Decolonizing the Narrative Conversation Series: Ian Cusson
Decolonizing the Narrative Conversation Series is an online conversation session that invites leading Indigenous Art creators to talk about their practices and processes, facilitated by Janine Windolph, Director of Indigenous Arts at Banff Centre. The Conversation Series engages an Indigenous lens in the various arts forms of Literary Arts, Film and Media Arts, Digital Media, Visual Arts, and Performing Arts including Theatre, Dance, and Music with Opera, Singer/Songwriter, and Classical Music. Explore and deepen your understanding of how Indigenous artists are using their arts discipline as a tool to decolonize artistic process and creation.
Opera is a 400 year-old art form that is rooted in a Eurocentric colonial tradition. Join composer Ian Cusson as he discusses his approach to making opera that pushes against these traditions and shifts the way opera is made through the centering of Indigenous stories, voices and ways of making art. Of Métis (Georgian Bay Métis Community) and French Canadian descent, Cusson's work explores Canadian Indigenous experience including the history of the Métis people, the hybridity of mixed-racial identity, and the intersection of Western and Indigenous cultures.
This session takes place over two days:
February 15: Ian Cusson does a presentation of his work.
February 16: Be part of a conversation with Ian Cusson and Janine Windolph. This second session is the space intended for your questions and comments.
Register in advance for this webinar.
Sessions may share experiences and ask difficult questions.
These are by registration only and questions and answers will remain unrecorded.
With support from:
Meet Ian Cusson
Ian Cusson is a composer of art song, opera and orchestral work. Of Métis (Georgian Bay Métis Community) and French Canadian descent, his work explores Canadian Indigenous experience including the history of the Métis people, the hybridity of mixed-racial identity, and the intersection of Western and Indigenous cultures.
He studied composition with Jake Heggie (San Francisco) and Samuel Dolin, and piano with James Anagnoson at the Glenn Gould School. He is the recipient of the Chalmers Professional Development Grant, and grants through the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.
Ian was an inaugural Carrefour Composer-in-Residence with the National Arts Centre Orchestra for 2017-2019 and was Composer-in-Residence for the Canadian Opera Company for 2019-2021. He is a Co-artistic Director of Opera in the 21st Century at the Banff Centre and the recipient of the 2021 Jan V. Matejcek Classical Music Award from SOCAN and the 2021 Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize. Ian is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the Canadian League of Composers.
He lives in Oakville with his wife and four children.
Meet Janine Windolph
Janine Windolph (Atikamekw/Woodland Cree) is the Director of Indigenous Arts at Banff Centre Arts and Creativity. Windolph is known as an Interdisciplinary artist: filmmaker educator, curator, and storyteller. She has a Master of Fine Arts Interdisciplinary in Indigenous Fine Arts and Media Production.
Filmography includes Stories Are In Our Bones (Director/Writer) Lifegivers: Honoring Our Elders and Children (Director/Writer), The Land of Rock and Gold (Director/Writer/Producer), Ayapiyâhk ôma niyanân “Only us, we are here at home” (Production Mentor/Narrator), From Up North (Producer), The Beacon Project: Stories of Qu’Appelle Valley (Production Support/Storyteller /Producer), and RIIS from Amnesia: Recovering the Lost Legacies (Co-Director and Co-Producer).