Life changes, Art, & a Commitment to Métis Culture

I find it hard to believe that my last posting here was in December.  Life got very interesting for me around the end of October when I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and started a three-month medical leave.  During my time off I realized that I needed to leave my job in healthcare and the work I have been doing as a patient & family advocate.

Near the end of December an idea for an inclusive art studio and gallery business that would encapsulate all aspects of my life took flight.  Time I would have spent blogging over the past few months was used in doing research, writing a business plan, creating a new website, getting social media set up and meeting with artists and artisans who are interested in coming into the space.  On March 1 I took possession of the second floor of 100 Braid St, a 1928 warehouse with 5,600 square feet in New Westminster.  March 21 was my last official day of work at BC Children’s Hospital.

I have long been searching for a way to leave my job at the hospital and work in the arts. Through 100 Braid St Studios I will be able to do that.  But there is more.  One of the most exciting aspects of opening the studio is that I will be able to provide a workshop space to help keep Métis arts such as beading and weaving alive.

Here is information about the studios:

100 Braid St Studios is an inclusive working art studio for New Westminster and Lower 100 Braid St - Concept-Decor Space Plan copyMainland artists that allows visitors to be inspired artistically and to learn from the artists practicing in the studio. Studio artists produce fine art & craft in the form of paintings, sculpture, fiber, jewellery making, photography, and mixed media.

As our philosophy is the expansion of the dialog around the ever-blurring boundaries and continuum of art to craft we provide three programs that foster creativity:

1. Painting or Craft workshops focus on the fun and social aspects of getting together in a group to produce art.
2. Fine art classes cover the basics of a number of painting techniques, colour theory and artistic exploration.
3. Cultural Workshops feature contemporary and traditional Métis crafts such as beading,  and weaving.

We are not only inclusive of all types of art but we are inclusive in cultural diversity, language and ability. We provide workshops and classes in:
ASL (American Sign Language)
ESL (for new immigrant) certified instructor.
Adaptive format for adults and children with disabilities

The Studio also provides an alternative venue for corporate team building, private meetings and celebratory events.


I would be honoured if you would visit the new 100 Braid St Studios website, follow me there on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.
Twitter @100braidst
Instagram 100braidststudios
Pinterest 100braidst

Please also pass on this information to any Métis artists who might be interested in being a part of the studio.

A future post will give more details on the help and financial assistance that I have received from the First Nations community in order to be able to reach my goal. I am certain the information will be very helpful for many Métis who have the entrepreneurial spirit and want to follow a path in making their dreams come true too.

Métis Geneology – Tracing our Family Tree

On Tuesday my brother and I made a visit to the Nova Métis Heritage Society. As always Ken and Joyce were warm and welcoming.  It was a busy day and we got to meet a number of other great people there too.

Even though we have both been members of the society for a couple of years and we have been able to trace our family tree, getting our mothers and grandmothers long form birth certificates for geneological purposes has been a challenge.  When we applied to Saskatchewan EHealth they wanted a letter from the Métis association we belong too. Despite sending that off they refused our request and have now added additional requirements including showing ID from the person who writes the letter.

Ken was really great in giving us everything we needed and very helpful.  So I’ve sent in the all of the information and hopefully we will finally have everything we need for provincial and federal recognition.

Frustration is sometimes a good thing–when I came home I decided to get my family tree history organized.  While looking on line for a printable paper tree I found WikiTree a FREE, yes I’ll say it again, free collaborative worldwide family tree website for geneology.  I’ve always believed thatIMG_1595 it is a persons right to know their ancestry and it shouldn’t be for only a privileged few who choose to pay the sometimes exhorbitant prices of other geneology websites.  As soon as I searched for my family name, Parisien/Parisian I found a link.  Within a few hours I was introduced through email to my ninth cousin once removed.  He has some information about our family but I feel very happy because I will be able to add a great deal of information to the profiles that I already have but it will also prompt me to connect with relatives and ensure that our family history is preserved on-line for all time.



BC – Klahowya Village Métis Culture Days Aug 30 to Sept 1

Reminder!  Starting tomorrow Friday, August 30 to Sunday, September 1

Klahowya Village in Stanley Park is hosting am awesome three day weekend featuring Métis culture. The schedule is jam packed with traditional craft and finger weaving demos and workshops; you can expect jigging by favorites the Métis Silver Tip Swingers and Louis Riel Métis Dancers, music by Keith Hill and Amy Eustergerling and Métis history storytelling by George and Terry Goulet.  The event is free and open to everyone!
Metis Days


The Métis Raconteur is all a’Twitter

A couple of months ago I decided to transition to a new metisraconteur account on pinterest and as I’ve become more active on Twitter I’ve decided that I want to do the same thing. I find myself interacting more with local New Westminster residents as I become part of the community as well as artists around the world–the move to another twitter account will allow me to really focus on connecting with other Métis.

My Métis Raconteur blog postings will still be shared @susanlgreig but I invite you to follow me at my new account @metisraconteur.  Looking forward to connecting with you!


metisraconteur twitter

BC – Artists in the Atrium Métis Jigging Aug 29 & Sept 21

The BC Metis Federation Summer of Culture Campaign is partnering on two events at the Vancouver Woodwards Atrium.  The Metis Silver Tip Wingers perform August 29th and Beverly Lambert performs on September 21st.
Métis Artists in the Atrium Beverly Lambert

These two events are part of the Aboriginal Showcase held each Thursday and Friday from 12:30-1:30pm, August 1-October 13.  Admission is free.  Sponsored by the Vancouver Moving Theatre company.


BC – Métis Music Festival & Jamboree Aug 9-11 Williams Lake

It’s a busy weekend and I’ve obviously gotten behind on posting.

TODAY!  The BC Metis Federation and Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association are co-hosting the Métis Music Festival/Jamboree August 9th – 11th at McLeese Lake a short 20 minutes from Williams Lake.
Métis Music Festival & JamboreeThere will also be a special edition of Métis Coffee Talk with Keith Henry broadcast live from the Williams Lake at 4:00pm Saturday.




SASK – John Arcand Fiddle Fest Aug 8 – 11

GOING ON RIGHT NOW! (and wishing I was there-note to self: plan better next year)
John Arand Fiddle FestivalJohn Arcand, “Master of the Métis Fiddle”, and his wife Vicki are hosting the annual John Arcand Fiddle Fest.  This multigenerational and family fun event includes fiddling, guitar and Red river jigging workshops. This morning the Fiddles and Flapjacks Pancake Breakfast will start at 8:00am and today visitors can look forward to the fiddle competition preliminiaries.The most anticipated event is tonights concert “John Arcand and Special Friends Concert” and the Old Time Dance at 9:00pm with music from Bannock Country.

Tomorrow features the finals for the fiddle competition and the jigging competition.Children can participate in games, arts and crafts and more from 10:00am to 5:00pm each day. I was most excited to hear that the Cultural camp has been expanded and through very affordable 2 hour workshops at $10, you can learn beading, emroidery and finger-weaving.

Admission to all four days of the Fiddle Fest is $50. But if you can attend just one day it’s only $20. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Located just southwest of Saskatoon on The Pike Highway.  Free Shuttle service from Saskatoon.

Thank you to John & his wife Vicki for being committed to teaching the next generation about Métis culture!
The John Arcand Fiddle Fest is a registerd non-profit charitable organization-if you wish to make a donation please see their website.