Exhibitionists·NAIG 2017

'Feels like I'm home': Why performing at the Indigenous Games is so close to Midnight Shine's heart

The band's frontman Adrian Sutherland reflects on his journey from Attawapiskat to Toronto and why it means so much to him to play in front of the NAIG audience.

Frontman Adrian Sutherland on his journey from Attawapiskat to Toronto and why NAIG means so much

'It feels like I'm home': Why performing at NAIG is so close to Midnight Shine's heart

4 years ago
2:37
The band's frontman Adrian Sutherland reflects on his journey from Attawapiskat to Toronto and why it means so much to him to play in front of the NAIG audience. 2:37

The North American Indigenous Games are here, and the athletic prowess of the daily events is matched only by the nightly musical performances taking place on two main stages. Midnight Shine are one of the bands playing during the Games — and for frontman/songwriter Adrian Sutherland, the performance holds special meaning.

Sutherland is from Attawapiskat, a First Nation in Northern Ontario on the west coast of James Bay that the lead singer describes as a remote hunter-gatherer community. Flying back and forth and leaving his home to play in cities like Toronto isn't always one of Sutherland's favourite experiences: "It's difficult sometimes when you're wanting to be over there but you have to be in other places in order to make it in [the music] business." (It should be mentioned that Sutherland is also a father and grandfather, so he's leaving quite a bit of family at home when he travels.)

(CBC Arts)

In this video, you'll meet Sutherland with the other members of Midnight Shine at The Rehearsal Factory in Toronto, preparing for their NAIG gigs. And you'll hear why playing in front of a First Nations audience means so much to him: "It shows our young people that anything's possible, no matter where you come from."

See Midnight Shine play at the North American Indigenous Games  on June 20 and 21.

Watch Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As a young child, March Mercanti would play with his action figures for countless hours because he was obsessed with telling stories...to himself. Currently, March is a filmmaker living in Toronto, ON. He works at CBC Arts creating documentaries for artists across Canada.

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