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A song, music and dance celebration of Canada’s cultural diversity with special guests:
- Desna Ukrainian Dancers
- Métis Fiddler Quartet
- Lisa Odjig, Hoop Dancer
- Kate Tian, Pipa
Sunday, April 30, 2pm
St. Michael’s College Centre for the Arts
1515 Bathurst St.
half block north of St. Clair on the east side of Bathurst, steps from St. Clair West station
Rows A-N accessible only by stairs. Contact Ensemble office to arrange accessible seating in opera boxes.
The Shevchenko Musical Ensemble (Shevchenko Choir and Toronto Mandolin Orchestra), on April 30, will celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday in song, music and dance reflecting Canada’s three founding nations – Indigenous, French and English – as well as the Ensemble’s Ukrainian heritage.
The concert will also reflect the heritage of those who helped build this proud nation – the workers and contributors to the growth of industry, to culture and to the shaping of a society based on equality, acceptance, and fairness. This birthday celebration, presented through song, music and dance, will feature some of Canada’s greatest folk talents.
Métis Fiddler Quartet specializes in performing Canadian Métis and Native old-style fiddle music passed down by elders through the generations. The Quartet has performed across Canada and internationally; at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Gala, the Mariposa Folk Festival, and the Alianait Festival in Iqaluit, Nunavut, as well as the opening ceremony of the 2015 Parapan Am Games, and the 2016 Montreal Baroque Festival.The group’s debut album, North West Voyage Nord Ouest, won best traditional album at the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards.This talented quartet is comprised of four Métis siblings born in Winnipeg to a family nurtured in music. Building on a foundation of classical music studies, they have mentored with Canada’s Aboriginal elders to develop a repertoire of Indigenous Canadian fiddle music.
Alyssa earned a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in viola performance from the Conservatoire de Lausanne, Switzerland, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Viola performance at the Université de Montréal. Conlin, completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Ottawa in classical voice performance. Nicholas, who began his musical studies as a child, is lead fiddler in the Quartet. Danton, began cello studies at age three and studied piano which inspired him to explore various styles of music, including folk, jazz, pop and Indian music.
Desna Ukrainian Dance Co.
Desna appeared on Toronto’s art scene in 1974 and for over 40 years has been dazzling audiences throughout Canada, the US and abroad with a wide repertoire of technically demanding and exhilarating Ukrainian dances, a vibrant spectacle for any audience. Although Desna’s repertoire consists of traditional dances, the key to celebrating and broadening tradition is to contrast it with new styles of dance such as the Gypsy Dance and Canadian Country Dance which you will see on April 30. The Desna Ukrainian Dance Company celebrates its notable history in preserving and presenting the rich Ukrainian cultural and dance traditions in Canada.
Lisa Odjig, Hoop Dancer
Lisa was raised in Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island, one of the ten largest First Nations communities in Canada. She is a two-time world champion Hoop Dancer who has also won an additional six championship titles throughout Canada and the United States. Lisa has appeared before Queen Elizabeth II, the Prime Minister of Canada, Canada Day celebrations at Parliament Hill, the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, Vancouver Olympic Torch celebrations, and at Toronto City Hall. The hoop, symbolic of “the never-ending circle of life’’ is used by many tribal groups in North America in traditional healing ceremonies. The Hoop Dance has been adapted to allow dancers to weave stories along with the dance.
“…hoops represent creation, unity and balance. This dance was passed down by my elders, and I am it’s keeper. I celebrate my people through these movements. It’s my responsibility to keep this tradition alive… I never lose sight of the history that brought me here.
You have to stay rooted. You have to remember where you come from, because that is who you are.”
– Lisa Odjig
Kate Tian, a performer of exceptional skill, studied pipa, an ancient Chinese instrument, at the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In Toronto since 2007, she continued her studies with Wen Zhao, renowned pipa virtuosa, who performed with the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra in 2014. Kate won first prize in the 2013 and 2014 Toronto Kiwanis music competitions for Non-Western Plucked Instruments. She also represented Chinese instruments at the Kiwanis Star Showcase. Appearing in many prestigious concerts of Chinese music, Kate has performed in the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre and Aga Khan Museum. She has played for the Fete-Chinoise, and the Chinese New Year Concert at the University of Toronto.
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