The Holiday Avenue Project group officially unveiled the latest addition to their efforts.  A “kanoo” (Métis spelling for canoe) was placed in the media in the east end of Saskatchewan Avenue in Portage la Prairie. It represents the city’s namesake of “portaging” across the prairies.

City councillor Faron Nicholls was there and shared thoughts from the city.

“I had a quick conversation with the mayor yesterday. We're so, so pleased anytime we get beautification that meets and is right in line with our Strategic Plan and where we're going. This is just a very unique and very symbolic piece of beautification for our city.”

He explains it's welcomed with open arms.

“I know that there was a great collaboration because I was at the Métis Federation meeting with the local chapter. How this came together was absolutely amazing. Then having that cooperation with our wonderful committee that is taking care of our Avenue, looking for the seasonal part of it is another great Holiday Avenue project. Thank you all for your time, your commitment, and on behalf of the mayor and council, thank you.”

Holiday Avenue Project and Portage chapter of Manitoba Métis FederationHoliday Avenue Project and Portage chapter of Manitoba Métis Federation

Lori Carlson-Judson is with the Holiday Avenue Project and says it’s beautiful project of collaboration between Manitoba Métis Federation’s local chapter and the Holiday Avenue Project, with cooperation from the City and several others who have donated items for the effort.

“In Portage la Prairie, you've got to portage across these prairies. That's just been sitting as an idea for a long time. I know we've got signage outside of town that indicates that, but what a great way to unify the city by starting a project like this.”

She adds more will be coming as a nice way to celebrate our community.

“We do have plans for another one greeting in the West End. That, of course, can't be done until the main Avenue is completed. We're ready and it's a collaboration again.”

Debbie Cebry is part of the Portage Métis local and is on the Culture and Heritage group.

“I teamed up with Bonnie Houle who had this idea. We worked together as a team to make this happen. I couldn't be more proud. It’s wonderful. They’re great people to work with. This is our first major collaboration and we're open to ideas.”

Carlson-Judson adds they’re also open to more people to help with their work.

“It's a whole volunteer group that has put this together. We have other projects such as decorating down the Avenue through the winter seasons when we've got different kinds of seasonal, things happening. We are looking always for people to help, whether it's to volunteer once, or join; it's all open.”

Cebry adds, “I think they're a wonderful committee to work with it was great for everybody.”