Pathways CSA is privileged to have hosted the 11th Annual Honour Round Dance in memory of the late Elder Gordon McGilvery on January 21, 2017. This year’s Round Dance saw hundreds of community members gathered in ceremony and celebration at Bowness Community Association’s Main Hall.

The Round Dance, which is a ceremony in itself, included a pipe ceremony, smudging and a big feast followed by rounds of dancing to traditional drumming and singing. People of all ages and backgrounds, from respected Elders to young children, joined together for healing and to give thanks for their blessings.

The Honourable Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan - MLA Edmonton Rutherford and Deborah Drever – MLA Calgary Bow were also in attendance at the Round Dance, where they expressed their appreciation to the community during their speeches.

The energy remained vibrant throughout the entire evening, beginning with the initial pipe ceremony that was followed by a delicious feast. The feast included traditional staples like stews and bannock, as well as roasts and cake for everyone. As per tradition, the food was freshly prepared on the day of the Round Dance itself and provided energy for all attendees to dance throughout the night.

Individuals, couples and families danced to music played by traditional drummers and singers, some of whom travel to Calgary from other Western Canadian cities for the Round Dance every year. As is customary, those in attendance received gifts that were blessed as part of the Giveaway Ceremony. Drummers and singers played a beautiful song of gratitude, and everyone held up the gifts they received as an open expression of thanks. Attendees also received food to take home and share with their families at the end of the night.

Pathways is truly blessed and honoured to be able to host a Round Dance every year. As always, we would like to acknowledge and thank everyone who made this year’s ceremony possible, especially to the amazing volunteers who kindly contributed their time and energy to making the 11th Annual Round Dance a huge success.

(Photos by Kevin McElheran)