Lockdown Forces Temporary Closure of Big Medicine Studio

Like most arts organizations, we have been forced to temporarily close our doors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming months we hope to be able to reopen, and will be exploring ways to conduct our activities in a safe, responsible, and inclusive way to ensure the health and well-being of our staff, artists, and community members.

Until then, stay creative!

Anishinabek News article about Aanmitaagzi at Ice Follies 2020

Check out this amazing article by Kelly Anne Smith in the Anishinabek News!

Chigokmis, the Aanmitaagzi Grandmother puppet, watches over as artists perform Mkomiiwi at Ice Follies 2020 on Lake Nipissing at Marathon Beach, North Bay.

Aanmitaagzi’s Mkomiiwi fascinates huge crowd at Ice Follies 2020
Posted on March 13, 2020 In Anishinabek, Culture, News
By Kelly Anne Smith

NORTH BAY—Slowly the creatures emerged from the pressure cracks jutting out of frozen Lake Nipissing. They danced about as Nipissing First Nation’s Penny Couchie recited Pressure Cracks. Blue light shone on the creatures as they moved to the amplified composition by Jacob Dayfox. Hundreds walked the ice path lit up with whimsical light installations to witness the performance of Mkomiiwi…

Read the full article here!

Ice Follies 2020 – Mkomiiwi

Ice Follies is an ad-hoc collective that presents a biennial festival of contemporary and community engaged art on frozen lake Nipissing. Audiences are invited to engage with works situated off shore from the North Bay waterfront and along the shores of Nipissing First Nation. The Ice Follies Committee includes representation from the three artist-run centres in the Nipissing area spanning contemporary visual arts, aboriginal arts, performance, media arts, and community engaged artistic practices. Ice Follies Biennial aims to encourage audiences to experience art outside the context of the institution and engages a visceral interaction with the local landscape. The installations, performances and interventions shape a dialogue between art and site.

Aanmitaagzi has presented as part of the Ice Follies festival as a presenter and co-producer for the past 5 festivals. This year’s thematic is “mkomiiwi” which means “be ice, turn to ice, be covered in ice, be icy”. 

mkomiiwi: Exploring that transformation from water to ice and from one realm to another. As we shift and adapt new worlds are opened and old pathways disappear. Our mode of travel changes. Ice heaves form from prevailing winds. Ice is pushed up against itself, the shore. 

Aanmitaagzi will be conducting a major performance on Lake Nipissing on Saturday,  February 22nd at 7pm.

Community Lantern Making and Freeze Frame Building workshops will be taking place at Big Medicine Studio (161 Couchie Memorial Dr.) Tuesday, Feb 18th, Wednesday Feb 19th and Thursday Feb 20th from 6:30pm – 8:30pm each night.

Ice Folies 2020 from Bradley Trudeau on Vimeo.


Creators / Performers
Sid Bobb*
Miigwan Buswa*
Penny Couchie*(Choreographer)
Christine Friday
Daniel Lomas
JP Longboat
Meagan Lozicki Paulin
Tasheena Sarazin*(Costumes)
Tijana Spasic
Imelda Villalon

Installation Artists *
Animikiikwe Couchie-Waukey
Chris Couchie
Dan & Eva Couchie
Daniel Couchie
Sherry Guppy
Karis Jones-Pard
Ange Loft
Donald Sutherland
Cultural Consultants
Dan & Eva Couchie
Carol Guppy