Each month, we feature an artist who caught our attention. They could be in theatre, film, music or visual art. The point is we think they’re kick ass and you should know who they are.
December’s artist is playwright, musician and storyteller Tomson Highway. The Order of Canada-honoured Highway is perhaps best known for his plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing. He is also an accomplished musician and songwriter, whose style combines elements of country, Brazilian samba, Cole Porter, Kurt Weill and French Canadian folk songs. On December 11 and 12 he will perform a retrospective cabaret, Songs in the Key of Cree, at Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas St. W.) in Toronto.
Name: Tomson Highway
Handles across social media: None.
5 things you can’t live without: My partner, my family, my friends, water and music.
What’s the best show you’ve seen recently? Roaring Twenties, a concert by the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, conducted by its new musical director, Alexander Shelley.
What are your plans for 2016? Rome, Rio de Janeiro, (where I live winters).
Most memorable moment of your career thus far? Helping to give birth to a national Native Canadian literature.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? I’d be a concert pianist.
What advice do you have for people who want to get to where you are? Be joyjul. Take joy in everything you do, even just walking down the street. Every moment not lived with joy is a moment wasted. Never — EVER — be negative!
Industry shout out – who does it go to? To all the Native writers in this country.
Order tickets to Songs in the Key of Cree here.