Members of the York community invited to Métis Arts Festival

“My people will sleep for one hundred years… when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.” – Louis Riel

Black Creek Pioneer Village and The Métis Artists’ Collective will come together for a second year to present Toronto’s only Métis Arts Festival from Friday to Sunday, July 22-24. This three-day bilingual celebration showcases 400 years of the history and legends of Canada’s Métis heritage through musicians and dancers, artisans and storytellers.

Taking place at Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto’s outdoor living history museum, visitors will experience first-hand the roots of Canada’s Métis culture and ancestry, the origins of which stem from intermarriages between Francophone and Anglophone Europeans and First Nations women.

York University faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the festival as special friends of Black Creek Pioneer Village. Members of the York community can present their York University staff, student or faculty identification at the Black Creek Pioneer Village admission desk to receive free admission, including family members. This special offer is valid on July 22, 23 and 24 only, and is not redeemable for cash.

In recognition of the linguistic diversity of the Métis culture, the Métis Artists’ Collective has adopted a bilingual approach to its programming that features traditional and contemporary visual arts, multimedia, film, performance arts and cuisine.

Métis songs are distinctive for their use of French, Celtic and Native languages. Performances include: traditional and contemporary Métis fiddling and dancing, First Nations dancing and Inuit throat singing – all incorporated into this one-of-a kind celebration. Click here for the full program.

Fun for the whole family, on Friday, July 22, between 10am and 5pm, Black Creek Pioneer Village presents Kids Experience Day, dedicated to offering children an opportunity to experience Métis traditions through games, crafts, dancing and an afternoon concert.

The Métis Arts Festival receives generous funding support from Ontario Tourism Partnership, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Arts Presentation Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto and KPMG’s Aboriginal Client Services.

About Black Creek Pioneer Village

Black Creek Pioneer Village is Toronto’s premier outdoor living history museum. Visitors can explore 40 heritage homes, shops and buildings restored to re-create an 1860s Ontario village. Historic interpreters in period dress demonstrate how villagers lived, worked and played. The Village hosts learning programs and special events that highlight local heritage and culture. The tranquil setting, rural landscapes, heritage gardens and period farm animal breeds make Black Creek Pioneer Village the perfect place to break out of the modern world and journey into the past. Located in north Toronto, Black Creek Pioneer Village is a heritage project of Toronto and Region Conservation.

About Métis Artists’ Collective

The Métis Artists’ Collective encourages and facilitates creative expression of Ontario’s Métis population in all aspects of traditional and contemporary arts in French, English and Michif. It also strives to educate the public by creating resources that schools and other public institutions can access to enhance their awareness of Métis history, arts and culture.

The festival will operate daily from 11am to 5pm, July 22-25.  For more information, visit the Black Creek Pioneer Village Web site.