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Participants discover a traditional custom that is a part of our folklore
Encounters with Canada had the honour and privilege of welcoming to the Terry Fox Centre town crier, Daniel Richer, also known as Laflèche, who came to speak to the Arts & Culture participants to kick-off their week. The national capital region’s official, fulltime town crier is a member of the First Nations Abenaki. Dressed in a traditional costume representing Ontario and Quebec, the actor, storyteller, crier and MC gave a resounding demonstration of what a town crier does when he stepped on the stage.
Participants were simply enthralled. A man of the theatre, he used the gestures and voice to portray the complex relationship between Aboriginal peoples and Canadian society. For more than an hour, he brought history to life in his own unique way – spiritual, poetic, humorous and yet very real.
His way with words was fascinating and his knowledge of the vagaries of language left everyone speechless, as he taught history, intermixed with the origin of some French and English words. To illustrate some points, the crier brought some participants up on stage and had them personify historical figures like Champlain. Everyone fell under his spell.
Daniel Richer has worked around the globe. Winner of several honours over his 30-year career, including the best dressed in the World Championships, Daniel Richer knows how to share his knowledge of culture and left no participant untouched!