Arts & EntertainmentFeature

A musical response to the TRC’s 94 calls to action

Flato Markham Theatre will vibrate with the beautiful sounds of Walking Through the Fire, a collaborative project between Sultans of String and Indigenous artists Leela Gilday, The North Sound, Don Ross, Shannon Thunderbird, Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk, Marc Meriläinen (Nadjiwan), Duke Redbird, and a multimedia extravaganza including Northern Cree, Kendra Tagoona, Tracey Sarazin, and more.

“Markham is eager to welcome and celebrate Indigenous culture, music, and peoples in York Region’s premiere theatre and the jewel of our city’s arts and culture community. This is an opportunity to put truth and reconciliation into action through the ultimate form of connection – music,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti.

His sentiments are shared and supported by Eric Lariviere, the theatre’s General Manager: “Music is the master communicator, the universal language, transcending all differences. It is a huge part of who we are as human beings and speaks to something deep within us – and so it is a tremendous honour that Flato Markham Theatre has been selected to host the World Premiere of such a hopeful and synergistic musical performance.”

A central theme running through Walking Through the Fire is the need for the whole truth of Residential Schools and the Indigenous experience to be told long before reconciliation can possibly take place.

The Honourable Murray Sinclair, former chair of the TRC, said, “The very fact that you’re doing this tells me that you believe in the validity of our language, you believe in the validity of our art and our music and that you want to help to bring it out. And that’s really what’s important: for people to have faith that we can do this.” Sinclair also spoke about the importance of using Indigenous languages, so these do not become lost. The recording and concert feature lyrics in Dene, Inuktitut, Sm’algyax, Cree, and Michif.

For tickets to this Sept. 28 show, visit

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