Manitoba Daily

Friday, January 21, 2022


Manitobans honour Vince Fontaine's life

Vince Fontaine’s life is celebrated by Manitobans

Key takeaways:

  • Manitobans gathered to remember Vince Fontaine, a musical and Indigenous icon in the province.
  • Jay Bodner, who sings and plays rhythm guitar for Eagle & Hawk, has been a member of the band for 25 years.

Manitobans gathered to honor the life of Vince Fontaine, a musical and Indigenous icon in Manitoba.

Eagle & Hawk and Indian City members performed in the Oodena Circle at The Forks to say their goodbyes to their friends.

Fontaine, who was 60 years old at the time, died suddenly of a heart attack on Tuesday.

Nahanni Fontaine, his niece and the MLA for St. Johns, stated it was essential for the family to bring the community together and in his homage.

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“He attempted to bring people together through his music. That was the most crucial factor. That was the driving force behind his work and the music he created.”

Fontaine was a well-known figure in Manitoba’s and Canada’s Indigenous music scenes. He has over ten albums to his credit and has performed worldwide.

He won a Juno Award for his musical abilities, and he was inducted into the Manitoba Aboriginal Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

The outpouring of support, according to Nahanni, has helped the family get through this difficult time.

“We’ve received messages from all over Manitoba, Winnipeg, and the rest of Canada. However, I’ve gotten messages from as far as Germany and Austria.”

Jay Bodner has been a member of Eagle & Hawk for 25 years and sings and plays rhythm guitar.

Fontaine worked hard all through his career, he said, to carry Indigenous music to the forefront.

Manitobans honour Vince Fontaine's life
Manitobans honour Vince Fontaine’s life. Image from Winnipeg Free Press

“Not only from Winnipeg but also from all over North America. It’s been a difficult task to bring Indigenous music into the mainstream.”

The band performed Fontaine’s 25-year discography songs, drawing a large crowd.

“We’re going to try to cover everything from 1997 to today’s Indian City album in ten songs,” Bodner said.

Fontaine’s compassion for others, as well as the love and support he gave to all who knew him, was one of his gifts, according to Nahanni.

“He was our family’s rock, and he’s always there for us, just as he was always there for the community, and he’ll be sorely missed.”

Fontaine’s wife and three children have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the burial costs.

Source: CTV News

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Manitoba choir hopes to spread joy with new music.

With a focus on mental health, a Manitoba choir hopes to bring joy through new music

Key takeaways:

  • The Western Manitoba Youth Choir hopes that its new music will brighten people’s days while raising awareness about mental health.
  • Michelle Chyzyk, the year’s conductor, said that despite the tight schedule, the group could accomplish a lot.

The Western Manitoba Youth Choir hopes that its new music will brighten people’s days while emphasizing mental health.

The organization’s 41st year was approaching in 2021, and they were unsure what they would accomplish given the ongoing pandemic.

Following some discussions, the group decided on a four-day spread out over two months to record music and videos to accompany the songs.

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Michelle Chyzyk, the year’s conductor, said that despite the tight schedule, the group could accomplish a lot.

“In four days, we accomplished a lot. It included a lot of variety, such as preparing the music, learning the music, and then audio recording and doing some video projects. “Chyzyk is a word that comes to mind.

The group recorded five music videos and a documentary piece interviewing the students over those four days, with each video and song focusing on mental health.

Manitoba choir hopes to spread joy with new music.

“The devastation that teenagers faced during this pandemic was heartbreaking. We decided to make that a bit of a focus to talk about their feelings because loneliness, depression, and anxiety were at an all-time high.”

It was important for the music to have that focus, according to Chyzyk, because teenagers matter.

“We wanted them to know that they were seen, heard and that they are beautiful in their own right.”

Four videos have been released so far, with two more sets to be released in the coming days.

“We thought it was something worth celebrating,” Chyzyk said. “So many people have given up, and we were in such a hopeless situation, but we’re proud of how we turned it around and made something cool happen.”

