Joie de Vivre!!
Location: St. Germaine dit Gauthier House - 419 5th St, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
French-Canadian music, dancing, food and activities.
June 12, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
June 13, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
PRESS RELEASE - June 1, 2021
The St. Germain dit Gauthier-Coorough House will be opened to the public with a weekend of French-Canadian music, dance, and workshops. The two-day event will begin at 10:00 am with a formal ribbon-cutting by the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce. Visitors will then be invited to tour the newly-restored St. Germain dit Gauthier house and then participate in entertainment and food.
On Saturday at 10:30 am 12:00 pm and 2:00, pm and Sunday at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm there will be performances of "Fete on the River!" Dancer Jane Skinner Peck and fiddler/dancer Danielle Enblom will perform “Fete on the River!”, a costumed presentation of French-Canadian and Metis music, song, and dance. They will include songs that were sung in Prairie du Chien by Reuben Valley in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Expect some storytelling and audience participation. Both women from Minnesota are popular performers of traditional dance and music of the upper Mississippi. Jane is the founder and director of Dance Revels Moving History.
Jane Skinner Peck has researched, choreographed, and performed dance across the U.S., Canada, and France for twenty years. She finds that dance history enables her to combine her love of history with her love of dance. She has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra at the Ordway Center, MN, and with the international faculty orchestra of the Madison Early Music Festival, WI. Her work is seen regularly at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota History Center, and museums, colleges, schools of Midwest America.
Danielle Enblom’s research and performance represent intersections of old-style Irish dance, sean-nós, and other traditional percussive practices in North America. Elements of Appalachian clogging, Quebecois step dancing, and Cape Breton step dancing also inform Danielle's style and practice. Danielle has taught, performed, and studied with artists and via institutions around the world. Notable institutional collaborations include BBC Alba, The New York Trad Fest, The New York City Irish Dance Festival, Milwaukee Irish Fest, Earful of Fiddle, Dance Research Forum Ireland, The International Dance Studies Association, UW Milwaukee, The Minnesota Irish Fair, and St. Paul Irish Arts Week.
Between Jane and Danielle's performances there will be hands-on workshops conducted by Marianne Carolan in which one can learn to play the penny whistle and keep time to French-Canadian songs with wooden spoons. She will also guide people to participate in the fun of dancing a reel to pays de haut.
Refreshments will be available.
The house stood vacant for over thirty years. In 2016, the Prairie du Chien Historical Society requested that the City of Prairie du Chien give the house to the Historical Society. Under the Historical Society’s guidance, the St. Germain dit Gauthier-Coorough House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Historical Society retained Artisan Restoration of Kasota, Minnesota. They completed the structural restoration of the house in 2020. An HVAC system and electrical wiring were installed by Mezera Heating and Wagner Electric. Leaf Chief finished the interior and painted the trim. A new exhibit on the history of the house, other French-Canadian houses in Prairie du Chien, and the Fourth Ward was designed by Joshua Wachuta and Rachel Lewis. The house has been decorated with furnishings based upon an 1840 inventory of the belongings of Guillaume and Magdelaine St. Germain. Several of the pieces have an area history and are French-Canadian in style.
The restored St. Germain dit Gauthier-Coorough House, with the furnishings and exhibit will be able to be seen for the first time on Saturday June 12. The house will be open for touring through out the summer and fall.
Free admission - donations appreciated
For more information about this or any other events at Fort Crawford Museum, please contact us.