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V'ni Dansi

Louis Riel Métis Dancers

Louis Riel Métis Dancers

Yvonne Chartrand

Yvonne Chartrand is a contemporary choreographer and dancer as well as a national award-winning master Métis jigger. Her ancestors come from the Métis community of St. Laurent, Manitoba.

Eloi Homier - Artistic Associate

Born and raised on traditional Algonquin territory, Eloi Homier usually dances, canoes, and stargazes on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Everything Eloi undertakes – from dance and theatre, to storytelling canoe adventures, to sash-weaving, to astronomy (under the pseudonym Moon Guy Next Door) – has its raison d'être in his search for authentic identity.

With family lines stretching back 400 years and beyond on the territory now called Québec, Eloi is on a lifelong journey to weave his distant Gallic origins with his sprinkling of Wendat, Abénaki, Algonquin, and Nipissing roots in a way that gives a voice to his ancestors.

André Bessette - Tour Coordinator

André Bessette has been a grateful visitor to the ancestral lands of the Tsawwassen, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations since his birth. His roots are mixed settler of French, Croatian, Irish, as well as Métis from the Red River Settlement on the ancestral territories of Anishinaabe and Néhiyaw Nations where Treaty 1 and 2 lay. As a disconnected urban Métis, he is reconnecting with family, community, urban cousins, and culture.

Untraditionally trained in dance, André found the gregariousness of jigging matched his personality. He has been trained in swing, breakdance, house, and burlesque from a variety of community dance teachers. André has been taught jigging by Yvonne Chartrand, and other Métis dancers, in Compaigni V’ni Dansi since 2018.

André Bessette has performed in Louis Riel Day Celebrations since 2019. He has performed at the Talking Stick Festival (2020, 2022), Vancouver Pride Parade (2022, 2023), and attended jigging competitions at Back to Batoche Days and Asham Stomperfest in 2023.

André is deeply intrigued in dance styles that develop through cultural, interpersonal, and passionate exchanges. André is inspired by the spirit of ‘street dance,’ when the style and form of a dance are built from the ground up by a community of dancers rather than by a formal institution. Métis jigging represents Néhiyaw, Anishnaabe, French, Irish, and Scottish cultural dances coming together to bring a new dance into being. André desires to preserve and share Métis jigging while continuing to innovate, grow, and adapt, just as our ancestors did.

When André isn’t dancing, he is a complete nerd, argues about politics, and consumes all kinds of media. He volunteers on the board of Urban Native Youth Association and has worked for Indigenous Non-Profit Organizations in Vancouver over the past decade.


Sophie Dow

Jeanette Kotowich

Treaty 1-born Sophie Dow is a multidisciplinary creative, inspired by dance, music, film, collaboration and Michif/Assiniboine + French/Ukrainian roots. An avid adventurer, Sophie exudes passions for busking, yoga and traveling on top of holding a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from York University.  Sophie presently fulfills roles as: artistic associate of O.Dela Arts, Chimera Dance Theatre & V’ni Dansi/Louis Riel Métis Dancers, residency coordinator at Dance West Network, musician with The Honeycomb Flyers, a licensed practitioner of Traditional Thai Massage, a trained facilitator & student of BreathWave, a freelance dancer/choreographer/sound designer and a puddle jumping trickster.


Tristen Howse

Tristen Jayde Howse was born in Burnaby in 2003. Her passion for the arts began in 2012 when she started Hip Hop, Gymnastics and Piano. Her love for dance grew stronger in 2015 when she decided to take on dance full time, enrolling in a large variety of dances including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, Stage, Acrobatics, and Tumbling. Tristen joined V’ni Dansi in 2020, she is extremely grateful for the opportunity to be part of the company, she is always learning and taking in all the knowledge that comes with being part of V’ni Dansi.


Evan Ducharme

Evan was born on the traditional territories of the Anishinabe, Cree, Dakota, Métis and Oji-Cree Nations (Winnipeg, MB), and was raised in the lakeside Métis community of St. Ambroise. Growing up completely immersed in Métis culture, Ducharme has studied traditional and contemporary dance since childhood. He has performed across Canada as well as at the opening of an exhibit commemorating Métis veterans at the Canadian War Museum in France in 2010. In 2012, Ducharme completed studies at the Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver in Fashion Design, and launched his eponymous clothing label in the same year. This past year Ducharme presented his latest collection at the inaugural Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week. Many of his inspirations and philosophy in design derive from his Métis heritage and the naturally diverse surroundings of his traditional territory. Ducharme currently lives and works on the ancestral, traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil Waututh and Squamish Peoples (Vancouver). 

