GORE BAY—Charles C. McLean Public School students and staff celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday last week as the school presented its spring concert. It was probably as good a representation of Canadian culture and music as you will ever see anywhere. It was pretty obvious to see and hear that the school loves this country.
The Happy 150th Birthday Canada concert was full of songs, clothing and culture depicting Canada.
From the opening of the Happy 150th Birthday Canada, with the concert choir singing O Canada in Ojibwe, followed by Grade 4-5 students performing O’ Canada in French, to the finale from the spring concert choir, Grade 2/3 students and the audience singing ‘This Land is Your Land’ to all the performances in between, the school presented a terrific terrific night of everything Canadian.
“Hello and welcome to all friends, family and community members to our spring concert celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday,” stated school principal Tracey Chapman. “We would like to pay a special welcome to school board trustee Larry Killens and his wife Shelly who are here tonight, all staff, students, and musical volunteers.”
Student Malia Leighton introduced each performer, relating a brief history of each province as a song in its dedication would be performed, as well as other significant information. “Welcome to our spring concert,” she stated pointing out, “we are a nation that is built on many different heritages and cultures.”
Is there anything more Canadian than hockey? Probably not. The Grade 8 class used the province of Quebec as its backdrop to the song ‘The Good Ol’ Hockey Game’ as students with sticks, pucks and uniforms stickhandled on the stage. They followed this up with the song ‘Proud to be a Canadian.’
Ontario is the home to 250,000 lakes and led to the song ‘Land of the Silver Birch’ sung by the Grade 4/5 class.
The Grade 3/4 class with Jane Best on guitar sang ‘Canada In My Pocket,’ and ‘Farewell to Nova Scotia.’
‘Allouette’ was performed by the Grade 7 class, in recognition of New Brunswick, followed by dancing to ‘la Bastringue.’
In tribute to the Northwest Territories the Grade 4/5 class accompanied by Jane Best and Peter Gordon on guitar (and singing) sang the always favourite ‘Northwest Passage.’
The spring concert choir recognized Manitoba with the Red River Valley, accompanied by Mark Wilson and Peter Gordon.
‘My Heart Soars’ was performed in tribute to British Columbia, by the Grade 6/7 class.
And talk about cute! In their lobster and potato costumes the ELK class sang two songs commemorating Prince Edward Island, those being ‘Lester Lobster,’ and ‘Bud the Spud’ (the latter featuring Bruce Lindsay as “Bud”) accompanied by Mark Wilson on guitar.
After a short intermission where everyone could bid on the delicious cakes up for bid in the silent auction as part of the Cake Walk, the Senior Kindergarten/Grade 1 class performed a medley of songs depicting Yukon, Saskatchewan and Alberta; ‘Clementine’ (Gold Rush camp song) for the Yukon; a poignant Gitsagakomin (Blackfoot Welcome Song) of Saskatchewan and ‘The Cowboy Song’ from Alberta.
Using colourful cut outs depicting houses and buildings, the students of Grade 2/3 performed the ‘Colour Song’ (based on a popular TV commercial that is based on Newfoundland/Labrador), and ‘I’se the B’y who Builds the Boat’ with Mark Wilson on guitar.
As terrific as all the performances for the evening were, the highlight might very well have been the dramatic presentation The Northern Lights (of First Nations Legends), with a phenomenal light and photo show, based on Nunavut which only officially became part of Canada less than 20 years ago.
‘Together We are Canada’ was the song (recitation) performed by the Grade 2/3 class.
And the finale could not be beat with the spring concert choir, Grade 2/3 and the audience all taking part in the rousing rendition of ‘This Land is Your Land.’