Le Vent Du Nord in Medina, OH

By Stephen Manuszak

Le Vent Du Nord—“The North Wind”—arrived in Cleveland on the heels of a snowstorm to start their final tour as part of Arts Midwest World Fest. The group had just finished tours through Europe and Alberta, Canada, as well as Idaho and Montana, but their workshops were as energetic and joyful as ever.

Their week in Medina, Ohio, and the surrounding area started with a welcome reception that included homemade sweets, a short performance, and discussions with local residents, including the mayor of Medina. Ensemble member Nicolas Boulerice explained the hurdy gurdy, a stringed instrument similar to a violin but played by turning a crank. Learn more about the instrument in the Arts Midwest World Fest study guide!

A crowd watches a band member play the hurdy gurdy

The next day’s event at Brunswick Library drew a crowd from across the Medina region, with a rapt audience ranging from babies and toddlers to senior citizens.

A crowd watches a band member play the mouth harp

Le Vent du Nord encouraged everyone in the audience to participate and ask questions about Québécois music and culture. A French class from a high school near Cleveland also made the trip to Brunswick Library for the opportunity to meet the band. Their teacher remarked that her students learned more about language and culture in one workshop than she could have taught in a month!

A student raises their hand to ask a question

The ensemble then traveled to the Medina County Home, which provides housing and nursing care to senior citizens with limited financial means.

People seated watching a performance in a community room

The residents tapped their feet, clapped their hands, and said that this was one of the best activities they’ve ever had at the Medina County Home. Thomas Sigel, the Executive Director of our partner organization ORMACO (Ohio Regional Music, Arts, and Cultural Outreach), joined the performance to dance a festive jig with one of the residents to the delight of the entire group! After the workshop, Le Vent du Nord presented the residence with a CD of their music, which everyone said would be a hit in the Medina County Home for years to come.

Dancing to the music

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