Producer/songwriter Bill Bogaardt has an entertainment proposal that’s been 150 years in the making.
With his We are Canada submission to the federal government he hopes to bring a specially designed musical show featuring songs, dance and story telling to the concert stages locally and possibly Canada wide through the work of some very talented local professionals.
“Canada’s 150th birthday next year is a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate Canada and it’s a very unique opportunity to say: ‘Hey, here we are alive and kicking and we can contribute.’ Our country has come a long way,” said Bogaardt, who is an award-winning musician and president/publisher of the Penticton-based Song Search Music International Co. Ltd. The show will promote appreciation of Canada, its founding principals of freedom.
“I came up with the idea, being a naturalized Canadian, many years ago I immigrated to Canada and had a music career which has meant so much to me.”
His musical accomplishments with the other three members of the Brothers Bogaardt span many decades, having worked with some of the greatest names in the music industry.
They did many tours throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
One of their highlights was writing and recording in Nashville, Tenn. the musical score for the provincial government commissioned documentary, Alberta on the North Side.
The film beat out 600 other entries at a Chicago film festival to win the Gold Camera Award, due in large part to the music.
“My thought on this particular show that I’m planning is to utilize all the positive experiences we have had and give back to Canada and thank Canada for allowing us to be in this free country. To basically allow us to flourish and musically do the things we wanted to do.”
The freedom he has now is a far cry from the first five years of his life which were spent in Japanese internment camps in Indonesia from which he was eventually freed, going to his parent homeland Holland before eventually coming to Canada.
The Canadian government earlier put out an invitation for people to submit proposals to celebrate the anniversary in 2017 at which time he put together his 14-page submission.
“This musical story is about you and I, where we dared to dream and to have nurtured and pursued our dreams, fought for survival, even failed in our endeavours, only to rise up, to tell our stories again and again,” said Bogaardt.
His proposal has a very large First Nations component, a culture he has come to embrace during his time in Canada.
“They also have a story, they have stories of what they went through and this would be recognizing what they have overcome and what they can share with the rest of the country,” he said. “It is important to integrate our cultures because Canada is such a diverse culture that it should be noted that anyone can have a positive future here.”
Performers tentatively include the remaining Brothers Bogaardt, Wind Dance and Moonlite of the Okanagan Singers and Dancers, Sophia Mae, Justin Glibbery, Thomas Hunter and Tim Holman.
Bogaardt summed up his presentation: “We are Canada is directed to all peoples of Canada, by all peoples of Canada with factual personal victories leading the way to a promising future in a country where freedom is Canada’s way of Life.”
It’s not known at this time when the government will make its decision about which proposals to endorse, however the Penticton musician has his fingers crossed.