Oshawa music teacher makes her pitch tonight at Pow Wow Pitch ‘Creative’ semi-finals


Published September 13, 2023 at 2:13 pm

Kristine Dandavino

Oshawa opera singer and music teacher Kristine Dandavino and six other Indigenous entrepreneurs will make their final pitch tonight for their share of $200,000 in prizes in the Pow Wow Pitch competition.

Pow Wow pitch is an annual Indigenous Entrepreneur Award showcase that has been running since 2016, offering cash prizes, access to live learning sessions, mentors and other tools for entrepreneurs to attract more customers to their businesses.

The Pow Wow Pitch committee has narrowed the field to 83 entrepreneurs in a dozen categories in three countries, including Dandavino, the owner of Oshawa Piano and Vocal Academy and a member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, a Quebec First Nation located about an hour-and-a-half north of Ottawa-Gatineau.

A singer and musician with a mezzo-contralto opera voice, a music school in Oshawa and a dream to bring equity, love, respect, and integrity to her community, Dandavino was excited to make the cut as a semi-finalist – “even if I don’t win, I am a winner” but will looking at the big price when the finals in the ‘Creative’ category get underway at 6 p.m. tonight.

Dandavino will be up against Apitjipwg Crafts (Rebecca LaBillois, Eel River Bar First Nation, NB); Eyeconic Warriors (Brooke Stratton, Oneida, Rockland, ON); Lumsden Florist (Rachel Brimacombe, Saskatchewan Metis, Lumsden, SK); Dallas Sutherland Studio (Dallas Sutherland, One Arrow First Nation, Saskatoon, SK); STLN LNDS (Cole Clark, Behchoko, Yellowknife, NWT); and Reel Indian Pictures (Kelly Byars, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma & Dine, Albuquerque, New Mexico).

Pow Wow Pitch is a grassroots community of Indigenous entrepreneurs across Turtle Island built to provide a safe, collaborative, supportive and empowering platform for inspiration, education, mentorship, celebration, and reconciliation through entrepreneurship.

The organization was founded by Sunshine Tenasco, who is also from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and made a successful appearance on Dragon’s Den in season 4 for her baby moccasin-making business.


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