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Entertainers

Entertainers

GOV 2024 Lineup

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Each year, PAYC and BCAAFC work together to select a mix of talented entertainers and inspiring keynote speakers. 

GOV 2024 features an eclectic mix of musicians from up and coming musicians like 14-year-old James Vickers to returning favourites like DJ Kookum and DJ O Show. 

Check out the GOV 2024 lineup below! 

Master of Ceremony

Madelaine McCallum

Madelaine McCallum is a gifted dancer, motivational speaker, facilitator, and MC — a true, multi-faceted creative. She is from Ile a la Crosse, Saskatchewan and brings passion with a gentle yet powerful presence to the stage whether she is there to share one of her inspiring Speaks or she has been asked to dance, or MC. Madelaine’s experience as an MC and event host is sure to make GOV a hit! She has a passion for sharing her knowledge of dance and culture and doesn’t shy away from sharing her story of survival, knowing that dance has been an outlet and saviour throughout her life. Though she is often known immediately for her Métis dance (she’s been jigging since she could walk!), she loves all forms including Pow Wow, contemporary, hip hop, and movement from the soul. She has created traditional and fitness-based dance workshops including Pow Wow Impact, Jig Fit, Pow Wow Zumba, and traditional Pow Wow and Jigging workshops.
 

Opening Ceremony

lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Dancers

The group is highly sought after to represent the Lək̓ʷəŋən people at significant events throughout the region. They have performed to welcome visiting royalty, the Lieutenant Governor and the Prime Minister, Mayor, and Councils and many others. One of their favourite performances is to greet Indigenous people from around the world.

James Vickers

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James Vickers has blood lines to the Tsimshian, Haida, and Tinglet nations as well as the U.K. James started playing guitar in March of 2020. When he first started playing, he was very inspired by Angus Young of ACDC. After playing and learning for a year, he discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and Canada’s own, Colin James. Since making his stage debut one week before his 12th birthday at the Queens Sunday Blues Jam in Nanaimo, the James Vickers Band has played the Nanaimo Blues Festival, 39 Days of July Festival, and opened for the legendary Jim Byrnes and Crystal Shawanda.  James has also done solo performances opening for Michael Sharratt and the Alibis and Wide Mouth Mason. James was in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, January 2024 where he represented the Fraser Valley Blues Society. The future looks bright for this fourteen-years young musician.

Elijah Mack

Award winning entrepreneur, Elijah Mack brings six years of entrepreneurial success and seven years of Indigenous leadership. At the age of 22, he began his journey by purchasing Kekuli Cafe Merritt, which became the first Indigenous Cuisine Franchise in Canada. Mack is a leader in the Friendship Centre Movement, Indigenous tourism, and our Indigenous economy. Learn what it takes to be an Entrepreneur and join this journey!

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DJ Kookum

Cheyanna Kootenhayoo (a.k.a. Kookum) is a DJ and multi-media maker from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and Cold Lake First Nations, their maternal Denesuline traditional territory. Based out of Vancouver B.C., Kookum has been making a name for their self across the country and is no stranger in the community.
Kookum is an open format DJ inspired by EDM and Hip Hop music. This diverse-mix-diva is a force on the decks and always keeps the party hype, fresh, and unpredictable.
 Kookum tours nationally and internationally with the Snotty Nose Rez Kids. Holds down weekly DJ residencies. Facilitates videography and DJ workshops, operates sound and lighting for community dance parties, and works with youth as a DJ mentor. You can also catch DJ Kookum performing virtually for online festivals, curating online events, hosting online workshops, making beats in the studio, and selling merchandise on their online store. Kookum has been a video editor for just over 10 years editing television, documentaries and promotional videos. Kookum is also the music supervisor for the children’s television series called ‘Coyote Science’ and host’s the Immersive Knowledge Transfer Podcast produced by the Indigenous Matriarchs 4 Media Lab.  
 

Saltwater Hank

Saltwater Hank is a Ts’msyen musician from Txałgiiw (a.k.a Hartley Bay) based in Lax Kxeen (Prince Rupert). The melodies are a spoon full of oolichan grease- the perfect dose of musical medicine and sure to leave you wanting more. He connects listeners and the members of his culture by reliving his heritage through the music, he is creating a bridge between the old and the new, allowing present generations to experience the ancient oral traditions of his culture in a vibrant and powerful way. His stories breathe life into forgotten narratives and revive the power of the traditional language to shape a new generation of storytellers. Saltwater Hank is here to keep the art and sound of his culture alive and growing.

Talent Show

DJ O Show

Orene Askew, (a.k.a. DJ O Show), brings energy and expertise to every event she DJ’s and hosts. Coming from a diverse background, O Show is driven by her passion. She is Afro-Indigenous and a proud member of the Squamish Nation. Feeling as though she stood out in a unique way, she embraced both her cultural backgrounds and incorporates the teachings she has learned into everything she does. DJ O Show has experience teaching with an inspired approach. She is an inspirational speaker, having traveled across the country to bring ambition and drive to all generations, and is a former member of Squamish Nation Council. She has hosted/MC’d/DJ’d for numerous clients such as The Vancouver Canucks, BC Lions, Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week, and opened for Kevin Hart and Russell Peters at The Great Outdoors Comedy Festival. DJ O Show is the recipient of a 2015 BC Indigenous Business Award, a 2018 Stand Out Award from the Vancouver Pride Society, a 2021 Alumni of Excellence Award from Capilano University, and a 2022 International Indigenous Hip Hop Award for DJ of the Year.

