Ahnahktsipiitaa's (Colin Van Loon) NFB VR experience This Is Not a Ceremony is now touring Canadian cities

Ahnahktsipiitaa’s (Colin Van Loon) NFB VR experience This Is Not a Ceremony is now touring Canadian cities


Virtual reality experience This is not a ceremonycreated by writer and director Niitsitapi Ahnahktsipiitaa (Colin Van Loon), is now touring communities and festivals across Canada, giving more people the opportunity to experience this powerful, cinematic Indigenous virtual reality work.

A 21-minute course available in English and French as well as in Blackfoot with English subtitles, This is not a ceremony allows audiences to confront some of the darker sides of life in Canada while being Indigenous, guided with care and kindness by tricksters, matriarchs and buffaloes.

It has already had its American premieres at the Sundance and Tribeca festivals and was recently presented in the Piikani First Nation in Alberta, where it was partially filmed.

From now on, the public of these cities can take part in This is not a ceremony:


Calgary International Film Festival
From September 30 to October 1
Interactive Digital Media Center – Eau Claire Center Court, 200 Barclay Parade SW
Free and open to the public


Signals: Presented by the Vancouver International Film Festival + DigiBC
October 1 and 2
Digital Media Centre, 577 Great Northern Way
Free and open to the public


Panorama 360 program, FNC Explore, New Cinema Festival
from October 5 to 16
PHI Center, 315 Saint-Paul Street West
Tickets available


iNdigital Space, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
from October 18 to 23
TIFF Bell Lightbox Gallery, 350 King Street West
Free and open to the public

Ahnahktsipiitaa will be present to present a keynote session, delivered live on Wednesday, October 19 at 11:40 a.m.

About This is not a ceremony

For more event information, visit: events.nfb.ca/events/tags/this-is-not-a-ceremony
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/this-is-not-a-ceremony

  • Writer and director Niitsitapi Ahnahktsipiitaa (Colin Van Loon) takes us beyond the veil of traditional media and transports us directly into another realm, where past, present and future are one; where colonial rules and assumptions are forgotten; and where we can finally find out the truth about the matter.
  • This is not a ceremony calls on all who watched to act, to share what they saw and heard, to learn from these tragedies and never forget, so they never happen again.
  • Produced by Dana Dansereau for the Animation and Interactive Studio in Vancouver in partnership with the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, where it won the 2017 NFB/imagineNATIVE Digital Project Award.
  • Global consumer release on VR stores coming in December 2022.

Learn more about the creators and participants

  • This is not a ceremony features Piikani First Nation member Adam North Peigan, who served as Board Director and Treaty 7 Representative at the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta; Robert Sinclair of Winnipeg, an advocate for medical reform; Vancouver spoken word artist Tawahum Bige; the late actor Taran (Standing Sunrise) Kootenhayoo; and the late Indigenous leader Lilian Rose Howard.
  • This is not a ceremony features art direction by Toronto-based Cree visual artist and art director James Monkman, and music and sound design by Nagamo Publishing, a Toronto-based Indigenous music publisher.
  • Ahnahktsipiitaa (Colin Van Loon) is Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and Dutch, originally from the Piikani Nation in southern Alberta. He currently lives on Westbank First Nation land in West Kelowna, BC.

Related links

imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival

French version here | French version here.

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