The Square Dancers

Artist: Kenneth Lavallee
Program: Commission
Location: Air Canada Park, 345 Portage Avenue
Medium: Painted steel
Date: 2018

Description

"Square dancing, or jiggin, is the traditional dance of the Metis people of Manitoba. Performed to uptempo fiddle music and characterized by fancy footwork and limited upper body movement, the dancing continues today and remains a symbol of the resilience and optimism of the Metis people during Canada's formative years."
-Kenneth Lavallee

The Square Dancers was created as part of THIS PLACE on Treaty 1 Territory & the homeland of the Métis Nation. This is a major public art project that builds on efforts to create awareness of the rich Indigenous cultures, peoples and heritage that are at the roots of our territory, city and province. Indigenous artists were asked to respond to the idea of this place on Treaty No. 1 territory and the homeland of the Métis nation, and their reflections range in concept and expression. As a place of community and gathering in downtown Winnipeg, the artworks located in this park make a significant mark in the city.

Artist Biography

Translating a primarily two-dimensional art practice into physical experiences which occupy and influence tangible space has been motivating Kenneth Lavallee’s work as of late. Through public sculpture, large scale murals, kinetic sculpture and object design, Lavallee explores traditional ideas of balance, order, harmony and interconnectedness gathered from both Indigenous and Western learning and employs them in response to the environments and opportunities presented to him.

Kenneth is of Metis descent, and lives and works in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Treaty 1 territory and birthplace of the Metis Nation).

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