Last summer, the Michaud House was home to a tea parting celebrating the Langley Memorial Hospital. Now, the house is getting it’s own celebration. (Langley Advance Times Files)

Say Bon Appétit with Langley Heritage Society

French Canadian history celebrated with fundraiser picnic at Michaud House

Picnickers are invited to a celebration of Langley’s French heritage on front lawn of the historical Michaud House, Sunday, August 4.

The fundraiser for Langley Heritage Society will host visitors 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and consist of talks and entertainment put on by Voyageurs and Co.

The group was created by local artist Joanne Plourde, who has worked to dramatized and preserve the stories of the Voyageurs, French Canadian paddlers during the fur trade.

Voyageurs and Co is comprised of members from the Lower Mainland who dress up in traditional garb and sing French, Canadian, and First Nation songs.

Tom Hammel, Langley Heritage Society secretary said the event is a first for Langley which highlights an often unknown aspect of local history.

“Voyageurs and Co. contacted us about doing something with French Canadian history about song and spoken word,” Hammel explained. “It’s a good fit to celebrate the first French Canadian family who built here in Langley.”

The Michaud House was built in 1888 by Joseph and Georgiana Michaud, the first French Canadian family to settle in the Langley area. It was once a thriving dairy farm while the very first Roman Catholic mass was said to take place inside the house.

The structure was designated as a heritage sit in 1980 and underwent restorations by the Langley Historical Society and Arts Council.

The picnic runs alongside Fort Langley National Historic Site’s Brigade Days, which celebrates Canada’s trading history including the involvement of the Voyaguers.

The Michaud House picnic program will feature a discussion with historian Robert Foxcurren about the expedition of 1824, which is believed to have sparked the beginning of BC.

Maurice Guibord, President of the La Société historique francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (SHFCB), will talk about the history of the the Michaud House at noon.

A concert will then follow, featuring Plourde, Réjean Bussières, and Roger Loubert dressed up as historical characters playing guitar and singing songs of the Voyageurs at 12:30 p.m.

“The goal is to provide a window into the past and educate in a fun way. It’s a brand new partnership and a way for Langley to come see the home and learn about it,” Hammel added.

Read more: Some tea with your history: Langley hospital archives re-open

Tickets to take part in the festivities are $15 and can be obtained from Sandra Reams at 604-534-4435.

Coffee, tea, and pastries are included with admission, but picnickers must bring their own lunch, along with their own chair or blanket to sit on.

For more information on Voyageurs and Co, people are invited to contact Joanne Plourde at psychiccolours@telus.net.

The Michaud House is located on the corner of 204 St and 51 a Ave on the border of Portage Park.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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