Company Background

The Dancers of Damelahamid is an Indigenous dance company founded upon over five decades of extensive work of song restoration. For countless generations song and dance played an integral part in defining art and culture and was banned by the Canadian government for several decades, though it was still privately maintained. The Dancers of Damelahamid emerged in the 1960s out of an urgency to ensure that the knowledge of their ancestors was not lost. Over the forty years that followed, a changed society created the context for the dances to survive through a new role: dance as a performance for public audiences.

Since 2003, the Dancers of Damelahamid has established itself as a preeminent professional Indigenous dance company that has self produced several theatre-based productions, and the creation of newly choreographed dance works. The company has produced the annual Coastal First Nations Dance Festival since 2008, presenting Indigenous dance from throughout the BC Coast as well as hosting guest national and international artists. It is the current directive of the Dancers of Damelahamid to redefine and characterize their practice so that the dances may continue to be tangible and accessible for the next generations.