Whether they are jigging to a fiddle in a traditional Métis dance or stomping to the latest hip hop hit, Sagkeeng’s Finest have attracted attention and applause.
The dance trio – who won the inaugural Canada’s Got Talent television reality contest in 2012 – will perform in two Fort McMurray schools on Wednesday, May 27.
“We’re always very pleased to perform in schools because it’s part of sharing our culture and the students always are great audiences,” says Vince O’Laney, who performed with fellow dancers Jacob Harris, Michael Harris and fiddler Shawn Mousseau for Syncrude’s Aboriginal Awareness Day on Tuesday at the company’s Mildred Lake site. “We have a lot of fun because we have some traditional dances with fiddles but we also perform some newer dances to modern artists. We also hold tutorials so the kids can get involved.”
Hailing from the Sagkeeng First Nation about one hour north of Winnipeg, the troupe formed for the first season of the televised talent competition and they won over audiences with their blend of traditional Métis jigging and modern clogging and tap dancing. Sagkeeng’s Finest has travelled all across North American and even made an appearance in Scotland. This is the troupe’s first visit to Fort McMurray, which is sponsored by Syncrude.
“We started out dancing when we were around nine or 10 years old and we learned a lot from our elders, who helped guide and encourage us,” Vince says. “Now we travel a lot and do about 100 shows a year. We are very proud to share our culture with audiences. We’re doing what we love to do.”
Syncrude operates the Syncrude Project, a Joint Venture undertaking among Canadian Oil Sands Limited, Imperial Oil Resources, Mocal Energy Limited, Murphy Oil Company Ltd., Nexen Oil Sands Partnership, Sinopec Oil Sands Partnership and Suncor Energy Ventures Partnership.