Manitoba

Winnipeg band Indian City to play Ottawa on Canada Day

Winnipeg-based Indigenous pop band Indian City will take the stage at this summer’s Canada Day festivities in Ottawa. The annual event is attended by more than 50,000 people and broadcast live on CBC.

Indigenous band will perform at annual celebration on Parliament Hill

Winnipeg-based band Indian City will perform on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Canada Day. (Supplied)

Winnipeg-based Indigenous pop band Indian City will take the stage at this summer's Canada Day festivities in Ottawa.

The annual event is attended by more than 50,000 people and broadcast live on CBC.

"[It's] so exciting. From a musician's point of view, it's got to be one of the career highlights and one of the best gigs in all of Canada," said Vince Fontaine, founder of Indian City.

This will be the band's first performance at the annual event on Parliament Hill. It's an honour to perform in front of guests who include Governor General David Johnston, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, Fontaine said.
Vince Fontaine says playing in front of a crowd is a rush, but playing on a national level is an honour. (Supplied)

Indian City has invited Juno Award-winning singer Jay Bodner of Eagle and Hawk to join them as a guest vocalist.

The band will play one of their most popular songs, Stand, written in the time of the Idle No More movement, during a noon performance.

"It kind of about unity. It's a bit of a protest. It's asking people to stand with us as Canadians, as Indigenous people and as human beings," Fontaine said.

The band will take the stage again at 9 p.m. to do a few more songs, followed by other performers who have yet to be announced.

While it's the band's first appearance at the Canada Day event, it won't be Fontaine's first. He performed there in 2005 and 2009 with Eagle and Hawk.

"Musicians get excited when we are on a big stage and we get to share our artistic energy with the crowd, and Canada Day stage is one of those big stages [where] we get to do that," said Fontaine.

Indian City debuted in 2012 and includes a cast of talented Winnipeg musicians who are no strangers to Canada's music scene. Singers Pamela Davis, Don Amero, Neewa Mason and William Prince joined forces to create what Fontaine describes as pop fusion with Indigenous conviction.

The band has performed at the Aboriginal People's Choice Awards, the Western Canada Music Awards, the Pan Am Games and the Canada Winter Games.

Davis and Mason will perform O Canada to open the festivities.

The full lineup will be announced on June 1. The event will be broadcast on CBC live at noon and 9 p.m. ET.