A return to in-theatre, live-audience performances, will see the Okanagan Symphoney Orchestra feature multi-talented First Nations artist Csetkwe Fortier.
“I have no words to describe how much I am looking forward to welcoming Csetkwe as our guest artist and to getting back on stage with our OSO musicians,” music director Rosemary Thomson said. “There is much that has transpired in the world and I hope that this concert will offer meaningful reflection and a sense of hope in a new dawn.”
Csetkwe’s name is pronounced chuh-set-quah; it means Lights Reflection on Water. Her new dawn performance with OSO takes place in Kelowna Saturday, Oct. 23 and in Vernon Sunday, Oct. 24. For patrons who are not yet ready to return to the theatre, livestream access to the Oct, 23 performance, through Unicorns.live, is available by donation.
Holding the respect of being a sqwuy (mother to a son), stamiya (Two Spirit) and a Traditional Knowledge Keeper, Fortier (of the Syilx Nation and Secwepmec peoples of the Kamloops territory) works mainly in performance art, song/ poetry writing, painting and illustration. She is a graduate of the En’owkin Centre of Indigenous Art, receiving a National Aboriginal Professional Artists’ Training certificate and Nsyilxcn Language Program certificate.
Whispers of the Mountain, which was premiered by the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, is a creative collaboration between Csetkwe and Quebec-born composer Katia Makdissi-Warren.
“Csetkwe sent me her song ‘Sunrise on the Water,..’ and I was immediately inspired to write something in response…Certain aspects of Aboriginal music imitate sounds of the natural world, and I wanted to explore this idea too while still maintaining respect for the artistic elements of Csetkwe’s song and culture…The result is an orchestral work that aims to re-create the larger natural environment in music,” Thomson said.
A work by Fortier receives its world premiere on this program. Cuwix, which means “Come here,” memorializes the 215 children whose remains were found at the site of the Kamloops Residential School earlier this year.
The OSO also celebrates home-grown talent with three works by Okanagan composers: Anita Perry from Summerland, Nicholas Kelly from Penticton and Dryden Bennett from Kelowna.
Tickets and livestream access (Saturday’s performance only) are available at okanagansymphony.com/tickets.