Performances | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    Aeriosa Dance Society

    Aeriosa Dance Society merges contemporary dance with mountain-climbing skills to create performances that take place on the outside of tall buildings, utilizing the walls, ledges, rooftops and open sky of the architectural setting.

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  • Article

    Alberta Ballet Company

    The Alberta Ballet Company was founded in Edmonton in 1958 by Ruth Carse as an amateur troupe under the name of Dance Interlude. It was incorporated in 1961 as the Edmonton Ballet Company and reconstituted in 1966 as a professional dance ensemble under its present name. Carse retired in 1975.

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  • Article


    R. Murray Schafer’s Apocalypsis is a theatrical musical pageant in two parts — Part 1: John's Vision is adapted from the book of Revelation, about the end times, while Part 2: Credo is a serene and ecstatic meditation on the majesty of God. A massive and complex production that requires at least 500 performers, Apocalypsis was commissioned by the CBC in 1976 and premiered at Centennial Hall in London, Ontario, on 28 November 1980, as part of the city’s 125th anniversary. William Littler called it “one of the most spectacular events in the history of Canadian music.” In 2015, Toronto’s Luminato Festival closed with an acclaimed, $1.5 million production featuring a cast of nearly 1,000 musicians, singers, conductors, dancers and actors. The score to Part 1 and Part 2 are published separately and available through Schafer’s Arcana Editions (Part 1, 1981; Part 2, 1986).

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  • Article

    History of Music Bands in Canada

    Music bands are large instrumental ensembles consisting mainly of brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. Traditionally, bands have been associated with outdoor activities or ceremonies, e.g., to accompany marching, add cheer to festivities, and contribute to the pomp of state occasions. The symphonic (concert) band is a modern refinement; the jazz and dance band are distant relations. The predominance of bands over orchestras and chamber ensembles was due also to the fact that band instruments can be learned more quickly than string or keyboard instruments. Furthermore, the extroverted music and vigorous sound of bands, their suitability for rousing patriotic emotions, and their usefulness in enhancing non-musical events made them popular.

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  • Article

    Chamber Music Performance

    Chamber music performance. Early evidence of the cultivation of classical chamber music in Canada, mainly by amateur performers, both as an edifying leisure activity and in public concerts, dates from the period 1790-1820.

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  • Article

    Children's Concerts

    Children's concerts. Symphony concerts for children in North America began in 1883 under Theodore Thomas in New York. His programs were built around established light concert works such as the William Tell Overture or The Blue Danube Waltz.

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  • Macleans

    Cirque du Soleil

    Las Vegas is the last place you would expect to find art. The city rises from the Nevada desert like a pop-up cartoon of American consumerism.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on July 27, 1998

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  • Article

    COMUS Music Theatre of Canada

    COMUS Music Theatre of Canada. Organization operating 1975-87 in Toronto (its name derived from Milton's Masque of Comus). COMUS was founded by Michael Bawtree, Gabriel Charpentier, and Maureen Forrester, whose aim was to develop and present music theatre works of all kinds in all media.

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  • Article

    Concert Productions International

    Concert Productions International (familiarly, CPI). Major promoter of rock concerts and tours in North America. It was established in Toronto in 1973 as a subsidiary of WBC Productions Ltd by Michael Cohl, William (Bill) Ballard, and David Wolinsky.

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  • Article


    Performances given by one or more artists before audiences which have assembled, and usually paid admission fees, primarily for the purpose of hearing and contemplating music as music, distinct from music performed as an adjunct to other activities such as worship, ceremony, dining, or theatre.

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  • Article

    'Mimkwamlis Potlatch (Memkumlis Raid)

    On 25 December 1921, a Potlatch ceremony was held in the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw village of ‘Mimkwamlis (also spelled Memkumlis, and also known as Village Island). The Potlatch ceremony was illegal at the time. Officers of the federal government’s Department of Indian Affairs (see Federal Departments of Indigenous and Northern Affairs), as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and, according to some sources, the British Columbia provincial police learned of this Potlatch. They arrested 45 people for participating in the Potlatch. Approximately half of the people were sent to prison for periods ranging from two to three months. Hundreds of precious Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw ceremonial objects were confiscated. Some of these items were sold to collectors and wound up in museums without the consent of the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw people. The arrests related to the ‘Mimkwamlis Potlatch of 1921 were an example of police and government abuse of Indigenous Peoples. It is a further example of the attempted cultural genocide of Indigenous Peoples in Canada (see Genocide and Indigenous Peoples in Canada).

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  • Article

    Canada’s National Ballet School

    Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS), based in Toronto, is an independent boarding and day school for students from Grades 6 through 12. Widely regarded as one of the world's leading institutes for dance education, it offers an integrated program of academic studies and dance instruction for about 150 students. Although separate institutions, the NBS has always been closely associated with its original parent organization, the National Ballet of Canada. Students have regularly appeared in National Ballet performances, and the school remains a major recruitment centre for the company. NBS graduates have provided the company with some of its finest artists, including Martine Van Hamel, Veronica Tennant, Karen Kain, Frank Augustyn, Kevin Pugh, Rex Harrington, Martine Lamy, John Alleyne and James Kudelka. The NBS remains a prestigious international training institute and an important player in Canada's arts community.

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  • Article

    York Winds

    York Winds. Wind quintet formed in Toronto in 1972.

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