2024 Festival

Yolanda Bonnell, Animikii Creations

The Eighth Fire Series

The Eighth Fire is an epic play in two parts about Anishinaabeg migration, resistance and love.

Event Description

A staged reading of The Eighth Fire in 2 parts.

The Eighth Fire pt 1: The Great Migration follows the Anishinaabek people on their 500 year migration from the eastern doorway to the shores of “Lake Superior” as part of a prophecy called the 7 Fires. Time collides as these ancestors simultaneously presence themselves to a group of land and water defenders in the future, who are struggling to find hope in a world that is burning.

The Eighth Fire pt 2: Bagosinem / Have Hope picks up where part 1 left off. The Anishinaabek people are now in the Fifth fire, where they have encountered the ‘light-skinned race’ as prophesied and are struggling to deal with the impacts of colonialism. Meanwhile in the distant future, a group of Queer and Trans land and water defenders are at the precipice of sovereignty and revolution.

It comes full circle as we shift into the future and potentially return to old ways of living.

The story blends form and style - there’s puppetry and movement, snapshot scenes and choral poetry. It's a funny, meta, self-aware piece of theatre.

- Selected from commission pitches for Nightwood Theatre
- Workshop and invited read supported by Nightwood Theatre and Native Earth Performing Arts, 2022
- Developed at Banff Playwright’s Lab, Banff Centre for the Arts 2022
- Dramaturgical support by Lindsay Lachance and Jill Carter
- Week-long workshop, 2023
- Public read, Nightwood's Groundswell Festival, October 3 2023Funding Support: Ontario Arts Council, Nightwood donor Kate Amesbury, Canadian Council for the Arts

Audience Advisory

Mature language, themes of colonialism

About the Artists

Nicole Joy Fraser (Performer, Asabikeshii / Webbie)
Jesse Wabegijig - (Performer, Bawaajigan / Bean)
Brefny Caribou - (Performer, Way / Bijou)
Cherish Violet Blood - (Performer, Mashkikikwe / Kiki)
Kikeyah - (Performer, Inakimagad / Mik) (TO BE CONFIRMED)
Ty Sloane - (Performer, Niiyaw / Yawa)
Dillan Chiblow - (Performer, Niiyaw / Nia)
Heath V. Salazar - (Performer, Ana / Andi)

Yolanda Bonnell (Playwright/Director/Co-Producer)
Dylan Tate-Howarth (Stage Manager)
Lisa Alves (Associate Producer)
TBD - (Production manager)
TBD - (Sound Designer)

Yolanda Bonnell (They/She) is a Bi/Pan/Queer 2 Spirit Anishinaabe-Ojibwe, South Asian mixed-race storyteller and multidisciplinary creator/educator. Hailing from Fort William First Nation, Ontario their arts practice is now based in Tkarón:to. In February 2020, Yolanda’s four-time Dora nominated solo piece bug was remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille while the published play was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award. She has also won the Playwright’s Guild of Canada Tom Hendry Drama Award for My Sister’s Rage which was produced by Tarragon Theatre in 2022. Yolanda, who has just completed her first full length young adult novel, proudly bases her arts practice in land-based creation and Anishinaabe methodologies, working towards disability justice in theatre.

Select theatre performance credits include: Edith/IFN1 in Kamloopa (Soulpepper/Native Earth - Dora nominated), Narrator/Bear son in Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin/ Gállábártnit (Signal Theatre/Soundstreams – Dora nominated), Valerie in The Unnatural and Accidental Women (National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre), Ipruq/Atugauq in The Breathing Hole (Stratford Festival), Fanny/Roberta in Treasure Island (Stratford Festival), Theresa in The Crackwalker (Factory Theatre)

Artist Links


Saturday June 15
2 PM
Sunday June 16
6 PM

Event Access

Access with Festival Pass, Pick 6 Pass, Theatre Series Pass, or The Eighth Fire Parts 1 and 2 Ticket.

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