Skip to content

St. Albert Singers give a voice to Canada

Songs from Joni Mitchell, Roger Whittaker, Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Tyson, Susan Aglukark and more
Ed Toop and 10-year-old Ezri Lindbeck take on the role of conductors at St. Albert Singers season finale. Canada Is takes the audience on a cross-country train ride of songs taking place May 24 and 25 at St. Albert United Church.

The voices are many. The song is one. It echoes throughout St. Albert United Church’s performance venue and down the corridor. 

The St. Albert Singers, a mixed choir with a core group of 60 voices, offers a place where people of any age can meet for friendship in a shared love of singing. 

Led by artistic director Caroline Crispin, the choir hosts its season finale at St. Albert United Church on May 24 and 25. 

This year’s theme is Canada Is, a tribute to our national singer-songwriters that bridge the country’s numerous cultural divides. 

“It’s an homage to all things Canadian. The songs are written or performed by Canadian artists who talk about our great nation and its north. It’s a huge honour to sound our pride of Canada,” said Crispin. 

She likens the concert to a train ride that starts in the north, travels to British Columbia, over the mountains to the Prairies. From the Prairies, the concert rides the rails to Eastern Canada and makes a full circle swing back to the north. 

The choir will perform 20 songs ranging from recording artists such as Susan Aglukark, Joni Mitchell, Roger Whittaker, Ian Tyson, Gordon Lightfoot and Serena Ryder, to Ruth Moody, Sherryl Sewepagaham, Paul Anka, Alistair MacGillivray and more. 

Through this joyful train ride, Crispin opens up a greater sense of empathy and communication to far-flung places. For instance, Lightfoot’s Canadian Railroad Trilogy becomes a metaphor for the old days of the iron horse that connected our country from coast-to-coast, from south to north. 

The choir also sings two of Aglukark’s songs — O Siem and Hina Na Ho (Celebration) — as a salute to people’s determination in battling our country’s winter harshness and creating enduring cultures.

Anka’s 1959 cherished love song, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Tyson's 1962 Four Strong Winds, and Whittaker’s 1974 Canada Is, a tribute to our nation’s well of love and peace will also be performed. 

In addition, 39 youth from Bravo Choir, a St. Albert Public School choir developed for extracurricular enrichment, will participate. Under the direction of Candice Metz, Bravo Choir has rehearsed Ruth Moody’s One Voice and Sherryl Sewepagaham’s Sleepy Song, a Cree lullaby. 

“In Sleepy Song, you will hear sounds that are heard within words. The sounds you hear are the same traditional sounds men make in a drum circle,” Crispin said. 

For Crispin, Canada’s diverse topography is one of its biggest attractions. 

“You can go sailing in the ocean to mountains with snow-capped peaks and see eagles fly. You can go from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic and see squares of farms, and if you’ve never been to the East Coast, you can see these great waves. There is so much beauty and life teeming in Canada, and you can go out and be free and become one with nature.” 

Canada Is concerts are Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 25 at 3 p.m. at the St. Albert United Church, St. Albert Green Grove Dr. Tickets are adults $25, children three to 12 years $10. Call Barb at 780-293-2842. 

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks