Originally co-presented by CAPACOA and Edinburgh Festival Fringe under the umbrella of Spotlight Canada, the UNcommon Wealth programme was a cultural initiative led by The High Commission of Canada in The UK, Canada Council For The Arts and Canadian Heritage, in early July 2022.
Part 2 of The UNcommon Wealth opens with Listen to the Water by word warrior and performer Zoey Roy, followed by the first of two live conversations with respected thinkers, word-warriors, changemakers and creators Claire G. Coleman (Australia), Elwood Jimmy (Canada), and Tama Waipara (New Zealand).
Zoey Roy’s voice and rhythm of words will wrap you in its message and carry you to another place.
“Listening is a gift.”— Zoey Roy
Artist. Activator. Aunty. Zoey Roy is a rebel with a cause.
A humorous presenter and a luminous storyteller, Zoey offers practical wisdom for managing the violence of settler colonialism. A lover of words, synthesizing knowledge and performance, she has spent the last 13 years traveling the globe sharing her gift of gab. Zoey is a multidisciplinary artist with an insatiable appetite for learning and growing. A career in the arts pairs well with her education. She has a Bachelor’s of Education, a Master’s of Public Policy and is now embarking on a PhD in Education.
Zoey is Nehiyaw-Dene and Metis, a member of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in Northern Saskatchewan, and is now based in Kingston ON where she lives with her partner. They operate a freelance sound art company together. Zoey facilitates songwriting workshops almost daily. Operating independently, she maintains a working relationship with the National Arts Centre, Taking IT Global, and the Gord Downie Wenjack Fund so classrooms across Canada get access to music programming for free. Her partner produces the music!
Zoey’s career can largely be attributed to the quality of friendships she has fostered, developed and maintained. As someone who needed witnesses early on in her life, she knew her support system was her lifeline. Her home community of Saskatoon and beyond continue to celebrate her. She was awarded the Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2013, the National Indigenous Youth Achievement award in 2013, the Indspire Award in 2016 and the Saskatchewan Teaching and Learning award in 2019.
Zoey shares a message about love and curiosity, how she used it in her life to propel her in the direction of dreams and how she found gratitude along the way.
Claire G. Coleman, Australia
Elwood Jimmy, Canada
Elwood Jimmy has worked in the arts for close to 30 years. His mother Sadie (Nakawe) is from the Kinistin First Nation in Treaty 4 territory, and his father George (Nehiyaw) was from Thunderchild First Nation in Treaty 6 territory, two Indigenous communities situated within the colonial borders of what we now refer to as Saskatchewan, Canada.
Tama Waipara, New Zealand
Ruapani, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou
Tama Waipara is a well-known musician, singer, songwriter and composer. Ōpōtiki-raised, Tama has etched out an impressive career within the art sector of Aotearoa with positions such as Programme Leader at Auckland Council (Arts and Culture) and Senior Programme Manager and Creative Associate at Auckland Arts Festival. Tama is also the Co-Chair of SOUNZ – Centre for New Zealand Music, Rongowhakaata Iwi Trustee for Te Kuri a Tuatai Marae and a Board member of Te Hau ki Tūranga Governance Group.
Tama is the Chief Executive and Founding Artistic Director of Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival. Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival is a festival with a difference, one uniquely focused on inclusion, access and authenticity, and designed to use the arts to explore what it means to be of Te Tairāwhiti. Since the inaugural event in October 2019, each year the Festival plays a crucial role as a platform for connection and creativity by championing three underlying values: being of the place and its people, a platform for connection and led by the arts.