George Leach, whose album “Surrender” won Aboriginal Recording of the Year at the 2014 Juno Awards, on the Main stage. These and other artists will highlight the formidable talents emerging out of this sage and respected culture.
Families, friends and tourists to the National Capital Region can expect all this and more at Summer Solstice where admission and Festival programming are both free of charge. Parking is available on the Vincent Massey Park site at cost. Greyhound is also offering a Park & Ride Shuttle Service for the public. For more information visit ottawasummersolstice.ca Twitter: @OttawaSolstice Facebook: Facebook.com/OttawaSolstice **