Strawberry Moon Festival 2023
Saturday, June 17, 2023 | 1:00PM - 8:15pm
Lower Park (Afternoon 1:30PM - 5:45PM) & Painted Parking Lot (Evening Concert 6:00PM-8:15PM)
The Strawberry Moon Festival celebrates the indigenous cultures of the Niagara region through storytelling, music, dance, and arts & crafts. Guests will participate in an inclusive and engaging Native American community gathering. They’ll also be entertained by an eclectic lineup of Native artists performing throughout the lower park earlier in the day, and an evening concert in the Painted Parking Lot featuring Geneviève Gros-Louis Salamone & Stephanie Big Eagle, and DJ Shub in the evening.
“Not just a music festival, Strawberry Moon celebrates the fact the sky does not acknowledge borders, as different cultural factions from Western New York and Canada gathered to honor the beginning of a new season and tip their collective cap to the land that sustains us all.” - Jeff Miers, The Buffalo News (from review of the 2019 festival)
This year's festival will open with Team Tuscarora's Marching Band leading attendees from the Native American Peace Garden to the Emerald Grove Stage, where a Youth group will perform the opening Thanskgiving Address
Afternoon Program 1:00-5:45PM in the Lower Park (S. 4th St. entrance):
The afternoon program is free to attend.
Native American Artisan Market
Experience a vendor market filled with incredible and authentic artworks, crafts, and traditional foods of Native artisans and cooks.
The Discovery Zone: Indigenous Ways of Knowing
The Discovery Zone is more than a place to play; it is a space where attendees will experience Native American arts, culture, creativity, diversity and resilience through interactive, land base workshops, storytelling and teachings by well-respected local knowledge keepers in their discipline. Visitors will explore, discover and be part of the unique culture, traditions - passed down heritage of the People of Turtle Island. The Discovery Zone will host a slew of activities for all ages. Workshops & activities include:
101 Dewegun Drum Striker Making Workshop & Teaching
With Jackie Labonte
The 101 Deweguns...A Living Hearts Legacy workshop welcomes you to learn about our inclusive drum creation and art healing. This educational piece serves as a tribute to those lost to residential schools, while also representing a positive step forward with indigenous and non-indigenous people together in unity. Participants are encourage to be a part of the transformative power of art and fostering a brighter future for all by putting some good energy into the sanding of the drum strykers.
All who participate are entered to win a hand-laced drum. The winner will be announced after the Adult Smoke Dance Competition. The winner must be present to claim the drum.
Strawberry Bead Strand Wampum Workshop & Wampum Belt Display
With Dr. Richard Hamell
Dr. Richard Hamell will teach visitors how Wampum belts were made and used and allow them to make a 7 bead strand of red pony beads.
In Indigenous culture, and particularly the Haudenosaunee, the strawberry is known as the “heart berry” because of its shape, and reflects the matriarchal nature of Haudenosaunee culture. During the Strawberry Moon cycle in the month of June, communities gather for an annual feast that symbolizes starting afresh and letting go of judgment and self-righteousness. During this workshop participants will discover the meaningful connection between this little fruit and the Grandmother Moon.
Creator's Game Lacrosse
With Avery and Gary Parker
Lacrosse also known as the Creator’s Game is a traditional game of the Haudenosaunee (sometimes called Iroquois) and has been played in this area for centuries. Join Avery and Gary Parker as they engage the audience in an interactive story of how Lacrosse came to the Haudenosaunee and learn the basic of the game such as cradling, shooting, and catching the ball. Learn about the history and culture of this great game while participating in activities with indoor (safe) lacrosse balls for beginning players. open to all ages.
Facepainting and a friendship bracelet workshop will also be available.
Smoke Dance Competition
Returning by popular demand, the mesmerizing and exciting Smoke Dance Competition. The Smoke Dance is a rapid quick step dance that is exceedingly fast and difficul, requiring dancers to stop on the very last note. The competition gets larger each year with additional talent showing up to compete for first place! Jordan Smith will lead this year's competition of Youth and Adult groups. Youth Smoke Dance Winners will take the stage to celebrate their victory with artist Stephanie Big Eagle & Genevieve Gros-Louis Salamone on the Emerald Grove Stage later in the afternoon, and adult winners will join headlining act DJ Shub during his performance on the Painted Parking Lot.
Emerald Grove Stage Performers:
Franklyn McNaughton will lead the audience through history and meaning behind the traditional songs. Franklyn is an accomplished Haudenosaunee singer and dancer who has presided over hundreds of events and programs spanning several decades — combines a unique blend of good-natured humour with cultural knowledge to educate and entertain audiences.
