Staging the Métis Pavilion

Throughout this journey of life, we encounter people who greatly influence our path and purpose.

When Terry Gibb met Arnold Asham in 1990, he was presented with the opportunity to work alongside Asham in business, and in 2018 stage the Métis Pavilion.

By this time, Gibb was familiar with the summer festival; he had been visiting different pavilions since the 1970s.

“I would stand in line to enjoy each pavilion’s entertainment, displays, food, and cultural beverages,” recalls Gibb. “It was great to see how all the volunteers worked so hard to promote their culture through music and dance, and I enjoyed the experience of learning the backgrounds of various nationalities.”

Asham was filled with a strong passion for sharing his culture; Asham’s desire to educate visitors of the pavilion through the Red River Jig lead to him taking care of the entertainment. Gibb’s passion and attention to detail translated nicely into managing the pavilion. With support from the Folklorama staff, Co-Coordinators Terry Gibb and Arnold Asham were able to get the pavilion up and running.

The Métis Pavilion is held at the Heather Curling Club and is home to the well-known dance group, the Asham Stompers. The Asham Stompers capture, preserve in and educate on the history of the Métis people through traditional dance.

“My favourite thing about the Métis Pavilion is that you are learning and experiencing history that took place right here in this area, long before Winnipeg was settled,” states Gibb.

Behind the scenes, managing a pavilion involves strong organizational skills, the creation of a respectful environment, and an army of energetic volunteers who look after the set up of the stage, dining area, kitchen, displays, reception, and compostable areas.

“I think volunteers have always been the key to a fun-filled week of entertainment, food, and fellowship,” says Gibb. “It’s like Folklorama brings everyone together into one big family.”

June is Canada’s Indigenous History Month, a time to learn more about the rich and diverse cultures of Métis, Indigenous, and Inuit peoples. Did you know that the Métis are often known as the founders of the fur trade? For more information on the history of the Metis people, visit Canada’s Indigenous History Month website!

Continue to support the preservation of Metis history by putting Asham Stomperfest on your calendar! The annual music and dance festival is taking place this September long weekend (Covid restrictions permitting). Check out stomperfest.ca for details!

Interested in joining a network of over 20,000 volunteers? Visit our website to find out how you can become a volunteer today.