The Cultural Wheel

Save $200 by matching up with a nearby school on the same day! See Pricing Section below for more details.

Meet Cultural Wheel

Ian Porteous has toured with Les Bucherons in schools across Canada for over 15 years, facilitating cultural experiences for students. These presentations are based on his bookThe Cultural Wheel: Transforming your Classroom through Cultural Restoration, which discusses the aspects of our society moving towards integration (well-being) and disintegration (unhealthy).

In a society where isolation and addiction to hand-held devices are trumping experiences that are paramount to a well-rounded education and life, “The Cultural Wheel” integrates a little bit of folklore, some good community (your school), and a lot of participation to create a celebration and cultural restoration. In addition to the social dance workshop programs, a 60-minute presentation on Canadian Culture is also offered.

The Cultural Wheel Quick Facts

• Over 15 years teaching dance workshops to all ages
• Can get more students social dancing in less time than anyone else in Canada
• Builds community, restores culture, builds confidence
• Teaches respect, inclusion, and integration
• Can present in English, French, or a bit of both
• Themes: Self-Esteem & Confidence, Culture, Leadership, Social Dance workshops

Download a PDF summary to take to your committee or admin



• The Cultural Wheel

The Cultural Wheel is a series of workshops plus a final presentation where the students are featured in the performance (an old time dance). The Cultural Wheel is made up of four quadrants: folklore, community, kinesthetic, and celebration – explained in more detail below.

By journeying through these quadrants, students experience a deeper sense of identity, community and learn to celebrate together. Integration and acceptance is learned through movement and the interaction of healthy contact.
The program uses social dance, which is a non-competitive physical activity that promotes wholesome, respectful, non-discriminating physical contact. Ian delivers with a deep sense of confidence, authenticity and systemization.

Remarkable inclusion is a natural result of this program – it is an equalizer. A traditional social dance experience teaches respect, consideration and true community. Students will have a better idea of their historical identity as Canadians and experience being part of an unforgettable hands-on event.


The first quadrant is FOLKLORE

Students will hear some classic Canadian Folksongs in either English or French and be expected to sing along on the choruses.

The second quadrant is COMMUNITY

The students will be divided into smaller workshop sessions where a folk dance will be taught and featured in the final presentation.
Folk dances will be taught from 3 traditions:
1. European tradition
2. Canadian tradition
3. Metis tradition

The third quadrant is CONSTRUCTIVISM (Kinesthetic)

Students will be exposed to and given a demonstration of musical instruments from 3 traditions.
1. European Hurdy Gurdy
2. Canadian Fiddle styles
3. Native American flute, drum and rattles

The fourth quadrant is CELEBRATION

Once Folklore, Community, Constructivism have been integrated during the workshops, we have good reason to Celebrate – a final presentation where all workshops are featured demonstrating their folkdances moving through a chronological timeline from Medieval Europe through to the mixture of First Nations and European People – the Metis.

Each workshop can accommodate up to 70 students. If your school is too large for all students to participate in the workshops, these can be attended by your older grades and the entire school can attend the final presentation.

Grade Suitability: K-12
Duration: Full day = 5*45 min workshops plus 45 min final presentation
Half day = 2-3 workshops plus 30 min final presentation
An Evening Presentation can be added for your students to perform for parents and members of the community, please call us to discuss this

• The Cultural Wheel: 1 hour presentation

This 60 minute presentation for the whole school is a great introduction to Traditional Canadian Cultures. No previous knowledge is required by your students, but if any of your grades are studying traditional Canadian cultures this presentation works as an excellent compliment to that. The presentation includes Traditional Storytelling, Metis Dancing Instruction to the Red River Jig, introduction to the concept of the medicine wheel, and a demonstration of the Native American Flute. Please note that the performers are not status FNMI, they are simply passionate about the culture.

Grade Suitability: K-12
Duration: 60 minutesA


Ian offers $200 off the performance fee if you are willing to match up with a nearby school on the same day. If you have not already done so, click below to rank the top three artists you’d like to see tour to your area. There‘s no obligation to book, doing so will simply register your school for the discount and help us co-ordinate artists’ tours where there is the most interest for them.

Fees are listed as a range because the exact fee is determined by your area and number of shows in a tour. Once you’ve cast your vote, we can let you know the exact fee and possible dates for your preferred artists.

If your school is facing severe budget challenges please inquire about qualifying for our assistance program.

Brief Artist Survey – register your school and qualify for any applicable discounts


The Cultural Wheel: Half Day

2-3 workshops plus 30 min final presentation

$1095 + GST

 The Cultural Wheel: Full Day

5 * 45 min workshops plus 45 min final presentation

$1800 + GST


The Cultural Wheel: 1 Hour

60 min presentation

$650 – $895 + GST


I can’t help but get a lump in my throat. What I once thought was just another school show has turned into so much more. It was a journey they were not expecting. Through this process, the students have been able to connect with each other in a way that day-to-day teaching of concepts could not do. They have learned so much about who they are as individual people and as a group of students.

Rachelle Cyr  – Edmonton Public school board

What I like about it is it teaches them how to interact in a non-awkward situation, just to come and have fun and come together and learn and experience something as a group.

AssandrejaTeacher – Forest Abbey Middle School

If I can dance with my classmates, I feel more confident to actually talk with my classmates.

Grade 9 student – Mary Butterworth School

The Cultural Wheel is helping develop a community spirit in our classroom.

Grade 9 student – Mary Butterworth School


Ian pic #2
Ian w herdy dec2015