The Lekwungen Traditional Dancers were one of the acts at Beckwith Park’s first IYAKT music festival. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Successful IYAKT event in Saanich gives Indigenous talent opportunity to perform

The event aimed to shine light on the many talented Indigenous performers across the region

The first annual IYAKT music festival, held on Aug. 21 in Saanich’s Beckwith Park, was called a success by organizers.

“This event was designed to bring everyone together – non-Indigenous and Indigenous people to share in the culture and provide an opportunity to learn and have fun,” said Jason Jones, community programmer for the District of Saanich and a lead organizer of the event.

The musical acts were put on by a range of talented Indigenous artists from across Greater Victoria, including a moving performance from the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers.

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria master carver says Indigenous art a way to restore culture

Bands that took to the stage included Auntie Katie and The Uncles of Funk, PYOOT, Mitchel Sisters, Shauntelle Dick, Paint the Town Red, and more.

Brian “YellowWolf” Sampson explained that IYAKT means change or switch and the event is a way to encourage more opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in Greater Victoria, and beyond, to share their many talents. Sampson was a co-organizer of the event and a performer in the group Paint the Town Red.

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