This Year’s Drums Across Canada, in Niagara, Ontario, Seeks to Unite the Nation

A Celebration of Nations, Hosted at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St.  atharines – Friday, September| 10th through Sunday, September 12th

All Indigenous Peoples and Allies from all four directions of the country are invited to join in!

A News Release from Celebration of Nations and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

Posted September 9th ,2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – New to Celebration of Nations this year, Artistic Director Michele-Elise Burnett has created a powerful program called Drums Across Canada to bridge our country together in unity, to send love, and to heal.

Beginning in downtown St. Catharines in the backyard of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre at 4pm EST on Sunday 12 September, the drum will be shared with three anchor drum circles in Saint John, New Brunswick; London, Ontario and Nanaimo, British Columbia.

2021 Celebration of Nations Full Program available HERE. (

“Done in the traditional Call and Response, we will drum for the children’s spirits who never made it home, for our ancestors who walk along our side, our matriarchs, MMIWG2S, the natural world and all our children’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren still unborn,” shared Michele-Elise Burnett.

“The message will echo unity, peace, respect and friendship in order to forge a new paradigm shift needed to create transformative and sustainable change for the next 7 Generations. We need to be great Ancestors.” 

Drums Across Canada is the vision of Celebration of Nations Artistic Director Michele-Elise Burnett (Métis/ Algonquin Bear Clan) and collaborators Angela DeMontigny (Cree/ Métis), Audra Sewell Malone (Mi’kmaw) and Erin Moraghan (Settler).

Anchor healing drum circles across the country are joining St. Catharines/Niagara as part of the Call and Response live in their communities and through the virtual livestream:

The Imperial Centre in Saint John, New Brunswick will host the Pokuhulakon Witsehkehsu – Sisters of the Drum who nurture the traditional songs and language of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people.

Brenda MacIntyre (Medicine Song Woman) along with Kim-meh (White Eagle Spirit Star Woman) and the Warrior Womyn of Positive Drum will lead the London, Ontario community.

And finally, the Call and Response will ripple to the west coast on the traditional unceded sacred lands of the Snuneymuxw people, otherwise known as Nanaimo, BC on Vancouver Island with Ecko Aleck, Founder of Sacred Matriarch Creative and the Hishuk’ish Tsawalk Drum & Dance Group. The Call and Response will culminate with a sharing of Strong Women Song by all communities. 

“The resonance of the drums will raise our consciousness, inspire greatly needed connection in order to foster healing from coast to coast, while matriarchs continue to guide us toward a better future,” added Drums Across Canada collaborator Angela DeMontigny.

All are welcome to join in! A call is circulating nationwide for anyone wishing to join or create a pop-up healing drum circle anywhere in Canada.

“This is an invitation to gather our minds together as one, send out strength with love and compassion. Drum, sing and dance in your living room, your backyard, with friends, family, at community centres, in the forest,” shared Michele-Elise Burnett. “The importance is that we all drum together to raise the vibrational healing frequencies and vibrations which are much needed today. We encourage you to share our call far and wide so we can create transformable and healthy change!”

“It will be this collective act that will strengthen, heal and prepare our Nations for the times that we find ourselves in now,” stated Drums Across Canada collaborator and Traditional Healer Audra Sewell Malone.

A pop-up Drum Circle toolkit has been developed to connect the healing drum circles. Participants are encouraged to use the hashtags #DrumsAcrossCanada and #CelebrationofNations to connect messages, videos and photos from their pop-up drum circles across the country.

“We’re hopeful all Canadians will link arms with Indigenous communities nationwide to grow, learn, and change, together,” shared Drums Across Canada collaborator Erin Moraghan. “It is time to redefine the nation’s heartbeat.”

Drums Across Canada is the signature closing program of the 5th annual Celebration of Nations Indigenous Arts Gathering. Celebration of Nations was created as an opportunity for local, national, and international visitors to actively participate in an inclusive and engaging community gathering to foster a greater sense of belonging, support of meaningful reconciliation, and engender a lasting legacy of goodwill. T

he 2020 virtual edition attracted more than 36,000 viewers from across the globe and the 2021 edition will feature a diverse program of live, in-person and virtual events.

Click here to download the Drums Across Canada Toolkit (

About Celebration of Nations – Celebration of Nations is part of a long-term vision of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Kakekalanicks and the City of St. Catharines to build on the Two Row Wampum that promotes all Nations walking together, in parallel, with respect, compassion and understanding to cultivate an inclusive community for our shared future. It is intended to provide opportunities for national and international visitors to actively participate in an inclusive and engaging community gathering that will foster a greater sense of belonging, support meaningful reconciliation, and leave a lasting legacy of goodwill for future generations.

About the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre  – The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is located downtown St. Catharines, Ontario on the shared traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Neutral Peoples and many other Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. We offer our sincere gratitude and respect to the original and continued stewards of this land. 

For additional information and to arrange media interviews, please contact Jeff Hardy, Marketing and Communications Manager, (

** Website (

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders


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