Our mission statement

The Dreamspeakers Festival Society supports and educates the public about Aboriginal culture, art & heritage

It is a resource for Aboriginal filmmakers, for directors, scriptwriters, cameramen, technicians, actors, musicians, storytellers, artists and craftspeople. The Society is also a resource bank - a way to get in touch with Aboriginal filmmakers, performers and artists. And through Dreamspeakers, Aboriginal people receive training in arts, culture and festival operations. 


– EST 1993 –


About us


The Dreamspeakers Festival Society is a registered non-profit charitable status organization that produces an international film festival that celebrates the latest works by Indigenous peoples innovation in film, video, radio, and new media, presenting selections of Indigenous works from around the globe since 1993. The festival attracts and connects filmmakers, media artists, programmers, buyers, and industry professionals. The works accepted reflect the diversity of the world's Indigenous nations and illustrate the vitality and excellence of our art and culture.

Beginning in 2018 The Dreamspeakers Festival Society also produces Rubaboo - Alberta’s only Aboriginal multi-disciplinary arts festival. Rubaboo is a philosophy about what sustains us; it’s about feeding the spirit, and it’s about thriving. Rubaboo features Aboriginal theatre, music, dance, art, food, family and youth events, artist workshops, cultural workshops and visual arts. Its mandate is to encourage collaborations and to develop new artistic works and present these works in progress to a broad audience both during the festival but also through full production and touring. We’re committed to giving Aboriginal artists this forum and platform to perform their art, grow as artists, contribute their work to the community, and to bring audiences of all backgrounds together to enjoy the vast artistic expressions that exist in Aboriginal culture.

The Dreamspeakers Festival Society goal remains the same for the past 25 years, which is to connect in a meaningful way, to learn how to be more impactful to the needs of artists and our greater community. The activities we propose will advance our effective strategic planning for years and puts us in a better position to honour the original vision of the Dreamspeakers founders to be a resource for Aboriginal filmmakers, storytellers, artists and community. We can create more opportunities and make a better impact on arts, culture and our collective identity. And we can do it all here based in Edmonton!


Dream Team


Christine Sokaymoh Frederick

Executive Director

Christine Sokaymoh Frederick is an urban Aboriginal Cree-Métis residing in Edmonton, Alberta. She is co-founder and the artistic director of Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and produces the annual Rubaboo Festival and the Executive Director of the Dreamspeakers Film Festival. She is the first Indigenous Associate Artist of the Citadel Theatre, and the first indigenous board member of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. She is former chair of the Edmonton Arts Council and former Vice Chair of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Christine served on the steering, working and selection committee for the ÎNÎW River Lot 11 one of the first Indigenous Public Art Parks in the world. She is the recipient of the 2007 Esquao Award in Arts, and the 2016 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Artistic Leadership.



Antonio Coello

International Curator

Antonio Coello studied film in Mexico, Spain, and Cuba. His work is dedicated to explore cultural diversity through anthropological observation and sense of humour. He has received several grants supporting his creative work as well as awards to his short films. He is currently working on “Seven Edges”, his first full-length feature film.


Barry Bilinsky

Festival Director

Barry Bilinsky is a professional theatre creator of Metis, Cree and Ukrainian heritage. Based in Alberta, he has worked as a director, performing artist, stage manager, and technical/production manager across Canada with projects centred primarily around the proliferation of Indigenous arts, artists, and collaborations. He has studied Drama and English at the University of Alberta, attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2012. Barry is an Artistic Associate with Dreamspeakers Indigenous Film Festival and Akpik theatre, as well as having been involved in many capacities with: Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts; The Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society; Iiniistsi Treaty Arts Society (REDx Talks); Fool Spectrum Theatre; among others. Barry is committed to developing safe, authentic, respectful creations that challenge the overarching cultural assumptions we often face in the performing arts community.

Shivani Saini

Publicity and Marketing

Shivani Saini is a media producer, consultant and skillful communicator with over 25 years of professional experience. Her company, Atelier Culturati, helps cultural institutions, creative leaders and artists produce stories and sold-out events. She specializes in storytelling that advocates for decolonized worldviews, and narratives that represent true equity, diversity and inclusion. Her expertise is sought after by multiple disciplines, and her portfolio includes groundbreaking museum content, award-winning media, cutting-edge theatre, international visual arts affairs, social media initiatives, and festivals that cultivate new works. Past producing credits include seasons 1, 2 & 3 of the award-winning dramatic television series Blackstone, in the roles of Associate Producer, Business Affairs and Digital Media Producer. Shivani is a member of Arts Consultants Canada and a board member for Women in Film and Television Alberta.  www.atelierculturati.com


