Photo courtesy of Dancers of Damelahamid.
Photo courtesy of Dancers of Damelahamid.

The 12th edition of the Coastal Dance Festival 2019 gets underway next week. Here are five reasons we think you should go.

1. A new venue

While the festival has traditionally taken place at the Museum of Anthropology, seismic upgrades at the UBC venue has moved the annual event to New Westminster’s Anvil Centre. The festival is a great excuse to explore one of the Lower Mainland’s newest natural light-filled venues while catching innovative, ancestral dance.

2. Inclusion is the name of the game

Formerly known as the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival, this year the festival is re-branding as the Coastal Dance Festival to better reflect its inclusivity of Indigenous cultures around the world. The festival’s main focus though remains on the innovative dance of the Northwest Coast.

3. Renaissance of indigenous feminism

This year’s program offers a diversity of strong female creators, including Émilie Monnet & Nahka Bertrand from Montreal, Jo Clancy from the Wagana Aboriginal Dancers in Australia, and Barbara & Emily Diabo, a mother-daughter duo from Montreal.

4. Sneak peek at an upcoming world premiere

The Dancers of Damelahamid will perform an excerpt from Mînowin, a new commission from the National Arts Centre, in full regalia. The multimedia work incorporates movement with narrative, 3D motion graphics, and interactive technology.

5. Accessible and family friendly

The Coastal Dance Festival aims to re-invigorate dance within communities and offers family-friendly programming at an accessible price; the Festival Stage Performances on February 23 & 24 pay-what-you-can!

The Coastal Dance Festival 2019 takes place at the Anvil Centre (777 Columbia St, New Westminster) February 20-24. Visit anvilcentre.com for tickets and information.