Taking up Lance’s nationalist challenge to the CBC #Canada150

Lawrence Wiliford (AKA Lance Wiliford) posted the following on Facebook today:

I challenge @CBCMusic @CBCclassical @CBCArts to air 15 mins/day of music by Canadian classical composers during 2017. Not film or crossover.#Canada150. Canadian Music Centre Canadian League of Composers/La Ligue Canadienne des Compositeurs The Huffington Post Canada Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada Canadian Art Song ProjectJustin Trudeau Mélanie Joly Canadian Heritage (I urge others to issue this same challenge to the CBC).


Tenor Lawrence Wiliford (photo: Bruce Zinger)

Lance has been putting his money where his mouth is as co-artistic director of the Canadian Art Song Project,  whereby Canadian composers (let alone singers) are encouraged and supported through concerts, commissions & recordings of new vocal compositions: unlike the CBC.

I don’t know whether anyone has issued the same challenge, but I’m jumping in here.

2017 is significant as the 150th anniversary of Confederation aka the sesquicentennial. A few important promises have been made:

  • The Toronto Symphony begin in January 2017 with “Canada Mosaic”, a celebration of Canadian music including 20 unique programs, over 40 newly commissioned orchestral works, in a co-operative venture partnering with 40 other Canadian orchestras, and including an e-learning platform
  • The Canadian Opera Company are programming Somers’ Louis Riel, one of two operas originally commissioned for the centennial.
    • Tafelmusik offer a new multimedia concert—Visions & Voyages: Canada 1663 – 1763 —by Alison Mackay (she’s the one holding the double-bass)

And yet the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation / Radio Canada is arguably a much bigger richer institution than the three Toronto institutions I mentioned.

What are you going to do CBC? I think we have a right to know what – if anything—you’re planning. How about it, CBC..!?

I had a look through my google-lens. Here’s something they announced, which doesn’t mention Canadian composers or music as far as I can see: but it’s still only the end of August. Perhaps there’s time for some kind of response?  I remember a CBC that used to be the steward of music in this country, encouraging and funding all sorts of creativity.

It could be so once again.

This entry was posted in Music and musicology, Personal ruminations & essays, Popular music & culture. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Taking up Lance’s nationalist challenge to the CBC #Canada150

  1. Catherine Robbin says:

    Bravo, Lance! And well said, Leslie Barcza.

  2. Let us hope the CBC is listening.. well stated I hope all is well within your own musical world my friend.

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