APTN’s Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration, an annual celebration of National Aboriginal Day and the summer solstice, has been delighting audiences since 2007. This event features some of the biggest names in Aboriginal music and television, including JUNO Award winners and up-and-coming artists; showcases talent from all genres, regions and nations; and ensures the recognition and inclusion of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

It debuted in a park outside of APTN’s headquarters in downtown Winnipeg and moved to the historical Forks site in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The celebration evolved to include twin stage performances from different locations across the country – including Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Ottawa, Regina, Iqaluit and Halifax. APTN’s Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration has grown year to year and continues to expand its grassroots reach to Aboriginal communities across the country.

There is no question, after eight years, the event continues to shine bigger, better and brighter.

In 2014, APTN’s Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration celebrated the uniqueness and diversity of our Peoples from The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba and from the twin stage in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

What is National Aboriginal Day?

National Aboriginal Day is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. In 1996, it was proclaimed by then Governor Roméo LeBlanc to be celebrated on June 21. National Aboriginal Day was first celebrated on June 21, 1996. Most provinces do not recognize it as a statutory holiday.


The National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) called for the creation of a National Aboriginal Solidarity Day to be celebrated on June 21.


The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended that a National First Peoples Day be designated.

A national conference called The Sacred Assembly and chaired by Elijah Harper called for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Aboriginal Peoples to Canada.


The first celebration. It was proclaimed by the Governor General of Canada to be celebrated on June 21 each year.

It is fitting that National Aboriginal Day occurs on June 21, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. For many centuries, many of the first inhabitants would celebrate the arrival of the warm weather on this day. It is a day with spiritual significance for many people and is a perfect time to celebrate Aboriginal Peoples and their cultures.