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OLI FUTURE LEADERS “INDSPIRE” TEARS AND APPLAUSE
April 17th, 2014

Inez "Indspires"

Inez “Indspires”

At Outside Looking In we provide opportunities that reinforce the belief that if you commit to demanding goals and work hard to achieve them, you will be rewarded with powerful life changing experiences and feelings of personal accomplishment of such magnitude that you will be propelled to look for the next great challenge.

Youth who apply to the OLI Future Leaders program have all experienced firsthand the transformative power of the Performing Arts and are indeed looking to push themselves to the next level. In so doing, they become leaders in the eyes of their peers and community members.

This year, OLI’s 7 Future Leaders, plus one returning OLI alumnus who plans to pursue personal goals in the Arts, were awarded the amazing opportunity to perform live at the Indspire Awards Event in Winnipeg in March. High school graduates Brett Pangowish from Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, brothers Alex and Kurri Quill from Pikangikum First Nation, and Lance Geyshick of Lac La Croix First Nation joined high school students Brody Allen, Tye Jourdain, and Cody Ottertail, also of Lac La Croix First Nation, and Chad Fiddler of Sandy Lake First Nation for five days of intense rehearsals preceding the main Indspire event. They responded positively to: dance instruction and direction from Choreographer Tracee Smith; critical scrutiny and feedback from Producer Jen Podemski; and heartfelt leadership and inspiration from Juno-nominated Artist Inez Jasper – all strong Aboriginal leaders in their own rights.

For the first time in our seven-year history, OLI’s dancers were hired as paid “talent” and thereby expected to perform to industry standards regarding punctuality, work ethic, and accountability. The Future Leaders worked alongside dancers from two other companies – Kaiva’s four break dancers from Iqaluit and eight youth from the Aboriginal School of Dance in Winnipeg. It did not take long for the “ice to break” in the rehearsal hall where dancers worked and sweated side by side as they strived to master new choreography. Spending hours in the dressing room together also led to forged friendships and lasting memories of a remarkable shared experience.

The highlight, of course, took place on stage during the closing number. Set on a playground, Inez led the Kaiva dancers as they symbolically broke free from a cage-like structure of imposed constraints on song and dance. Soon the stage and the domed structure itself were swarming with playful and unrestrained youth as they climbed, celebrated, and danced. At one point, the dome pulsed with a living heartbeat while Kaiva drummers produced the rhythm on their hand drums. When all the youth exploded off of the dome and danced with synchronized energy for the final chorus, their conviction was as clear as Inez’s words: “No matter what they say – we’re gonna get together – me, you, dancing on the run!”

There is nothing as powerful as a unified front of inspired youth. The joy, strength, and vibrancy of the performing youth brought a juxtaposition of responses from the Winnipeg audience – wistful tears combined with a ferocity of shouts of appreciation and applause. The television version of the Indspire Awards will be broadcast on May 10th.

To see the Future Leaders perform to Inez’s “On the Run”, be at OLI’s Event and Performance in Toronto on Wednesday May 16th at the Winter Garden Theatre. To purchase tickets, visit the link on our website: www.olishow.com

Alex,Tye,Kurri

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Sandy Lake January Youth of the Month
March 5th, 2014

Freeborn Fiddler is the Sandy Lake First Nation Youth of the Month for January. Freeborn is a grade 10 student at Thomas Fiddler Memorial High School. He is 16 years old. Freeborn’s interests are music, dancing, and snowboarding. He takes an active role in the Canadian Junior Rangers program. Two of his strengths are math and leadership.

 

This is Freeborn’s second year in OLI. This year he has taken on the extra challenge of participating in the OLI Future Leaders mentorship program. Freeborn showed great initiative to fundraise his own travel money for this year’s upcoming epic Future Leader experience in Winnipeg. Freeborn has had perfect attendance at school thus far, and is excelling in his school courses and the OLI program.

Freeborn4

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Congratulations Matthew!
March 5th, 2014

 

Sandy Lake’s Youth of the Month for February is Matthew Morriseau. Matthew is 14 years old and in grade 9 at Thomas Fiddler Memorial High School. He is the older brother to 2 younger brothers and a sister. Two of Matthew’s favourite things are dancing and going for walks. His favourite subject is Science because of the fun experiments and hands-on learning. Matthew likes his community because of the friendly people.

 

This is Matthew’s second year in OLI. He made a great impression on dancers from other communities and last year’s audience with his stellar performance on stage.

Matthew has plans to be part of the OLI Future Leaders program in years to come.

We look forward to seeing Matthew and his fellow Sandy Lake youth at the 7th Annual OLI Performance on May 14th, 2014.Matthew Morriseau4

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Shout out to William!!!
March 5th, 2014

William Atatise is a grade 8 student at Zhingwaako Zaaga’Igan School in Lac La Croix. William is the youngest of 4 sisters and 1 step brother. He likes his community because of the friendly people. His favourite subject in school is math and in his spare time, Will likes to go on his ipad.

 

This is William’s first year in OLI and while he is not fully aware of all new opportunities he will experience in Toronto, he is confident that he will be on stage and looks forward to meeting new people. William is the Lac La Croix Youth of the Month for February due to his perfect attendance, excellent academic achievement, and strong commitment to improve personal fitness and performance of choreography during all rehearsals.Photo on 2014-02-07 at 2.44 PM #2

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March 5th, 2014

Freeborn4 

Freeborn Fiddler is the Sandy Lake First Nation Youth of the Month for January. Freeborn is a grade 10 student at Thomas Fiddler Memorial High School. He is 16 years old. Freeborn’s interests are music, dancing, and snowboarding. He takes an active role in the Canadian Junior Rangers program. Two of his strengths are math and leadership.

 

This is Freeborn’s second year in OLI. This year he has taken on the extra challenge of participating in the OLI Future Leaders mentorship program. Freeborn showed great initiative to fundraise his own travel money for this year’s upcoming epic Future Leader experience in Winnipeg. Freeborn has had perfect attendance at school thus far, and is excelling in his school courses and the OLI program.

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