26 Nov 2021

Aeriosa Dance Society


Current/Dance Community
Aeriosa Creation Rehearsals 
"Dancing to Remember"

This November, Aeriosa and Butterflies in Spirit had planned on creating choreography for "Dancing to Remember" together at The Dance Centre, but sadly, Butterflies in Spirit's Elder Matriarch Dr. Lillian Rose Howard passed away unexpectedly on October 30th. Her loss is devastating.

After talking it through with Butterflies Artistic Director Lorelei Williams, Aeriosa artists Julia Taffe, Cara Siu, Julia Carr, and Meghan Goodman did go ahead with rehearsals, while holding Dr. Howard's memory close. Going forward with the creative process offered some solace, as a way of honouring Lillian's excitement about our collaboration and nurturing her longtime desire to be a choreographer. We are holding her ideas with love and care, and will keep working to incorporate them into the choreography.

We began exploring the theme of "Dancing to Remember" by developing movement inspired by the life cycle of salmon, while connected to the latest rigging technology being refined by our Safety Director, Colin Zacharias.


Celebration of Life - Dr. Lillian Rose Howard

Rest in Peace, Dr. Lillian Rose Howard
We miss you so much.

Lillian was a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, aunty, sister, cousin, friend and community leader. Lillian advocated for Indigenous, social, and environmental causes and was a co-chair for the Urban Indigenous Peoples Advisory Committee for the City of Vancouver. She also sat on the Indigenous Advisory Committee for the Vancouver Police Department.

She was a member of the Butterflies in Spirit dance group which raises awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women/Girls, Two Spirits and Men/Boys. 

Lillian was also the founder of the Uplifting Indigenous Families Fund which raises funds to assist families during and after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
She worked part-time at Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) with the Indigenous Health team. In addition, Lillian volunteered with the Douglas College Aboriginal Advisory Committee, West Coast LEAF Aboriginal Advisory Committee, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Indigenous Council.

During her summers, Lillian loved participating in the Pacific Northwest Canoe Journey. She was a pillar of the community and will be missed immensely.
Celeste April and Neesha Pooni are organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Cheleah Howard-Barnes. If you would like to contribute, please click here:
Tribute to Dr. Lillian from Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week
Butterflies in Spirit Artistic Director, Lorelei Williams, stands in the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre on November 22nd, following Lillian's Celebration of Life (which would have been Lillian’s 71st birthday). Hands up to the co-organizers Erich Blesch, Joleen Mitten, and Ginger Gosnell-Myers for bringing Lillian's family and community together in a lovely way. 


Lillian's button blanket is displayed in a beautiful arrangement by the Butterflies in Spirit.  

Lillian's family member, Musqueam Elder Shane Pointe, wears a cedar rope she wove for him. He reminded us that Lillian is not gone; she is on her journey as a new ancestor, learning to watch over us, keeping on with her lifelong love of learning.

Dr. Lillian Howard loved education and earned a Master of Arts in Environmental Education. Sadly, she passed away a few days before receiving an honorary PhD awarded by Royal Roads University, which was presented posthumously on November 19th. At Lillian's Celebration of Life, Ginger Gosnell-Myers displayed the framed PhD  for the audience, who responded with a standing ovation.

Indigenous Fashion Week 2021 honoured Dr. Howard at her Celebration of Life

From L to R: Butterflies Maranda Johnson, Tabatha Frank, and Jacqueline Hanuse with JB the First Lady (Jerilynn Webster) who MC'd the celebration. The adorable infant belongs to JB!

SAVE THE NEW DATE: December 21, 2021
Our Portrait and Landscape session has been rescheduled!
Click on the image to register for this free online event.
Aeriosa is often inspired by nature. When dancing outdoors, we regularly encounter other species. This next column is dedicated to learning about our friends in flight.
Featured Feathered Friends
The Hawaiian Kolea 
Migratory shorebirds called Kolea in Hawaii, spend summers in Alaska raising chicks, and then fly to Hawaii for the winter. Flight time for the Kolea birds from Alaska to Hawaii is 4 days, or about 96 hours "nonstop" over the Pacific Ocean. The return is 3 days, or about 72 hours from Hawaii to Alaska.

Kolea chick legs are adult-size at hatching, enabling researchers to place adult-sized ID bands on them at birth. Summer’s offspring navigate to Hawaii on their own. Those that make it to the Islands, must then find, and defend a foraging place. Only about 20 percent of chicks survive their first year.
Hawaii’s Pacific Golden-Plover 'Kolea' bird is found on lawns, golf courses, fields, and even rooftops. The oldest recorded Kolea (left), banded at Bellows Air Force Base, lived at least 21 years, 3 months. Because no one knew how old the bird was when banded, it may have been older.
They are less than a foot long and you’ll most likely seem them in their golden mottled feathers. In winter, males and females look alike but as they ready themselves for their long journey from Hawaii to Alaska, starting around February, the birds begin molting their drab winter feathers and begin growing bright breeding plumage.

By April or early May, they put on their “tuxedos” of black and white feathers down their front and leave Hawaii to return to Alaska. The birds’ biological clock probably determines when they depart and is probably set on the breeding grounds.

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