Upcoming Events

The Folk Music Camp at Northern Michigan University 

Sunday, July 17 - Thursday, July 21, 2016

Marquette, Michigan is one of the centers of folk music in the United States, boasting a very active folk scene, a history in ethnic music from the Anishinaabe people to the many European cultural groups that settled the region. It is also home to the annual Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival.

The Folk Music Camp at NMU, plans to capitalize on all of those assets by providing a fun and creative environment for high school students to learn more about traditional folk music and to increase their own playing and singing skills. It will also be a ton of fun.

To make this camp even more enticing, it is scheduled the same week as the Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival, so that families can take advantage of both the camp and the festival. Students in the camp will actually be given an opportunity to take part in performances and workshops at the festival.

More information at http://folkmusicschool.nmu.edu/index.html

2016 Upper Peninsula Folklife Award Recipients

The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center is proud to announce the 2016 recipients of the Upper Peninsula Folklife Award.  This year, the Center will be awarding one individual and one organzation who have done so much to help preserve and promote the folk traditions of the region.  The awardees are folk dancer, instructor and musician Kay Seppala and the Hiawatha Music Co-op.  The awards will be presented at the Beaumier Center’s benefit, “A Scandinavian Dinner,” on May 10.  For more information and to register for the event, please go to connect.nmu.edu/2016uphd.

Kay Seppala, a native of Ontonagon and resident of Chassell, has offered instruction in Finnish/Scandinavian/American folk dance and in kantele performance (Finnish traditional harp) since returning to the Copper Country in the late 1990s. Beginning in the early 1980s, Kay developed as a kantele player and folk dancer with the Koivun Kaiku kantele ensemble and the Kisarit Finnish American Folk Dancers in Minnesota's Twin Cities. As a member of these groups, Kay toured Finland in the early 1980s, performing at Kaustinen Folk Music Festival and at other locations in Finland. She also performed extensively in Finnish American communities, also serving as director of the children's folk dance ensemble, Pikku Kisarit for 3 years. Upon her husband's retirement, she returned to the Copper Country, and eventually began to offer workshops in children's folk dance and kantele through the Finnish American Heritage Center. In 2004, leading up to FinnGrandFest 2005 in Marquette, Kay and a group of Copper Country children founded the Kivajat Finnish American Dancers ensemble, which performed at FinnGrandFest as part of its debut season. Following performances at FinnFest USA 2008, Kivajat developed a sister ensemble relationship with the Vinksin Vonksin Folk Dance Ensemble of Turku, Finland, which invited Kivajat to participate in the Tanssiva Turku International Folk Dance Festival in 2009. In 2011, Kay founded the Ilon Kaiku Kantele Ensemble, which has performed at numerous events in the Copper Country since its foundation. In 2013, Kay played a key role in several components of FinnFest USA 2013 held in the Copper Country, including the development of the Kantele Splash (a mass kantele performance featuring artists from across the US and Canada), and the Folk Dance Expo featuring Finnish folk dancers from the US and Canada as well as the Vinksin Vonksin ensemble. In 2015, Kivajat was again a guest of Vinksin Vonksin at the Tanssiva Turku Folk Dance Festival. Kay is a central figure in the continued development of folk dance and kantele performance in Upper Michigan, and her role in sharing these traditions with children is of particular importance.

The mission of Hiawatha Music Co-op is to provide and promote traditional music and dance, educate and inform society on traditional American music and encourage the appreciation of such music through the facility of an annual traditional music festival. All operations are exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, and for the promotion of social welfare. This year, the Co-op partnered with Marquette area public schools as well as other UP wide music venues to provide a week long Ukulele workshop where students in elementary school were given a full concert, history and individual instruction. The Warm Up Wednesday Series also has been promoting fun in folk music for all ages, boasting record attendance at "kids night" supporting the love of traditional folk music for generations.

The Hiawatha Music Non Profit Corporation (also known as the Hiawatha Music Co-op) is a well-established and well-regarded, non-profit organization for the support of traditional American music. This three-day traditional-music festival in Marquette County began in 1979 in the small community of Champion, MI. Now, approximately 3,500 people from throughout the upper Midwest and from as far away as the coasts and even has international guests. Since 1984, the Festival has been held locally at the Marquette Tourist Park. The Hiawatha festival is the only event of its size and scope in the Upper Peninsula. Without Hiawatha, local performers and fans would have to travel between four and six hours to the nearest festivals of its type. The Festival boasts an amazing array of family activities with a Children’s Area for crafts and performers, a Teen Scene area with activities and a special dance just for Teens on Saturday night, workshops for all ages and an exceptional Main Stage line up each year. In addition to the annual Festival, the Hiawatha Music Co-op strives to offer traditional-music concerts and workshops in the Marquette area throughout the year. Its ventures in that area have included a song-writing workshop, a Celtic fiddle workshop, an annual Ukelele Week, a monthly concert series for adults and children featuring local and regional performers, and sponsorship of numerous local Traditional jam sessions each month. In May 2006, Hiawatha received the Community Arts Impact Award from the Marquette Arts and Culture Center.

