Special statement from President David Chartrand on the passing of Kai Madsen

October 6, 2021

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Today, Winnipeg lost one of its beacons of cheer and hope with the passing of Kai Madsen, who worked tirelessly on behalf of the Christmas Cheer Board for over 50 years.

Kai's family has lost a wonderful man and Winnipeg has lost its Santa Claus. The MMF family and the Red River Métis of Manitoba extend love and condolences to Kai's family during this painful time.

Kai was the epitome of Christmas spirit. Even the COVID-19 pandemic couldn't stop him from making sure that no child went without Christmas. His spirit and determination made a real and lasting difference in the lives of many families. No one could say no to Kai's passion for his beautiful work.

It was wonderful to partner with Kai over the years, and every year, I was glad to donate to the Christmas Cheer Board on behalf of the MMF in support of his vision. When the Christmas Cheer Board found itself without a home, we were proud to give them a place at MEDO Square. When Kai needed to raise funds to work his holiday magic, musicians from the Red River Métis community flocked to his cause and donated their time, drawing a crowd of willing donors. The year the Christmas Cheer Board was short on drivers to deliver hampers, Kai knew he could rely on his MMF family to help. Our staff jumped in and delivered many hampers to many grateful families.

I was honoured to nominate him to the Order of Manitoba multiple times. I believe he was deserving of such an honour for his great achievements and his commitment to ensuring that no child was left behind and no family went without Christmas. I wish he could have received this honour in his lifetime and am saddened that this opportunity has passed.

As a friend and a partner on many wonderful initiatives, I am grateful to have known him and to have witnessed the achievements of such a great man. He will be missed, but I know his legacy will go on and I know that the MMF will always remember the name of Kai Madsen.

For the tens of thousands of children and families he helped throughout his 50 plus years at the Christmas Cheer Board and for his dedication to delivering joy - we say thank you, Kai.


Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis. 

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratic government for the Manitoba Métis, also known as the Red River Métis, the origin and core of the Métis Nation. The Manitoba Métis are Canada's Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.

For more information, media may contact:
Kat Patenaude
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation


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