Sponsored by Town of Wolfville
Sat., Sept. 28, 3:00pm: Idle No More: Truth and Reconciliation, Al Whittle
Sun. Sept. 29, 1:00pm: Festival Finale, Festival Theatre
Emma Stevens, 16, has been singing and performing for most of her life but only recently became a recording artist with the release of “My Unama’ki”, a song in celebration of her indigenous heritage and her love for her home of Cape Breton Island (Unama’ki).
This year, to help bring awareness to the UN observance: The International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019), Emma recorded The Beatles’ poignant song, Blackbird, in Mi’kmaq, a language with less than 10,000 living native speakers.
Since its release, Blackbird, and its accompanying music video have garnered considerable international media which have helped bring awareness to efforts to revitalize endangered indigenous languages around the world. Emma said her dream was for Paul McCartney to hear it — little did she know that she and her teacher Carter Chiasson would get a private meeting with the music icon in July in Vancouver, where McCartney was playing a show at BC Place Stadium. From the stage, Sir Paul talked about Emma’s version of Blackbird. “It’s a beautiful version. She’s actually here tonight, and I met her before the show. I said, ‘Listen, your version is so beautiful, I’m going to be nervous singing my version.”
In May of 2019 Emma was invited to perform at the Inaugural International Assembly of the Habitat Division of the United Nations in Nairobi, Kenya for more than 1000 leaders and policymakers from around the world. In June, she appeared in Ottawa, for National Aboriginal Day.
Emma resides in Eskasoni, First Nation, the largest indigenous community in Eastern Canada. She is presently working on a variety of musical projects including original songs, music videos, and a number of performances.
Singer and teacher behind Mi’kmaq Blackbird meet Paul McCartney in Vancouver