Manitoba Daily

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Vince Fontaine’s life is celebrated by Manitobans

Manitobans honour Vince Fontaine's life

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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