The Path Forward Collaboration Concert with First Nations & the VSO

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The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (“VSO”) has announced The Path Forward, a new artistic collaboration between the VSO, its Indigenous Council, and three host First Nations. This multidisciplinary experience will feature poetry by Poet Laureate Christie Lee Charles and contemporary Indigenous art and music alongside a performance by the VSO.

The VSO will perform: Carnival of OUR Animals, a VSO commission composed in collaboration with members of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations; Métis composer Ian Cusson’s Indigenous Songs from the House of Death; and Chief Dan George’s Coast Salish Anthem.

The Path Forward Collaboration Concert with VSO and First Nations
The Path Forward – VSO Photo

The Path Forward Collaboration Concert

  • When: Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 4:00pm
  • Where: Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe St, Vancouver)
  • Tickets: Available online now from $16.90

“The VSO’s Indigenous Council was created to build inclusion with the three host nations: Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, plus the urban Indigenous populations and the Metis peoples,” says VSO Indigenous Council Chair, Dennis Thomas-Whonoak.

“Music plays such a huge part in Indigenous cultures, and we intend to incorporate traditional songs and stories in collaboration with the VSO and the musicians to create one-of-a-kind musical performances. The Path Forward is the next step in our commitment to Truth & Reconciliation. We are excited to showcase the creativity and cultures of our local Indigenous communities as we contribute to the reconciliation process.”

VSO and VSO School of Music President and CEO, Angela Elster says: “The Path Forward is the culmination of two years of conversations and collaboration with the VSO Indigenous Council members and their communities in the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.”

“This performance is an authentic celebration of Indigenous culture through music, story, dance, and poetry,” adds Elster. “It is exciting to see how The Path Forward and other creative projects led by the VSO Indigenous Council bring together our entire community through irresistible musical experiences.”

As a gesture of gratitude and deep love, the VSO and VSO Indigenous Council dedicate The Path Forward to VSO Indigenous Council member, Elder Lillian Howard who passed away in October, 2021.

About the VSO Indigenous Council

Four years ago, the VSO convened the Indigenous Council as a commitment to Truth and Reconciliation. The Council’s founding members were Chastity Davis, Chair; Alexander Dirksen, Metis Youth; Lillian Howard, Elder; Orene Askew, Squamish; Dennis Thomas-Whonoak, Tsleil-Waututh; Karen Gerbrecht, VSO Musician; Susan Anton, VSO Board. This creative group imagined and developed The Path Forward. Dennis Thomas-Whonoak currently chairs the VSO Indigenous Council and membership is evolving.

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