The vision of the Kanata Festival is four-fold:
1) It will be an important instrument for Reconciliation during Canada’s Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) celebrations this year.
2) It will be youth-driven and youth-led involving as many groups of Indigenous youth as possible in the organization and execution of the festival and the creation of the Wikiupedia mobile app – a location based Indigenous Knowledge Network.
3) This festival will be culturally appropriate and accurate, and will hire local Indigenous service providers, vendors, artists and artisans.
4) The harvesting of traditional materials and the building of the iconic structures will engage volunteers from all walks of life and make a very strong environmental statement regarding the historic sustainable practices that embody Indigenous stewardship.
The Kanata Festival will be a celebration and performance space, a number of the iconic structures will be part of a monumental art project that will remain as a legacy piece after the festival. The Kanata site will the launch event for the creation of the first, culturally accurate, location-based Indigenous Knowledge Network of and about Indigenous people, their place names, their traditions and their culture.
The Wikiupedia (as the mobile app is called) will educate, entertain and enlighten Canadians and visitors to this land during and long after our year of celebration.
A great deal of thought has gone into the conceptual design of the Kanata Project and the three components; the village celebrations, the monumental art projects and the creation of an Indigenous Knowledge Network across the country collectively addresses the stated goals of the Canada 150 Fund and function as one piece to connect Canadians with the important role that Canada’s First Peoples play, played and are playing in our Nation.
All three components include participatory elements for the general public to share in the rich cultural and artistic fabric of Canada’s First Peoples. Youth are engaged throughout the process and in fact they will be the de facto architects of the first nation-wide digital network dedicated to sharing the Indigenous experience. That the process will be guided by Elders, traditional knowledge holders and cultural authorities will provide hundreds of youth with a once in a lifetime experience to work with their communities to build a lasting legacy for all Canadians and for all who visit this vast land in the decades to come.