“The Lytton Block Party is honoured to be a stop on the Canada-wide Red Ride Tour of Aboriginal musical artists, headlined by Haida grunge-rocker Kristi Lane Sinclair,” says Gordon Murray, president of Lytton’s Two Rivers Farmers’ Market. “Let the street dancing begin!”
Lytton’s annual event has grown in scope and excitement since humble beginnings in May 2013, when Nlaka’pamux youth advocate J.R. Adams organized the first party with a couple of local DJs and a bouncy castle for the kids. For the past three years, the farmers’ market and Adams have jointly organized the event. It has grown to include a variety of performances by contemporary indigenous artists, live music, story telling, multi-media performances, hip hop artists, a street dance, refreshments, and the first farmers’ market of the season.
Workshops are new to the event this year. Led by the visiting artists and performers, songwriting, DJing, and performance workshops for local youth will be featured throughout the evening.
One of the only public, outdoor, indigenous youth-focused events in Lytton, the popular block party is expected to attract more than 250 local youth and young families on Friday, May 20 from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. Thanks in part to a grant from Northern Development Initiative Trust and continued support by Lytton First Nation, Nlha’7kapmx Child and Family Services, the Village of Lytton, Siska Indian Band, and Two Rivers Farmers’ Market, the festival is able to showcase top-notch aboriginal artists.
Most of the artists are First Nations, including multi-media performers See Monsters (who combine projected visuals, original music, and VJing for a spectacular audience experience), hard-rocking Kristi Lane Sinclair, sensational hip-hop MCs Enter-Tribal, and Ostwelve. It gives local youth an opportunity to see themselves reflected on the stage; the population served by the Village of Lytton is 80 per cent First Nations, more than half of whom are under the age of 25. Popular Vancouver-based hip-hop artist JB The First Lady, who is performing in Lytton again, is dynamic, young, and aboriginal, and stated in an interview with CBC that she performs for “young indigenous women to feel proud, inspired, and to finally see someone on stage who looks like them.”
Lytton’s award-winning Two Rivers Farmers’ Market hosts the first market of the season in conjunction with the sensational events on stage. Fresh produce and home-made goodies will be available from the vendors all evening. In conjunction with the annual May long weekend parade on Monday, May 23, another farmers’ market will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with a theme of “Plants and Seeds for Your Garden”. The market returns for the summer on Friday, June 3.
This weekend, the spotlight is on Lytton; let the street dancing begin!