PRISMA to debut “Fires of the Past: Facing the Future”
POWELL RIVER — BC’s own summer orchestra academy, the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA), is returning this season from June 13th – 25th in Powell River, B.C. For its fourth season, the festival is partnering with Canada’s youngest recognized nation to celebrate a monumental treaty in the region. In addition, the academy will premiere Fires of the Past: Facing the Future, a film about Tla’amin Nation’s experience with the treaty process.
The film, produced and directed by popular local filmmaker Claudia Medina, tells the story of a BC nation’s journey navigating the treaty process of Canada. The ten-minute film centers itself around the emblem of fire; it depicts a rousing ceremony in which the Indian Act is burned in a celebratory bonfire by community members. It is PRISMA’s honour and privilege to showcase this premiere for the first time, which aligns with their partnership with Tla’amin Nation at this season’s PRISMA on the Beach event. Claudia Medina will be in attendance at the premiere, which will take place during the Gala Grand Opening Concert on June 17th. The film is a project of the Powell River Diversity Initiative.
As part of this partnership, at PRISMA on the Beach, the PRISMA Festival Orchestra and the Tla’amin Spirit Singers will present a new piece of music produced in collaboration with PRISMA’s Composer-in-Residence Tobin Stokes and Tla’amin singer Drew Blaney (Kespahl). The piece combines Tla’amin drummers and dancers with the full PRISMA Festival Orchestra. This collaboration looks to the future, with a refrain of “Hewtum’shin” (feet moving forward) and lyrics that express hope and excitement at the beginning of the new era of self-governance into which the Tla’amin Nation has just entered alongside Powell River.
PRISMA is making this new partnership and celebration accessible to all kinds of audiences, particularly at PRISMA on the Beach, the free, family-friendly community event. Further, PRISMA is offering unique opportunities to local youth. Youth under age 18 can purchase concert tickets for just $10 (including the Gala Opening Concert which premieres Medina’s film) and enter masterclasses free of charge. Students can also exclusively access orchestra rehearsals (class pre-registration is required). In doing so, PRISMA hopes to engage local youth with community culture and fine music.
Additionally, PRISMA attracts concertgoers from all over Vancouver Island with its Symphony Cruise from Comox and, new this season, from the Sunshine Coast and Lower Mainland with its Sunshine Coast Symphony Tours. The tours offer day or overnight trip packages, complete with concert tickets, accommodations, round trip air or ferry fare, and a wide variety of optional activities including fishing excursions, museum tours, golf rounds and tours of Desolation Sound. All tours bring participants to the matinee Symphony Concert on Saturday, June 18. This exciting concert features soloists Herbert Greenberg, violin; Amanda Forsyth, cello; and Sungpil Kim, piano; with performances of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Le Coq d’Or, Introduction and Wedding March, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, and Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 5. Both the matinee and evening concerts of June 18th are open to everyone.