Bringing Métis citizens together though food and fellowship

By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It was an evening of fine food, fiddling and fancy footwork. The Columbia Valley Métis Association (CVMA) held its first kitchen party and potluck since the pandemic from 5 to 8 p.m. on February 4 at the Lions Hall in Invermere, where 43 Métis citizens were in attendance.“We just really wanted to celebrate our citizens and give them the opportunity to have fun,” said CVMA community coordinator, Lisa Cannady. “We hope to make this a regular event.”

Citizens were encouraged to bring a Métis inspired dish for the potluck while Edibles Farm in Windermere prepared a scrumptious bison stew for the potluck, using local bison from J2 Ranch in Canal Flats. 

“There was a lot of amazing food,” said Cannady. “The stew was a big hit and was gone quickly. We had five people bring bannock, including a gluten-free option. There was a lot of food and an entire table reserved for just desserts. It was so good.”

Citizens had a chance to burn off all those delicious calories by jigging to fiddle music. Fiddling plays a huge role in Métis culture; often Métis legends are recorded in fiddle tunes. Providing this entertainment that day were award-winning Canadian fiddlers, JJ Guy from Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan-born Nova Scotian, Gordon Stobbe, who together make the union of ‘Twin Fiddles’.

Twin Fiddles works together throughout the Canadian west and north composing, performing and teaching workshops and mentoring youth. In 2017, Stobbe was awarded the Governor General’s Order of Canada. That designation honours those who make extraordinary contributions to our nation. 

Twin Fiddlers provided the melody and storytelling for CVMA’s kitchen party and potluck; citizens provided the rhythm though toe-tapping and jigging. Amy Cross, based in Cranbrook, helped with the event. CVMA hopes to hold more events that bring the community together.

“This time around we just kept it to Columbia Valley Métis Association citizens and their families,” said Cannady. “In the future we plan to expand events like this to everyone.”