Gilles Allard, a member of Red Deer College’s Board of Governors, was bestowed the honour of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Heritage Recognition Awards in Red Deer. He was acknowledged for his compelling leadership and significant contributions sharing Metis cultural heritage.
“To me, this is not an individual award but one for our family and connections over the many years that we have spent sharing our culture,” said Allard. “Showcasing our distinctively ‘made in Canada culture, eh’, has added to the richness of our diverse cultural mosaic in present day Canada, and it’s been a lot of fun and a treasure of fond memories shared with our children and others.”
Established in 2002, the Red Deer Heritage Recognition Awards acknowledge exceptional efforts by volunteers in heritage preservation, education and awareness in The City of Red Deer and Red Deer County.
In 1992, the Allards helped establish the Metis Dance Troupe and the Red Deer and Area Metis Cultural Society. His vast work with children and youth includes sharing and showcasing Metis culture in local schools and community events like Metis Magic – a day in the life of the Metis, at Fort Normandeau Days, Heritage Day and Canada Day. Along with serving on several boards and volunteering in the community, as part of his work within the Government of Alberta’s Public Safety Division, Gilles volunteered to assist as a facilitator for Alberta’s Indigenous Learning Initiative in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee.
“We appreciate the valuable time and effort that Gilles has devoted to sharing his knowledge and passion for Metis culture at Red Deer College and in our community,” said Joel Ward, RDC rresident and CEO. “This recognition is well deserved and his endeavours have positively impacted central Alberta, and beyond.”
The award was presented on November 2 at Festival Hall in Red Deer.
-Submitted by Red Deer College