PRESS RELEASE: The Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre presents the Indigenous Art and Activism Series to Kick Off Indigenous History Month


The Civic Theatre kicks off National Indigenous History Month with a series of three events celebrating Indigenous Art and Activism on May 30 & 31, featuring Meet Beau Dick: Maker of MonstersRUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World w/ The Recording of Willie Thrasher and Willie Thrasher live in concert with Linda Saddleback.

Nelson, BC  – May 26, 2018 | The Civic Theatre is pleased to present a program of Indigenous Art and Activism, taking place over 2 days, May 30 & 31.

Patrons will be entertained and educated by a captivating new documentary about the life of the recently deceased celebrated BC artist and activist, Chief Beau Dick, in Meet Beau Dick: Maker of Monsters, May 30 at 7:30pm.  May 31st at 5:00pm promises an amazing evening of Indigenous music with a screening of the Canadian-made documentary RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World, which tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence, and a short documentary, made by Nelson filmmaker, Adam O. Thomas, The Recording of Willie Thrasher, following the career of Willie Thrasher, an Inuk singer-songwriter from Aklavik, Inuvik after a record collector rediscovered Thrashers ‘81 CBC produced LP Spirit Child, which led to the internationally acclaimed compilation Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1985.

West Kootenay patrons will be treated to hear Willie Thrasher’s amazing music live on The Civic stage, as he performs with his partner, Linda Saddleback later that evening, May 31st at 8:30pm.

Featured Events:

Maker of Monsters is a portrait of a Canadian art legend, an enigmatic carver from a small remote village on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia.

Beau Dick’s remarkable masks have been celebrated across the global art scene as vibrant expressions of West Coast Indigenous culture and a sophisticated crossover into the contemporary art world. Dick had an unprecedented ability to tap into the collective memory of his people and breathe new life into age-old traditions.

Maker of Monsters gives an intimate look into the life of one of Canada’s greatest artists. Beau Dick worked within an ancient tradition and rose to the ranks of international success within the white cube world of contemporary art while never forgetting his roots. This film strives to capture the essence of Beau Dick and his unique position as an artist who symbolized wider Canada’s historical relationship with First Nations and the ethical dilemmas faced in reconciling with its colonial history. Beau was able to use his celebrity to call attention to the injustices done to his people and the environment.

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World is a feature documentary about the role of Native Americans in popular music history.

The film brings to light a profound and missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. Featuring music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Randy Castillo, and Taboo, RUMBLE shows how these pioneering Native musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.

RUMBLE has a long list of music artists, historians, family members, and experts participating in the film, including: Buddy Guy, Steven Van Zandt, Tony Bennett, Taj Mahal, Cyril Neville, Ivan Neville, Martin Scorsese, Quincy Jones, John Trudell, David Fricke (Rolling Stone Magazine), Steven Tyler, Taboo, Derek Trucks, Corey Harris, Guy Davis, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Monk Boudreaux, George Clinton, Jackson Browne,  Joy Harjo, Iggy Pop, Wayne Kramer (MC5), Marky Ramone (The Ramones), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Pura Fé (Ulali), Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys), Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne), Matt Sorum (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Mike Inez (Alice in Chains), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), Slash (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan), Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Pat Vegas (Redbone), Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and many others.

The Recordings of Willie Thrasher follows the career of Willie Thrasher, an Inuk singer-songwriter from Aklavik, Inuvik. At five, Thrasher was taken from his family and sent to a residential school where he was forbidden to practice his Inuvialuit culture. In the mid-1960s, he drummed for the Cordells, one of the first Inuit rock bands. One evening, a stranger recommended that the group tap into their Aboriginal roots instead of the charts for inspiration. This prompted Thrasher to write songs about his life, people, and the environment (as heard on 1981’s Spirit Child LP, CBC). Thrasher currently performs with his partner Linda Saddleback and is featured on Light in the Attic Records’ internationally acclaimed Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1985. Willie and Linda are trailblazing troubadours with an Indigenous heartbeat sound.

Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback – Live in concert: The Cordells toured northern Canada in the late 1960s and early 1970s, playing schools and community halls. Based out of Inuvik, they were considered the town’s first rock and roll band and played mostly contemporary songs and covers. After a show in the mid-1970s, Thrasher was approached by an elderly man and challenged as to why he didn’t play music that reflected his Inuit heritage. From that point, Thrasher moved into more personal songwriting and began studying Inuit music.

After this change in style, Thrasher joined Canadian artists such as Buffy Sainte-Marie and Willie Dunn in exploring their Inuit and First Nations roots in the mid-1970s, and speaking out on political issues. In the early 1980s, Thrasher made two recordings with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Northern Service: Spirit Child, a full-length studio album of original songs, and Sweet Grass, a live recording in Val-d’Or, Quebec, with fellow First Nations musicians Willy Mitchell, Morley Loon, and Roger House.

His songs “Spirit Child”, “Old Man Carver” and “We Got to Take You Higher” are featured on the 2014 compilation album Native North America, Vol. 1. As a result of the revived publicity from the Native North America compilation, Thrasher has undertaken more extensive touring, heading off to London, England later in June following his Nelson performance.

“Spirit Child is an amazing record for how it bridges country-folk styles — slack string and steel guitar, vocals reminiscent of Neil Young but outlaw country tinges that recall the likes of Waylon and Willie — and traditional Inuvialuit concerns.”

Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback to Play in Nelson – Nelson Star:

Tickets for each of the events are available now at and will also be available at the door.

This event is made possible by the generous contributions of the RBC Royal Bank Nelson Branch and the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

About The Civic Theatre

Nelson Civic Theatre Society is a charitable organization operating The Civic Theatre, a cultural media arts centre serving Nelson and surrounding areas. We are dedicated to the presentation of film and a wide variety of cinematic and media experiences for the cultural and educational enrichment of the community we serve.

Public Service Announcement about this event

The Civic Theatre presents the Indigenous Art and Activism series documentaries and Live Concert, taking place over Wednesday May 30 at 7:30pm and 31st at 5pm and 8:30pm. Join us at The Civic Theatre for screenings of Meet Beau Dick: Maker of Monsters, RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World w/ The Recording of Willie Thrasher and a live-concert with Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback.

Purchase your tickets for the May 31st screenings with the live concert following for a discount of $5. Tickets available at the door or


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