Category Archives: events

Talking Stick Festival Celebrates its Tenth Anniversary: as reported on

What began as a simple cabaret is now celebrating 10 years! The festival has grown from one night into a 2 week long festival that features established to emerging Aboriginal artists from Canada , the United States and the world. Over the last decade the festival has hosted such fabulous artists Pacific Curls from New Zealand , OStwelve, Byron Chief Moon, Compaigni V’ni Dansi, The Velvet Devil by Andrea Menard, Red Sky, Spakwus Slulum, Jackson 2 Bears, Leanne Goose , Margo Kane and Buffy Saint Marie.

One of the highlights of our programming in 2011 is the return of the ever popular Ab-Original Cabaret and this year we welcome back one of last years audience favourites; from the Northwest Territories, Leanne Goose, a country/rock singer and budding song writer originally from Inuvik. Leanne made her debut on the North American music scene with her 2008 release of her first independent full length album release ‘Anywhere’ to much critical acclaim. Leanne’s style is a unique mix of Classic Country with that unforgettable edge of Elvis styled Rock n’ Roll infused beats that flow through her powerhouse voice. She is a North Star on the rise and diamond hard act to follow. We look forward to have her grace the Talking Stick Festival Stage once again.

As the festival continues to grow from its grass roots, 2011 will see an expansion from one week to two weeks, commencing with our traditional Opening Gala and Feast on January 31st at the Roundhouse and closing on February 13th, 2011 at the Wise Hall. Look to our facebook, twitter, website and this newsletter for more updates.

This is an event for those who are dedicating their lives and beings to bringing transformational culture to the tipping point: cultural creatives, movers and shakers, and community builders. It will run from November 19 (7 pm) to November 21 (4 pm).

Through mutual trust, love, belongingness, nurturing, and supportive relationship, this event will build a team which itself is a community; a team of people who seek deeper levels of integrated community for themselves and others and enjoy journeying together. They will become catalysts and guides for one another. Through archetypal emotional experience of nature’s elements, this retreat will reawaken ancient pathways to community relationships and synergy and solidify new systems of energetic exchange.

The intimate team that forms will represent shifts in Politics, Economics, Technology, Healthcare, Governance, Community Building, Spirituality, Communication, Arts and Music, Philanthropy, Technology, Media, and Law.

This event will provide a container for all sectors to come together, create shared agreements, learn new processes for exchanging resources and visions, and bond together under one umbrella. Organized in this way, people can live life to its fullest and build future survival capability for the generations to come. If you are someone who has dedicated your life to systemic change and is interested in creating a mutual support network, then this event may be for you.

What you can expect to see at the event:
* Building supportive relationships
* Ritual, music, dance, & heart-based exchange
* Whole systems planning and architecting
* Creating transformational umbrella
* Creation of shared agreements
* Presentations of each other’s work

Activities will include:
* Workshops and playshops
* Ritual, dance and music
* Transformational processes
* Collaborative art & channeling
* Strategic architecting
* Lifestyle exploration

More information on

Rodney Smith’s Talk and Booksigning will be on Saturday, December 4 6-7:30 pm at Banyen Books Vancouver. As Buddhism integrates into Western cultures, it is important that we do not compromise the depth and direction of the teaching. The West is built upon individuality and self-initiative, but the central teachings of the Buddha are selflessness and interdependent existence. These two competing imperatives begin to conflict when we sincerely long for the resolution of our dissatisfaction and suffering. We realize that since our suffering is self-inflicted, we cannot carry the very cause of that suffering, the sense-of-self, into the practices that intend to resolve it, or we will be reinforcing our belief in separation and move in the opposite direction of the freedom of the Buddha.

The spiritual journey is often depicted as a long and laborious path containing endless lifetimes and holding a complexity that bewilders our intentions, but the journey simplifies when we are willing to pare the intricacies of practices back to the Buddha’s core teaching on selflessness. Spiritual practice is simply stepping out of self-deception, and all authentic methods and techniques have only this intended purpose.

Rodney Smith spent several years as a Buddhist monk in Asia, ordaining with Mahasi Sayadaw in Burma and practicing with Ajahn Buddhadassa in Thailand. He disrobed as a monk in 1983 and, after returning to the West, worked in hospice care in a variety of positions for 17 years while also teaching Insight Meditation throughout the US. Since leaving his position as Director of Hospice of Seattle, he has been the Founding and Guiding Teacher of Seattle Insight Meditation Society ( and is currently a Guiding Teacher for the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. He is also author of Lessons From the Dying.