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Orchestra holds protest concert on B.C. glacier

An orchestra has held an unusual performance on a glacier in B.C.'s East Kootenay region to protest the construction of the Jumbo Glacier ski resort and draw attention to receding glaciers globally.

Musicians protest construction of ski resort, raise awareness of global warming

Composer Paul Walde said the requiem was written and performed for the glacier alone, so there was no audience other than the landscape itself. (Courtesy of Pat Morrow)

An orchestra held an unusual performance on a glacier, in B.C.'s East Kootenay region, this weekend to protest the construction of the Jumbo Glacier ski resort and draw attention to receding glaciers globally.

The group of 50 musicians trekked up Farnham glacier on Saturday and performed an original composition, entitled Requiem for a Glacier, composed by Paul Walde of the University of Victoria.

The orchestra was accompanied by a crew of nearly 30 sherpas, drivers and activists who helped bring instruments and audio equipment to the glacier.

The lyrics included a Latin translation of the B.C. government’s March 2012 press release stating that developers could move forward with the controversial $450 million dollar ski resort about 57 kilometres west of Invermere, B.C.

The slowly increasing tempo of the music was designed to reflect temperature rises at Farnham glacier over the past several decades, based on data that Walde sourced from Environment Canada.

Elements of the performance will be part of an art installation at the Langham Cultural Centre in Kaslo, B.C. in October and another show at the Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson in January.

Ajtony Csaba, conductor of the University of Victoria Symphony, conducted the musicians. (Courtesy of Pat Morrow)

With files from the CBC's Lucas Powers