Nchem?u?s Day – A day of fun, Indigenous style

North Vancouver’s Presentation House Theatre will host Nchem?u?s Day, an afternoon to celebrate Indigenous culture with food, music, shows and indoor and outdoor activities on the grounds of the theatre.

Nchem?u?s Day, happening on Aug. 25, is open to people of all backgrounds, although some activities may be more suited for adults.

To Keith “Bubbas” Nahanee, a comedian who will be performing during this day, Nchem?u?s Day is a day of fun, dropping all stereotypes and prejudices and to share the true meaning of the Indigenous lifestyle.

“A day where everyone can come together to learn about local Indigenous culture and participate in certain events, to have fun while learning Indigenous crafts, about legends, art, games, food and humour,” he says.

And of course, he is very much looking forward to performing. “I will be sharing a little bit of laughter; everything from the pandemic to dating on the reserve,” Nahanee reports.

Togetherness in playfulness

Participants will have the opportunity to listen to traditional storytelling, meet Indigenous Elders, witness carving demonstrations and artwork unveilings, and play the ancient Pacific Northwest Coast Indigenous game of Slahal.

Slahal is a gambling game composed of two opposing teams, two sets of bones (sticks), one with a stripe and one without, as well as a set of scoring sticks. Two players are chosen on a team to hide the bones in their hands, leaving the opposing team to guess which hand has the unmarked bone. The game is lively and lightly competitive, often accompanied by singing and drumming to boost team morale and taunt the other team. Players and audiences can place bets on the teams, or individual matches within the game, in hopes of winning a cash prize.

Additionally, various stand-up comedians will be present at this community event. Nahanee will tell jokes to get the audience laughing yet thinking at the same time. He will share the stage with Jon Gagnon, stand-up comedian, and host of This Month Tonight.

Laughter as vocation

Nahanee, who comes from a family of the Squamish Nation, was born and raised in North Vancouver. He has always had a passion for comedy, starting by entertaining family at get-together then gradually making his name known in the community.

A game of Slahal. | Photo courtesy of Presentation House Theatre

His Bubbas Comedy Show strives to be fun, engaging and totally unique, often involving bringing up an audience member and playing interactive games. Each show features comics and can be tailored to an all-native show or something entirely different.

Nahanee adores bringing laughter to his audiences, retelling stories of his life and livening up parties, fundraisers, and pubs and casinos on comedy nights. Recently, he has filmed his first TV special, Comedy Invasion 2.0, scheduled to be released this upcoming fall on Tubi and Hulu.

Nahanee’s future aspirations include producing a comedy show of Indigenous comedians from the east to west coasts of Canada, sharing his comedy across different reservations, and continuing to inspire young comedians in the country. Ultimately, he has every intention of improving his expertise in humour and stand-up comedy and putting a smile on the faces of all he is able to reach.

“I will continue to direct, produce, and continue comedy until the day I cannot laugh anymore. To support anyone who wants to be a comedian,” says Nahanee. “I especially want to make those in correctional centres laugh, and hope they can make others laugh one day, too.”

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