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John Arcand is a master of traditional Métis fiddling. He has dedicated his life to being an educator, performer, and advocate of Métis culture; to promote and popularize a rich musical heritage.
Jean-Baptiste “John” Arcand was born in 1942 within the Jackson Lake region of Saskatchewan. A fiddle in his hand from age six, he learned a catalogue of traditional Red River Métis tunes by ear and quickly gained respect for his musical knowledge and impeccable sense of timing, a necessity for Métis square dancers and jiggers.
His list of credits includes the annual John Arcand Fiddle Fest, 17 recordings, 500 original compositions, and inspiring an audio archive project for traditional Métis fiddle music with an accompanying written history and sheet music library.
Though now retired from performing, he remains a busy composer, instrument builder and fiddle teacher to new generations.
Fittingly, John has been recognized with the highest honours of his community and country, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship, the Order of Gabriel Dumont Gold medal for lifetime service to the Métis, and the Order of Canada.
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Speak Up! is curated by David McLeod (member of the Pine Creek First Nation, MB), Indigenous programming consultant.