Arts and crafts have a special place in the Pontiac. They are represented by painters, sculptors, potters, cabinetmakers, ironworkers, musicians and dancers. The Pontiac’s diversity is fully expressed in this living heritage.
The Pontiac excels in its various talents, in all cultural areas which consist of: literature, visual arts, music, theatre, dance and artisans. The public can appreciate these talents during numerous events organized in the Pontiac, like the Artist Tour and the Isle-aux-Allumettes Heritage Day. The Regional Portrait provides you with more information about the locations where the artists display their works of arts and exhibits.
The artistic traditions in the Pontiac date back to the ancient Archaic Laurentian time period with copper bracelets and other objects found near the Morrison Islands' sacred burial grounds (Isle-aux Allumettes). In fact, the Algonquins and their ancestors were excellent copper artists. The objects they made, hooks, needles, spire points, were in great demand amongst other First Nations before the arrival of the Europeans. To date, the most visible proof of the artistic and spiritual expression of the first nation’s people is the red ochre rock art, located on the rock faces of the Oiseau-Rock. This art demonstrates the millennial presence of the first nations and was used during funeral rituals, in the form of diverse drawings (animals, supernatural beings, boats, etc...) in order to mark the connection between the living and spiritual world.
The first immigrants brought with them another concept about the world and beyond, as well as other means of expression that was unheard of to the First Nation people at that time. While, for several reasons the culture blending between the Europeans and the Algonquins left few real traces, the 19th century was marked by intense cultural exchanges, sometimes conflicting, between the immigrants of diverse origins: Irish, Scottish, French, German, and Polish. Though the Europeans had a tendency to gather in ethnocultural groups, the consequences of doing so limited their intercultural exchanges. The blending of cultures slowly emerged in language, music and dance. The Pontiac is fortunate to still benefit from this lively heritage that finds its origins in the logging camps where the style of music centred on violin and tap dancing often seen in French Canadian and Irish traditions.
Cultural traditions in the new live artistic heritage, is represented on the Pontiac stage in an unseen complexity that intermingles with each other in the form of line dancing and contemporary dance, fiddlers, folklore and the traditional percussions of Morocco.
Regularly we encourage you to come and discover spotlight artists.