Métis concerts posted weekly on GDI Facebook page and YouTube channel
- Michelle Lerat | June 18, 2020
Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) showcases Metis artists and uses music to uplift people during the pandemic.
Virtual concerts are held on GDI’s Facebook page and YouTube channel featuring music from Metis artists including John Arcand, Donny Parenteau, Tristen Durocher and Lucas Welsh.
Welsh is a music teacher from Blaine Lake who plays the fiddle, guitar and mandolin.
“I really appreciate what GDI is doing for Metis artists,” he said. “It’s really nice that they’re being supportive of the artists in their communities.”
In his solo performance, Welsh plays each of his instruments and sings his own compositions.
“There's definitely aspects of my music and my playing that I think relate with the Metis and with that style of music,” he said. “I really enjoy getting my music out there and making people aware of more traditional styles of music.
“It’s just nice that there's some institutes like the GDI that are stepping up that are making some wide spread platforms for artists they can keep representing themselves and get their name out there.”
New concerts are uploaded on Mondays.
They began one month ago and will continue throughout the summer. GDI has a lot of exciting events coming up including a virtual concert for National Indigenous People’s Day which will be available June 19th.
The events were created as a way to decrease the isolation many people are experiencing and provide people with a fun, interactive and educational experience.
“It’s kind of an emotional trauma on everybody,” said Karon Shmon Director of Metis culture and history. “People are missing out on seeing friends and family. It’s something that can lift the spirits of people and keep their mind off the things we have to do to exist under the pandemic”
The concerts teach Metis culture through music and provide a platform for Metis artist during the pandemic. The concerts are shot by the artist using their cell phones and include dialogue from the artist about themselves and their music.
“The artists talk about what motivated them, how did they get into it, why they compose or create the things that they do.” said Shmon. “Metis are very diverse when you look at the different experiences of metis people and how that impacts what they create. It supports the diversity that we have but, what is similar also.”
Shmon says the concerts are uploaded Mondays except, when it is a holiday or there's another event happening on that day.
“The institute has a dual mission to educate and train Metis people from across Saskatchewan and to preserve and promote Metis culture and history. [the concerts] are part of both of those ends of the mission.”