graveyards and gardens

© David Cooper

Graveyards and Gardens – a collaborative performance installation created and performed by composer Caroline Shaw and choreographer Vanessa Goodman – displays the beauty of how the body remembers, while interrogating the intimacy between our surroundings and the body. This immersive theatrical work examines memory as a process of reconstruction rather than as an exact recall of fixed events. By embracing the various elaborations, distortions, and omissions of embodied memory, the artists create generative performance systems; a “living album” that continues to fold and unfold into itself.

Trigger warning: mild strobing


Co-creators/Interpreters/Set Design: Vanessa Goodman / Caroline Shaw
Costume Design: Vanessa Goodman
Artistic Producer: Hilary Maxwell
Sound Design: Kate De Lorme/Eric Chad
Technical Director and Lighting Designer: James Proudfoot
Video: David Cooper
Tour Agent: Brent Belsher

wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ

© Ian-Byers-Gamber

An act of Indigenous Futurism, Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ is the electronic music project of Elisa Harkins. Singing in Cherokee, Mvskoke, and English languages, Harkins becomes a language guardian, fighting extinction whilst crafting a head-bouncing beat. Combining disco and phonological preservation, Harkins strives to decolonize expectations of how pop music should look and sound, while bringing Indigenous representation to the field. In Harkins’ cosmos, pressed vinyl and radio play become radical tools of language conservation and transmission.

This performance of Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ refers to wampum belts and Indigenous peacekeeping, as well as the Cherokee use of wampum beads as currency. ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ, pronounced a-de-la di-ga-gu-di, can be translated to “money on a string.” The intention of this Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ performance is to create a metaphorical peacekeeping agreement between the spectators of the piece, regardless of tribe or race.

soul whisper


Soul Whisper, put forth by the Haitian-Quebecoise singer, author, and composer Cyndi Charlemagne, is a soul-jazz musical performance where poetry and song share notes. For Charlemagne, this soul whisper evokes our innermost thoughts, the intuition that allows us to stay connected to ourselves through both joyful and trying times. The spoken poems help set the stage for songs that dig deep into the expressive richness of jazz and soul. Swinging between complexity and stripped-down sounds, unleashing musical riffs, vocal agility and improvisation, Cyndi Charlemagne’s music features playful vocals charged with sincerity, backed by skilled musicians.

american cuck, from plantations to pornhub to (canceled)

© Johnny Q

American Cuck is a multimedia video and environmental installation and musical performance exploring the maintenance of white supremacy in the pornographic imagination and psyche of the U.S. nation-state, and its effects on every aspect of American Life. M. Lamar specifically explores the construction of the white male cuckold, the black male object of his obsession, and the relation of both to a plantation culture of race, desire, and violence. Indeed, it is Lamar’s argument that the construction of the hyper-sexual black person in the white imagination continues to lead to black death in a white supremacist society. The hyper-sexual, hyper-physical black person in the white supremacist mind offers virtuosic pleasure and threat. This is core to nation identity.


© Emelle Massariol

ANACHNID is a Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist of Oji-Cree and Mi’kmaq First Nations. She explores very different musical styles from soul to electro-pop to indie trap and is the first winner of the Indigenous Songwriter Award from SOCAN. We can hear her animal totem, the spider, as she interweaves bitingly accurate political response with straight up sass in her dance floor hits before sliding into soft aching romantic tracks. ANACHNID presents an intimate concert in tandem with a DJ and VJ. Circle up and get caught in this spider’s gorgeous web.

shaneera (canceled)

© Camille_Blake

Berlin-based Kuwaiti composer and artist Fatima Al Qadiri performs her new EP Shaneera with live audio visuals. A love letter to Arab queer icons in five energetic club tracks, the album deals with gender identity and performance in the Gulf. The titular “Shaneera” is the English mispronunciation of the Arabic word “shanee’a” (شنيعة) which literally means “outrageous, nefarious, hideous, major and foul.” But as queer slang now used in Kuwait and some Arab countries, Shaneera refers to the positive figure or act of a gender-defying persona, of being an evil queen. You know a Shaneera when you behold one.

elle's black space mission: an afrodiasporic odyssey

Ellise Barbara means to create a “black space” free from physical or mental racialization. While Barbara’s earlier work ranged across synth, pop, R&B and funk, her new band project, fittingly called Elle’s Black Space Mission: An Afrodiasporic Odyssey, features solely musicians of Sub-Saharan African descent. *Elle’s Black Space Mission: An Afrodiasporic Odyssey*_ hearkens back to Afrofuturism, a movement pioneered by Sun Ra in the 1950s that wove together Black culture with futuristic or sci-fi themes.

Barbara’s music is rooted in her experience as a queer, transgender person of colour. She has toured, recorded and made music for the past eight years, with several releases notably Sexe Machin / Sex Machine (Fixture Records).


Hua Li, 'Militant' © Stacy Lee

Dynasty, created by Hua Li (a.k.a. Peggy Hogan), is a live multimedia experience accompanying her debut studio album of the same name. Supported by video projections by Tyler Reekie, Dynasty tells of Hua Li’s journey as a first-generation Chinese-Canadian and deals with topics like deceitful love, family power dynamics, and serious booty-shaking.

Hogan took on the nom de guerre Hua Li in response to pressures to conform to traditional gender roles as a woman in jazz, allowing her to express her femininity, sexuality and politics. Well-known for her feminist hip-hop, Hua Li, has released The Bound Feat, a 2013 mixtape, and the 2015 EP Za Zhong.

rainbow twilight

Elysia Crampton © Julia Gross

Elysia Crampton’s unrestrained electronic music is the flashpoint of a myriad influences opening upon the complexity and multifacetedness of Aymara becoming. Underscored by radical and queer politics, Crampton’s experimental work gives sonorous form to contemporary expressions of Aymara resistance and survival: a project of “becoming-with,” in the shades given this term by Donna Haraway via prison abolitionist Che Gossett.

Her album Demon City, composed in honour of the revolutionary Bartolina Sisa, was deemed a “masterwork” by Rolling Stone and was one of Pitchfork’s 20 best experimental albums of 2016. Her latest release, Spots y Escupitajo, leads the listener into “a dizzying, hyper-conceptual collection of miniatures.”

plateaux : voyage du rio de la plata à l’altiplano, frontières d’amérique latine

© Andrés Salas

Voyage from Rio de la Plata to The Altiplano… is an invitation to discover contemporary music from Argentina and Bolivia, offering a repertoire rooted in the history of these two South American countries, which have been shaped by dictatorships and rich indigenous traditions. This musical journey is performed by three instrumentalists – the Wapiti ensemble (Geneviève Liboiron on violin, and Daniel Áñez Garcia on piano) and Émilie Girard‐Charest (cello) – with Andrés Salas’s video installations lighting up the ambulatory experience.

Wapiti’s work has been presented, notably, at the Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico and, in Montréal, at the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec’s Montreal/New Musics Festival.