Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Fiddle music came to the NWT with the voyageurs and has been ingrained in northern culture and music since the first traders. Angus Beaulieu, Stanley Lafferty, and Colin Adjun are some of the best known, but there are many other fine northern fiddlers. Kole Crook represented the next generation.
Kole was a much-loved young fiddler known for his gentlemanly ways and selflessness and generosity of spirit. He was a deeply spiritual man, who lived his Christian faith by sharing himself, his money, and means with whoever might need it. He spent much time with the elders, observing their wisdom and teachings.
Kole travelled from community to community, introducing children to the joy of fiddling and bringing the benefits of music to the youth of his communities. He led by example. With youth, Kole always had time to teach children on how to fiddle, keeping the music tradition alive. With elders, Kole helped them with their chores, listening to their stories, and maintained traditional values. All generations and ages were brought together through music he played.
Kole's death on his way to a New Year's event in Tulita was a tragic loss, felt by all those who knew him, met him, or heard his music. Kole passed on his joyful music playing generous spirit and sharing of musical tradition lived on through the Kole Crook Fiddle Association. They continue to change young people's lives forever through the music.
Since 2003, the association has been actively continuing the work Kole did in so many of the communities. Youth and elders connecting in performance with the youth at the elder care centres is always a magical experience.
Communities, concerts for the whole families, toe tapping, jigging, and laughing together. The annual January jamboree in Fort Simpson brings nearly 100 fiddlers together for a fun-filled weekend of fiddling and dancing.
The association has donated fiddles and taught many NWT communities over the years. They have established fiddle programs in 17 communities. The association has been moving forward on a wing and a prayer. A friend's kitchen became a fiddler's repair shop. The association's president kept a room in her home for teachers and lent out a car for teaching tourists. Angus and Dorothy Beaulieu donated accommodations. Buffalo Air donated free flights for the association's teachers.
There has been Arts Council and MACA support for the Kole Crook Fiddle Association, but much more each could be done with the help of this Assembly to support the organization fully. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.