The Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival is a Indigenous-run, artist-centred, not-for-profit organization that showcases contemporary and innovative Indigenous arts.
We are particularly interested in supporting a diverse range of Indigenous-made film, video, media art, music and performance, in a variety of genres and formats, that reflect the realities, experiences, struggles, cultures, and languages of Indigenous peoples in Canada and abroad. We also strive to create a welcoming, fun, and accessible atmosphere for all guests, and see our festival as a gathering space for the Indigenous film and arts community.
Asinabka Festival is an Indigenous-run organization located in Ottawa on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Algonquin Nation. We are an important key event in the City of Ottawa, in Eastern Ontario, and one of only a few arts presenters that solely focuses on supporting and presenting Indigenous artists and Indigenous content in the region. Asinabka Festival was launched in 2012, and celebrates 11 years of operation in 2022. The Festival was founded to support diverse and contemporary work by Indigenous directors, producers and screenwriters working in film, video, audio, music, performance, and digital media.
Elder William Commanda
In the Algonquin language (Anishinabemowin), the word “Asinabka” means “place of glare rock”. The Asinabka area includes Victoria Island and the Chaudière Falls, which are both located between Ottawa and Gatineau on the Ottawa River. Asinabka is considered a sacred site, where for thousands of years ceremonies and offerings of tobacco have been made, and continue to be made.
The name Asinabka was chosen for this festival as an act of decolonization, and to reinforce that the Nations Capital is in the heart of the unsurrendered land of the Algonquin Nation. In the past, we’ve always started our festival in a good way with an outdoor community gathering and film screening on Victoria Island. Currently the National Capital Commission has closed Victoria Island to clean up contaminated soil, but we hope to return there in the years to come. In solidarity with the legacy of Algonquin Elder William Commanda, in our own small way, Asinabka Festival strives to help fulfil his vision for creating spaces where diverse peoples can gather to share cultures, histories, stories, and knowledge.
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