Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Maple Sugar Folk to perform at opening of "Across the Border" exhibit Aug. 4 in Chassell

CHASSELL -- Maple Sugar Folk will sing at the Chassell Heritage Center at 7 p.m. this Thursday, Aug 4, under the direction of Accordionist/singer David Bezotte. This will open a new exhibition, "Across the Border: Canadians in the Upper Peninsula," on loan from Northern Michigan University’s Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center.*

Ralph Horvath, soloist, and Maple Sugar Folk sing "Youpe, Youpe! Sur la Rivière," a Canadian folk song, during the July 26 Benefit Recital for Omega House hospice, held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock. Singers also include, from left, Barbara Lide, Marcia Goodrich, Jan Wieber, Amanda Binoniemi, Karin Schlenker and Barry Pegg. Accompanist for the group is Ruth Robertson. Maple Sugar Folk will perform at 7 p.m., Aug. 4, at the Chassell Heritage Center and at noon, Aug. 5, outside Portage Lake District Library. (Video clip by Keweenaw Now)

Light refreshments will be provided.

Across the Border focuses primarily on the immigration of Canadians to the Upper Peninsula during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, the story begins much farther back than that with the Anishinaabeg people who have lived on both sides of what they view as purely a political border for centuries. The very nature of this border, which has been seen at times as irrelevant and porous, is discussed in this exhibition as is the nature of Canadian identity as it relates to the immigration of people to the Upper Peninsula from Québec and Ontario.

This display from the "Across the Border" exhibit relates the immigration history of Dave Bezotte's family of Chassell. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)*

One of the most interesting parts of this exhibition is the spotlight on specific families who came from Canada to the Upper Peninsula. The exhibit looks at the experiences they had before and after they immigrated to the region. There will also be a focus on specific communities that had significant settlements of Canadian people. Chassell and Lake Linden are among the communities featured.

"Across the Border" will be on display through Aug. 30, 2011. The Chassell Heritage Center is located at 42373 North Hancock Street, Chassell (from US 41, turn west onto 2nd Street) and is open Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The exhibition was funded by Cliffs Natural Resources, NMU's College of Arts and Sciences and the Province of Québec Chicago Delegation.

Maple Sugar Folk to perform at Portage Library Aug. 5

HOUGHTON -- Maple Sugar Folk will perform from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, at Music on the Menu outside the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. This group of ten singers celebrates the Keweenaw’s French-Canadian heritage with music. They sing a variety of traditional folk songs and invite the audience to participate and sing along.

Everyone is invited to bring a lunch, relax, and enjoy the lunch hour while listening to some great music. In the event of bad weather, the program will be held in the community room.

This event is part of the library’s Summer Reading Program and is free and open to all. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

* Editor's Note: See more photos from the "Across the Border" exhibit in our slide show, Marquette Exhibits.

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