Sugar Shack event set for March 21

Nathan Liewicki
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Annual event gives people taste of Francophone culture

École Ducharme’s annual Sugar Shack activity is right around the corner.

Moose Jaw's Jayden Miller, 10, delves into some maple syrup drizzled atop some snow at the Sportsman Centre in March 2011. This quintessential French Canadian indulgence was part of the “Sugar Shack” fundraising event École St. Margaret Grade 7-8 classes held in conjunction with the Moose Jaw French Association, so as to raise money to send 25 students to Quebec in the spring. 

Held at the school, the event showcases traditional Francophone food and activities for people of all ages.

Todd Smith, who is a teacher at École Ducharme, is the event organizer and he talked about the event with the Times-Herald on Tuesday.

“Our traditional Sugar Shack supper is usually comprised of maple-glazed ham, beets, potatoes, beans,” he said. “We’ll also be doing some maple toffee on snow for the kids, as well as adults.”

Although the event used to be alternated between schools in Moose Jaw, in the past few years École Ducharme’ has been the lone school in the city to carry out the annual Sugar Shack activity. 

In addition to food and activities for attendees, the event will feature musical entertainment. 

“A lot of people that attend are usually from Quebec or eastern Canada, where sugar shacks are part of the culture. It’s a way of life. March rolls around and the days start to get above freezing, the nights are below freezing and the sap starts to flow,” Smith said. “It’s just something you’ve done since you were a kid.”

For people from Saskatchewan and across the Prairies, Smith said a lot of times coming to the Sugar Shack starts as something new for them.

“They come to try it out, enjoy the evening and so they keep coming back.”

Smith said he expects about 200 people to come out the March 21 event, which raises money for the school’s Grade 7-12 students.

Part of the proceeds raised will go to Grade 7-9 students and their trip to Quebec during the 2014-15 school year. The other part of the money raised will go towards a European trip Grade 10-12 students are planning during the 2015-16 school year.

Tickets are $15 for people ages 13 and up, $10 for kids ages five to 12 and kids four years and under are free. All tickets can be purchased at the school.

Smith also noted that the event gives the community a chance to get a taste of what Francophone culture is about.

“Being as we only comprise a little over two per cent of the provincial population, we are often overlooked as a community member, so it gives us a chance to get out and give something back to the community,” Smith said.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Sugar Shack, Times-Herald

Geographic location: Quebec, Moose Jaw, Eastern Canada Saskatchewan

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