Celebrate National Indigenous History Month at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Waking the Giants: The Art of Sean Couchie

June 14–26, 2022
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TIFF is pleased to partner with Bell to activate TIFF Bell Lightbox public spaces with Waking the Giants, a free public art installation by Indigenous artist Sean Couchie, a member of the Nipissing Band of Ojibways. Join us for an opening night celebration with the artist in attendance on June 14, from 7pm to 9pm in the TIFF Bell Lightbox atrium.

Sean Couchie, Gifts for My Children, 2022

Content advisory: This installation and description contain references to residential schools.

Waking the Giants is an installation that hopes to use art as a way to bring more awareness to the dark history of residential schools, as well as the ongoing investigations and contributions to truth and reconciliation. Giants are the ones we look to, who, through their continued commitment to the truth and reconciliation process, have been paving the way for future generations. This installation hopes to highlight both the beauty in the resilience of the Indigenous community, as well as the support and solidarity that has been demonstrated by many non-Indigenous people.” –Sean Couchie

Sean Couchie
Sean Couchie is a self-taught artist who developed an interest in art in early childhood, and later formalized his craft with a degree in Advertising Art from Fanshawe College in 1991. He is a Peace Hills Trust Native Art Contest winner (1992, 1996, 2002) whose work has been featured on the JUNOS Indigenous Honoring Ceremony and APTN, and is collected by Jody Wilson-Rayboud and Justice Murray Sinclair. Couchie’s first solo exhibition, See Me (2015), was installed at The Arts Project in London, Ontario. He has most recently exhibited with his daughter, Alexandar, in their two-person exhibition Between Worlds (2022) at Brescia University College. Couchie is a member of the Nipissing Band of Ojibways.

Hours and Location
This free public art installation will be on display in the TIFF Bell Lightbox Atrium June 14–26. Join us for an opening night celebration with the artist in attendance on June 14, from 7pm to 9pm in the TIFF Bell Lightbox atrium.

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 3pm–10pm
Wednesday – Sunday: 10am–10pm

TIFF Bell Lightbox is located at 350 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario. For more information about the venue, visit tiff.net/visit or contact us.

Programming Partner:


TIFF Next Wave Presents: Rhymes for Young Ghouls

June 22, 2022, 8pm
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Rhymes for Young Ghouls (2013)

Join us for a special screening of Rhymes for Young Ghouls on June 22 at 8pm to celebrate National Indigenous History Month.

“Told through the story of a Mi’kmaw teenager in pursuit of revenge, Rhymes for Young Ghouls is thrilling, gripping, and as urgent a watch today as ever. From the mind of Jeff Baranby, this bold, gritty debut is unflinching in its portrayal of Canada’s residential school system and the ongoing colonial violence against Indigenous peoples.”
– Norah Daudi, TIFF Next Wave Committee

As part of this event, TIFF’s Film Reference Library will display a series of masks from the production of Rhymes for Young Ghouls, courtesy of the Prospector Films Collection.

Questions? Email us at nextwave@tiff.net.


Books on Film: Adam Beach on Smoke Signals

June 21, 2022, 7pm
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In celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day, award-winning actor Adam Beach (Arctic Air, Flags of Our Fathers) recounts the journey of adapting Smoke Signals — which helped bring the emerging Indigenous New Wave into the North American mainstream — from Sherman Alexie’s short-story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Please note: Adam Beach joins us live and in person for this event.


Aspect Ratio: Indigenous Actors Beyond the Expected

June 17–30, 2022

Since the birth of American Cinema, audiences have been ingrained to expect Native American and Native Hawaiian characters on screen to explain or perform various interpretations of Indigeneity. The aim of this series is to explore what it means for Indigenous American and Pacific Islander performers to be in these roles, their significance, and the possibilities they propose. Programmed by Adam Piron, Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program Director, the films in the series are A Knight’s Tale, My Blueberry Nights, Certain Women, and Heat.

For more information, please visit the web page for this series.


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™ Toronto International Film Festival Inc., used under license.