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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Presentation House Theatre celebrates Nchem̓ús Day

Meaning “people coming together,” Nchem̓ús Day takes place on September 20 at the North Vancouver cultural hub.

Presentation House Theatre (PHT) will open its doors and grounds to the public for Nchem̓ús Day, a free day of sharing with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, Elders, artists, storytellers and more.

Each year I am inspired, filled with joy, and deeply moved by the experiences I have on this day. – Kim Selody

Meaning “people coming together,” Nchem̓ús Day will feature artwork unveilings, a carving demonstration, traditional and untraditional storytelling, stand-up comedy, and even the chance to play the ancient Indigenous game of Slahal.

Started back in 2017, Nchem̓ús Day was born from a conversation between Presentation House Theatre’s artistic director, Kim Selody and Indigenous cultural leader Dallas Guss, who originally envisaged the world’s largest Slahal game for everyone on the North Shore. Also known as the “bone game,” this traditional guessing game has traditionally been played for fun, to settle an argument, and sometimes to prevent a conflict between two Nations.

“And it has grown into an amazing community event where we settlers and new immigrants can come and experience engage in games, song, storytelling and dances of the Salish People,” says Selody. “Each year I am inspired, filled with joy, and deeply moved by the experiences I have on this day.”

Participants will include Squamish Nation leaders and artists such as Chief Ian Campbell, Elder Sam Seward, Elder Lisa Lewis, Elder Kim Seward, Knowledge Keeper Rebecca Duncan with Spakwus Slolem, comedians Keith Nahanee and Beverly O’Neil, Xwalacktun, Hannah McLean, and Swalklanexw Dallas Guss.

“Nchem̓ús Day is one of my favourite annual traditions,” says PHT managing director Andrea Loewen. “It’s such a fun and uplifting day, full of laughter and games. And of course, the food. We always sit down and share a meal with the public participants and artists, which is probably the best part for me.”

Nchem̓ús Day takes place from 4:00 to 8:00 PM on September 20, indoors and outside on the grounds of Presentation House Theatre. The event’s open house format allows people to move between various sessions and activities at their own pace.

Registration is encouraged to attend the day, although walk-ups are welcome. Visit phtheatre.org for more information.

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