Métis artist Nathalie Coutou and son Kaëlin with the team from Arbor Gallery on Saturday, June 18. Photo: Arbor Gallery

Serendipity best describes weekend events at Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre. In their own powerful and personal way, two strong, talented women shared their truth and light, captivating audiences last weekend (July 18-19).

Nathalie Coutou

Métis artist Nathalie Coutou, who reconnected in her early 20’s with her Indigenous heritage through the guidance and teachings of Mi’kmaq Elder Stephen Augustine, delivered a deeply inspiring talk to guests assembled for her vernissage. A skilled storyteller, she spoke about her truth, recounting anecdotes and lessons learned on the path of life.

Coutou touched the audience, often to tears, with her message of humanity and connection. She recalled with respect and awe her adult-children’s grandfather, well-known Elder, the late Elijah Harper, who helped influence them to stand proudly in their culture and identity. Playing traditional drum, accompanied by her younger son, she sang two Indigenous songs and completed the afternoon with a Speaking Circle that was moving and heartwarming for everyone.

Nathalie Coutou’s artwork is part of Indigenous history month exhibition and runs until July 3. Some items from her clothing and accessories line were brought to the gallery from gallery-boutique Khewa (www.khewa.com) located in Wakefield, QC and can be purchased at the gallery.

Lynne Hanson

On Sunday evening, enthusiastic patrons showed up to welcome back Lynne Hanson, freshly returned from her world tour. Accompanied by gifted guitarist Blair Michael Hogan, Hanson captivated her audience with songs from new album Ice Cream in November and more. She too, a skilled storyteller, spoke her truth, sharing with guests the inspiration behind each song in a light yet inspiring way.

Singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson and guitarist Blair Michael Hogan performed a special Father’s Day concert at Arbor Gallery in Vankleek Hill on Sunday, June 19. Photo: Arbor Gallery

In what was one of the evening’s highlights, Hanson unplugged her instrument and moved closer to her audience.

“You are what keeps me going.” the artist told her audience “It is when we perform live that we, as musicians, are validated and keep our doubts in check. This song is for you”.

Lynne Hanson’s music and tour information can be found on www.lynnehanson.com

Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre is located at 36 Home Avenue, at the heart of Vankleek Hill. Summer hours on Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. More information about programming and events on Arbor Gallery’s Facebook page, website or Twitter, by subscribing to the gallery’s newsletter at www.arborgallery.org or by email at [email protected]