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Testimonies from Highwood French Immersion School, Calgary, AB. after a 1 week Residency with Gilbert Le Bûcheron:


Grade 1, Mme Banks

It’s been amazing.  This has been a very valuable experience for the students and myself.  We’ve all learned so much and had a lot a fun.  This enriched the students’ lives and education.  It was great to see a mix of music, history, French, culture and math!  Thanks so much!

Grade 2, Mme Alexandra

A great experience for the children. They got to use French outside of their regular class activities. Singing and dancing your way through curriculum . And we can’t forget the maple syrup lollipop.

Grade 3, Mme. Wallace

We will all remember this week for a long long time. The children loved learning about French Canadian history and signing all the songs. It was an excellent experience and I could see that the parents were well impressed at all the students accomplished during a mere week of preparation. Thank you for all of your hard work with our students.

Grade   4/5, Mme Janet

It’s been a great week.  Thank you so much.  It has truly been a week that the class will remember for a very long time.  Thank you for making the French Canadian culture come alive for our students.

Grade 4/5, Mme Courtney

Thank you very much for such a great experience.  The students truly enjoyed the ‘dancing men’ project as well as all of your great music!  The spoons workshop was fantastic!  We are grateful to have had you here this week to enrich the lives of our whole school community.

Grade 6,  Mme. Dorota Smith dmsmith@cbe.ab.ca  ;

I have 20 wonderful and smart students. They have a lot of energy and enthusiasm!! We had a really great time working with Ian and Gord. Students built their flutes and learned to play them in 3 days!! On the 4th day we did a performance (two flute pieces!) Students have also learned square dancing and performed for the parents. Parents loved it!!

It was a best residency ever! Thanks Les Bucherons.

Les Bûcherons started in October of 1982 out of an extraordinary experience of successful touring with Joanne Martineau (insert picture have it scanned).

Gilbert Parent owner and artistic director, wrote his first song “Scie le bois” the night he decided to quit  L’Arche a house for handicaps Jean Vanier started years ago.  He prayed on it and expected a clear message in the morning which was ”Hit the Road Jack”.

After his first solo show, he realized he needed a partner and asked another “L’Archian” Yves Manseau, a high spirited hunk from Quebec who learned to fiddle and step dance that summer. He later went back to the priesthood and is now happily married. Gilbert on faith bought a sound system for $700, hired Yves at $6/hr. produced and distributed a brochure that proved fruitful about two months later. Students gave Yves and Gilbert and Ives the name Les Bûcherons / The Lumberjacks after seeing them dressed in knickers and dancing with axes. The name stuck for the next 28 years. With every concert two others were booked and repeat business made for abundant service given the sale of 1000 spoons and 1000 dancing men that Gilbert’s parents Albert and Marie built every year.  This first years proved entertaining because of participation and stories , the Axe and saw Dance, a spoon competition, the use of 10 dancing men, and 150 spoons which were distributed to the audience.  These 3 items, the dance, spoons and dancing men, were the foundation of audience participation that has become renowned with Les Bûcherons.

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