Workhsop June 11

VYC Kindred Community Workshop

Indigenous singing and drumming

with Indigenous leaders

Deanna Gestrin and Russell Wallace

Sunday June 11 2023

2:00 - 3:30 pm

at 8EAST, 8 East Pender St.

Free for 30 people
Register here
Come join us for a FREE community workshop! You are invited to participate in a multicultural, inter-generational hand drumming and singing circle led by our VYC Kindred program leaders, the multi-talented Indigenous singers/educators, Deanna Gestrin and Russell Wallace. Hand drums will be available for use. Be prepared to connect and be inspired! Everyone is welcome!
When: Sunday, June 11, 2023 / 2-4 pm
Where: 8 East Pender St.
Who: Open to all ages!
There will be light refreshments after the workshop.
Limited to 30 participants. Register early to reserve your spot!

Meet our Kindred facilitators who will be leading the drumming and singing circle, and sharing the teachings of Indigenous music in our upcoming Community Workshop on June 11th!

Deanna Gestrin
Deanna Gestrin is a vocalist, choral conductor, clinician, composer, Burnaby music educator, and newly hired faculty associate at Simon Fraser University. Her family comes from the St’at’imc Territory in the interior of British Columbia. Inspired by her many wonderful musical mentors, Deanna decided on a career in music education at the age of thirteen, and holds degrees in professional music, jazz, secondary education, and she will soon complete a Master of Counselling degree. Deanna performs in classical, choral, jazz, contemporary, and Indigenous music settings, and has recently joined the award winning Vancouver-based vocal ensemble, Musica Intima.
Community wellness is integral to Deanna’s work. She has designed a community program that aims to enhance empathy, resilience, connection, and communication through Indigenous teachings, drumming, singing, movement, and personal storytelling. She is also the program lead for an intergenerational Indigenous drumming and singing circle called VYC Kindred, sponsored by the Vancouver Youth Choir. Kindred is a free program that brings together immigrant and Indigenous youth with Indigenous leaders to learn about hand drumming, singing, and Indigenous culture. Through her educational, musical, and cultural work, Deanna’s ultimate goal is to increase community wellness by building cross-cultural, intergenerational bridges between people, families, and communities.
Russell Wallace
Russell Wallace is an award winning composer, producer and traditional singer from the St'at'imc Nation (Salish) in Canada. His music has been part of a number of film and television soundtracks and theatre/dance productions. In 2022, Russell was awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Arts and Music Award in recognition of his music and contributions to arts and culture in British Columbia as well as had his composition “Journey” performed at Biennale Arte 2022 in Venice this past September. Currently, Wallace is the Director of the Indigenous Vocal Ensemble at Vancouver Community College and works with the Vancouver Youth Choir’s Kindred Program alongside Deann Gestrin.


Since 1978, the New Orchestra Workshop Society (NOW) has presented free music improvisation workshops, offering space for exploration in inclusive, participant-focused environments. We encourage the creation of non-hierarchical music through instantaneous collaboration. We invite local and international improvisers to facilitate the workshops, such as Pauline Oliveros, Eyvind Kang, Lori Freedman, Kris Davis, Ava Mendoza, Satoko Fujii, Luke Stewart, Fay Victor, Lisa Harris, Ingrid Laubrock, Douglas Ewart, Peggy Lee, Jesse Zubot, Lan Tung, Parmela Attariwala, Ben Brown, Ron Samworth, Nikki Carter and Lisa Cay Miller.

NOW presents workshop series at 8EAST and online. We also present workshops to children and youth in schools and private workshops, such as at the St. James Music Academy in Vancouver's DTES, and Tahayghen Elementary School, Skaadgaa Naay Elementary, Skidegate and Gidgalang Kuuyas Naay Secondary in Haida Gwaii.

Our workshops are for improvisers of all levels of ability and ranges of experience, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race or religion. We protect privacy in our workshops and adopt the We Have Voice Collective Code of Conduct