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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Culture Days' 5th anniversary weekend kicks off with the TSO and Conduct Us!


TORONTO -- Who hasn’t found themselves dramatically waving their arms in the air while enjoying a classical music recording?

Now for the first time ever in Canada, Culture Days and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) are presenting Conduct Us, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring that musical fantasy to life!

On September 26th, as part of the official Culture Days 5th Anniversary national kick-off, members of the public of all ages will be offered a thrilling chance to step onstage, pick up a baton and chose from one of three scores.

Then, they will each conduct the full orchestra for two minutes alongside Peter Oundjian, esteemed Conductor and TSO Music Director.  The conductors will be randomly chosen on the day of the event at Roy Thomson Hall.

Conduct Us will take place from 12:00 to 1:45 pm, and the doors to the hall will open at 10:00 am.  Those interested in entering for a chance to conduct are advised to arrive between 10:00 and 11:00 am to register for the draw. Registration will be ongoing to allow lunch-time crowds to join in the fun.

Not sure how to conduct?  To help set the stage for your big debut, Peter Oundjian and Colm Feore have recorded three fun Learn How to Conduct videos set to the three different scores that will be on offer on September 26th.


Click HERE to see the first video in the series.

Starting at 10:00 am, a number of free exciting pre-show activities will be taking place in Roy Thomson Hall, including demonstrations of the magnificent Gabriel Kney Pipe Organ by Michael Bloss; Beats on the Patio – an interactive DJ workshop presented by U for Change; and dance workshops by Ballet Jörgen. The public will also have a hands-on opportunity to learn about and play a variety of musical instruments through Long & McQuade’s Instrument Petting Zoo.  Additionally, Andréa Tyniec, a recipient of Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank (MIB) program, will perform and speak about her experience playing and touring with a 1900 Stefano Scarampella violin, on loan from the Council’s MIB to her since 2012.

This event will be hosted by Marci len, Co-Host of CTV’s Canada AM, and will include celebrity guest conductors such as actor Colm Feore, who is currently performing as King Lear in Stratford’s production of King Lear, and Steve Anthony, Co-Host of CP24 Breakfast.  Additional guest conductors will be announced at a later date.  For more information on Conduct Us with the TSO, click HERE.
“We are thrilled to partner with the TSO on such a wonderful and exciting initiative,” said Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival and Chair of Culture Days’ National Board of Directors.  “This event truly embodies the spirit of Culture Days by inviting members of the general public to try something incredibly unique and creative they may never have imagined possible.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Culture Days’ 5th Anniversary!”

TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian adds, "Music and the arts are vital to a vibrant society and a healthy community. We are delighted to partner with Culture Days and share our passion for orchestral music with all Torontonians."

And Conduct Us isn’t only happening in Toronto – it is a province-wide initiative.  So far, over a dozen similar events with local musical ensembles are confirmed to take place in other communities across Ontario, each with their own unique twist on the concept! 

The Orillia Wind Ensemble, Vocal Ensemble, Silver Band and Jubilee Chorale will each take turns at Orillia’s Market Square, offering the public a chance to see how conducting differs between vocal and instrumental groups.

The Guelph Puppet troupe Pandora’s Sox is welcoming the public to conduct an unusual ensemble of percussionists, vocalists and puppets; and the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, the Georgian Bay Symphony, the Oakville Symphony Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony, the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra and the Kawartha Youth Orchestra are all offering the public a chance to feel the power of the baton.
Click HERE for more details about Conduct Us across Ontario.

In addition to the above-mentioned activities, there are a host of other Culture Days weekend launches that are set to take place from coast-to-coast, including in Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Milton, Barrie, Stratford, Montreal and Saint John.  For more details on those launches, click HERE.

Conduct Us in Toronto is presented by Culture Days in partnership with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and supported by Roy Thomson Hall and the Canada Council for the Arts. Media Partners include: Toronto Star, Pattison Onestop, TTC and Metro News. 

You can click HERE for an infographic that features facts and figures from Culture Days 2013, or click HERE for more background information. 

About Culture Days
Culture Days is committed to reaching the goal of having all Canadians in every community declaring "I Love Culture" and making culture a daily habit.

Founded in 2009, Culture Days is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a national network of cultural connections devoted to providing Canadians with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of arts and culture. Through an annual three-day national celebration each September, hundreds of thousands of artists and cultural organizations in hundreds of cities and towns come together and invite Canadians to participate in free interactive and behind-the-scenes activities to discover their cultural spirit and passion.

As a leading national voice for the active and engaged cultural life of all Canadians, Culture Days provides support, tools and resources to a wide variety of artists and cultural organizations to help them unite the country through engagement in culture. Culture Days was initiated by four Founding Partners: The Canadian Arts Summit, Culture pour tous (producer of Journées de la culture), Canada Council for the Arts and The Banff Centre. National partners are Sun Life Financial and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. National Broadcast Partner is Bell Media (CTV). National Creative Partner is BT/A. National Engagement Partner is the Canada Council for the Arts. Federal Government support is provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Culture Days in Ontario is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario in recognition of Celebrate the Artist Weekend.

Provincial Partners are: Government of British Columbia, Government of Alberta, SaskCulture, Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Arts Council, Government of Ontario, Ontario Arts Council, Government of Québec, Government of New Brunswick, Government of Nova Scotia, Government of Prince Edward Island, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and the Government of the Northwest Territories.

About the TSO

Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s most important cultural institutions, recognized internationally as an outstanding orchestra. Music Director Peter Oundjian continues to lead the Orchestra with a commitment to innovative programming and audience development with performances that range from Masterworks to New Creations, Young People’s Concerts to Pops, all showcasing the exceptional talents of the Orchestra along with a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. In addition to the concert season, the TSO serves the larger community with TSOUNDCHECK, the original under-35 ticket programme; the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra; and music education and outreach programmes that connect students with acclaimed curriculum-based programming.

About Conduct Us
Conduct Us is the brainchild of Improv Everywhere, a New York City-based collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 missions involving tens of thousands of participants.


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