What was Choral Canada’s intended impact of this project?


Choral Canada initiated a daring, expansive, innovative choral creation and performance experience to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary and the significance of the choral arts in this country. This multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional choral/theatre/visual arts project pushed the boundaries of traditional choral music by creating an outdoor “travelling concert”, unified around the theme of water. Each choir performed in a carefully selected natural space, heightening the experience for the audience through an encounter with the landscape or humanscape around them.

The art installations and silent theatrical performances along the connecting paths to each choir performance allowed a continued meditation on our country’s shared deep connection with water. Choral Canada’s hopes to inspire the choral community to continue including other artistic disciplines within their choral performances, creating a rich and reflective experience for the audience.

The …float… app technology component was intended to inspire choirs and choral composers to bring accessible new technology into their own creative process and help break down the barriers between performer and listener.

Choral Canada hopes to see the choral community in Canada and beyond inspired by this form of performance and to feel empowered to push their own boundaries within their choral organization and communities at home.

How do I access the scores for the six choral pieces?


Begin by Alice Ho (SSA a cappella with percussion and body percussion), performed by the Oakville Choir for Children and Youth: Raise Her Voice; contact the Canadian Music Centre library at [email protected]

Life/Cycle by Michael Snelgrove (TTBB div a cappella), performed by Newman Sound Men’s Choir; Contact the composer at [email protected]

On the Surface of Water by Andrew Staniland (SSAATTBB with D-pitched bells/gongs and free iPhone app); Contact the composer at www.andrewstaniland.com

Rain Makes its Own Night by Alexina Louie, performed by Elektra Women’s Choir (SSAA divisi a cappella with optional rain sticks); Contact the composer at http://www.alexinalouie.ca/contact

Saint-Laurent by Robert Ingari, performed by Chœur de chambre du Québec
Contact the composer at [email protected]

Song of the River (SA with string quartet and Inuit hand drums) by Deantha Edmunds, arranged by Leslee Heys, performed by the Ullugiagâtsuk Choir
Contact the composer [email protected] or the arranger [email protected]

Why was water chosen as the unifying theme of the project?


“We are made of water – it’s our very weather, in our bodies, our breath, our air. It’s such an everyday fact that it’s easy to forget that connection between us as human beings and our interconnectedness with the animals, plantlife and environment around us. Water plays a part in our lives domestic, artistic, geographic – it splits us apart while keeping us together. Clean water in Canada is by far our most precious resource, more important than Oil, more important than anything. My goal was to have people consider the everyday way it plays into our lives, and to think, even for just a moment how much beauty, function and life depends on it, and how lucky we are to have it.” – Jillian Keiley

What is the float app and how do I use it?


How was the creative community of St. John’s and beyond involved in …float…


The creative community of St. John’s was more than excited to jump in and help make this project a reality. Many individuals in music, art, theatre, construction, and other disciplines came together to contribute their various talents. Members of the theatre community were part of the stage management crew, actors and visual artists that pulled from all great parts of the Avalon Peninsula. We brought in some of the best set design artists in the region and they were instrumental in making the visions of our artistic team come to life.

Is this show available to be presented again?


Choral Canada hopes that the choral community will be inspired to replicate the concept of an outdoor travelling choral+theatre event/concert and include technology + apps.
For information on how to access the scores for performance of the choral compositions, please view the corresponding FAQ.

Contact Choral Canada for more information on the rights and permission for reproducing …float…

How was this project funded?


…float… was funded through three mediums: The Canada Council for the Arts New Chapter grant; in-kind contributions from various organizations, businesses and individuals; and ticket sales. Please peruse our website to see the many individuals, organizations and businesses who supported this incredible project. It could not have been possible without the Canada Council for the Arts and the wonderful community of committed persons thanked on our website.

Due to …float… being an outdoor travelling concert, how was this event made accessible to those needing mobility support?


Choral Canada worked with Kathy Hawkins of Inclusion NL. An
accessibility guide
was developed in advance and every effort was made to ensure all patrons had equal access to …float…

What was the inspiration behind each choir’s original composition?


Each choir was asked to tell a story that reflected their past, present and/or future. Existing texts and/or new texts by Canadian poets/lyricists would reflect the unique character of people and place. Choral Canada commissioned a Canadian composer for each choir, chosen by the choir, to create a distinctive choral work giving life to their stories through the choral medium. The …float… co-creators’ artistic vision was designed to connect the six-commissioned works (5 ensemble and 1 massed) and performances, celebrating the rich diversity of Canada’s population.

Visit the Artists Page for more information on the composer’s inspiration for each piece.

Relive the Performances

Whether you joined us during the live performances, or if you want to learn more about what …float… was, our Experience section contains images, videos, and audio clips from all of the performances.