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Saskatoon-based Cree musicians return from unforgettable Grammys experience – Saskatoon

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A pair of Saskatoon musicians have returned from a Grammys experience that included selfies with the Backstreet Boys and a limousine ride booked by Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union.

In 2001, Jacob Faithful co-founded a group called Young Spirit, which included members of the Frog Lake First Nation. Its 16 members now come from across Western Canada and parts of the United States.


READ MORE:
Alberta-founded collective Young Spirit to bring 10 of its members to Grammys

The group’s goal is to empower young people through traditional Indigenous drumming and singing, Faithful said, but they never imagined they would make it to Music’s Biggest Night.

“All we wanted to do was send a message out there and be part of something great,” Faithful said.

Faithful was shocked to learn of the band’s nomination, as was his 16-year-old son and band mate, Jarron Gadwa. Both are from Frog Lake, but live in Saskatoon.

“Three weeks ago, I was writing my Grade 11 finals and to know that I’m going to the Grammys, is honestly, crazy,” Gadwa said.

Young Spirit made its Grammys debut Sunday, after the band’s album “Mewasinsational – Cree Round Dance Songs” was nominated in best regional roots category.

Another artist took the award, but Young Spirit had an unforgettable experience, including being driven to their hotel in a Rolls Royce limo arranged by actresses Alba and Union.

Young Spirit attends the 61st annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019, in Los Angeles, California.

John Kopaloff / Getty Images

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“They actually made a cake for us and it had the album cover of our nominated CD,” Gadwa said.

Reaching the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the group walked the same red carpet as the likes of Drake, Lady Gaga and Dolly Parton.


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“I thought it was pretty cool when the Backstreet Boys came up to us and asked to have a picture and [that we were part of their playlists on their phones,” Faithful said.

In a rare occurrence, officials with the Grammys arranged for Young Spirit to perform on the red carpet.

As the drums came out, the commotion of media interviews came to a stop.

“All the cameras turned toward us. It was pretty neat to see these famous musicians taking out their phones and trying to record us singing,” Faithful said.

One organizer said it was the first time she’d seen a red carpet performance like that in her 18 years of experience, Faithful recalled.

“Thank you so much for doing that for us. You just changed the vibe of the whole red carpet,” he recalled the woman saying.


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Seeing Cree round dance music on the international stage shows the “significant gift” that First Nations people have to offer, according to Tribal Chief Mark Arcand of the Saskatoon Tribal Council.

“It really provides … role models for our younger people to get our language and culture back. People flock to it,” Arcand said.

Young Spirit’s next album is set to be released in April.

“If we end up at the Grammy Awards next year, sure,” Faithful said with a shrug.

“But if we don’t, then you know what? We had an awesome time.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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