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
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.
Just got an email notification of new Meetup events for anyone Métis. My brother and I are thinking of going especially if there is a focus on learning cultural traditions. Maybe I could even share my skill in weaving that I learned over the summer!
You can tell music is on my mind. Just found a great video by a young Trent Freeman who explains what makes Métis fiddling unique. He is accompanied by Métis musician Ry Moran-more on him in another posting.
Trent has moved in some new directions with his solo career; his album Rock Paper Scissors was nominated for a 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award. Here’s a link to his website www.trentfreeman.com .
He is also part of The Fretless which according to their website is “a young and innovative band that melds the worlds of celtic, folk and chamber music into an amazing and unique sound they like to call rad trad. They may look like a string quartet, but with innovative arrangements and roots deeply based in Celtic and Canadian fiddle styles, The Fretless is creating their own unique path in the music world.” On October 1, 2012 they won a Western Canadian Music Award for Instrumental Recording of the Year.
I love the idea that this group stays true to their roots yet still creates some interesting and modern ways of playing traditional music. One of their members says they take traditional tunes but then they are “mixed and rebuilt in a way that will seem new”.
Their take on music is similar with how I feel about blogging, tweeting and connecting with other Métis through technology. As I said in my post, The Metis Nation Registry-a Thesis by Tara Gereaux, “this blog is my way of finding meaning and a sense of belonging to my culture and to a community that I have chosen to embrace.” I am taking traditional Métis culture and seeking new ways to incorporate it into my life and way of being. It’s a new twist on the traditional.
I thoroughly enjoyed the video on the band’s home page and since next to Métis music, fiddling with an Irish or Celtic flavour sits second on my favorites list, I would say The Fretless have found a new fan!
I am so excited I can barely sit down at the computer and focus. First I should apologize for being out of contact–my time has been completely taken up with work and organizing a national medical conference/workshop. There was intense preparation time since the first week of October and then starting last Saturday it was six days of 5:00am – 10:00pm networking, facilitating and presenting. I literally dropped off the virtual world, except for Twitter because that was related to the social media portions of the conference. I will post soon about the honour I received in being able to represent Métis and indigenous people at the opening ceremony.
Now let’s get back to why I’m so very, very excited.
Lisa Shepherd, Métis beading artisan, contacted me on Pinterest where I had expressed my wish to learn beading. She let me know that she is putting on a Traditional Métis Beading class and I just went to the Maple Ridge Arts & Recreation Website and signed up. You’ll know where to find me on November 17 and 24th!
Lisa is putting on a fabulous array of options to learn traditional Métis skills:
Métis Traditional Dance (geared to the 30+ crowd)
Traditional Métis Beading
I would love to take the other two courses as well but there are a couple of other projects that I have to finish and get off my plate so Moccasin Making and traditional Métis dance are just going to have to wait until next year. If you’re interested in any of Lisa’s courses you can learn more in the Maple Ride Arts & Recreation Guide.
Metis Community Festival: Sunday, September 23, 2012
Talbot Park, Port McNicholl; Calvert Street, Tay, ON
The Georgian Bay Métis Council invites:
Join us at Talbot Park for a fun day Celebrating Métis Culture
Grand Entry: 12AM Noon
Children’s Games & crafts
Music By Copegog Family
Tickets for Free Fish Fry served to the first 400 People signed in
Bring a Lawn Chair