Sault Métis Centre excited for grand opening

Staff at the new Sault Metis Centre are getting set for the grand opening Saturday.

Local Metis officials will be joined by representatives from the municipal and federal governments. The centre has been in the works since the Anglican Church turned over the land in 2017.

It’s a day Kimberly Powley, president of the Historical Sault Ste. Marie Metis Council, has been looking forward to for a long time. She said there will be a number of events during Saturday’s grand opening.

“We’re going to start the day off with our sunrise ceremony," said Powley.

"We’re going to have various events throughout the day. Our Metis voyageur games, (and) at the end of the day, we’re going to end with a fire and open mic night."

Also joining the festivities is Metis fiddler Alicia Bloor, who will be performing.

Metis Nation of Ontario Region Four Coun. Mitch Case said a lot of work has gone into the property, which was once home to John Street Anglican Church. He said the former rectory office needed to be rebuilt.

“It was in pretty rough shape,” said Case. “The former tenants had essentially destroyed the building. And so we completely, almost from the ground up, rebuilt the house. The hall has had some accessibility work done.”

Case said the next phase is the completion of the museum, which is expected to open sometime in 2023.

“We’re thinking about it more as a cultural centre,” he said.

“So, it’ll have a museum component for preservation of our history, but also a creation space for the housing of workshops and cultural activities, because it’s a living, breathing, vibrant culture. So it’s not just like, here’s what we used to do. It’s here’s what we’re doing right now.”