On Wednesday, June 28th, nine DAREarts youths were invited to attend A Place to Stand, a special concert commemorating 150 years of Ontario and Canada hosted by Her Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
DAREarts graduate Kalli Lang reflected on this special evening:
Last night I had the special opportunity of representing DAREarts at the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s A Place To Stand: A Celebration of 150 Years in Canada and Ontario. What a phenomenal night, a beautiful, detailed and engaging history lesson beginning from the discovery of Canada, with wonderful musical acts during every era.
Because it was such a fancy event, I wasn’t sure what to expect (cultural erasure and white-centric retelling of history?) but was pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail and recognition of Canada’s tragedies involving POC and the First Nations. They recognized the stealing of native land; they acknowledged the problem of missing and murdered Aboriginal women; the thousands of Chinese that lost their lives building the railroad; the nursing sisters during the war; the decorated and influential Aboriginal soldier; the fact that jazz and ragtime was pioneered by Black culture, and that slavery had effects on it as well; that the Canadian touring performing group The Dumbells was a story of soldiers turned singers, included drag, and were one of the first Canadian Broadway performances… I’m happy. Met the Lieutenant Governor, Cynthia Dale, Miss Conception, got to watch Jackie Richardson’s beautiful jazz voice in action, Murray McLaughlin, and got to see my hero, Col. Chris Hadfield and his brother perform “In Canada”!
We are deeply grateful to Her Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell for extending this opportunity to our youth and for hosting such a beautiful tribute to Canada.
Photos courtesy of Kalli Lang.