Manitoba Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

The Honourable Anita R. Neville, P.C., O.M.

Manitoba Opera’s Li Keur – Pre-Show Dinner

Remarks by

The Honourable Anita Neville, P.C., O.M.

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba


Centennial Concert Hall

Saturday, November 18, 2023

(please check against delivery)


Creators and supporters of the arts, thank you for the opportunity to share in this milestone in Manitoba’s musical history.

As Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, it is always my pleasure to acknowledge that we are gathered in the heart of Treaty One land and the heartland of the Red River Metis.

That goes double tonight, when the event that has brought us together is a multi-lingual celebration of the Indigenous cultural richness of our province. As we work to build a more inclusive, more equitable and better society, celebrating the stories and fostering the creativity of all the people of Manitoba is an essential part of that work.

I am sure many have all heard the famous words of Louis Riel: “My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirits back.”

Tonight’s world premiere of Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North is part of a decades-long flowering of Metis expression in all art forms – and is further evidence of the power of Riel’s prediction.

Like the rest of you, I look forward to encountering the vision and ideas of the team that has created Li Keur – librettist Suzanne Steele and composers Alex Kusturok and Neil Weisensel.

I look forward to joining them and the entire cast and crew in this celebration of Metis women, language and culture.

Opera is an all-encompassing art form. It is the product of many people who contribute their own special talents to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

It’s a fitting metaphor for a healthy society. We all benefit, we all experience greater joy and beauty, when we work together with a shared vision.

Doing so requires a large team behind the scenes and an even larger group of supporters who provide the resources to make creation possible. To everyone who has contributed to this premiere and who has helped Manitoba Opera to flourish – congratulations on this ground-breaking artistic achievement.

Thank you. Merci. Meegiwich.