A Buzz in the Air: The NAC Orchestra’s SPHERE festival

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'Your Temper, My Weather' a performance artwork at SPHERE Festival featuring violinist Leslie Ting © Photo: Curtis Perry
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Become Ocean by John Luther Adams performed by the NAC Orchestra © Photo: Curtis Perry
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Dr. Katherine Richardson, Professor in Biological Oceanography at the Københavns Universitet - University of Copenhagen in conversation with Dr. Angela Rawlings, Canadian-Icelandic interdisciplinary artist-researcher © Photo: Curtis Perry

Your donations to the NAC Foundation help to create artistic programming that is relevant to our time.

SPHERE, a music, arts and science festival about our world in a time of climate crisis, engaged audiences between September 22 and 25. Co-curated by Alexander Shelley and Canadian-Icelandic interdisciplinary artist Dr. Angela Rawlings, the festival featured Canadian, Indigenous and Nordic composers, musicians, visual artists, writers and scientists. 

“It’s an investigation of our planet through sound, music and art, of our relationship to our planet, the sphere on which we must coexist,” said Alexander. 

Alexander also spoke about SPHERE with an intimate audience of donors at the Donors’ Circle Open Rehearsal of the ethereal Become Ocean program. It was a festival offered something for everyone to explore with 40 performances, concerts, talks, visual and audio arts, and sensory installations presented at the NAC, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and Club SAW. 

In a festival highlight, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser made his debut as the NAC Orchestra’s new Principal Youth Conductor with an interactive Family Adventures concert, Tune into Nature. This popular performance featured music inspired by nature and creative responses to our world, the climate crisis, and the times we live in.  

The second edition of the Arctic Imagination speaker series, co-presented with the Royal Danish Library, proved to be popular as well. Engaged audience members were treated to discussions between Canadian, Indigenous, Danish and Greenlandic scientists, artists, explorers, activists, and more.

Another highlight of the festival was Your Temper, My Weather, a gathering of 108 beekeepers and pollinator-loving allies who came together in procession from the Canadian Museum of Nature to the NAC. Throughout the performance, artist Leslie Ting performed live beehive sounds on the violin. In an interview with CBC’s All in a Day, creator, artist and beekeeper Diane Borsato shared, “It’s really incredible, when [Leslie] plays violin it feels like there are bees around. It is good to tell the city that there aren’t real bees with the procession.”

Thanks to your generous contributions to the NAC Foundation, you helped support the performing arts and raise awareness about issues affecting our environment. “So so so happy to see as many positive and supportive people contributing to the betterment of our planet!,” said Facebook user Stephany Lynn. 

From all of us at the NAC, thank you for helping us to create change through the performing arts!

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.

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