This past week, Red River College presented Gabriel Langlois with an honorary degree in community development at the school’s winter convocation ceremony. Langlois is better known by most Winnipeggers as ‘Dancing Gabe’.
Commonly seen at local professional sporting events dancing at stoppages in play while emblazoned in customized ‘Dancing Gabe 91’ uniforms, Gabe has garnered a large following for his ability to bring cheer and positivity to those at the games.
“I am thankful to receive this honorary diploma in community development for volunteering at the YMCA and at the rinks around Winnipeg,” Dancing Gabe said in a pre-recorded video played during the RRC convocation. “Stay safe, stay positive and keep dancing.”
The 58-year-old is a lifelong Winnipegger, who spent time in Portage la Prairie and Treherne where he was institutionalized as a non-verbal autistic child. He graduated from Glenlawn Collegiate on-time at the age of 18. A few years later he picked up his hobby of dancing at Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Winnipeg Jets and Winnipeg Goldeyes games, where he was discovered on-camera, soon becoming a regular in the stands, stairways, foyers concourses and platforms.
“Gabriel Langlois is a Manitoba icon, devoted volunteer, and inspiring community hero,” RRC Vice President Christine Watson said. “He reflects the very best of our community — and the best of Red River College with our commitment to learning, respect, inclusiveness, integrity, and community values… With his positive attitude, commitment to the community, and the admiration of an entire province behind him, we are proud to award Gabriel Langlois this honorary diploma in community development.”
The 2021 Honorary Diploma recipient has also served as a longtime volunteer-turned-employee at Winnipeg’s YMCA for over 35 years.
Previously having earned the Premier’s Volunteer Award, the City of Winnipeg Community Service Award, the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Gabe continues to remain heavily involved in community building initiatives in his local St. Vital neighbourhood.