Arts Commons Presents
Braving Beauty Cabaret
Curated by Marshall Vielle and Toyin Lamas
Watch party on July 11, 2021
No matter how we got here, one thing that all Calgarians share is this land, together. Braving Beauty Cabaret illuminates the parallels and connections between two specific communities that call Mohkínstsis (or Calgary) home - artists from the African and Afro-Caribbean diaspora and the Indigenous Nations of Treaty 7. Through the art of cabaret, this showcase of local voices curated by Toyin Lamas and Marshall Vielle invites you to experience unapologetically authentic and personal expressions of art and identity.
Join Arts Commons Presents for this cross-cultural intersection of music, storytelling, dance, and poetry to help create a human connection in a time of social reckoning.
*This filmed performance will premiere with a live ‘watch-party’ where artists and audiences can view the performance together and connect over the chat function, so that we can all share in the conversation.
*This event is best suited for people 14 years and older.
This virtual presentation is FREE, but registration is required for viewing.
Please do not hesitate to call our box office with any questions or concerns regarding ticketing or accessibility: 403-294-9494.
Marshall Vielle – Curator, Performer
Marshall is an actor, director, podcaster, and drag performer from the Kainai Nation in Southern Alberta. He is a recent graduate from the University of Lethbridge where he received his Bachelors of Fine Arts, specializing in Theatre Performance. He is especially interested in using theatre for community development, having been involved in various projects both locally and internationally aimed at using artistic practices to encourage social change. He works as an advocate for diversity in the performance sector, while also lending his creativity to several Queer and Youth initiatives. His play Where the Two-Spirit Lives is a one person show encompassing storytelling, movement, and lots of lip-syncing as a way of celebrating the resurgence of Indigiqueer knowledge sharing paradigms from traditional ways of knowing.
Marshall is the recipient of the 2018 Theatre Calgary Stephen Hair Emerging Actor Award. When he is not acting, Marshall can be seen teaching as an Artist-in-Residence at Trickster Theatre or Improvising with Dirty Laundry, Calgary’s longest running completely improvised soap opera. He is very excited to be have been part of the curation for Braving Beauty Cabaret and would like to thank his family, friends, and artistic mentors for their endless love and support!
Toyin Lamas – Curator, Performer
Toyin Oladele is an experienced performing artist, curator, and arts administrator with a demonstrated history of excellence in programming, community engagement, and arts-based event planning and production. Her professional experience is firmly rooted in her ability to combine the arts with community spaces, which she strives to make connective, inclusive and vibrant through collaborative strategies. Toyin consults for cultural and arts organizations and is an advocate for equity and inclusion in the arts community. Toyin founded the Immigrant Council for Arts Innovation (ICAI) in 2019 and is currently the organization’s Executive Director.
While promoting social change through inclusivity and mentorship in the arts, she also finds the time to create artistic projects and perform. Through working with artists from different backgrounds and creative styles, she has gained experience in diverse art forms. Toyin prides herself in her ability to unearth the story in any situation and to share it with the world in the most beautiful way – art is not just an expression, it is a voice that keeps speaking long after you are dead and gone!
Samuel Obadero – Performer
I am a lifestyle photographer and experienced stage performer. I love to lend my voice to social issues.
I received the new Canadian Artist Award in 2019 after I migrated from Nigeria. Since then, I have curated 4 exhibitions in the city. The latest being the Project Red exhibition at the Central Library where I was also the Artist in Residence. I am also a Rozsa Arts Management Program (RAMP) graduate where I learnt about "Transformational Leadership in Arts".
I believe I am a growing voice in the arts community in the city. I also find myself contributing through other platforms such as Calgary Arts Development, Immigrant Council for Arts Innovation (ICAI), Action Dignity, and Woezo Africa Music and Dance Theatre.
Winner Brave – Performer
My name is Winner Brave. I am a first-year student at Alberta University of the Arts. I have six years experience as a dancer and two years in photography.
Alanna Bluebird – Performer
Alanna Bluebird is a Blackfoot/Dene self-published author, poet, and a performing artist who uses her creativity to empower youth. She is from Tsuut’ina & Siksika Nation and expresses herself through poetry, photography, film and Quillwork. She has travelled to multiple countries and communities to share her spoken word poetry. Alanna gets inspiration for her poetry from her traditional and spiritual way of life and from the matriarch women in her life. 2015 was the first time she shared her spoken word to the public. Since then she brought this talent to several diverse audiences. One highlight of this journey was when Alanna went to New Zealand and was apart of the 2016 Uplift Spoken Word Poetry Tour.
Recent projects that she is very proud of is her Children’s Poetry Book The Light Within, illustrated by BB Iskwew and published by iUniverse. She currently reside in Tsuut’ina Nation where she makes art and contributes to learning and teaching the language.
Elizabeth Ferguson-Breaker – Performer
Originally from Siksika Nation, Elizabeth is a proud Niitsitapi from both Treaty 7 and Treaty 8 territories. Liz has studied at the University of Lethbridge’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program, where she specialized in performance. She is now a Calgary based artist focusing on theatre and dance; specifically traditional jingle dress and other contemporary forms.
Aside from the arts, Liz shares a passion of politics and community development by providing youth programming. She was chosen as one of 70 Indigenous women across Canada to represent her riding and take a seat within the House of Commons on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. Currently, Liz is the co-artistic associate with Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society. She is excited for the opportunity to share her work, along with Alanna, here at the Braving Beauty Cabaret. Enjoy!
Olivia Tailfeathers & Stephanie Brave Rock – Performer
Olivia Tailfeathers and Stephanie Brave Rock are singers from the Blood Tribe in Southern Alberta. Olivia and the Kainai Grassland Singers have shared Blackfoot traditional and contemporary music for many years. Olivia began creating songs during her early life and then teaching children in the classroom, the song compositions became favorites of young people in the community, the Nation and on International music. The momentum of the songs evolved from various rhythms and song experiences of the plains. Olivia founded the gathering of beautiful voices from the youth to create the ‘Kainai Grassland Singers’. They have since shared their songs for special events, schools, theater, world conferences, Amnesty International, Sisters in Spirit (MMIW), Arts festivals, published Blackfoot song score for children, documentary in film and Television. CBC Television November 2020.
Olivia and Stephanie have been singing together for many moons, you may listen to the cd recording, Olivia Tail Feathers, ‘Ninishkssin’, on Youtube, Amazon, Spotify, Tik Tok and numerous music entities.
The singers are proud to be from the Kainai (Blackfeet Confederacy) and highlighting the essence of the Blackfoot language in song.
Arts Commons follows AHS guidelines and recommendations in all of our activities. This means that our performance dates and times are subject to change as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to evolving gathering restrictions, while balancing the elevation and presentation of our artists, along with the safety for our staff, artists, and patrons