Renowned First Nations Actress brings laughter to city's arts festival

By Katherine Svenkeson
April 21, 2016 - 5:00pm Updated: April 22, 2016 - 8:01am

On the final day of the Prince Albert Grand Council Arts Festival today, April 21, a First Nations actress from Calgary gave a heartfelt, humorous and loving performance to her audience.

Michelle Thrush, who has appeared in shows like Blackstone, The Saver and Pathfinder, performed an act she wrote four years ago in front of the festival's crowd.

Thrush said there is a lot to take away from her show.

“I know what I wrote in it,” Thrush said. “And that is to spend time, how important our elders are, how important it is to reconnect with family, to know that laughter is a big part of who we are, it’s kept us going for many generations, so being able to laugh, for our youth to really respect who they are and what they do and their words.”

In the performance she talks about growing up and the relations she had with her family, especially her kokum (grandmother).

Thrush said arts are an important part of her culture and helps educate her audience, which includes kids.

“We come from an oral tradition of storytelling and that’s what I do,” she said. “I’m a storyteller. We’ve now added cameras and theater. Theater is to that form of storytelling, but really we’ve been doing what I do. We’ve been doing that for thousands of years. We’ve been passing stories down using voice and songs and our body to tell stories. So, it’s not new. It’s something that’s [a] very old form of tradition. I think that our young people, they learn easier and quicker through the arts.”

The four-day long festival celebrates art from First Nations youth throughout the community.

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