Friday, March 31, 2017

Epic Spirit - Inventions - with the Vancouver Island Symphony

The Vancouver Island Symphony presents

Epic Spirit - Inventions
Saturday, April 22, 7:30 p.m. (Pre-Concert Talk, 6:30 p.m.)
Conductor and Composer: Pierre Simard
Guest Artists: Plan Omega Collective, Nadya Blanchette (Soprano, Narrator)
Jason Nett (Composer_, Nthalie Cusson (Film Director)
VIS Symphonic and Children's Choirs (Patricia Plumley, Director)
Port Theatre, 125 Front Street, Nanaimo BC
Tickets: 250-754-8550
Hope through Creation
NEW music, NEW concept, NEW and old IDEAS

Aptly titled “Epic Spirit – Inventions” the Vancouver Island Symphony’s powerful season finale on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo, opens with the monumental Symphony No. 5 by Beethoven - with its haunting and familiar notes of ‘fate knocking at the door’. Then comes an original, electrifying, new experience – Inventions – 14 movements in the Epic Music Style, with a sensational state-of-the-art audio-visual production, saluting inventions and inventors and their impact upon the course of life on this planet – from the wheel to the space shuttle.

World Premiere: Says a passionate Pierre Simard (conductor, composer and artistic director), “This is not only the premier of a composition, but, in Canada, of a whole-show concept!”

Movie Music: “I found software which has brought me to the world of music for video games, TV and cinema – music I am very interested in. I discovered recordings of live instruments and libraries with very high level samples. This has driven my composing and creative process in new, unexpected and exciting ways!”

The Epic Music Style: “Movie composers like Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lion King, Driving Miss Daisy, The Dark Knight etc.), Michael Giacchino (Up, Lost, Rogue One) and Alexandre Desplat (Grand Budapest Hotel, The Queen) have built a bridge between traditional orchestra and electronic sound. Many new movie and Hollywood- blockbuster musical scores and trailers are in this style.”

The Team: And so, with Montreal film director Nathalie Cusson, vocal artist and narrator Nadya Blanchette, and Nanaimo-native composer Jason Nett, Simard has formed the Plan Omega Collective which has created a series of movie-type trailers portraying the Wheel (Nett), Compass, Printing Press, Flying Machine (Arnesen), Button and Scissors, Internal Combustion Engine (Nett), Light Bulb, Automobile, Penicillin, Atomic Bomb (with The Prayer by Ralph Vaughan Williams), Computer, and the soaring Space Shuttle.

Adds Simard, “For the first time, we will fuse the VIS orchestra, VIS Symphonic and Children’s choirs (director Patricia Plumley) and soloist on stage with electronic tracks that I will control from the podium. Not only am I composing original charts for the musicians and choirs but creating computer generated music that will fill the theatre. Onscreen will be original movies incorporating traditional film, computer generated motion graphics and stock footage.”

Facing Future: “How can we be the keepers of the flame?” asks Simard. “We must keep an eye to the past, but also be super current. This is a show about hope, for we are too bright a species to stop here. We are constantly bettering ourselves through new inventions. I am convinced the audience will remember this as an experience - like never before.”

Tickets for this performance are available at: 250-754-8550. Pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m.
For more information visit:

The Day the Wind Changed Book Launch

 The Day the Wind Changed

Once upon a time on a hill far away, lived some people who forgot how to play.
They forgot how to laugh, they forgot how to sing and they did the same things every day.

That was an awesome book launch, on Friday, March 24 at the Grand Forks Public Library - halfway through March Break. The weather was atrocious and yet about 15 children came with their grown-ups, to participate in the reading of the story, and then "Bringing it to Life"... as everyone got to take part.

Reading the story before bringing it to life.
The BIG BOOK pages were turned by two little volunteers while others read the characters of the Wind, the Sun, Hope, Children and People, and everyone else, including the grown-ups, got to make sound effects of - you got it - the wind, weather, people grunting and laughing and singing.

After showing everyone how the little book was made, from conception, to drafts, to illustrations and then set-up and finally printing, the children were invited to create their own little book, and/or do a drawing.

 Here is one drawing done by a student in 2008 at OK Falls Elementary when I read just the story. I was still figuring out how to illustrate the book, and hadn't quite got the story finished. It needed more weather, and so forth. Which it has now.

Here is a drawing from the Launch... by Alyana. Others are now posted on the Day the Wind Changed Children's Art Gallery at

And for more information on the story please visit:

There will be more photos coming.
And on Thursday, April 20, The Day the Wind Changed will be making a grand appearance at Okanagan Falls Elementary School for their Earth Week activities. As principal Lisa McCall says:

"I love The Day the Wind Changed as it represents such an important life skill in todays world and really emphasizes the importance of responding over reacting, which I feel cannot be more relevant for all of us. So thank you Rosemary for this story of hope and optimism!"