Musical icons added to Speak Up! exhibition for National Indigenous People’s Day

Iconic singer songwriter Buffy Saint Marie will be part of the National Music Centre's Speak Up! exhibition starting June 21 in Calgary

Two musical masters have been added to the National Music Centre's Speak Up! Exhibition beginning June 21.

Buffy Sainte-Marie, and “Master of the Metis Fiddle” John Arcand will debut virtually on NMC’s website presentation of The Speak Up! exhibition alongside a full slate of prominent Indigenous musicians.  (The full list of Speak Up! musicians can be seen at

The exhibit will then be moved onsite to Studio Bell for guests to visit in person starting July 1.     

NMC is honouring Indigenous artists who are making an impact in Canada while also putting a spotlight on the contribution they have made to their communities.

John Arcand is known as the “Master of the Metis Fiddle” and has been a musical talent for over 70 years as he carries on the tradition passed down from his grandfather. His festival, the John Arcand Fiddle Fest, exposes young people to Indigenous music so they can carry on the tradition for future generations.

Buffy Sainte-Marie has been a globally-recognized singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and activist for six decades now.  “She has dedicated her life towards building social change and awareness of Indigenous realities and history, and she is nowhere near done in completing her goals," said David McLeod, a member of the Pine Creek First Nation and curator of the Speak Up! exhibit.

NMC will feature 13 other Indigenous artists including Igloolik psycho-rockers Northern Haze, the father of Inuktitut music Charlie Panigoniak, and singer-songwriters Kinnie Starr, and Willie Dunn, just to name a few.

The onsite exhibit will feature storytelling, songs, and artifacts from a variety of Indigenous artists.  Guests will be able to gain understanding for each artists’ personal inspiration and drive for social change, as well as their feelings on the medium of music as a tool for speaking up.