The festival bringing the sound of music back to Lytton

2Rivers Remix Society is holding its second movable feast event in Lytton on June 30

đź“· 2Rivers Remix Society

This story first appeared in the June 26, 2024, edition of the Fraser Valley Current newsletter. Subscribe for free to get Fraser Valley news in your email every weekday morning.

Lytton is finally ready to welcome tourists to town, three years after it was completely destroyed by a devastating fire. (You can read our article on how to visit responsibly here.) And it is not the only local phoenix.

On June 30, just north of town across the Thompson River, the return of another event will provide a glimpse at Lytton’s past and present, and the culture and art of Indigenous people across Canada.

Five years ago, a small cultural non-profit called the 2Rivers Remix Society hosted its first event in Lytton. The two-day event was billed as BC’s only contemporary Indigenous Music Festival and artists from across the country to the confluence of the Thompson and Fraser rivers. The festival had a successful return the following summer.

But an array of events—the pandemic, the Lytton fire, and flooding in Cache Creek—have forced organizers to continually change their plans. But each time, the ambitions have grown.

Last year, the the non-profit held a large event headlined by Snotty Rose Rez Kids on the Tk’emlups reserve near Kamloops. They’re set to hold another three-day festival in early July.

But they’ve also created a set of travelling festivals, called the Movable Feast, focused on bringing Indigenous art and culture to First Nation communities around the Fraser Canyon and southern Interior—including Lytton First Nation.

This Saturday—a day that coincides with the third anniversary of the 2021 fire—the Moveable Feast is returning to Lytton/Tl’kemtsin with a diverse line-up of artists, performers, elders, and programming.

Organizers had originally hoped to hold it on a downtown Lytton street, but have decided to return to the grounds of the Stein Valley Nlakapamux School. With most of downtown Lytton still a prairie of flat gravel, artistic director Meeka Morgan said organizers were worried about the impact of dust on elders.

Holding the event in downtown Lytton would have provided a symbolic boost to the village. Morgan hopes to return to the village centre in the years to come.

“We really want to re-establish those trails we had initially blazed with the village of Lytton and Lytton First Nation when we had the first 2Rivers Remix there for two years at the beginning of our festival,” Morgan said.

The Movable Feast is aimed at showcasing art and culture from across the country, runs from 1 to 11pm and is free for all to attend.

“It’s a place where everyone can get together and witness the artistry of Indigenous people from all over Turtle Island and remind themselves of the value that they have within themselves and for one another,” Morgan said.

Non-Indigenous people are also more than welcome.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re from their community,” Morgan said. “We’re giving this as an opportunity for non-Indigenous to come and truly experience the land… it’s giving them an opportunity to experience the true conditions of people in the places that they reside and call home.

The event features contemporary Indigenous music, with artists that blend traditional and modern sounds. There are also dancers, artists’ workshops, touring elders and performers.

Morgan said the goal is to provide “an Indigenous experience that comes from the people and the land, that is in a contemporary fashion.”

“We want people to understand that we still consider the people that live here now on our homelands as guests, that you’re guests in our territory and we’re still the hosts. So this experience will really reflect that; you will feel part of something bigger than yourself as an individual.”

This story first appeared in the June 26, 2024, edition of the Fraser Valley Current newsletter. Subscribe for free to get Fraser Valley news in your email every weekday morning.

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