Shawnee Kish, Guest Artist
Named the winner of CBC’s 2020 Searchlight talent competition, Shawnee Kish has been celebrated as one of North America’s Top Gender Bending Artists (MTV), named by Billboard as an Artist You Need To Know, and continuously uses her music to empower. An outspoken advocate for her Indigenous and LGBTQ2+ communities, she is a proud Two Spirit Mohawk who has shared the stage with some of the world’s biggest names—Lady Gaga, Madonna, and Alicia Keys, to name a few.
2021 will see Shawnee release a new EP that addresses her personal struggles over the past twelve months—“The main theme will be lighting up what used to be and getting on with what is now. The songs represent becoming yourself, finding out where you were was not where you wanted to be, and fully embracing that in order to let go. Light the Place up, even if it’s unintentional”—and hopefully, return to touring. She will also continue her work with the We Matter Campaign and Kids Help Phone in hopes of empowering youth, providing strength, and hope through music.
Since its debut in 1969, the National Arts Centre (NAC) Orchestra has been praised for the passion and clarity of its performances, its visionary educational programs, and its prominent role in nurturing Canadian creativity. Under the leadership of Music Director Alexander Shelley, the NAC Orchestra reflects the fabric and values of Canada, reaching and representing the diverse communities we live in with daring programming, powerful storytelling, inspiring artistry, and innovative partnerships.
Alexander Shelley began his tenure as Music Director in 2015, following Pinchas Zukerman’s 16 seasons at the helm. Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and former Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra (2009 - 2017), he has been in demand around the world, conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and Stockholm Philharmonic, among others, and maintains a regular relationship with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and the German National Youth Orchestra.
Each season, the NAC Orchestra features world-class artists such as the newly appointed Artist-in-Residence James Ehnes, Angela Hewitt, Joshua Bell, Xian Zhang, Gabriela Montero, Stewart Goodyear, Jan Lisiecki, and Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds. As one of the most accessible, inclusive and collaborative orchestras in the world, the NAC Orchestra uses music as a universal language to communicate the deepest of human emotions and connect people through shared experiences.