23 Nov Jessica McMann (She/Her)
Jessica McMann is a Cree (Cowessess, SK) musician, contemporary dancer and choreographer. She is also a classically trained flutist, with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary. Her research focus has been contemporary music, jazz, and improvisation. She has successfully defended her thesis for her MFA – Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in 2019. Her recent compositions and soundscapes explore Indigenous identity and history. She is also co-founder and co-director Wild Mint Arts, an Indigenous arts company.
She has been dancing fancy shawl, jingle and hoop dance for 17 years, and has had the opportunity to present contemporary and traditional work at festivals across western Canada, and tour northern Europe. Currently her personal experience, Two-Spirit identity, Cree and Blackfoot language, and the strength of Indigenous women guide her current contemporary dance work. She works regularly with Elijah Wells, a Blackfoot animator to bring the stories of Transgender, Two-Spirit and Queer persons alive.
Her recent Musician artist-in-residence at the Banff Center for the Arts resulted in an Indigenous classical CD recording with Beverley McKiver in the fall of 2019. Jessica’s work has been shown by Made in BC (2018, 2019, 2020) and at Fairy Tales Film Festival (2012, 2020), Matriarch Uprising (2019), Vancouver International Children’s’ Festival (2018), Vancouver International Jazz Festival (2018), AlterNative: IndigiQueer (2017), IndigeDIV (2017, 2019), Talking Stick Festival (Vancouver 2012, 2013, 2020) Kootenay Cultural Festival (2012, 2015, 2016) , ASTAM; Cree Festival (2012), Coastal First Nations Dance Festival (2011,2012, 2014, 2017, 2018) Vancouver Queer Film Festival (2011), Q the Arts Festival (2011), and 7a*11d (2010). “Too Good; That MAY Be”, an immersive soundscape movement performance was shown at the Urban Shaman Gallery in Winnipeg as part of “The 60’s Scoop; A place between” in 2017. She has also toured in Sweden, Netherlands, and Belgium. She has created soundtracks for the ITWE Collective, performed with the Ambrose University Chamber Orchestra and the Foothills Philharmonic Orchestra, and was a guest musician for Arcade Fire at the Junos and regularly with Laura Vinson and the Free Spirit . Her collaborative visual arts work with Elijah Wells are in the permanent collections at the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford, UK. She also is a dance artist in Calgary schools.
She is a Laureate of the Hnatyshyn Foundation REVEAL Indigenous Art Awards.
Photo credit : Chelsea Yang-Smith