The Métis Nation of Alberta is using a technological approach to putting on their yearly festival.
The Alberta Métis Festival, an annual gathering that showcases Métis businesses, culture, and art will be going on the net so they can be mindful of COVID-19 gathering restrictions. The event will still feature dancing and musical performances from Métis performers across the province, including some from the Lakeland area and Lloydminster.
MNA President Audrey Poitras says by continuing the event online, they have a chance to help Métis people continue their livelihood through the pandemic.
“Our people are very musically inclined. They love having parties, they love listening to stories, they love watching people jig, all of those kinds of things. So there will be that, but I think the other thing that they will realize is for the Mètis Nation, it is about all of us, and whatever our chosen career is, it has been affected by COVID.”
In an effort to help their artists, the MNA will be paying for the artist’s performances, and winners of their Jig Contest will also receiving cash prizes.
In addition to the musical and dance performances, the event will also feature a segment called What it Means to Be Métis, which will feature community submitted videos from Alberta’s Métis people describing parts of Métis culture that are important and they are proud of. Poitras says this is a way for people to learn all of the different things that make Métis culture what it is.
“Here’s a perfect way for people who normally wouldn’t normally take the time out to talk about themselves, or to talk about their understanding of the Métis Nation, and who they are as a Métis person. This is a way for them to promote it out there.”
The Alberta Métis Festival will run June 13th, from 11-5, on the Métis Nation website.