A new initiative to empower BIPOC leadership
Begins During IndieFest 2022
The Imaginarium is a new initiative that empowers BIPOC leadership on and off the stage.
IndieFest: Imaginarium Concert Series
The Imaginarium’s Creative Series addresses curatorial practices at IndieFest, and brings in four new BIPOC festival curators to curate one performance project each. These conversations will culminate in a series of community events that will take shape as either an in-person performance, a generative workshop, or a community panel. This year’s Imaginarium curators were Stephanie Wong, Raven Grenier, Rich Coburn, and Kelsey Wavey.
About the curators and concert projects
Hosted by re:Naissance Opera and the Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens, Imaginarium I: The Liminal is an evening of music and art that will invoke transformations, be it personal, relational, cultural, or communal. This event is a dedicated space for change; it exists between the past we are shifting away from, and the futures we are dreaming up. In a curated evening of nostalgic foods, reflective musings, and explorative art forms, The Liminal holds space for the familiar and the unknown. Join us on November 18th, where we will honor the discomfort of transition, while celebrating this present moment of introspection, connection, and dreaming.
Born in colonial Hong Kong, Stephanie Wong (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist living on the ancestral and unceded lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ peoples. An acting graduate of Studio 58, and the Associate Artistic Director of re:Naissance Opera, her current work includes directing, new work development, design, producing, and performance. Through a practice of collective care and collaborative creation, she is committed to affecting positive social change for underrepresented voices. By honoring the intersections of her professional and personal experience, her art amplifies stories of culture, connection, and coexistence.
Come join us for night of sweet indie pop beats, burlesque, and house music that guarantees to make you wanna dance. Kelsey Kanatan Wavey is curating this evening of local queer talent – come join us for GROOVE on Nov 19 at the Fox Cabaret.
Kelsey is a multidisciplinary artist, member of Tataskweyak Cree Nation, currently living in “Vancouver, Canada”. “I am excited about collaborating with other local artists, and celebrating indigenous sensuality, humour and love in my programming”, says Wavey.
Come on out to enjoy an afternoon of Indigenous music. Listen to some tunes by local Indigenous artists while enjoying a canapé selection featuring the best flavours from the land and sea catered by Salmon and Bannock. The event is free to self-identified BIPOC & 2SLGBTQ+ Peoples, and by donation at three suggested tiers ranging from $10-$30. It is being curated by Raven Grenier, a Gitxsan and Cree contemporary dance artist and will take place on November 20th at the Annex, on the traditional, ancestral, and stolen territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
Raven is a dancer, singer, and song composer that works in traditional Indigenous dance forms. She works primarily with the dancers of Damelahamid as the Artistic and Administrative Assistant, who practice traditional Gitxsan, Cree and contemporary Indigenous dance forms. She is also a Student at the University of British Columbia in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies program.
A musical sampling platter of vocal chamber music by nine exciting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour) composers. BIPOC Voices Director Rich Coburn has curated a dynamic program of works from the BIPOC Voices database. All of these works are unrecorded so the music, and in some cases the composers, will be new to you. But each speaks with a unique and compelling voice. And each has a body of work in the BIPOC Voices database. If something speaks to you, they have operas and works on every scale for you to discover there!
I can’t stop learning. I began my career as a classical pianist and opera repetiteur. I performed throughout Canada, the US, and China. Soon I taught myself to be an organist, pop music director, arranger, composer, and sound designer as well.
I learn about non-musical things, too. I’ve learned how to really listen volunteering for a suicide prevention hotline. Working in Virginia just after the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville taught me a staggering amount about racism. I discovered that I wanted more for my life than to make great music.
Today, I use great music to foster positive social change. As the Founder and Director of BIPOC Voices, I work with organizations across North America to promote anti-racism in our opera companies, orchestras, and ensembles. And I balance that with teaching entrepreneurship at McGill and making as much music as I can.