Excerpt from Chester Brown’s Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography (Drawn & Quarterly, Montreal, 2003)
November 13 – 18 marks the annual Métis Week celebrations. Each year, the Métis Nation of Alberta hosts events around the province to commemorate not only Riel’s uniquely complicated and heroic legacy, but the outstanding contributions of Métis people to Canada. November 16, the date Riel was executed, will be an especially significant remembrance.
When it comes to defining legacies of the women and men who helped shape Canada into what it is today, few people are as complicated as Louis Riel. The Métis founder of Manitoba and twice-elected Member of Parliament is at the same time revered and scorned; the vanguard of Métis resistance against the federal government is a hero and a traitor, depending who you ask. To this day, over 130 years after he was hanged for treason in Regina, Saskatchewan, Riel is to some still a controversial and polarizing man. But for many, especially Canada’s Métis population, Riel is a man to celebrate and to honour. (more…)
Farad: The Electronic Voice, a reissue of late-career Haack songs from Stones Throw. Image: Stones Throw Records.
This weekend is Alberta Culture Days, a three-day province-wide celebration of Alberta’s vibrant and diverse arts and culture communities. Originally created in 2008 as a one-day event called Alberta Arts Day, Alberta Culture Days has become the flagship autumnal arts celebration for people of all ages and interests. Thousands of events will take place this weekend all over Alberta.
When it comes to the music community, many people are likely familiar with famous Alberta musicians whose long careers and commercial success have led them to worldwide acclaim. Ian Tyson and k.d. lang come to mind, as well as more contemporary artists like Feist, Corb Lund, Cadence Weapon and Purity Ring. However, there is one person in particular whose influence on music is only now being fully understood, decades after his death in 1988. His name is Bruce Haack and he grew up in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Looking back on his career and musical output, you wouldn’t be far off in thinking that maybe this man was the living embodiment of the concept of, “way ahead of his time.” (more…)