The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center has announced the 2018 recipients of the Upper Peninsula Folklife Award. The award honors individuals who have worked to preserve and promote folk traditions, as well as organizations and businesses that have helped to promote and preserve the region's culture. The two awardees are French Canadian musician Dave Bezotte and the Trenary Home Bakery.
The awards will be presented at the Beaumier Center’s fundraising dinner, “A British Isles Dinner,” on May 15. For more information and to register for the event, go to https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/default.aspx?EventID=2239234.
A native of Chassell, Bezotte has been a lifelong proponent of French Canadian music and culture. He is the leader of the U.P.’s only French singing group, the Maple Sugar Folks. He also plays in several ethnic music ensembles in the Copper Country, including the Thimbleberry Band. Bezotte is an active volunteer for the Chassell Historical Organization and an organizer of Chassell’s annual Strawberry Festival. He has also been a member of the Beaumier Center’s programming committee and has volunteered as a performer at several Beaumier Center events.
The Trenary Home Bakery specializes in “Trenary Toast,” a Finnish dried coffee bread. The bakery was established in 1928 by Jorma Syrannen. He and his wife, with help from their three sons, ran the bakery until 1950 when they sold it to Hans and Esther Hallinen. The Hallinen family continued running the bakery and helped to expand the business until it was sold to Andy Reichart in 2015. The Trenary Home Bakery continues the tradition of making handcrafted breads and toasts today.
Thirteen individuals or organizations have received the U.P. Folklife Award since it was introduced in 2009.