2014 Annual Wine & Cheese

December 5th , 2014

“Bienvenue: our French heritage was the theme of our Annual Wine & Cheese Fundraiser at the community center. The weather certainly cooperated with us, as we had a full house of guests coming from all areas within the RM of Lac du Bonnet and beyond. Many new faces along with familiar faces enjoyed the evening of historical displays, entertainment, draws, fabulous French wines, and delicious foods featuring Sucre a la Crème.

Our French history focused around the areas of Maple Creek, Landerville, Crescent Bay, and of course Lac du Bonnet. For detailed information of the French settlements in these areas be sure to check our tab, titled “History and Stories” on this website.

001One of the displays featured George Veilleux’s christening gown from 1923. George and his family were long time residents of Lac du Bonnet. Joseph George Albert aka “Chief” Veilleux (1923-2001 )was a WW11 Vet ,City Hydro, and Natural Resources employee.

002Also displayed was a wonderful log cabin quilt made by the Roman Catholic Church ladies auxiliary for raffle during a card party . Maria David won the quilt and later passed it on to Evangeliste David in 1940.. This quilt was on loan from Laurentine Fournier for the evening. Louise Ylonen was generous enough to loan us a primitive hand carved chair and frame done by Jean Baptiste David who settled in Crescent Bay area during the depression.

Our special MC’s for the evening were Marie Hiebert and her father Archie Cing- Mars who spoke to the audience in both English and French .

Our wonderful entertainment consisted of Erin Okrainec who is an 11 year old Fiddler from Winnipeg. She has been playing the violin for just over 4 years. She has placed 1st in “10 and under” at the Manitoba Open 2013 Fiddle Contest and 2nd at the International Old Time Fiddlers Contest 2014 “Junior-Junior Division” held at the International Peace Gardens. Erin loves playing Old Time Fiddle Music.

“Old time has a fun swing, with lots of change-ups. When I play it, I just want to dance and smile.”

003Also playing some great French tunes were The duo “1 Plus 1” comprised of Ed Courcelles and Guy Lacroix. Ed hails from Pine Falls/Powerview and Guy from Lorette. Both now live in the Lac du Bonnet area and have taken to music as a retirement activity. They entertain in both English and French and have been regulars for years at various venues in the Franco-Manitoban community such as the Festival du Voyageur.
The event proved to be another great success and we especially thank the many French descendants who so willingly dug deep into their history and old photos, allowing us to tell their stories, and our local businesses and volunteers for their continued support.

Sucre à la Crème

  • 1 C. heavy whipping cream 35%
  • 1 1/2 C. brown sugar 1 1/2 C. white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. butter 1 tsp vanilla a pinch of salt
  • Boil cream & sugars together on medium heat stirring constantly until soft ball stage .
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla & salt. Stir approx. 3 mins. to cool down , then add butter. Stir vigorously until thickened like gravy.
  • Place into parchment lined 9 x 9 pan and let cool about 2 hours.

2013 Annual Wine & Cheese

December 6, 2013
2013 Wine & Cheese

2013 Wine & Cheese

"Sveikt" Latvian Heritage took place two days after a major snow storm which left Lac du Bonnet with a downfall of 10 - 12 inches of snow. The weather that evening was -25 without the wind chill. Needless to say we were concerned that the turnout would be affected.

However at 6:15 pm the guests began to arrive. We had approx. 145 people, which equaled last years' attendance.

Lettonia balsam firs were centerpieces on each table, and a huge Lettonia Balsam was placed beside the four photo display boards and artifacts.The photo displays showcased: Bird River, Lee River, Lettonia, and Newcombe Latvian immigrants, Latvian entrepreneurial spirit, "Janis", Newcombe School, and Lettonia Post Office.

2013 Wine & Cheese

2013 Wine & Cheese

The artifact displays featured John Lapin's story including a home tanned leather jacket and bag, carved wooden tool handles he sold through Osis Building Supply, and homemade soap made by his wife Mary. The Sarapu broad ax was wedged into a hewed dovetailed log and told the story of the Sarapu family barn. There was also displayed a Latvian doll donated by Peggy Yuill (Sarapu), a hand hooked rug, and a Latvian wool blanket on loan from the Apsit family, Latvian woven fabric, embroidery, knitted socks, and mitts from Aina Turton, along with a Latvian inspired embroidered skirt donated by the Dancyt family. There was an original wax paper bread wrapper (framed) circa 1947 from the Usackis Bakery which showcased their 25 years at the bakery. Also showcased was an anvil from Alex Dancyt telling his story, the original Bird River 1924 and 1936 school records, and an old box of sturgeon hooks along side Alfred Apsit photo with a huge sturgeon catch. A color portrait of Arnold Urban playing his accordion done by Gay Kirby, who was Lettonia Albert Johnson's daughter added to the display.

We also had for sale three local history books "Caviar and Venison", "The House Beside the Rock Hill", and "Tramway to the Pointe".

2013 Wine & Cheese

2013 Wine & Cheese

Karen David (Dancyt) was the MC who gave a short story of her grandfather Alex Dancyt coming to Lac du Bonnet from Latvia with just the shirt on his back, becoming a camp cook, laborer, blacksmith, baker, and eventually a store and dance hall owner ( Aleda Hall).

