A Night to Remember

May 17, 2017

This past weekend, Friday, May 12th, 2017, the Manitoba Metis Heritage Fund (MMHF) in partnership with the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), hosted their first annual fundraising gala, A Night to Remember, in support of the Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital Foundation, at the Hotel Fort Garry in Winnipeg, MB. Hosted by MMHF Board Chair Minister Denise Thomas and Honorary Chair for the 2017 gala was Mr. H. Sanford Riley. The evening was co-emceed by Rachel Lagacé from CTV as well as Métis Elder Oliver Boulette.

The MMHF is a registered non-profit charity of the MMF. Its mission is to support economically disadvantaged individuals, children, and families of the Manitoba Métis Community.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Children’s Hospital Foundation in support of the Translating Emergency Knowledge to Kids (TREKK) program. The TREKK program is a network of researchers, clinicians, partners, patients and families that share the common goal of improving emergency care for children. TREKK takes a “story telling” approach used by the Children’s Hospital while delivering care to children as they visit emergency rooms.

The theme for the evening was “A Night to Remember”. As you walked through to the main hall, volunteers were dressed in traditional Métis clothing—some carrying baskets and others playing familiar Métis fiddle music. The cocktail hour featured a traditional Métis kitchen with Métis games, storytelling, dancing and fiddle music. Guests also were able to dress in period costumes and have their photos taken in the Métis kitchen.

Entertainment throughout the evening was provided by the young fiddlers and Clint and Riley Dutiaume in the Métis Kitchen. William Prince entertained the audience in the grand ballroom over dinner.

Elder George Fleury provided a blessing in Michif before everyone sat down for an amazing meal featuring a traditional Métis inspired menu, with items such as bison, wild rice, root vegetables, and saskatoon berries.

Individuals attending the gala were encouraged to take part in both the Silent Auction and the Rainbow Auction throughout the evening. These auctions would not have been possible without the generous donations of different companies and organizations. The prize list included gift certificates, tickets to events and traditional artwork.

A live auction took place later on in the evening. Led by Mr. Les Kletke, the auction featured four spectacular prizes, which included: a custom tailor-made vest with Métis floral beadwork by world renowned Métis designer Jennine Krauchi; a day of golf and dinner for three with MMF President David Chartrand; an all-inclusive trip to Churchill, Manitoba, including two guided tours; as well as, a trip for two anywhere Air Canada flies in North America, including Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Keynote speakers for the evening included Dr. Darcy Beer and Dr. Jon McGavock. Dr. Beer talked about the TREKK program and its success in hospitals. Dr. McGavock spoke to his research on the importance of culture in the field of pediatrics and more specifically type 2 diabetes.

The venue at Hotel Fort Garry was chosen in part by the MMHF because it is located just steps from the historic location of Upper Fort Garry. It is no coincidence that May 12, Manitoba Day, was selected for this inaugural gala. Manitoba Day is very significant to the Manitoba Métis Community, as the Métis leader of the Red River Resistance of 1869-70, Louis Riel, was instrumental in drafting the List of Rights which formed the basis of the Manitoba Act 1870 passed by the parliament of Canada in the spring of 1870, which brought the new province of Manitoba into Confederation.

The MMHF Board of Directors, along with MMF government representatives will make a public presentation of the proceeds to the Children’s Hospital Foundation at a later date.  Thanks to the many individuals, organizations, sponsors and volunteers who made the 2017 gala "A Night to Remember" a success.

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