Welcome | TATAWAW

Nextfest marks the beginning of a long creative journey for a huge array of artists. For more than twenty years, we have fostered the growth and learning of thousands of artists who continue to practice and create on Treaty 6 land. We embody the spirit of newness and growth while respecting the deep roots planted by those who came before us. We are a platform for emerging artists, a meeting ground for community, a springboard for creative invention. Mentorship, inclusion, learning, creative risk, and vulnerability are at the core of everything we stand for.

And so, we embrace the spirit of Tatawaw: a Cree phrase meaning “welcome, there is room.”

The Nextfest Arts Company acknowledges that we are situated on Treaty 6 territory, the home of the Nations of Cree, Nakota-Sioux, Blackfoot, Dene, Tsuu T’ina, Metis and other Indigenous peoples who call this land home, who have created and gathered on these lands for thousands of years.

At Nextfest, everyone is welcome exactly as they are. Our circle continues to grow and evolve with our artists as they grow and evolve, too. We are still learning, and promise to continue learning from past and future generations of artists who make Nextfest possible.

We recognize and value that we are at the end and the beginning of a long line of artists, creators, and people living on and benefiting from this land. Nextfest takes responsibility for this ongoing relationship as we strive to listen, learn, and continually do better as an organization and community.

We are committed to creating new beginnings, supporting revival, and providing community for everyone, as we are all Treaty People.

Welcome | Black Lives Matter

We at Nextfest support Black Lives Matter. We express our commitment to this movement and condemn police brutality and systemic racism in Edmonton, Canada, and the world. We say this loudly, as silence is violence. 

We recognize that Nextfest is still learning. Our organization and community have work to do in order to raise up the voices of Black artists, so we promise to open our hearts and ears to listen, learn, and grow as a festival and team.

Nextfest commits to working with our Black curators, artists, stakeholders, and consultants to form meaningful action and change — within the bounds of our festival, within the arts community and beyond.

Our festival and our community stand with you. Black Lives Matter.