Last week NSI’s CEO John Gill and I attended the first annual The Drum Calls Us All gala in support of the youth education programs of the Manito Ahbee Festival. What an amazing evening!
It was a jam-packed event that included some familiar faces and new friends.
Hosted by Lisa Meeches (executive director of Manito Ahbee and NSI Aboriginal programs advisor), Alison Campeau (NSI New Voices grad) and Eric Robinson (Manitoba Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs), there were lively performances and inspirational speeches.
Above: Alison Campeau (NSI New Voices grad) and John Gill (NSI CEO)
The dancers were outstanding – hoop dancers, the Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers, and the feature event: Men’s and Women’s Pow Wow competitions.
Set up like Dancing with the Stars, there were three judges, host Minister Robinson and all dancers were sponsors and friends of the festival, mentored by expert dancers.
There were dance-offs, cheering sections and the winners were declared: Annette Sabourin from RBC and Larry Wandowich from Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries. What devoted student dancers all the participants were, and their families, friends and colleagues loudly appreciated them all.
Above: John Gill; Larry Wandowich, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries; Chris Vajcner
It’s so great to see many NSI Aboriginal program sponsors like RBC and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries supporting wonderful initiatives in Winnipeg.
The evening wrapped up with everyone invited onto the dance floor for a Friendship Dance. The host drum throughout the event was provided by the very talented The Spirit Sands Singers.
The energy of the gala was contagious. We look forward to the Manito Ahbee Festival which runs September 10 to 14.
Thanks to everyone involved.