Cree-Métis singer behind free admission for Indigenous people to Early Music Vancouver events

Early Music Vancouver’s first summer artist-in-residence is already bringing change to the organization by spearheading an initiative to offer free admission to Indigenous people.

“It’s the type of lasting impact that I wanted to see coming from this residency,” said Jonathon Adams, a Cree-Métis baritone singer.

“Not to just be an Indigenous face, but to really make a lasting impression on the organization.”

During the residency Adams will be writing a number of essays, teaching a master class and performing a show featuring Cree, Métis and French songs during the 2021 Vancouver Bach Festival.

Adams said the idea for free admission for Indigenous people came from similar policies at some museums and libraries. 

The initiative was supported by Laina Tanahara, the organization’s marketing and volunteer manager, as well as Suzie LeBlanc, the artistic and executive director.

“We’re living in times of great change and many, many of those changes are long overdue changes,” said LeBlanc.

“This is one small gesture that we thought we could do towards reconciliation and to do something that talks directly to the local Indigenous communities here in Vancouver.”

Adams hopes this will remove barriers for Indigenous people to enjoy the concerts because for some, spending $35 on an hour and a half of music is an expense that’s hard to justify. 

Tickets are limited to one per person and people are asked to present a status card, band membership or other identification.