The Regina Symphony Orchestra is going on the road with Buffy Sainte-Marie in hopes of reaching new audiences in Saskatchewan.
On Wednesday, the organization announced a partnership with Sainte-Marie, who will be performing with the Orchestra on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. CST at the Conexus Arts Centre.
The partnership will continue with a community tour to three First Nation communities across southern Saskatchewan in the spring.
"The RSO has undertaken a concerted effort to strengthen our relationship with the indigenous people of Regina and across Southern Saskatchewan," said RSO Music Director, Gordon Gerrard, referencing the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation commission.
RSO said they wanted to partner with Sainte-Marie after she was announced as the 2015 Polaris Music Prize winner and performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The organization began planning how Sainte-Marie could return to her roots in Saskatchewan to perform with the RSO and help it build relationships with First Nations.
"Her aim will be to connect with the people who live in these communities, especially young people, to talk with them, to perform for them and with them, to inspire them," Gerrard said. "And it will be an honour for me personally and the musicians of the Regina Symphony to join her in this endeavour."
Project nets provincial and federal funding
The Buffy Saint-Marie project will receive funding through The Canada Council for the Arts through a special Canada 150 project. From out of 2,000 applications, the RSO's was one of 200 chosen. RSO is one of only three professional orchestras in Canada that received funding through the project.
RSO would not disclose the amount of funding from The Canada Council for the Arts due to a grant agreement.
Casino Regina is also donating $20,000 to the project. Christine Tell, Minister responsible for Sask. Gaming, said it will help the ministry share one of its core values: diversity.
"This donation will also help remove financial and geographical barriers that make assessing the arts challenging for people," said Tell.