Standing on Their Shoulders animators Pharaoh and Jennifer sat down with performer Skipper Dean in his home to talk about music, performing, and growing up in Little Burgundy.

Seated in front of his immense record collection, he spoke to us with a soft and collected voice that could only belong to a soul-singer.Yet before he was a dynamite rhinestone-clad performer, touring the world and singing with other legends, he was a boy from Little Burgundy.

“It was a village” he says, recalling how everyone knew each other. “If I did something wrong down on Mountain Street, by the time I got down to Canning Street”, he recalls, “People poked their heads out saying ‘Just wait till you get home!’”.

From encountering famous musicians looking for directions to local clubs, to sneaking backstage to meet The Vibrations and Patti Labelle, his stories of Little Burgundy are full of fond memories, getting into trouble, and most importantly, full of music.

On March 20th, 2015, the Standing on Their Shoulders animators joined the enthusiastic youth from James Lyng High School’s 10th grade history and French classes on their walking tour of Little Burgundy. The walking tour was a conclusion of a week-long series on the History of Little Burgundy where the students were taught about the historic landmarks, and watched the “Burgundy Jazz” web documentary, written and directed by David Eng. A particular element of this project was that the youth were given images of old pictures and asked to reproduce them (the images) as they stand today.

 

All the sites were amazing and very educational, but the piece-de-resistance was when the youth stopped at Tyndale St-Georges Community center for lunch. After an amazing lunch provided by Boom J’s, Dr. Dorothy Williams, Ethel Bruneau, & Skipper Dean were invited to answer questions the youth had prepared for them. The students were excited at the chance to meet celebrities who appeared in the documentary series and the opportunity to interact with them would surely be treasured memories for years to com