Aboriginal Culture
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Aboriginal Culture

For up to 10,000 years before the arrival of the first European explorers, current-day Vancouver and the surrounding region was home to members of the Coast Salish First Nations peoples.  The First Nations remain a vibrant part of Vancouver today, comprising nearly three percent of the population and making enormous contributions to artistic and cultural life. 

Perhaps the best way to understand the rich history of Vancouver's Aboriginal peoples is a visit to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.  Thousands of artifacts, from totem poles to canoes, blankets and carvings, tell the story of British Columbia's original inhabitants.  Meanwhile, contemporary aboriginal art and carvings are on display at galleries around the city, including the esteemed Bill Reid Gallery, which features the work of Canada's most famous First Nations sculptor. 

But Aboriginal culture certainly isn't confined to museums and galleries. Talking Stick, a 13-day citywide celebration of Aboriginal performance and art, is held each winter and features local and international musicians, dancers, performers and storytellers.  Also, a First Nations village is set up each summer in Stanley Park, complete with traditional food, crafts and cultural performances.

Finally, a range of more immersive experiences is available to visitors, from guided rides along the coast in traditional carved canoes to ceremonial salmon feasts and even bear-watching expeditions with first nations groups on nearby Vancouver Island.  

A complete listing of Aboriginal experiences is available at the Aboriginal Tourism BC website.
 
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14th Annual Full Circle: Talking Stick Festival

  • February 17 - March 01
  • various venues
  • Phone: 604-683-0497
  • Venue: Full Circle: First Nations Performance
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14th Annual Full Circle: Talking Stick Festival presents A Taste of Metis

  • February 27 - February 27
  • Roundhouse Community Centre
  • 181 Roundhouse Mews
    Vancouver, BC
  • Phone: 604-683-0497
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14th Annual Full Circle: Talking Stick Festival presents Children of God

  • February 21 - February 21
  • Roundhouse Community Centre
  • 181 Roundhouse Mews
    Vancouver, BC
  • Phone: 604-683-0497
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14th Annual Full Circle: Talking Stick Festival presents Currents of Contemporary Aboriginal Dance

  • February 24 - February 26
  • Roundhouse Community Centre
  • 181 Roundhouse Mews
    Vancouver, BC
  • Phone: 604-683-0497
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14th Annual Full Circle: Talking Stick Festival presents Directing as a Craft: Artist Talk

  • February 20 - February 20
  • Studio 1398
  • 1398 Cartwright Street, Granville Island
    Vancouver, BC
  • Phone: 604-683-0497
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14th Annual Full Circle: Talking Stick Festival presents Jazzin

  • February 23 - February 23
  • Ironworks Studio
  • 235 Alexander Street
    Vancouver, BC
  • Phone: 604-683-0497
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14th Annual Full Circle: Talking Stick Festival presents Salt Baby

  • February 18 - February 20
  • Roundhouse Community Centre
  • 181 Roundhouse Mews
    Vancouver, BC
  • Phone: 604-683-0497
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14th Annual Full Circle: Talking Stick Festival presents Social Change

  • February 21 - February 21
  • Studio 1398
  • 1398 Cartwright Street, Granville Island
    Vancouver, BC
  • Phone: 604-683-0497
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14th Annual Full Circle: Talking Stick Festival presents The Pipeline Project

  • February 22 - February 22
  • Roundhouse Community Centre
  • 181 Roundhouse Mews
    Vancouver, BC
  • Phone: 604-683-0497
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Dancers of Damelahamid presents Coastal First Nations Dance Festival - Signature Evening Performance

  • March 06 - March 07
  • UBC Museum of Anthropology
  • 6393 North West Marine Drive
    Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
  • Contact: Dancers of Damelahamid
  • Phone: 604-922-5277
  • Venue: UBC Museum of Anthropology
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Contemporary Art Gallery Feedback Talk Series: Zora McMillan

  • February 01 - February 01
  • Contemporary Art Gallery
  • 555 Nelson Street
    Vancouver, BC V6B 6R5
  • Admission: Free
  • Contact: Jill Henderson
  • Phone: 604-681-2700
  • Venue: Contemporary Art Gallery
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The Cultch presents The Road Forward

  • February 05 - February 07
  • Cultch, The (Vancouver East Cultural Centre)
  • 1895 Venables Street
    Vancouver, BC V5L 2H6
  • Venue: The Cultch (Vancouver East Cultural Centre)
Visit Website