Established in 2011, Adäka Cultural Festival is an annual celebration of Yukon First Nation culture held in the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre on the Yukon River in downtown Whitehorse. The weeklong summer arts festival has quickly become a signature northern event that hosts hundreds of visual artists, performers, musicians and storytellers and attracts thousands of visitors.
For many festival participants the journey to Adäka is hard-won and deeply personal. Being a visual or performing artist is not an easy path. Most are juggling artistic pursuits with jobs, school, and family. Practice and performance schedules are rigorous, and a few must leave home to tour, train, and reach new audiences. But if they can make it to the festival, these talented artists find joy, support and inspiration, and they are fueling a cultural revival.
This story is playing out in communities across the country, as Canada’s indigenous people are coming together in unprecedented numbers at festivals, events, marches and rallies to celebrate their culture and traditions.