She spoke of the Austin street connection in Winnipeg where her mom lived upstairs.

Mary Louise Chown with her Dulcimer and Donna Drysdale (Aina Turton's daughter), accompanied on guitar by her son Jordon, performed Latvian folk tales and songs to the delight of the audience.

Arnold Urban on accordian, Allan Urban on guitar, and Betty Dancyt on keyboard also performed. Betty has been playing with Arnold for 64 years in the Lac du Bonnet area.

Allan was showing the audience a bit of the Urban humor by his intervening comments.

Susan Karklin, Diane Neal, and Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Drawson served their homemade pirags to the guests at the tables.

The finger food also consisted of local smoked goldeye and Dancyt's Kurtwurst sausage.

The atmosphere was wonderful, there were tears shed, laughter abound, and friendships reunited. Joyce Alksne shed a tear when a lady brought in her grandfather's citizenship paper from 1918 which had John Alksne's signature on it.

We thank all our local businesses and volunteers who contributed to the success of this event.


2012 Annual Wine & Cheese

December 7, 2012
2012 Wine & CheeseThis year the Lac du Bonnet and District Historical Society combined the annual wine & cheese event with a historical tribute to the Ukrainian settlements in the area. The title of the fundraiser was Brightstone our Ukrainian Heritage and welcomed a full house of curious onlookers. Guests were treated to a wonderful array of foods including the ever popular local smoked fish and Mrs. Betty Kondratiuk's Pyrizhky. Various wines were served along with a Ukrainian beer that sold out quickly.
Rosemary and Charlene Todaschuk sang wonderful Ukrainian songs to the audience dressed in traditional Ukrainian costumes. Tracy Rossier talked about the important folklore of the pysanka egg traditions and had a display of her fine work. Mohutniy Dance Ensemble from Anola performed several Ukrainian dances which was well received to the delight of the audience.
Former Brightstone schoolteacher (1949) Wally Stoyko came from Winnipeg to attend the event and spoke briefly on his family's immigration to Canada. He was so pleased to meet his former grade 4 student Ernie Okrainec at the event. Diane Picknicki talked about Ukrainian customs and traditions of which many are still practiced today.
83 pounds of food was collected at the door and donated to local the food bank.
Silent auction, rainbow auction, and 50 / 50 draw were held to raise funds for the Lac du Bonnet and District Historical Society.
We would like to thank local businesses, members, and everyone who generously donated prizes and their time to make this event a success.

A Family Affair for Erickson Brothers

December 15, 2011 - By Marc Zienkiewicz; Lac du Bonnet Leader

For Grant and Derek Erickson of Lac du Bonnet, history runs in the family.

The two brothers took some time out of their evening December 9, 2011 to stop in at the Lac du Bonnet and District Historical Society's annual wine and cheese fundraising evening, which celebrates and raises cash for the society's historical museum in Halliday Park.

The museum building is a restored version of the Hans Erickson Log Cabin, formerly located in Old Pinawa.

It was built by Grant and Derek's great-grandfather in 1935.

"He built it for his daughter, Linnea," said Grant. "You don't see many of these old homesteads being preserved. Nowadays people buy land and they tear it down and build a new house."

And while the brothers don't have any memories of their great-grandfather, thinking of the cabin brought back memories of their grandfather Axel (Hans' son), who worked for Manitoba Hydro for years.

The evening was a huge success once again, said historical society president Kathy Willis, with at least 200 people showing up.

The museum will officially open in the spring, and the historical society is already trying to arrange to hire a student to staff it.

The historical society celebrated the opening of the museum earlier this year with a free pork roast, open to everyone in the community. A cake decorated with spruce trees and a log cabin was donated by Waterview Bakery for the occasion.

"We were overwhelmed! Certainly the (hot weather) had something to do with it but our purpose was to thank our volunteers and most of all to let the people of Lac du Bonnet know that they now have a museum to be proud of," Willis said.

2010 Annual Wine & Cheese

December 10, 2010

A Wine and Cheese Fundraiser was held on December 9, 2010, at the Lac du Bonnet Community Centre.

The celebration format has not changed much through the years. A popular draw to the event is the fish smoked locally by one of our members. In additon, a wide variety of appetizers were offered together with crackers and cheeses. Wines from many countries, and including some Canadian beers, were offered for sale. The free punch as always is a popular refreshment. Towards the end of the evening coffee was served together with a wide assortment of home-made dainties.

Each year as in the past years singers and musicians from the community volunteered to entertain the crowd. This year it was the sweet voice of Esme Boone and the gentle sounds of a golden harp that she hand-crafted for herself. The relaxing ambiance is helped by low overhead lighting and the glowing candlelight centering each table.

The crowd generously participated in the purchase of items presented for auction. Also available were 50/50 tickets and door prizes.

It is through the generosity that our community displays at this type of fund-raiser that will allow the Society to complete the building renovations and open it as a museum during the summer of 2011.

Submitted by:
Miriam Simoens, Secretary
The Lac du Bonnet and District Historical Society Inc.