Hamilton Fringe’s WHAT THE FEST?! 2020: Promoting Multicultural Learning Opportunities Through Art
- written by Kellin Matthews
In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the city of Hamilton has had to cancel numerous annual festivities for this summer. For those working at the Hamilton Fringe, they’ve seen this as an opportunity to put their ingenuity and creativity to use to create an almost completely virtual summer festival. It’s been no small feat, but Hamilton Fringe has managed to present the public with an interactive celebration for the whole family.
One of the highlights of the festival is the digital Kids Club Camp, a series of free daytime workshops and entertainment for children of all ages. Each performance is wonderfully unique, with several events sharing multicultural learning and understanding, such as African drumming and dance with Jean Assamoa, Drag Queen storytime hour with Hexe Noir, and particularly Pow Wow Time with Rod Nettagog (‘Bluestone Cloud’, Ojibwe, Bear Clan). On Thursday, July 23rd, Rod provided an entertaining and interactive drum workshop via the Hamilton Fringe YouTube channel. Viewers were provided with the opportunity to sing and dance to pow wow music, as well as to gain insight into the spiritual, emotional fun that Indigenous people have at pow wow celebrations.
With over 25 years of experience in the arts, Rod has a fondness for sharing his knowledge and has been on a quest since 2007 to create awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture through his demonstrations in schools from kindergarten to post-secondary.
Rod has previously explained why he is passionate about his demonstrations too: “I want to help bring a better understanding to others about our people. Because of the loss of our history there’s a disconnection to who we are and where we have come from. I want to break that cycle and restore knowledge of our cultural values, traditions and beliefs, starting with the young.”
For more information about Kids Club Camp, visit: http://hamiltonfringe.ca/venue/kids-club-camp/