This! is Canada – Virtual Choir
Experiences Canada is dedicated to finding innovative ways to connect young Canadians at a time when so much continues to keep them apart. Nothing brings young people together more than music!
The This! Is Canada – Virtual Choir, is made up of youth age 11-17 from across Canada, with a passion for singing. All voices and abilities welcome! No prior experience necessary.
We are excited to announce that applications are now open for another This! is Canada – Virtual Choir! To accommodate the holiday season we’ll be running 2 x 6 week sessions running from Oct 12 to Nov 16, and Feb 1 to March 8. You are invited to sign up to one or both sessions!
Sign up today and release your inner rock star!
HOW IT WORKS:
Participants have weekly group rehearsals via Zoom (held Tuesdays at 7pm EST). Sessions are conducted primarily in English, but translation is available for French speaking participants on request. The choir is led by Lee Hayes, a professional voice coach and music teacher. At the end of each month, time is set aside for youth to present their own projects about music and their communities.
Over 6 weeks, participants will learn two Canadian popular music pieces. Everyone is encouraged to submit vocal recordings of their parts, plus photos and/or videos to go into a group choir video for each song! All recordings will be mixed and presented as music videos.
Youth will also be required to complete two assignments: a daily life profile video; and another creative project e.g.- photo gallery, video, or website featuring an aspect of the music culture and history in their community that they will share with each other. These projects will also be uploaded to our This! is canada – Interactive map.
Youth participants will learn 2 distinctly Canadian Songs over the 6 weeks of rehearsals. Songs for the upcoming choir are still being decided but we do have a few guidelines for choosing the songs:
- All the songs have to be by Canadian artists.
- We want wide representation and relevance in content.
- We choose songs we think our singers would know and love!
Voice Coach: Lee Hayes
Award-winning Canadian songwriter and CFMA nominee Lee Hayes is a full-time singer, songwriter, arranger, choir director, and voice teacher. Lee is known internationally for her A Cappella groups Malaika and Cantarra, and on Showtime for her song “I Should Have Been David Duchovny’s Bride” (Californication). Based in both Ottawa and Vancouver, Lee is Canada’s busiest choir director and vocal coach. Since the pandemic, Lee has formed an online choir (VOX Virtual Choir) that has members from all over Canada, the US, and South America.
As a performer, Lee has toured Canada, the US and the UK, and has appeared on several international radio and television shows (CBC, CTV, CJOH, the New RO, BBC, ABC, WTN). Lee has over 250 a cappella arrangements in 3-7 part harmony to date. Many choirs around the world have licensed and performed her arrangements.
Accompaniment/Technical Production : Rob Cosh
Rob Cosh is an audio engineer/ producer/ composer/ voice over artist. He has been mixing and mastering audio for music and video for over 20 years. His recording/mixing credits include: Brad Sucks, The Peptides, and many more independent artists from across North America.
Rob Cosh co-founded the 613 Casual Choir in 2013. Since that time, and along with partner Lee Hayes, the 613 Casual Choir has become a tremendous success, consistently drawing hundreds of singers from all over the Ottawa region and beyond to joyful, community-driven sing-along events. Rob & Lee continue to host the 613 Casual Choir virtually on a regular basis, and participants attend from not only Canada but from around the world!
Rob has also released music under his own name, as well as “thehipcola, Slither, Flaming Tiger”, to name a few.. While most likely to be found in the studio sculpting sound, he’s also been spotted meditating, camping, and tuning pianos.
Check out the amazing songs created by our first This! is Canada Virtual Choir:
Scars To Your Beautiful (Alessia Cara)
Scars To Your Beautiful was chosen because of the powerful message, and also because the artist, Alessia Cara, is a strong female role model. The video reflects the message of how we can be so self-critical in superficial ways, and how affirming positive choices can be.
Northern lights (The Jerry Cans)
Northern lights by the Jerry Cans is a fun, driving song about life in the far north, with incredible imagery and an anthemic vibe! The video has a nature-driven theme, with scenes from all over Canada, but personal to our choir members.
Un Canadien Errant (Whitehorse)
Un Canadien Errant was a surprising choice in that it is so traditional, but this version (by Whitehorse) puts a new spin on the song. This video was to portray our love for our country, the wistfulness of missing loved ones during this pandemic, and our ties to our home.
Blinding Lights (The Weeknd)
Blinding Lights by the Weeknd was our ‘dessert’ song, a song with so much speed and movement. Our singers had a lot of fun with moving lights and spinning backgrounds. It’s the last song we worked on as summer approached and health restrictions were easing. There’s a strong sense of freedom and excitement!
SUPPORT THIS! IS CANADA – VIRTUAL PROGRAMS
We know that many families have been severely impacted by the pandemic, and we need your support to ensure no youth is left behind due to changes in their family’s financial circumstances, cultural concerns or geographical or technological disadvantages.
You can help ensure our programs are accessible to all. Please consider making a donation, allowing youth to stay connected and participate in our virtual programs.