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Planet Earth needs our help! This summer, join conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser and youth climate activist Aliénor Rougeot on an action-packed adventure from coast to coast. Learn how the natural world has inspired works of impassioned artists, how musicians and composers have reflected on land that is changing beneath their feet, and how creative people are uniquely equipped to combat the pressing climate emergency. At each stop along the way, experience brilliant performances from renowned singer-songwriters, beatboxers, instrumental soloists, and a host of Canada’s leading orchestras.

We don’t often stop and reflect; we are driven to distraction all the time! Devices, gadgets… the news! It’s everywhere. When we stop, pause, and reflect on our world, very, very quickly nature begins to “speak” to us.

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, 2022

The episodes

The Great Canadian Orchestra Field Trip kicks off with Episode 1  “Inspiration.” Learn how the landscapes of Northern Alberta have inspired the song-writing of Cree cellist Cris Derksen, what out-of-this-world perspectives have taught astronaut David Saint-Jacques about Planet Earth, and how composers like Antonio Vivaldi, Marjan Mozetich, and Jessie Montgomery have drawn inspiration from the great outdoors.

Episode 2 “Reflection”, features a discussion with TV personality and former host of Daily Planet Ziya Tong about climate change and the coral reefs, the sounds of a sombre birdcall layered within a solo flute performance by Ben Morency, and a variety of colourful compositions by Astor Piazzola, Denis Gougeon, Bedřich Smetana, and Edward Top.

And lastly, the third and final episode “Action” is all about using our creativity to effect positive change! Hear from singer-songwriter Kelly Bado and her love for the planet, get up and move to an upbeat Wildlife DJ set with acoustic biologist Ben Mirin, reflect on powerful messages about clean water access from Anishinaabe Indigenous rights advocate Autumn Peltier, and immerse yourself in the compositions of R. Murray Schafer and Jonathan Ring.

Finding powerful sources of motivation is necessary for my work, and often that entails reminding myself what and who I am fighting for. Art inspired by nature provides that. With nature-inspired art comes greater knowledge and respect for ecosystems and of the humans living within them—both of which are necessary to activism.

Aliénor Rougeot, 2022

Intended for classroom and at-home learning, each episode features an expansive Learner’s Companion PDF. Listed as downloadable files in full-colour and toner-friendly format, you’ll gain instant access to dozens of activities that include building your own instruments out of recycled materials, creating climate protest banners, and illustrating nature-inspired postcards addressed to changemakers within your community.

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The Great Canadian Orchestra Field Trip is a co-production of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Chamber Choir, and Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra.

Registration for The Great Canadian Orchestra Field begins in Summer 2022 on the National Art Centre Orchestra’s website.