Traditional French Canadian sugar shack event celebrated at Ville Beausejour

Isabelle Doran and Nicole Helmus preparing traditional fried bread for the Villa Beausejour sugar shack event.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff
Things at Villa Beausejour were in carnival mode February 9, as residents celebrated the French Canadian tradition of cabine de sucre or sugar shack.

“As you can see they have the French sashes around their waists,” says Villa manager Aline Roy. “And the ladies traditionally wore bonnets but of course, we don’t have enough bonnets for everyone.”

The roughly two-hour event had a number of activities including log sawing, nail hammering and the clothesline.

In the spirit of friendly rivalry, the residents competed to see who could out-perform the other at these tasks.

There were a lot of experienced men and women when it came to nail hammering and a couple less experienced such as Aline Roy’s two youngest granddaughters, Zoe and Mila.

The clothesline competition was fun with two participants, at either end of the line, competed to hang out laundry the fastest.

Towards the end of the event, traditional fried bread and coffee were served to the residents and their guests, as 10 seniors from Valleyview and 10 from High Prairie came to Falher for the occasion.

“Heidi, the activity coordinator from Valleyview and Norma from High Prairie came with residents just before lunch,” says Roy.

To get in the spirit of celebration locally, the Villa always scheduled its sugar shack event the week before Carnaval de St-Isidore to get people in the mood for the big winter carnival.

Villa residents participating in the nail hammering competition.

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