The Kwantlen First Nation is bringing back its traditional powwow at the Kwantlen Sports Park on McMillan Island in Fort Langley, from Aug. 24 to 26.
The Kwantlen First Nation and its business subsidiary, the Seyem’ Qwantlen Group of Companies Limited Partnership, along with the Langley Arts Council, are gearing up for the second annual powwow. The event is open to the general public, admission is by donation, and parking is free. There will be $13,000 in cash payouts to drum groups and dancers in every category.
The Kwantlen First Nation held annual powwows from 1996 to 2006, at the Langley Fine Arts School. There were many reasons why that powwow waned, said Brandon Gabriel, powwow committee chair.
“I think that powwow had a pretty good run. I think the biggest challenge was that the location was not able to accommodate a growing following from dancers, drummers, and the general public, and this put limits on what kind of a program that committee was able to implement,” said Brandon Gabriel.
“Last year we tested the waters to see if there would be interest from dancers, drummers, and the general public to have a powwow. We held a one-day event that was organized by Teila Gabriel, our event co-ordinator, and from that point it was very apparent to us that we could expand our program and generate more interest from the public” said Brandon Gabriel.
Kwantlen First Nations has worked with the Langley Arts Council on projects of the same nature, but on a much smaller scale.
“We thought it would be a great opportunity to share our resources and come up with an event that has a festive atmosphere and a dynamic program offering. We believe that the Langley Arts Council can help us achieve our goals,” said Brandon Gabriel.