FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 12, 2022
REGINA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TO HOLD THREE DAY MUSIC FESTIVAL OF LGBTQ2S+ ARTISTS
REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN: The Regina Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is celebrating the power of queer artists in the third edition of the Forward Currents Festival. The festival will be held April 29, 30 and May 1 at mâmawêyatitân centre in Regina. The 2022 festival theme is LGBTQ2S+ Living Out Loud, and will feature a line-up of Canadian artists sharing their stories through music, as well as education opportunities for the community.
“Queer voices possess extraordinary power. They challenge us to examine our lives with fresh perspectives, they inspire us with their resilience, and they lift us up with the unwavering strength of community”, said Gordon Gerrard, RSO Music Director and artistic director for the festival who will also be conducting two of the three performances, “The festival aims to present ideas and issues that are socially relevant to those of us who live here, to spark conversation, and ultimately to create consciousness about the choices we make.”
Isaiah Bell, tenor and composer, will share his story in a unique, comedy confessional on the first night of the festival with Book of My Shames. Cris Derksen, Juno-nominated cellist and composer, returns to Regina with Buffalo Girls, a show performed along with singer Rebecca Benson about their home life and what it means to keep their three fires going. The festival will wrap-up with another group returning to the city, The Queer Songbook Orchestra (QSO) will present a show full of familiar pop songs reimagined in a collaborative performance that will also feature local actor Ruaridh MacDonald as narrator.
The festival will be held for the second time at the mâmawêyatitân centre – an innovative building that houses a community gathering place, as well as a police station, high school and public library. The building provides a unique space for the audience to experience a symphony performance, and connection with community partners. Regina Public Library is presenting the pre-concert talk with award-winning author Joshua Whitehead on April 30, with UR Pride providing an educational session on April 29. A group of teachers, students and local educational leaders will share their experiences of safe spaces in schools on the final night of the festival.
As a way to make sure that community connection happens off the stage as well, a new Share the Music ticket level has been added for the 2022 festival. This ticket is a way to see the shows but also pay it forward with a ticket being offered to a community group to attend the festival.
The pre-concert events are free to attend and start at 6:30 pm. Tickets are required for the concerts, which start at 7:30 pm. Single day tickets are available, $30 for floor seating, $20 for bleachers. Three-day weekend passes are available, $75 for floor seating, $50 for bleachers. Tickets are available online at reginasymphony.com, or by calling 306-586-9555.
The Forward Currents Festival is made possible by support from Heritage Canada, the City of Regina, partners of the mâmawêyatitân centre and the Regina Public Library.
RSO MEDIA CONTACT
Festival Day One / April 29
PRE SHOW: CREATING POSITIVE SPACES
A discussion about LGBTQ+ identities, creating safe spaces, and using inclusive language.
Presented in Partnership with UR Pride
CONCERT: THE BOOK OF MY SHAMES
Gordon Gerrard, conductor
Isaiah Bell, tenor
Sean Guist, director
Kolby Zinger-Harris, orchestration
This performance contains mature content and language. The RSO recommends audiences of 14 + and parental discretion.
Festival Day Two / April 30
PRE SHOW: JOSHUA WHITEHEAD
An intimate conversation with Joshua Whitehead, author of Jonny Appleseed, about writing, Indigeneity, queerness, and the power of story.
Presented in Partnership with Regina Public Library
CONCERT: BUFFALO GIRLS
Cris Derksen, cello & composer
Rebecca Benson, vocals
Jesse Baird, drummer
Festival Day Three / May 1
PRE SHOW: SCHOOL-BASED GENDER & DIVERSITY ALLIANCES
A panel discussion led by David Popoff, learn about why these groups are important in making LGBTQ2S+ students feel safe in schools.
CONCERT: QSO X RSO
Gordon Gerrard, conductor
Queer Songbook Orchestra
Shaun Brodie, QSO artistic director
Supported by the Regina Folk Festival
Festival Bonus Round / May 7
Conexus Arts Centre | 7:30 PM
THORGY THOR AND THE THORCESTRA
Thorgy Thor, of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame, the reigning Queen of Classical will slay with song, dance & hilarious shenanigans.
Tickets start at $25. Part of the RSO Pops Series.