This concert took place on June 3, 2017.


Location is TBD

Tales from Turtle Island

Toronto Composers Collective Spectrum Music brings storytelling and musicians together in a special concert for Canada’s 150th birthday.

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Tales from Turtle Island

Time & Location

This concert took place on June 3, 2017.

Location is TBD

About The Event

Toronto Composers Collective Spectrum Music brings storytelling and musicians together in a special concert for Canada’s 150th birthday. One of our oldest art forms, storytelling remains an important part of the culture of many Indigenous communities in Turtle Island, the land that encompasses most of North America.

Playwright Yolanda Bonnell has written a collection of five new pieces to be paired with new compositions by the Spectrum composers. Actor Rachel Cantin will perform the pieces alongside an ensemble featuring members of the Metis Fiddler Quartet and DJ/electronic artist Classic Roots.

Violinist Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk adds her compositional voice to the concert, as she performs an excerpt of her work “Memere Colibri”: a piece for solo violin, storytelling, and projections. Classic Roots (aka Joshua DePerry) will perform a solo piece for electronics and Pow Wow dance.


Violin- Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk

Violin- Nick Delbaere-Sawchuk

Cello- Danton Delbaere-Sawchuk

Alto saxophone- Olivia Shortt

Electronics- Joshua DePerry aka Classic Roots

Storyteller- Rachel Cantin


Pow Wow by Yolanda Bonnell, music interpretation by Shannon Graham

Anishnaabe Kwe Pt 1 by Yolanda Bonnell, music interpretation by Chelsea McBride

Red Waters by Yolanda Bonnell, music interpretation by Lieke van der Voort

Anishnaabe Kwe Pt 2 by Yolanda Bonnell, music interpretation by Kristian Podlacha

Blood Cells by Yolanda Bonnell, music interpretation by Jay Vazquez

Memere Colibri by Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk

Solo Dance by Classic Roots

“This collection is about my culture being taken from me to my anger and reclamation of it, to an understanding that it was always there with me in my bloodline of women. The ugliness of colonization but the beauty and celebration of being an Ojibwe woman.”- Yolanda Bonnell

About Joshua DePerry aka Classic Roots

Classic Roots brings the sexy heartbeat of the boreal north to life with his unique brand of Electronica and pow wow techno. The Thunder Bay native is an award winning producer and DJ who is impacting the music community with his fresh sound and meaningful collaborations with diverse artists.

Drawing inspiration from his life and culture, Classic Roots established his original sound by integrating First Nations songs with Electronica music. He navigates the unique sound of techno/house music while dancing to the beat of traditional Anishinaabe sounds, establishing a sense of cultural freedom that echoes throughout the electronic music scene. With inspirations such as Gina Turner, Daft Punk and “Justice” French Producer, Classic Roots has been able to develop his sound, which he has perfected through the use of a drum machine and the music software Reason 9.

About Yolanda Bonnell

Yolanda Bonnell is an emerging performer and playwright of Ojibwe and South Asian descent, hailing from Fort William First Nation Indian Reserve in Thunder Bay, ON. She is a graduate of Humber College’s theatre performance program and was also a part of Factory Theatre’s The Foundry, a creation program for new career writers, where her play, Scanner was being developed. Her one woman physical theatre show bug, directed by Cole Alvis, premiered at Native Earth’s Weesageechak Begins to Dance 28 and at the 37th annual Rhubarb Festival in 2016 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and then went on to have a workshop residency at Summerworks 2016. Yolanda will be a part of the Stratford Festival’s 2017 season appearing in The Breathing Hole and Treasure Island.

About Rachel Cantin

Rachel Cantin is an emerging actor and filmmaker, originally from Regina, Saskatchewan. She has appeared in such TV shows as “Incredible Story Studio” and “Corner Gas”. She co-created, co-wrote and co-starred in the web series, “Over The Fence”. Rachel made her professional theatre debut with Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan and appeared with the Festival Company for Weesageechak Begins to Dance 28 in 2015. Rachel appeared in three short films in 2016, “The Joys of Coupling”, which she also wrote and produced, “PULL” and “Graffiti Alley”. 2016 also marked the launch of Fifth Arsenal Films, a production company that Rachel and her business partner, Natasha Arsenault, co-founded. Rachel studied under acting coach, Neil Schell for two years with his Actors Core Group and has been studying with Straeon Acting Studios since May 2016. She currently resides in Toronto, Ontario.

About Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk

Born in Winnipeg and based in Toronto, Alyssa is completing a doctorate in classical and fiddle music traditions on the viola at the University of Montreal. Upon learning about her Red River metis roots, her and her younger brothers discovered the old Native and metis style of fiddling traditions of Canada with the guidance of Anne Lederman. Alyssa’s mentorship with Ojibwe elder fiddler Lawrence “Teddy Boy” Houle, lead her to collaborate with his brother James Flett in creating “Oméigwessi, Reel Métis: A Tribute to Walter Flett”, which won ‘Best Fiddle and Best Instrumental Album’ at the 2008 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

About Olivia Shortt

Olivia Shortt is an emerging, Toronto-based classical and contemporary saxophonist, administrator and teacher of Irish and Ojibwe descent from Nipissing First Nation. She performs regularly with Stereoscope Saxophone Duo, Dialectica Saxophone Quartet, and the Element Choir (under the direction of Christine Duncan) and has been involved in performances with Polaris Prize Winner, Tanya Tagaq at The Carlu, Nathan Phillips Square and Massey Hall in Toronto. Her work as an arts administrator has her working as part of the organizational team of the Toronto Creative Music Lab, as an Administrator at the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance as well as an Artistic Producer with Spectrum Music.

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