Elders in My Community!

A smaller North End building has become the centre of activity for hundreds of children, youth and seniors within the city of Winnipeg and beyond. Every Friday night the Metis Club, located at 406 McGregor Street, opens its doors for the entire community to come and enjoy an evening of Metis music, song and dance. People of all ages are in attendance, usually people who appreciate good fiddling tunes, or are eager to jig the night away. The evening features old time dancing, and old time music. You would think that it only attracts old time people, but the crowd is made up of people from infancy to senior citizens.

The Metis Club is supported and driven by the elders and seniors who graciously volunteer their time and energy to provide a safe, enjoyable and entertaining place for the community to come and celebrate Metis culture and heritage. With the support from the former Lieutenant Governer, The Honourable Yvon Dumont, the Elders have been very successful in providing a sense of belonging for all who attend including people of all ages from the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community. The Metis Club would also like to acknowledge the personal support of Winnipeg Metis Association Vice President Ron Chartrand.

The Metis Club is a fine example of an initiative that allows for our Elders to share their expertise in a way that brings our community together. A good example of this is watching the fiddle play of Pat Campbell, Theresa Desjarlias and “fiddling” Frank Turcotte. You can also enjoy the guitar play of John Goertzen and Bass play of Cliff “The Flame” Flammond. Others share their love of Metis jigging and square dancing such as the “Professor of Dance”, Dennis Grove or the stepping of “Fast Footed” Freddy Ranville. The Club also benefits for the enormous generosity of people such as Cyril and Leone Brazeau, who opens the door of the Club every Friday night, bake the bannock and shop for the ingredients it takes to run the canteen.

Attendance has grown to include some permanent fixtures, such as the Metis Club Golden Girls. The Golden Girls are a small group of senior women who have never missed a night or an event hosted by the Club. They are there every week to tap their toes to the wonderful music and provide whatever supports the Club needs from volunteers. While other people coe from across the city and province to enjoy the sites and sounds of fine Metis music and culture, others bring their fiddles and guitars to share their talents with an eager and appreciative audience.

It is through the efforts and commitment of Yvon Dumont and the Elders of the Metis Club that many parents and grandparents can bring their children and grandchildren our for an evening of family fun and entertainment free of charge. It allows others to come out and take the opportunity to socialize in a very enjoyable and safe atmosphere. So, if you are ever looking for something to do on a Friday evening, you can trust that the Metis Club will provide you with some awesome entertainment, and a lost of friendly faces. Come and check it out!

Kevin Chief

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