Salt Spring musician to release new video

Video combines dance forms to show mixing traditions

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A local musician is releasing a new music video filmed on the island.

Musician Liv Wade was able to fund the production of the video after winning the ImagiNative music contest in the fall. Part of the $10,000 prize will also go towards recording new music. The contest is open each year to Indigenous artists from across Canada.

The video is for her new song called Mixed Blood, which is about her experience being Métis and from two different cultural heritages. It features two dancers from contrasting disciplines — traditional First Nations and ballet — who combine their traditions in new ways.

“I wanted to do something that showed two distinct ways of being in dance and how different we can be together while still working together,” Wade said. “I thought it was stunning to see them dance together, separate and have moments of coming together.”

The song is from Wade’s newest release, entitled Resilience. After being in a traumatic accident a few years ago, and losing her birth mother, she wrote the album as a way to help with her recovery. It was also written with Indigenous and Métis youth, particularly LGBTQ youth and those in the foster care system, in mind.

“Youth like that are more likely to take their own lives or have an absence of support or understanding,” she said. “A lot of the music that I write is in support of the next generation. As someone who is mixed blood, of both European and Indigenous descent, I wanted to get everybody on board.”

Wade wants people to have their own interpretation of her music. Dancers in the video were invited to express themselves in the way that they felt connection to the song.

“My hope is to write a song that everyone [will] connect to, whether you were Indigenous or not . . .,” Wade said. “The idea is that we really need to honour and respect our Indigenous people here and understand the culture to move forward and work together. We’re all here.”

Video filming was done on June 18, mainly in the Burgoyne Valley and on the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nation reserve on the island. Wade enlisted Powell River filmmaker Claudia Medina to help create the video. The dancers, Melissa Rodriguez and Randi Gardypie, are a former professional ballet dancer and a traditional powwow dancer respectively.

“I really wanted to support women in film because they’re often not supported the same way, just like in the music industry,” Wade said. 

Wade has also been supported by Slaight Music and received grants from the Canada Arts Council to support her music. She is currently working with producer and musician Jim Bryson on new music and is preparing for a west coast tour in the fall. As part of the ImagiNative music contest, her video will be featured in their annual film festival.

Resilience is available online at https://livewade.bandcamp.com/.

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