The group’s hope for next year is to have a more normal schedule, which usually includes a small tour of western Manitoba, according to Chyzyk.

Source: CTV News

Get Canada and Manitoba’s top News, Market news, and other worldwide news only on Manitoba Daily.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival is scheduled to return after a two-year break

Key takeaways:

  • The renowned Manitoba summer festival will return to Birds Hill Provincial Park, but all attendees must be COVID-19-vaccinated.
  • Peterson, a music producer, has also played and volunteered at the folk festival and being a festival employee.

After a two-year hiatus, the Winnipeg Folk Festival brings the music — and the people — back.

In 2022, the legendary Manitoba summer festival will return to Birds Hill Provincial Park, but participants must be properly vaccinated against COVID-19.

Lynne Skromeda, the executive director, said Thursday, “It’s been a long time coming.”

“We are hopeful… given the number of activities and sporting events that are taking place, that we will be in good shape for next year.”

Skromeda can’t tell for sure if the folk festival experience will be the same as before the pandemic, but he is hopeful that next year’s event will be as normal as possible.

With that excitement comes the expectation that one of Canada’s largest events will positively influence the local economy.

“We’re assisting with getting food and craft vendors back to work, as well as suppliers and other industry professionals,” she said.

“It’s a wonderful thing to see that kind of thing come back and to see normal things happen again so that we can contribute to something positive for Manitoba.”

Also read: Fuel and non-essential travel are prohibited in a flood-affected Canadian province

Every July, hundreds of people flock to the park north of Winnipeg for the celebration. However, as the COVID-19 epidemic swept over the world in 2020, it was one of several cancelled events.

To restrict the spread of the coronavirus, Manitoba enacted public health orders that set stringent limits on gatherings.

This summer, the folk festival was cancelled despite organisers’ plans to host smaller, in-person concerts on the festival’s main stage in August. But, as the pandemic’s third wave swept over the province, that plan was shattered.

Skromeda stated that next year’s event is “extremely vital” to her group.

“Our financial situation has been quite terrible. We’ve barely made ends meet, but we’ve had a lot of luck with government subsidies, which have been quite beneficial to us, “she stated

“We thought a year was difficult. The next two years were even more difficult. As a result, we sincerely hope and expect it to happen this year.”

Winnipeg Folk Festival wont go ahead this summer due to COVID-19

Fans of the festival are excited to return.

The main stage was overseen by Lloyd Peterson the last time the yearly event, which began in 1974 at Birds Hill Park and ended in 2019, was held.

Peterson, a music producer, has also played and volunteered at the folk festival and being a festival employee. He’s been moving since he was a teenager, and he’s looking forward to sitting near the stage and listening to a full day of music, even if it’s raining.

“It’s fantastic news for the community, artists, and the entire folk festival crew. They put in so much effort to put it on, and then to have it become suddenly impossible to do been extremely difficult for everyone who appreciates the event, “According to Peterson.

According to him, the history of the event is what makes it unique.

“Every year on the second weekend of July, a lot of individuals know exactly what they’re going to do. It’s the type of incident that individuals react to in various ways. Several people are die-hard music fans, while others enjoy the social side and the camping.

“Anyone can use it in whatever way they wish.” However, it has a lot of moving components, and if you don’t feel weary afterwards, you’re doing something wrong.”

Terry Danyleyko has been attending the annual folk festival since he was 18 years old. Danyleyko, now 62, is looking forward to reconciling with pals he hasn’t seen in a few years, including those from Texas.

“I get to see a community of individuals there, and I haven’t been able to visit them in the last couple of years. I’m looking forward to going back there, “he stated

The folk festival weekend is about escapism for Danyleyko.

“It’s like returning home. It’s going to a place where you know everyone will be, and everyone will have a pleasant mood, and it’s time to put your phone aside.”

The list of on-stage artists will be announced in the spring, and tickets will go on sale on Dec. 6.

All stages, including the family section, will be operational. In addition, both campgrounds and other services, such as food vendors and the music store, will be operational.

The folk festival’s staff will “work very closely with public health to ensure all of the conditions are in place” for the festival’s safe return in 2022, according to Skromeda.

