Westben explored the community’s response to this question as local and guest artists gathered on July 2nd, at The Barn, for a special Canada Day celebration. Featuring an array of musicians ranging from Ojibwe drummer Jordan Mowat from Alderville, to the Westben Festival & Youth Choruses, to the Wakimi Wailers, the afternoon includef four sets of music as well as a meadow full of food and fun activities celebrating the Trent Hills community. Coordinated by Howard Baer, Andy Thompson, Ken Tizzard, Karen Stille and Brian Finley, a crowd of over 1000 enjoyed brand new and familiar music in a spectacular musical tribute to Canada’s future.
Over 700 answers to the question, What are your dreams for Canada?, were collected on paper paddles from area schools, service clubs, and at community events. These paddles, filled with dreams for Canada, were on display throughout the day at the Barn, and were also used as a video backdrop for the performers on stage. Brian Finley - Pianist, Donna Bennett - Choir Director, and the Westben Youth and Teen Choruses performed orginal compositions based on the dreams of the community.
A spoken-word poem created by Nikki Fotheringham, called Sunrise For Sally, was set to an original music score by local jazz bassist Howard Baer, and reflected on three generations of Canadians. A love letter to Canada, the narration travels through three soulful sound panels representing the past, the present and the future. Very moving!
Canada dreams went green with Andy Thompson presenting music and video in search of preserving wilderness, green spaces and protecting existing natural habitat. The dream of preserving Canada's natural beauty in sight and sound was backed up by special guest singers Olivia Rapos, Jana Reid, Jane Archer, and Janet Jeffery - all very talented local artists!
This free concert was a wonderful way for the community to join together in celebration!