Take the Fort! - Manitoba Metis Music and Dance Tour

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Submitted by Faye Armstrong

History lessons generally aren’t the most exciting of times. The Take the Fort tour successfully changed that. The two-hour show featured Métis multimedia performance combining music, dance, and video, re-telling the story of the Red River Resistance of 1869 (during which Louis Riel led the Métis of Red River to take back their land).

Acts involved in the tour included the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers -a traditional style Metis dance troupe of thirteen-, renowned Manitoba fiddler Darren Lavallee with Marc Arnould, Melissa St. Goddard and Dylan Goudry, and The Puppet Folk, who re-enacted the Red River Resistance via video.

“It’s rare that you’ll see all of these different elements come together for one showcase,” says Production Manager and Creative Director Andre Clement.

The tour kicked off in Winnipeg on Tuesday, February 17. Other stops included Vancouver (February 19, Capilano Performing Arts Theatre), Calgary (February 20, Calgary Public Library), Saskatoon (February 21, Broadway Theatre) and Regina (February 22, Regina Performing Arts Centre).

Clement found that audiences across western Canada took away “a sense of the rich Métis heritage and culture that is still alive and well in this province.”

The tour was produced by the Manitoba Aboriginal Music Host Committee (MAMHC). The MAMHC received generous support from the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Homecoming 2010 and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Visit metistour.com for more information.

Visit the photo gallery at aboriginalmusic.ca for photos from the Winnipeg performance.

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