NEWMARKET, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 12, 2015) -

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this Press Release

DAREarts is pleased to announce its inaugural 'First Roots' Feast, to be held Thursday,February 26 at Madsen's Banquet Hall, (160 Bayview Parkway) at 6pm. Top Chef Canada's Rich Francis will be preparing the Traditional Feast with a twist along with Huron Heights Secondary School Hospitality and Tourism Program for this fundraiser to help empower Canada's FNMI children. Tickets can be purchased for $50 online at: or by phoning 905-729-0097.

Chef Francis will be on hand to tell patrons more about his philosophy: "What I do is take the traditional ingredients and I apply modern cooking techniques and my creativity, but it still falls in line with storytelling and our traditions. It all makes sense on a plate. I don't randomly throw stuff in a pan. There's a story behind it." An Anishinabek blessing from Elder Suzanne Smoke and performances by the Sacred Spirit Dancers will augment Chef Francis's unique approach to Indigenous Cuisine. Newmarket singer and long-time DAREarts Artist-as-Educator Glenn Marais will perform songs written by Webequie FN youth under his mentorship.

This event will also be the launch of the "First Roots Feather Project," which will help educate children about Canada's history as it highlights teachings and promotes understanding between FNMI and non-Aboriginal kids. Grade 4 and 5 students from Broadacres Junior School in Toronto created over 150 First Roots Feathers with individual wishes for Aboriginal children attached to them. Every day for the next three months, a picture of a Feather will be tweeted with the hashtag #FirstRootsFeather as a shout out to FNMI children. The feathers will be auctioned off at the Feast, and the First Roots Feather Project will continue to produce Feathers to raise funds in years to come.

DAREarts Founder Marilyn Field: "We are at a critical point in Canadian history where our FNMI children must be given equal opportunity to succeed. The kids say it best in their song when they wrote 'I want to see myself proud, I want to see myself strong...' Together, we can make this happen."

Proceeds from the Feast will fund DAREarts' arts education programs that empower First Nation, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) children with the arts, as tools to DARE to become leaders. DAREarts First Roots Program has been working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities since 2006, when Elders invited DAREarts to help with children and youth recovering from generational trauma, substance dependency and suicides. Since 2007 DAREarts First Roots has worked with communities from sea to sea to sea, the latest being Tuktoyaktuk, NWT this past January.

Cathy Elliott, DAREarts First Roots Program Associate: "I'm so thrilled that Newmarket and especially my old high school, Huron Heights, is getting behind this initiative. It's not just a fundraiser, it's an educational tool to bridge Non and Aboriginal youth and children, to reach out to Newmarket area's FNMI community and the community at large to ignite change for Canada."

Press: There will be an opportunity to interview Chef Rich Francis during the reception, which starts at 6pm. Grand Entry of Dancers will be at 7pm followed by an Opening Prayer conducted by Suzanne Smoke.

DAREarts First Roots Feast is sponsored by Madsen's Greenhouse, Vince's Markets, Gary and Marney Curran, Best Western Voyager Place Hotel, and George Shawana (for the moose meat) Floral Arrangements provided by Karin Stiege and Gela Rohde.

DAREarts thanks its lead supporters: Northbridge Insurance, Guy Carpenter, Scotiabank, Ontario Arts Council and Ontario Trillium Foundation.

To view the photos associated with this press release, please visit the following links:

Contact Information:

Cathy Elliott
DAREarts First Roots Program Associate
Tel: 905-729-0097
Cel 416-948-4128

Marilyn Field
Founder, DAREarts
Tel: 905-729-0097