Justin Ducharme

Jen Dunford

Justin was born and raised in the small Métis community of St. Ambroise, Manitoba. Proud of his indigenous heritage, he started dancing at the age of 10 and was a devoted member of the Metis dance group The St. Ambroise Youth Steppers. With them he travelled all across Canada and even France - performing and sharing their dance with the world. Living in the sometimes desolate prairies allowed him to take refuge and comfort in a love for cinema, and he became obsessed with the process of storytelling. 

After graduating high school, determined to learn more about the craft, he moved to Vancouver, BC to go to film school. Taking a liking to writing, he started dabbling in screenplays and poetry, exploring & expanding his storytelling using these newly acquired skills and knowledge. Independent filmmaking has always thrilled him and he continues to relish it by creating small, low budget projects for himself and fellow young artists to collaborate on. He is inspired by the everyday complexities of human beings, their relationships and interactions with one another, but also by his upbringing, growing up in the prairies, and more importantly growing up an indigenous person of Canada. Connecting with Yvonne Chartrand through a relative - he just recently started dancing again - with the Louis Riel Métis Dancers and takes immense pleasure in learning more about Métis dance and getting back into the cultural practise that made him who he is today. 

Jeanette Kotowich

Originally from Treaty 4 territory Saskatchewan, Jeanette creates work that reflects Nêhiyaw/Métis cosmology within the context of contemporary dance, Indigenous performance, and Indigenous futurism. Fusing interdisciplinary collaboration, de-colonial practices and embodied research methodologies; Jeanette’s work references protocol, ritual, relationship to the natural/spirit world and Ancestral knowledge. Their practice is intergenerational and vocational; it’s a living and lived experience. 

Her creations have been presented at theatres and festivals across Turtle Island and internationally. Her solo Kisiskâciwan premiered in Vancouver 2022, and has since toured to 8 cities nationally, and to Germany and Australia. Her ensemble work Kwê was presented at Matriarchs Uprising and Dance in Vancouver 2021/22. She is now working on a new ensemble called BOLT, a work for 4 performing artists. Jeanette is the Artistic Associate at Raven Spirit Dance, and co-founder of aka collective. Jeanette has been part of the Louis Riel Métis Dancers and V'ni Dansi since 2009. She resides as a guest on the Ancestral and unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ/, and Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territories, colonially known as Vancouver.

Photo credit: collaboration with Sharai Mustatia 


Jordan Waunch

Jeanette Kotowich

Jordan Waunch is a Métis performing artist, public speaker, and award winning filmmaker based in the Coast Salish territories. A graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology's Film And Television Production Program, Jordan has gone on to build a career focused on the development of Indigenous led storytelling in film, TV, animation, and XR media. In 2019 he directed the project "Sisters Of Sorrow" through StoryHive’s first ever Indigenous Storyteller Edition and produced the Queer Indigenous horror film “Terror/Forming” (Dir. Rylan Friday). His most recent directing project "Shadow Of The Rougarou" is playing on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network's streaming service Lumi.


Olivia Carriere McKenna

Olivia was born and raised and currently resides as an urban Métis on the traditional territory of the Tsawwassen and Musqueam First Nations. Her family roots are from the Red River in Treaty 1 Territory in Manitoba with Olivia’s maternal grandfather and great grandfather coming from Métis settlement St. Boniface and her great grandmother from Métis settlement St.Laurent. Métis through her mother, Olivia is also mixed European settler through her father. Olivia comes from a long line of Métis who where and are politically active and resistance fighters with her family names Carriere, Hamelin, Parenteau, Vandal, St. Germain and McGillvary. Olivia has been dancing with the Louis Riel Métis Dancers for the past year and finds so much joy through this traditional art. Aside from jigging, Olivia is full time student at UBC in Critical Indigenous Studies. 


