Thanks to the generosity of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, 50 DAREarts children, volunteers, and families gathered in the lobby of Roy Thomson Hall on Thursday, June 30, the sense of anticipation and excitement palpable. They were there to see Buffy Sainte-Marie – a living legend and Indigenous icon who has been a musician, educator, activist and writer for over 50 years.
Accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Buffy’s powerful stage presence had the eyes and ears of DAREarts families glued to the stage, her music ranging from soaring rock anthems to gentle folk songs to spoken word to campfire singalongs, all underlined with her powerful message of Indigenous rights, care for the planet and for one another.
The R in “DARE” stands for Responsibility, a value that Buffy highlighted powerfully throughout the evening. Acknowledging residential schools and the work of the Truth and Reconciliation commission, Buffy reminded us of our collective societal responsibility to work towards renewed relationships with our Indigenous communities.
After experiencing this incredibly inspiring evening of music, here is what our children and volunteers had to say:
“I enjoyed the atmosphere of the concert and ability for music to bridge the generational gap.” – Rosalyn, DAREarts youth
“I brought two of my children and my eight-year-old was on the edge of his seat. We loved seeing folk music backed up by the orchestra and I would come to see another show in a heartbeat. Thanks so much to for the generous donation of tickets. It allowed my children to experience something outside their usual exposure.” – Selby, volunteer
“We loved the concert. The fact that Buffy was on stage most of the time was amazing and that she sang most of the old songs. We were three generations and all loved it. The symphony was great and all around we had a great time.” – Gert
We’d like to thank the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for sharing this inspiring opportunity with our families!
DAREarts is a children’s charity that uses the arts to empower at-risk young people to become leaders. Our lead sponsors are Northbridge Insurance, Scotiabank, TD Bank Group, and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.