Notorious Cree

James Jones is Nehiyaw (Cree) from Tall Cree First Nation in Treaty 8 Territory in Northern Alberta. Known as Notorious Cree across Instagram and TikTok, James has an engaging community of over 6M+ people globally. James uses his voice to educate and spread awareness on the issues impacting Indigenous communities across the globe. As a traditional hoop and powwow dancer, performance artist, youth workshop facilitator and public speaker, James advocates to inspire future generations by reclaiming his culture and encouraging others to do the same. Notable performances include the Winter Olympics, Juno awards, Pan Am Games, Coachella and was a previous contestant on SYTYCD Canada.

Garret T Willie

Garret T. Willie is an old soul masquerading as an uncommonly wise, weathered, witty and world-weary 23-year-old. He’s about to give rock ‘n’ roll a formidable 21st -century kick in the butt with plenty of wild, heartbreaking, and hilarious stories to share in true rock ‘n’ roll form. Garret T. Willie hails from Kingcome Inlet, off the coast of British Columbia. He’s been through some serious stuff and lived through a lot more than most of us have at his age. But while Willie’s back story also gives him more right than most to sing the blues – and at heart, Garret T. Willie is a rock ‘n’ roller – he’d rather that not be the whole story.

Lorissa Scriven

Lorissa grew up in a small town set deep in the yawn of the Peace River Valley. Her northern life has been one of music and wild places. She chooses to be inspired every day, whether by a winding conversation, a fleeting moment of light, or a wayward feather found in the woods; beauty is everywhere.With silky-sweet vocals and a rich cast of instrumentals, her music feels like the fondest road trip memories; like a golden afternoon’s dreams.

Jodie B

Jodie B is a distinguished performer, producer, recording engineer, and multi-instrumentalist with an impressive portfolio of collaborative works. Among her notable accomplishments are recordings and co-productions for esteemed artists such as Q from Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Dani Lion, Nino Bless, MAYDAY!, and Slug from Atmosphere. Her journey has been enriched through exclusive mentorships with acclaimed producers, including Jane Aurora and Howard Redekopp. Jodie was honored with the Olivia Quann scholarship, enabling her to complete BCIT’s Music Business Program levels 1 and 2 in 2022/2023. Jodie was able to establish Frequency Sound 528—a safe and inclusive recording studio catering to the underrepresented communities of the Okanagan Valley In January 2024 Jodie was asked to attend The NAMM Show with SHEQ—a groundbreaking team of Canadian female engineers and producers, including Elisa Pangsaeng, Grace Chiang, Denise De’ion, Jinting Zhao, Kristina Lao, Selci, Daggerss, Chelsa Roberts, Dani Lion, and more. Jodie B is dedicated to reshaping the representation of minority music producers and engineers in the industry, striving to make a lasting impact on the landscape of contemporary music.

Youth In Care Feast

Savvy Simon

Savvy Simon is a mama of two, a well-known motivational speaker, workshop host, a spiritual mentor, essential oil educator and joy to be around! Rez: Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick. A Mi’kmaq & Anishnaabe remix. Awarded Top 40 Female Change Makers in Canada, a TedX speaker, and a Native dancer of the Vancouver Olympics. She is the creator of the #SpeakMikmaq Language revolution for the Mi’kmaq tribe. Her language videos and works are in curriculums of universities, high schools, colleges & textbooks. Her sessions are a warm, welcoming sacred space for all ages and walks of life.

Songwriter's Circle

Art Napolean (Moderator)

Art Napoleon is host and co-producer of APTN’s popular show Moosemeat & Marmalade, an international food series that showcases Indigenous foods, traditional knowledge and outdoor cooking techniques. This former chief is as comfortable on a big city stage or boardroom as he is skinning a moose in a hailstorm with a pocketknife. Art grew up in the boreal forests and mountains of Northern BC where he learned bush-skills including traditional plant use and outdoor cooking. Art holds an MA in Language Revitalization from the University of Victoria, is a language educator and practices land based activities on a seasonal basis. Based in Victoria BC, Art remains connected to his home territory and his Cree and Dane Zaa roots. When he is not producing TV, he tours regularly as a performer and speaker. His moose stew has been known to cure hangovers and his campfire tales have mended broken hearts… or so the stories go.

Other members of the circle:

  • Lorissa Scriven
  • Garret T Willie
  • Jodie B

Closing Ceremonies

Alyssa Wapanatahk

Alyssa Wapanatahk is an actress, film-maker, and motivational speaker! She is nehiyaw (cree) from Bigstone Cree First Nation in Treaty 8 Territory. Born and raised in northern Alberta. Alyssa has been working in the TV and Film industry for 12+ years. Her work can be seen on major platforms like Disney+, Netflix, CW, APTN, CBC Gem. Some of her recent projects are, Peter Pan & Wendy (2023) where she played the iconic role of Tiger Lily, Riverdale (2023) where she played Lizzo, and Bones of Crows(2023) where she played Perseverance.

Quinn Pickering

Quinn Pickering is a Métis singer/songwriter from Vancouver BC Canada leading a new generation of artists who are redefining the indie music landscape. At the age of 24 he has spent over half his life playing guitar, writing songs, and releasing albums. Now, with the release of his new EP Supernova, Quinn finds his own voice and artistic potential earning a place at the forefront of the genre.

 

Lecture Theatre Workshops

Don Burnstick

With a comedy career stretching back over 25 years, Don Burnstick, a Cree from Alexander first nation, is recognized internationally. Known for his jam packed touring schedule, he brings edgy comedy and satire to thousands of people from all over the world. He also provides Keynote and Motivational Speaking, as well as workshops on a variety of relevant issues and topics.

 

Other Workshop Hosts:

  • Notorious Cree
  • DJ O Show
  • DJ Kookum
  • Quinn Pickering