The Beaumier Center inaugurated the Upper Peninsula Folklife Award in 2009 as a way to celebrate the work of individuals and organizations who have dedicated their lives to the preservation and promotion of the regions folk arts.  The past recipients of the awards are as follows:

2009 - John Perona - Bones Player
2010 - Les Ross, Sr. - Harmonica Player
2012 - Oren Tikkanen - Storyteller and musician
2013 - Fred Rydholm - Storyteller, author, historian
2014 – Bette and Dean Premo – Musicians, folk music and dance promoters

2015 – Michael Loukinen - Folklorist/film maker; Corrine Rockow – Musician and educator


A selection committee of seven people made the final decision regarding who should receive the award in 2016.  The members of the selection committee are:


Dave Bezotte - Houghton; Retired librarian, Michigan Technological University
Diane Darlington - Negaunee, MI; Advisory Board Member, Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center
Rosemary Michelin – Marquette, MI; Archivist, Marquette Regional History Center; fabric artist
Bette Premo - Owner, White Water Associates, Amasa; folk musician

Dan Truckey, Director/Curator, Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center
Hilary Virtanen - Professor, Finlandia University, Hancock; folklore scholar
Phil Watts - Professor, Northern Michigan University, Marquette; folk musician

Upper Peninsula Folklife Award Nominations

On May 10, 2016, the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center will be awarding the 2016 Upper Peninsula Folklife Award at a benefit dinner here at Northern Michigan University. As with past years, we are asking for the public to be involved in the nomination process for this award. The nominee(s) should be person(s) or organization that you feel has made a real difference in the creation and/or preservation of folk arts in the U.P., including music, dance, storytelling, crafts, food, etc. Here are the past recipients of the award.

2009 - John Perona - Bones Player

2010 - Les Ross, Sr. - Harmonica Player

2012 - Oren Tikkanen - Storyteller and musician

2013 - Fred Rydholm - Storyteller, author, historian

2014 – Bette and Dean Premo – Musicians, folk music and dance promoters

2015 – Michael Loukinen (folklorist); Corrine Rockow (musician and educator)

As with last year we will be receiving nominations for the award from the general public and then a selection committee to review nominations and make the final selections. Here is the selection committee for the Upper Peninsula Folklife Award.

Dave Bezotte - Houghton; Retired librarian, Michigan Technological University

Diane Darlington - Negaunee, MI; Advisory Board Member, Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center

Rosemary Michelin - Marquette, MI; Archivist - Marquette Regional History Center

Bette Premo - Owner, White Water Associates, Amasa; folk musician

Hilary Virtanen - Professor, Finlandia University, Hancock; folklore scholar

Phil Watts - Professor, Northern Michigan University, Marquette; folk musician


Nominations will be accepted through April 7. To nominate and individual, please go to this survey, https://nmu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cH2Xzamm98OQH7T, and fill out all the pertinent information.

Please DO NOT send a reply to this e-mail with your nomination. We want to keep this process as anonymous, confidential and discrete as possible.

Thanks for your assistance with this nomination process and for your support.


Vintage Ski Day

The Beaumier Heritage Center and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame are planning together a Vintage Ski Day for Saturday February 6 at Marquette Mountain.  This will be a great opportunity for all skiers to be able to go back in time and possibly win some prizes while skiing on some old skis or bringing out some of their old ski clothes.  There will be lots of opportunities to experience and enjoy the old times of skiing.

The events will begin at 1p.m, with a vintage ski race down Cliffs Ridge.  Racers will receive a handicap based on their age and the age of their equipment.  At 2p.m. the vintage costume fashion show will start in front of the main lodge.   Marquette Mountain will donate $5 to the museums for each person who buys a day ski pass in a vintage ski outfit.  At 3p.m., the fun continues with a ski contest, judging the oldest skis being used on the mountain that day.  Throughout the day, Warren Miller films will be shown on TV monitors in the Lodge and T-Bar.  There will also be displays of ski equipment and memorabilia from the Hall of Fame’s collection. The evening will conclude with the Beaumier Coffee House Series.  This free concert will feature performances by two of Marquette’s best folk groups, Great Lakes Graham & the Fiddleman and Wildhack. 

The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center’s mission is to “celebrate the history and culture of the Upper Peninsula,” which it does though exhibitions and public programming.  The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum is the only national hall of fame dedicated exclusively to skiing and snowboarding in America. It provides the ultimate and lasting recognition for those American skiers who excelled nationally and internationally as competitors or contributors to the advancement of skiing in all of its forms.


The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center, Department of History and the NMU History Club present a History Film Series

Do you love historical films?  The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center, Department of History and the NMU History Club are collaborating on a History Film series that will occur over several weeks this winter.  Each film will be presented by a faculty member of the Department of History, including an introduction to the film and a discussion afterwards.  The final film will be presented by the Beaumier Center’s director, Daniel Truckey.  The films will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Mead Auditorium in Seaborg Center at Northern Michigan University.  Admission is free and open to the public.


Monday, February 1

“A Knight’s Tale” (2001)

Presented by Dr. Keith Kendall and Dr. Nick Dupras

After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight.  Starring Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, Mark Addy and Rufus Sewell.


Monday, February 15

“In the Name of the Father” (1993)

Presented by Dr. Chet Defonso

A man's coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.  Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson and Pete Postlethwaite.


Monday, March 7

“Ohm Krüger” (1941)

Presented by Dr. Robbie Goodrich

Created by the Josef Goebbel’s Nazi propaganda machine, “Ohm Kruger” is a rousing biopic of Paul Kruger, the Boer guerilla fighter turned statesman and first president of South Africa. Starring Emil Jannings.


Monday, April 4

“Leatherheads” (2008)

Presented by Dr. Gabe Logan

In 1925, an enterprising pro football player convinces America's too-good-to-be-true college football hero to play for his team and keep the league from going under.  Starring George Clooney, Renée Zellweger and John Krasinski.


Monday, April 11

“North Country” (2005)

Presented by Daniel Truckey

A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.  Starring Charlize Theron, Frances MacDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sean Bean and Sissy Spacek.