ALBERTA ABORIGINAL ARTS
Alberta Aboriginal Arts is a professional Aboriginal Theatre and Performing Arts organization based in Edmonton, Alberta. AAA was co-founded in 2009 by Ryan Cunningham and Christine Sokaymoh Frederick, both Aboriginal (Métis) from Edmonton. Our ambition is to foster a community of Aboriginal artists in Edmonton and across Alberta. We produce events that bring artists of multiple disciplines and Aboriginal traditions together. Our goal is to encourage and support collaborations in art and performance in contemporary and traditional styles and to bring these creations to audiences across Alberta. We strive to develop a strong Aboriginal theatre going audience in Edmonton and encourage non-Aboriginal audiences to attend our events as well. AAA provides audiences of all cultural backgrounds a chance to experience challenging artistic works that speak from a uniquely Aboriginal voice.
Ryan Cunningham is a board member of the national IPAA (Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance) and a National Committee Member of NANAA (National Aboriginal Network of Arts Administrators). In 2009 he Co-Founded ALBERTA ABORIGINAL ARTS with Christine Sokaymoh Frederick. Ryan has been very active in the creation and production of new Aboriginal works across Canada for the last 10 years and has been involved in the creation, workshop and initial productions of four published Canadian Aboriginal plays; DREARY & IZZY by Tara Beagan, STRETCHING HIDE by Dale Lakevold and Darrell Racine, SUICIDE NOTES by Ken Williams and ANNIE MAE’S MOVEMENT by Yvette Nolan. For the Stage: Next Years Man Of Steel (Shadow Theatre), The National Arts Centre (The Ecstasy of Rita Joe), Theatre Projects Manitoba (Stretching Hide), Native Earth Performing Arts (Annie Mae’s Movement, Dreary & Izzy, Julius Ceasar: Death of a Chief, Weesageechak Begins To Dance festival XVI, XVII, XVIII, XXII), Firehall Arts Centre ( playing Bobby Strong in the Western Canadian Premier of URINETOWN: The Musical. Jessie award for Best Production), Summerworks (Suicide Notes), Caravan Farm Theatre ( I.O.U. Land), Roseneath Theatre (Danny, King of the Basement), Azimuth Theatre (Superhero, Worst Case Scenario), Citadel Theatre (Oh, What a Lovely War), Hit N Run Productions (Cannibal! The Musical), Stage West Mayfield (Guy’s and Doll’s), Charlottetown Festival (Somewhere in the World), Epiphany Theatre (Passion), Studio Theatre (Love! Valour! Compassion!) TheatRePublic (Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding). For Film and Television: BLACKSTIONE (APTN&SHOWCASE), MIXED BLESSINGS (APTN), BLUE MURDER (GLOBAL), EARTH: FINAL CONTACT, SIR PARKER, SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL, MENTORS.
Christine Sokaymoh Frederick is Métis/Cree from the Daniels and Whiskeyjack families, in Saddle Lake and St. Paul de Métis, Alberta. She started dancing pow wow and acting as a child and developed as multi-disciplined artist into adulthood. Christine has acted in MACBETH, FLINT & FEATHER: THE STORY OF E. PAULINE JOHNSON (also co-wrote), THE REZ SISTERS, UNDISCOVER’D COUNTRY, and television’s MIXED BLESSINGS. She has excellent experience on the management and administration side of arts and culture working with non-profit organizations, government groups and in the private sector. Christine served as President of Sound & Fury Theatre, Program Coordinator for the White Buffalo Dancers & Drummers Society, as Academic Research Coordinator for the Otipemisuak project through the University of Alberta Faculty of Native Studies. She was consulted for the 2005 draft of Alberta’s Cultural Policy, compiled into a Provincial Report for the Ministry of Alberta’s Community Development, and for Edmonton’s The Art of Living (Edmonton Arts Council) and she received the 2007 Esquao award for Arts & Entertainment. Christine is the Oti Nikan Leadership Academy Coordinator through the Centre for Race & Culture. The program for Aboriginal youth emphasizes leadership through the arts. Christine is President of the Aboriginal Women’s Justice Forum and is on the board of the Edmonton Arts Council. Her children’s play, MINOSIS GATHER’S HOPE is being presented at Concrete Theatre’s Sprouts Festival (June 11-12/11) and she is cast in the upcoming film The War Reporter.