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Celebrating 15 Years of Canada’s Largest Indigenous Youth Performance with Outside Looking In

/By / May 6, 2022

After two years of theatre closures and many long months of rehearsal, the students in Outside Looking In’s dance program are finally returning to the stage. On Thursday, May 12th, for one day only, Indigenous youth dancers from across the country will take the stage at Toronto’s Meridian Hall for their spectacular 15th Anniversary Showcase.

Outside Looking In (OLI) is a nationally registered charitable organization that offers a high school accredited dance program for Indigenous youths in grades 7–12. This year’s showcase boasts a powerful line-up, including two of Canada’s latest JUNO Award nominees: DJ Shub, the godfather of PowWoW Step, and the hugely popular Snotty Nose Rez Kids.

“We are all just so pumped to have our Annual Showcase return as a live stage event,” says OLI CEO Tracee Smith. “With the addition of two superstar performers and the winners of our first ever national dance contest, we have an awesome show in store for this year’s audience.”

Since the inception of its dance program in its inaugural year, OLI has played a critical role in empowering of thousands of Indigenous youth through the transformative art of dance. Students from OLI’s program have achieved high school graduation rates of over 96% while improving their academic standing, physical and mental health, and overall well-being. Running simultaneously with the school year, the innovative program pairs some of Canada’s hippest, most-exciting choreographers with participating schools.

The May 12th event has two scheduled showtimes: a students-only performance at 10:30 a.m., followed by a public performance that evening at 7:30. Tickets for the evening performance run $35–$95, and can be purchased online through a variety of outlets.

The annual showcase is typically held each spring at Meridian Hall in downtown Toronto, the largest soft-seat theatre in Canada. OLI’s showcase is the largest Indigenous youth performance in Canada and features youth from their current participating communities, highlighting the successes of its program participants throughout the year. This exciting 15th anniversary event is OLI’s first showcase in two-years: audiences are invited to learn about the youth participating in the show as well as join in the celebration of their community and accomplishments.

To find out more about Outside Looking In’s 15th Anniversary Showcase or to purchase tickets for the event online, visit the OLI website, TO Live, or Ticketmaster. Tickets can be purchased in-person at the Meridian Hall Box Office during box office hours, and over the phone at 1 (855) 985-2787 or (416) 368-6161, ext. 1.

Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson

Jessica is a former associate editor at Intermission, as well as a writer, classically-trained actor, and plant enthusiast. Since graduating from LAMDA in the UK with her MA in acting, you can often find her writing screenplays and short plays in the park, writing extensive lists of plant care tips, or working on stage and screen (though she uses a stage name). Jessica freelances with various companies across Canada, but her passion lies in working with theatre artists and enthusiasts.



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