Madelaine McCallum

Madelaine McCallum

Madelaine is a dancer from Ile a la Crosse, Saskatchewan. Though her main focus is Métis dance (she's been jigging since she could walk!), she enjoys all forms including Pow Wow, contemporary, and hip hop. As well as performing for such well established organizations as Métis Nation British Columbia and Métis National Council, she also performed in the opening ceremonies for the 2010 winter olympics. Madelaine is also a teacher. She has spent the past 10 years working with the Louis Riel Métis Dancers on traditional Métis dance. Madelaine traveled to Batoche Days and won first place in her age category in 2009. When Madelaine is not dancing she can be seen modeling for Aboriginal clothing line, Artifaax Clothing and working for Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre as the Aboriginal Youth Facilitator.

Madelaine is very thankful for all the opportunities that have come her way since moving to British Columbia because growing up in a town as small as Ile a la Crosse, these things just don't seem possible. Her deep love of dance and firm belief in its healing powers, for the audience as well as the dancer, is what makes Madelaine McCallum such a name to look out for.


Lyric Tsuji

Lyric was born in Vancouver in 1999. She began dancing at the age of four and studied many styles of dance including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, Polynesian, musical theatre, stage, acrobatics, and tumbling. She is very passionate about the performing arts whether it be singing, acting, or dancing. Lyric has also been part of two musicals. She was Evillene the wicked witch of the west in The Wiz, and Ms. Potts in The Beauty and The Beast. Lyric joined V'ni Dansi in March 2017 and is honoured to be part of the company. Lyric is currently a full time student at SFU where she is studying Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Lyric is glad to have the V'ni Dansi practices, rehearsals, and performances as they provide an environment where she can destress and just enjoy dancing.


Perelandra Waddle

Perelandra Waddle is a proud Métis citizen whose family history hails from Red River Manitoba and the St. Louis Métis settlement of Saskatchewan. They are an interdisciplinary performing artist with an extensive background in ballet, tap, contemporary, modern, lyrical jazz, hip-hop, musical theatre, and classical and contemporary Western theatre performance and have recently graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BFA in Dance. Having grown up as a guest on Urban Coast Salish territory they began reconnecting to their cultural heritage in their adolescence and hope to continue learning the oral histories of Métis people and harness this knowledge towards positive change through contemporary art and education for the future generations of Métis youth.

Deborah Augier







Deborah was raised in Wabamun Lake, Alberta, Treaty 6 territory. Deborah’s mom was Cree and Iroquois, and her father was a Métis Veteran.  She grew up in a very traditional Métis family in the countryside, along with eight siblings. Her father was an accomplished fiddler and avid hunter and her mom loved to dance, do beadwork, canning, and speaking Cree! Deborah graduated in 2002 “Aboriginal Digital Filmmaking Program” from the Native Education Centre in Vancouver. Storytelling through digital media based on Indigenous teachings and culture, creating and collaborating on short films and documentaries. Also, in 2005 graduated from Kairos Yoga Studio as a Yoga Instructor, working with Indigenous youth at risk combining yoga teachings, and Métis culture, teaching meditation, postures, and mindful breathing. Her Yoga physicality transformed into free form dance and then Métis Dancing with Vni Dansi from 2009 – 2013. Deborah rejoined Vni Dansi in October, 2021.

Deborah has written a collection of poetry over a 25-year span. Her first collection entitled “When the Sun Turned Dark” and has started a second collection entitled “Métis Spirit”.


Adam McKenna






Adam is a Métis citizen of Métis Nation British Columbia with his family roots found in Red River, the Métis homeland in Manitoba and Treaty 1 territory.  Métis on his mother’s side, Adam also has Welsh and European settler roots on his fathers side. Adam’s family names include Carriere, Hamelin, Paranteau, Vandal, St. Germain and McGillvary. Adam’s maternal grandfather was born in St. Boniface, the heart of the Red River settlement, while both his great-parents also hail from the Red River settlement, his great-grandmother from the historic Métis community of St. Laurent where the family was politically active. Adam was born in and currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territory, and grew up in Delta, British Columbia on the ancestral lands of the sc̓əwaθən məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen) First Nation in Ladner.

Adam is currently a member of the year 17 Indigenous Youth Internship Program cohort with the ministry of Water Land and Resource Stewardship and is also pursuing a combined bachelor of science in environmental sciences, chemistry, and biology at the University of British Columbia. In his free time, Adam enjoys dancing with the Louis Riel Métis Dancers where he is one of the newest performers, dancing and performing with the dance company for less than a year.

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V'ni Dansi
Métis Traditional & Contemporary Dance
PO Box 95071 Kingsgate
Vancouver, BC V5T 4T8