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Haida language building fundraiser a success

Submitted by Xaad Kihlgaa Hl Suu.u-The Old Massett Haida Language efforts are that much closer to their dream of building a Haida Language Building, thanks to the support of all who came out to 'Haalaa Gataaw' - a night of entertainment, music, 'Copper Chef' cook off, the Haida version of the dating game, great food, art auction, and wonderful company! March 31 saw many in the community gather to show their support and have a rousing time at the Driftwood Lounge in Massett.
Xaad Kihlgaa Hl Suu.u, (meaning 'Speak Haida'), the local language revitalization umbrella organization, would like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance from the organizing committee: local theatre aficionado Jenny Nelson, the enthusiastic and ever-creative David Phillips, Bobbi Parnell, Goldie Swanson and Leona Clow.
The Copper Chef portion of the evening was hosted by Art Lew, and the Copper Chef competitors Margaret Edgars, Kelly Deering, David Quezeda, Kiku Dhanwant, Leanne Vogstad, and Roberta Olsen were judged by Joyce Bennett and Kimiko von Boetticher. The judges had a difficult time choosing the Copper Chef winner David Quezada as all dishes were absolutely superb. Lynda Dixon and the Haida Gwaii local food processing co-op provided all the chanterelle mushrooms used in the event. Jen Wilson made the 'Copper Chef' medallion, which will be worn by the winner until the next Copper Chef cook off!
Ken Rea was Master of Ceremonies for the event and kept the crowd captivated with his wit and humour. The musical talent throughout the evening included Dominique on accordion, Vern Williams Jr. on the drum and flute, Tsiini Stephen Brown on saxophone, the Tluu Xaadaa Naay Dancers, and Nick and Jonathan on the guitar.
The Haida version of the dating game was a rousing crowd pleaser for the evening, with host Mike McLeod, aka 'HarveyWallbanger', overseeing lucky local bachelors vie for the attention of a bachelorette. On that same note, lucky local bachelorettes vied for the attention of 'Big Wave Dave', and the winning couples got a paid trip for two to Juskatla, complete with a tent and huckleberry wine!
The art auction, the finale of the evening, included art pieces from local artists April Churchill, Cory Bulpitt, Jaalen Edenshaw, Christine Carty, Joyce Bennett, Goldie Swanson, Bill Bellis, Reg Davidson, Clara Hugo, Vern Williams Jr., Chris Collison, Sandy Gagnon, Leo Gagnon, items from Crystal Cabin; t-shirts, aprons, CDs from Xaad Kihlgaa Hl Suu.u, as well as Doug Coupland, as well as many other local artists who we extend our heartfelt haaw.aas to.
Xaad Kihlgaa Hl Suu.u acknowledges the hard work and assistance from Judy Smith and Robbie Williams at the door, Elizabeth Moore for set up and dishes dishes and more dishes, Brad Collison (sushi, fish, dishes), decorating by Marni York, kitchen help from Crystal Swanson, Diane Yorke, Linda Parnell and Christine Carty for their awesome haguu; Joe for his wicked pulled pork; Sandy Gagnon and Val and Â…, at the bar, donations and help from Patricia Moore, Vince Collison, Jeffrey Williams, Hope Setso in charge of loonie toonie, Jack Litrell and Charlie Robertson in charge of sound, Jen Wilson and Charlie Turner in charge of lighting; event photographer Alan Wilson, servers Erica Stocker, Vanna Collison, Pam White, Raven Ann Potschka, Jay Bellis; and food donations from SeaPac, Lynda Dixon and the HG food co-op, Bayview Market, Copper Beech House for sushi supplies, Old Massett Village Council for use of tables and dishes, New Massett fireman for use of tablecloths, Darrin Swanson for use of wine glasses, clean up crew Jaalen Edenshaw, Jeff Parnell, Ernie Swanson, Shaylana and Gavin Brown, and Robbie Smith. A special Haa.waa to the Greater Massett Development Corp. for the generous donation of the use of the Driftwood Lounge.
Finally, Xaad Kihlgaa Hl Suu.u gives a huge haaw.aa to the elder speakers Mary Swanson, Adelia Adams, Claude Jones, Stephen Brown, Emily Goertzen, Primrose Adams, and Gertie White, whose larger than life presence and support made the fundraiser all that it could be. We shall succeed and build this building to house all of our Xaad Kil revitalization efforts, especially with the continued support of the community. Daman wadluwan Haaw.aa!