Marcel Pitre – Focus on Local Artists – Issue #17

September 2013

Marcel Pitre at Allard

Marcel Pitre

This month, the Winnipeg River Arts Council features member Marcel Pitre, a Pine Falls writer and musician. In 1999, the family of Joseph and Martha Pitre held a family reunion in Lac du Bonnet. It provided the stepping stone for Pitre to take up the challenge of recording great occasions.

Pitre lived in Lac du Bonnet for his first twenty years and, in 1947, his search for employment took him to Pine Falls. His need to write took another fifty-two years to develop and he still wonders whatever possessed him. Writing anything was the last thing on his mind, though he marveled at the mighty Winnipeg River and all things natural.

After that splendid event, the Reunion, he threw caution to the wind and purchased a computer. Pitre said, “The massive weight of being able to at least half-communicate with that “fiendish machine” was underway.” In the past, he wrote monthly newspaper articles for the town paper along with short stories about local history which he distributed to family and friends. His five books, from thirty six pages to three hundred and eighty, have not yet been published but he is now working on self-publishing. A sixth local history book is near completion.

Marcel Pitre & Rod Beaudry

Marcel Pitre & Rod Beaudry

Pitre also plays guitar and has performed throughout the area with his fellow musicians. Two long-time band mates were Fred Psoch and Rod Beaudry. He prefers big band music and still likes to perform whenever possible. His daughter, Leah Boulet, said, “I have memories of Dad coming home with his friends after a dance. Sometimes, they stayed up and played all night long.”

Last April, Pitre read from his writing and shared his guitar skills, along with Rod Beaudry on the saxophone, at “Celebrating Stories” in Library Allard. After this event, Beaudry wrote to the Winnipeg River Arts Council and said, “It was great participating in a musical capacity along with my long-time friend, Marcel Pitre. It appeared that those in attendance enjoyed both the authors’ writings and the musical performance.”