métis [mey tee] n. a person of mixed ancestry; raconteur [rak-uhn-tur; Fr. ra-kwan-toer] n. one who tells stories and anecdotes with skill and wit; The Métis Raconteur n. a B.C. Métis woman telling stories and sharing her culture
I am really excited to announce 4 classes to educate children about Métis culture and history. Each 2 hour class will be held at 100 Braid St Studios and taught by traditional artisan, Mechtild Morin.
Session 1: Introduction to Métis Culture & Arts Children and tweens will learn the history of the Métis & the Métis sash, explore finger weaving while creating a bracelet, and learn about the importance of Metis voyageurs in the Canadian fur trade.
Session 2: Music The 2nd Session in this children’s series will focus on music. Activities will include storytelling using the book Fiddle Dance, learning traditional jigging with the help of a wooden toy “jiggerman”, playing the spoons and making a fingerwoven sash key chain.
Session 3: Beading In this session children will have the opportunity to try beading, to learn about the Métis flag and it’s meaning and practice jigging.
Session 4: Embroidery & Language Activities in this fourth session will focus on the traditional craft of Métis embroidery and the Michif Language. Children will learn some Michif words and play a traditional first nations game.
Register online here. Price for each class per single child is $25. Reduced prices for 2 or more siblings.
If the summer series doesn’t work for your schedule please be sure to look at our calendar for September as we are planning after school sessions over a period of several weeks.
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!
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.
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.
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. There will also be a special edition of Métis Coffee Talk with Keith Henry broadcast live from the Williams Lake at 4:00pm Saturday.
GOING ON RIGHT NOW! (and wishing I was there-note to self: plan better next year) John 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.
Music and dance are such an important part of Métis culture. Here’s a fabulous clip from the documentary video about Métis fiddler, Sierra Noble. Ethnomusicologist (who knew there was a profession called this), Lynn Whiddon, explains how Metis fiddle music is unique, how it is most definitely an oral and an active tradition, learned by observation. David Chartrand also speaks about the difference between learning fiddling in school versus learning from “old time Métis fiddlers”.
The entire video documentary can be purchased on Amazon. More on Sarah Noble in another posting.