As a result, all in-person shows will require government-issued documentation of complete immunisation.

Source: CBC News

Get Canada and Manitoba’s top News, Market news, and other worldwide news only on Manitoba Daily.

Comedy, classical music Christmas super weekend coming to NACC

The Northern Arts and Cultural Centre will host a double-act, super weekend of comedy and classical music on Dec. 12-13. 

Although the Ever Late Show: Christmas Edition! comedy event and the Gryphon Trio Celebrate Beethoven@250 Watch Party events are catered to different audiences, NACC executive director Marie Coderre said she’s trying to cater to as wide an audience as possible leading up to the holiday season.Advertisement

Martin Rehak, right, throws flowers to the crowd with Skye Plowman at a summer performance at the Willideh traditional site. Baby Brian Weadick performs in the background. Rehak and Plowman will be back on Dec. 12 for a Christmas comedy show. 

“We’re trying to target two different crowds and we tried to find programs that could really satisfy local audiences with laughter while also celebrating a big composer,” Coderre said.

Tickets are now on sale for the Ever Late Show: Christmas Edition, to be held on Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. The event will feature Martin Rehak and JD and a lineup of comedians. 

Rehak, 36, has been part of NACC’s mentorship program for more than a year and has been among the Yellowknife-based arts performers building a community of comedians in town, said Coderre. 

“I think that during the pandemic, we really need to laugh right now and we really need funny content,” she said. “We are used to having music shows for Christmas and stuff like that, but I think  a parody comedy show around Christmas will be quite different and quite relevant in these unprecedented times.”

Marie Coderre, executive and artistic director of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC), has organized a weekend of comedy and classical music on Dec. 12-13 to reach a broad audience ahead of the holiday season.
NNSL file photo.

The lineup will also feature comedians Skye Plowman and Emily Blake, a brief appearance by Tom Parker and other surprise acts.

The musical guest is Ryan McCord and there will also be a special appearance by David Thomas Micheal. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are only 50 spots available for the live act in the cultural centre. However, the event will be broadcast via Facebook and Northwestel later that day at 7:30 p.m. 

All sales will be online as the box office is closed and people who attend are asked to take public health precautions. 

Coderre said the show will be a Christmas-based parody and viewers are advised there could be adult content involved. 

NACC hosted a Martin Rehak event in August at the Willideh stage and he said that audiences can expect a similar performance.

“It will be like a late-night talk show format with multimedia and local acts with some silly bits in-between and sketches,” he explained. “The one at Willideh was the first of its kind that we had done and this is the next installment as a Christmas edition.”

Gryphon Trio

The same weekend will also feature a virtual concert by the Gryphon Trio on Dec. 13 at 3 p.m.  to mark the 250th birthday of musical composer Beethoven.

One of Canada’s most celebrated classical music trios, the Gryphon Trio comprises pianist Jamie Parker, cellist Roman Borys and violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon. 

Tickets are also on sale for that event. The show will include a pre-recorded performance of Beethoven’s G Major Piano Trio Op. 1, No. 2 and the Piano Trio in Bb Major, Op. 97, nicknamed the “Archduke.” 

The Gryphon Trio will be holding a virtual concert on Dec. 13. Ticket-holders will be able to participate in a question-and-answer session with the classical Canadian musicians.
photo courtesy of the Gryphon Trio official website

The event will only be seen via screen, exclusively for ticket-holders.

“All the classical music lovers will love that show and we’ll have a chance to talk to the members afterwards,” Coderre said. “I will be on stage with them on the screen and we will have a discussion and the audience will be able to ask questions. “

She said that show will be a reunion of sorts as the Gryphon Trio have toured in the NWT in the past, the last time being December 2016 as part of the Broken Hearts and Madmen Project.

“So yes, it’s good just going to be a reunion with the Gryphon Trio who have been an important asset for the community here and who have done so much for the Northwest Territories,” she said. “I’m sure they will be thrilled to to see a few patrons even though it will be just 50 people.”