When the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra takes to the stage this weekend to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, it will do something no other Canadian symphony has done before.

'Let's do Canadiana to an extreme.' - Saskatoon Symphony music director Eric Paetkau

The concert promises "Canadiana to an extreme," and not just because the performance will exclusively feature Canadian composers.  

Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra music director Eric Paetkau promised something else on the stage Saturday night that will make this performance the first of its kind — citizenship.

A dozen or so people will join the symphony on stage, where they will be sworn in as new Canadians before joining the orchestra in what's sure to be an emotional version of the national anthem.

The idea felt like a perfect fit for a symphony that works hard to "represent our community, to reflect who we are as a city, a province, a country," Paetkau told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

"Let's do Canadiana to an extreme and bring it all together."


This weekend's concert will be the final one of the 86th season for the SSO. (Courtesy SSO)

Part of that is the all-Canadian lineup for the concert.

"There is a specific Canadian sound," said Paetkau. 

It is, he said, a sound filled with confidence and wide-open spaces.

"Maybe I'm just being poetic now in trying to bring my mind, my image, into this music."

This will mark the final performance of the year for the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra as it celebrates its 86th season.

Paetkau said he thinks the season was a success and he will continue moving the orchestra forward with a belief that music and art "has to make us feel something."

Saturday's concert begins at 7:30 p.m. CST at the Sid Buckwold Theatre in TCU Place.

with files from Saskatoon Morning