Aretha Greatrix

Festival Coordinator

Aretha is of Cree from Kashechewan First Nation (Albany Band), born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. In 2005 obtain a Certificate in Digital and Interactive Media. In 2012, Bachelor of Applied Communications in Professional Writing Degree from Grant MacEwan University. Aretha is currently a Graduate student in the Master of Arts in Communication and Technology where she is exploring the reconciliation process and examining its effectiveness. An entrepreneur, she is co-owner of Miyo Pimatisiwin Productions Inc and owner of Simplistique Media. In 2016, Aretha was recognized as Cultural Ambassador for the Women of Inspiration Award from the Canadian Business Chicks for her work with mentoring youth in filmmaking with Miyo Pimatisiwin Productions.



Randi Jackson

Volunteer Coordinator

Randi is Cree from the Fort Chipewyan First Nation and resides in Edmonton, Alberta. She is a recent graduate of Robertson College for Bookkeeping and has her certification with the Yellowhead Tribal College as Administration Assistant. She has completed two practicums with Dreamspeakers over the past few years. This year we welcome Randi onto the Dream Team with the role of Volunteer Coordinator.


MJ Belcourt Moses

Awards Designer

Melissa-Jo Belcourt (MJ) comes from a rich Métis ancestry and possesses a wealth of cultural skills, acquired from Métis and First Nation Elders and Knowledge Holders throughout northern and central Alberta. As an instructor, she has taught decorative arts and creative skills within Indigenous cultural art programs and continues to support the community both aboriginal and non-aboriginal in facilitating workshops to teach both the history and traditional art skills. Recently as of January 2019 MJ accepted the role as Edmonton’s Indigenous Artist in Residency.


Tashina Makokis

Graphics Coordinator

Tashina Makokis is new to the Dreamspeakers Festival team, helping out as the graphics coordinator for the festival season. Having grown up in Edmonton, and with ten years experience volunteering and working within the Indigenous community of the city, she is looking forward to making use of her awesome skills to help bring forth another year of fantastic festivals. Tashina is also a nehiyaw artist from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation who utilizes graphic art and design, painting, drawing, sculpture, beadwork, and performance to focus her work on Indigenous themes and issues, specifically centering on Indigenous sexualities and the reclamation of the bodies and lives of Indigenous women.

Dawn Saunders Dahl

Gallery Curator

Dawn has been very fortunate to be employed by organizations that have afforded her opportunities to expand project ideas, proving to be mutually beneficial for her, the organizations and the community. Director of The Works Art & Design Festival for 6 years, she oversaw a huge amount of public art, exhibit and event processes. At the Edmonton Arts Council she developed new programs including artist workshops/talks, the Street Art Pilot project and the Indigenous Art Park project. At the Town of Canmore, she developed new programs including the Bow Valley Mural project, where she developed a new relationship within the Stoney Nakoda nation. She continues to work with Indigenous nations in her new role as Associate Director at the Banff Centre for the Arts.



DOT Retrospective

Carla Ulrich is a director, writer and producer from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. With her company, Dayah Films, Carla combines her talents with others to produce engaging work with a focus on community and youth empowerment. In 2014, she created YouthRise Project; a society that strives to build and maintain a strong artistic connection to youth in the north. Carla is a former Dreamspeakers On Tour (DOT) student as well as the former DOT Coordinator for Dreamspeakers.


Trent Crosby

Technical Director

Trent is an Edmonton based artist and arts enabler with a specialty in activating non-traditional performance spaces. A graduate of Grant MacEwan's Theatre Production program and The Banff Centre for the Arts, Trent has spent the last 10 years as a Lighting Designer, Production Manager, Entertainment Programmer, Site Manager, and Theatre Technician.


Brittney Pastion

Admin Assistant

Brittney Pastion is of the Dene Tha’, Woodland Cree and Nakota Sioux ancestry. Being registered into Treaty No. 6 Territory, the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. She also takes part in the Dene Tha’ communities, being Treaty No. 8 Territory. In 2016, she completed the Television Broadcasting program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. In which she found passion to expand the limits of Indigenous storytelling and the different media forms alongside it. Invited as a youth role model, she emceed The Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Center (IKWC) Traveling Speaker Series promoting culture revitalization. At the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society she created news content that addressed different Indigenous stories and headlines. Brittney is motivated to address the importance of knowing and taking part in your culture.


Board of Directors


Robb Campre



Arsan Buffin

Vice President




Beverly Allard



Jonathan Collins

Board Member


Donna Bedard

Board Member


Lese Skidmore

Board Member