Friday, May 27, 2022, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.Ohakwaront: Open Doors / Free reservation : coordination@ccov.org

From now on, each year, the Centre de Création O Vertigo – CCOV will host Ohakwaront: a flexible annual event, curated by Ivanie Aubin-Malo, which aims to respond to the evolving needs of Indigenous creators. 

For the 2022 edition, Ohakwaront will be a creative residency at the CCOV, gathering a dozen artists. To close this week of exchanges, they will open the door of the studio to those who wish to know more about their creative impulses.

With: Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Catherine Boivin, Barbara Diabo, Stephanie Héroux, Mariam Imak, Lauren Ashley Jiles, Simik Komaksiutiksak, Lara Kramer, Victoria May, Lisa Nevada, Julian Rice, James Viveiros and Kevin Deer, Owen Mayo & Kwena Boivin.


In 2019, in an effort to further support Indigenous artists, the CCOV initiated a consultation with Soleil Launière, Emilie Monet and Lara Kramer. Out of these discussions came the decision that the CCOV will now dedicate resources to organize an annual event that would celebrate the artistic creativity of the urban Aboriginal dance community.

Following this, in 2020, Ivanie Aubin-Malo agreed to collaborate with the CCOV to follow through with this consultation and imagine the contours that this annual event could take. Finally, in 2021, thanks to MAQAHATINE*, one of their initiatives, the first seeds of OHAKWARONT were planted. Indeed, MAQAHATINE invited Aboriginal dancers to get together, meet and bond behind closed doors. And it is during these moments of sharing that they expressed the wish to strengthen their new
relationships in the future by integrating a creative process. It is in response to this desire that OHAKWARONT was born!

*Made possible thanks to the resources of Tangente and L’Agora de la danse.

 Why the word OHAKWARONT?

Message from Ivanie Aubin-Malo

“Ohakwaront means Heron in Kanien’keha and has its roots in a thought process enriched by the invaluable support of Kevin Deer, Kanien’keha:ka Elder, Lucy Fandel and Catherine Boivin.

To find a name for this event, I was immediately inspired by this place located in the third basement of Place des Arts. There, creation is born, almost in secret, under the surface of the earth and I quickly drew a parallel with the idea of a seed: seeds of artistic inspiration that take root to grow and flourish.

To me, this image resonates just as much with the urban Aboriginal dance community. It operates almost secretly, in the bowels of the earth where everything, while rooted in the shadows, grows towards the sun.

With these evocations in mind, I had an initial inspiring conversation with Kevin Deer. I then related it to Lucy Fandel, who immediately saw the symbolism in it and translated it into a drawing of a growing seed.

During our second conversation with Kevin, I shared Lucy’s drawing with him and he saw the silhouette of the heron.

Kevin Deer, at my side throughout this research process, enquired about the symbolic meaning of the Heron and this is what he found:

The Heron asks us to follow our intuition and to begin the journey toward self-actualization.

The Heron suggests that we continue to develop the skills that lead us to greater inner strength.

It also shows us the importance of being in relation with the greater whole, also demonstrating the importance of being in its relevance, on our own path…

At that very moment, we knew we had found our name, which translates to Ohakwaront in Kanien’keha.

A huge thanks to Catherine Boivin for honouring every step of this story in the logo.”

Illustration : Catherine Boivin