Doo-Kingue ready for a Winter Dance

For the first time ever, Cecile Doo-Kingue will experience the unique sights and sounds of Prince George while Prince George experiences the unique sights and sounds of Cecile Doo-Kingue as she performs at Coldsnap's d'Hiver Soire Dansante (Winter Dance) on Saturday, at the Ramada Ballroom.

"We're three virgins coming to Prince George," laughed Doo-Kingue, talking about Pierre Desmarais on bass and Anthony Pageot on drums who will perform with her Saturday night.

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Doo-Kingue just released her latest, the second chapter of her trilogy called Anybody Listening Part 2: Dialogues.

The album was mostly tracked and completely mixed at Bottega Studios in Kelowna, which is owned by the same people who run Streaming Cafe, who offered a total of 10 recording grants to artists.

"It was just one of those soul-crushers with all parties involved where Michael (Donley) and everybody there were just beautiful human beings and they felt the same way about us and so it's been this growing love affair for the last four years now," said Doo-Kingue. "And so it was a treat to record most of the album in Kelowna and go back to mix it and there's just a beautiful energy to the place, to the people and I love that they have a philanthropical side just giving back to the artists community. It was a perfect setting for the album."

Doo-Kingue has been giving back for the last decade by offering workshops to school-age children. While in Prince George the singer-songwriter who focuses on soulful vocals and powerful writing, will visit five Francophone and French immersion schools from Feb. 1 to 3 to offer some musical wisdom.

"Culture is vital to our development, to our sense of community, to our sense of humanity, so to me it's a very important part of an education program regardless of the arts you choose," said Doo-Kingue. "In this case it's me bringing music to the kids and it's music that the kids aren't necessarily accustomed to hearing. So exposing them to a live show and explaining the history of some of the music they'll be hearing and seeing how through my music I bridge my African roots and my North American reality. So it's a history lesson, it's a music lesson and it's a geography lesson and just an overall human communion exchange."

The Coldsnap Festival d'Hiver Soire Dansante (Winter Dance) features not only Cecile Doo-Kingue, but Le Vent du Nord, along with a FrancoFun surprise performance.

"It's going to be a fun party - it's going to be a bilingual party," said Doo-Kingue. "It'll be a 50/50 show in terms of French and English and it'll be such a party because the two musicians I am bringing with me, Pierre Desmarais and Anthony Pageot, are simply wonderful human beings and beautiful musicians and we have a blast on stage and we want you to have a blast as part of the audience and we really make a point to have an inclusive atmosphere so we have a good time together."

The Coldsnap Festival d'Hiver Soire Dansante (Winter Dance) is part of Le Cercle des Canadiens Francais de Prince George's 31st annual FRANCOFUN Winter Festival.

Also included in the FRANCOFUN Winter Festival is an art exhibition at Two Rivers Gallery, from Feb. 1 to 26 in the Rustad Galleria, which features local francophone artists' work that includes paintings, textile, and ceramic work showcasing the talented people within Prince George's French community. The opening of the exhibit will take place Monday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

There will be a seniors' meeting at the Prince George Chateau Wednesday, Feb. 3 followed by the presentation of a bilingual play called Tell Me My Story.

On Wednesday night, a francophone movie will be presented at the College of New Caledonia cinema room 1-306. The movie is La Famille Blier a French movie with English subtitles about a girl, who lives with her deaf parents, and discovers she has the gift of singing.

The Winter Festival, supported by the Canadian Government (Canadian Heritage), Province of British Columbia, and City of Prince George, will present one of its highlight events on Saturday, Feb. 6 with the traditional Sugar Shack Brunch at the St. Mary's Hall, 1088 Gillett Street. There will be face painting, and many outdoor activities. Tickets for the brunch are free for members of Le Cercle des Canadiens Francais de Prince George, 1752 Fir Street, and for non-members it's $40 for a family, $23 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.

For more information call Le Cercle des Canadiens Francais de Prince George at 250-561- 2565.

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