GOVERNOR GENERAL HONOURS RWB’S EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR FOR OUTSTANDING INDIGENOUS LEADERSHIP

Jun 19 2017 | Posted in Press Releases

GOVERNOR GENERAL HONOURS RWB’S EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR FOR OUTSTANDING INDIGENOUS LEADERSHIP

WINNIPEG—June 19, 2017. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada is joined by lieutenant governors and territorial commissioners from each province and territory to present Canadian Honours with a special focus on recognizing outstanding Indigenous leadership. André Lewis, Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Executive Artistic Director, Tina Keeper, a Cree activist, producer, actress, and former member of the Canadian House of Commons, along with Aboriginal and human rights activist: the late Elder Mary Richard, are being honoured in recognition of outstanding Indigenous leadership for their initiation of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation. The Presentation of Canadian Honours ceremony takes place at 11 AM on June 19 at Ottawa’s Rideau Hall.

“I am thoroughly humbled by this presentation. It has been an honour and privilege to work on such a profound piece with the support the Royal Winnipeg Ballet received”, states Lewis. “It is especially significant to accept this recognition during the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Honours System.”

Going Home Star - Truth and Reconciliation, produced with the support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), is a choreographic representation of the many stories, both told and still unraveling, by Indian Residential School Survivors and their families. The creative team that brought this story to life includes renowned choreographer Mark Godden, Canadian novelist and TRC Honorary Witness Joseph Boyden, Cree actor, former Member of Parliament, and TRC Honorary Witness Tina Keeper. Going Home Star- Truth and Reconciliation premiered on October 1, 2014 and has been performed in full-length and reduced showcase versions 29 times. This ballet features an original, Juno-winning score composed by Christos Hatzis and includes appearances from Juno-winning Inuk Throat Singer, Tanya Tagaq, Steve Wood and the Northern Cree Singers.

About Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation:
Commissioned by Executive Artistic Director André Lewis with the support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Going Home Star - Truth and Reconciliation explores the world of Annie, a young, urban First Nations woman adrift in a contemporary life of youthful excess. But when she meets Gordon, a longhaired trickster disguised as a homeless man, she’s propelled into a world she’s always sensed but never seen. Not only do they travel the streets of this place but also the roads of their ancestors, learning to accept the other’s burdens as the two walk through the past and towards the future. Together, both Annie and Gordon learn that without truth there is no reconciliation.

Based on a story by acclaimed author Joseph Boyden, Going Home Star - Truth and Reconciliation is a representation of the emotions and experiences both told and untold by residential school Survivors and their families.

About Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet:
Founded in 1939, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada’s premier ballet company and one of the oldest ballet companies in North America. Versatility, technical excellence and a captivating style are the trademarks of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, qualities that have garnered both critical and audience acclaim. RWB’s superlative standards keep the Company in demand around the globe as it presents more than 150 performances every season across Canada and in the United States, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Japan, Asia and Mexico. Under the artistic direction of André Lewis for 21 years, the Company is said to have never looked more resplendent, more assured, and more ravishing.

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For further media information, please contact
Natasha Havrilenko | Public Relations Coordinator
T. 204. 957.3456 | C. 204.223.4010
nhavrilenko@rwb.org