The Circle: Indigenous Singer-Songwriter Showcase
Songwriters are examples of the art world’s most passionate and raw of talent. They are the brains and minds who create all the musics that we hear on the radio and music platforms. Singer Songwriters create beauty from nothing, bringing us their genius from the air; delivering their ideas- their love and their light, They bear their soles in word and sound, courageously. Using their voice and their instruments as their tools to construct stories for the rest of of the world to feel and hear. The stories range from powerful or sad, to humorous and playful. No matter the story or song, this style of “raw as originally written” unplugged concert always creates a unique sense of community, sharing and healing which will leave you uplifted and amazed by the magic of the lyrics and storytelling by these artists.
Since Jim Jacobs released his debut album in Nashville TN in the fall of 2022, his first 2 singles are already making waves on country radio worldwide. The single “Over For Good” received Awe-inspiring reviews with the common subject of sounding like the music of his country hero’s from the 70’s to 90’s. Jim moved to Nashville TN to write and record Real storied country music and has stuck to his guns in a world where country music isn’t what it use to be. Carrying on the traditional sounds has earned him a few respectable positions on some worldwide charts so far. You can expect to hear more and more from this Artist who chose to go against the grain of Nashville much like the music of the Outlaws he looks up to!
Award-winning musician, Tonemah, is Kiowa, Comanche and Tuscarora, he has recording 10 award winning CDs, of which, include his well known hits single “Pow Wow Snag” and “Rezzylicious”. His songs are filled with, thought provoking metaphors, and are sharp with emotion and humor that makes his music easy to relate to. He has won and been nominated numerous times for “Best Folk Recording,” and “Best Male Artist”, “Songwriter of the year”, “Artist of the Year”, “Best Rock Album” by the Native American Music Awards, Indian Summer Music Awards and First Americans in the Arts, and for “Best International Artist” by the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards. His CD “Welcome to Your Rainy Day,” was called a "masterpiece" by Whispering Wind Magazine.
Of his concerts Tonemah says, “Its an opportunity to create a community for a brief time, to create a shared experience through story and song.”
Stephanie Big Eagle and Genevieve Salamone
This special performance will celebrate the Youth Smoke Dance Winners.
Evening Concert 6:00PM - 8:00PM in the Painted Parking Lot
$20 tickets are available at the Artpark Box Office and on ticketmaster.com.
Social activism and a feverish dance party make a tantalizing combination and 2022 JUNO winner for Contemporary Indigenous Artist of the Year, Dan “DJ Shub” General is the grand marshal we nominate to lead this jubilant parade. Shub is a true original: a title - holding battle DJ/producer, a joyful collaborator and a non - stop creator who skillfully weaves craft, message and heritage. Since exiting A Tribe Called Red, Shub has continued adding jewels to his “Godfather of PowWowStep” crown. War Club is Shub’s latest celebration of Indigenous power: a special filmed on Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve in Ontario that features Shub’s trademark finger - smoking scratch -a-thons, an all-ages cast of traditional dancers, and plenty of bustles shaking to outstanding musical collaborations with Phoenix Pagliacci, Boogát and Fawn Wood that tells the tale of a young girl searching for her brother with the help of an enchanted war club. Shub’s uncompromising pride in Aboriginal heritage and talent is the driving force behind his art. Join the parade – Shub’s made sure there’s enough hip hop, Indigenous culture, power, protest and humanity for all of us.
DJ Shubs set will include a performance with the Adult Smoke Dance Winner as well as his War Club Show.
This critically aclaimed duo will the audience a captivating musical and dance performance, encouraging all attendees to connect to stories of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Geneviève Gros-Louis Salamone is an internationally-recognized violinist, film composer and producer from the Huron-Wendat Nation. After confronting PTSD resulting from childhood trauma, she uses her platform and artwork to raise awareness on issues surrounding mental health, sexual violence against women and critical issues within Indigenous communities. Geneviève is known for breathtaking interdisciplinary performances and collaborations that tell a story through her multifaceted artwork and music.
Stephanie Big Eagle is the founder & owner of Thunderbird Rising Studios, a traditional hand poke tattoo artist, actress, published author, fancy shawl dancer, Singer, Indigenous rights, sacred horse society member & environmental activist, and more.
This event is supported in part by Roswell Park & The Consulate General of Canada in New York
TICKETS for the evening concert are on sale now!
Blankets and carry-in chairs permitted.
Ticket prices include Facility Fee; *additional fees apply for online and phone orders
For current box office hours check HERE
For current box office hours check HERE