What do you get when you couple Saskatchewan history with world class music? A winning combination!
Until recently I had not heard of the Motherwell Homestead in east central Saskatchewan. “Symphony Under The Sky” was a term more familiar. Symphony Orchestras across Canada have made this a household term usually associated with the kick off for a new season. The Regina Symphony Orchestra returned to the Motherwell Homestead for the second year in a row. This year marked a special occasion as the first official performance with the Symphony’s newly appointed conductor Gordon Gerrard.
The weather cooperated, the crowds arrived from near and far (It was a 2.5 hour drive from where we live)! The site was buzzing with excitement. Ice cream making drew the longest line ups which was to be expected with the heat. The subtle scent of cinnamon wafted from the open kitchen door of the homestead. The baked goods spread with freshly churned butter disappeared from the platters offered in the dining room in record time. A walk through the large vegetable garden along the shelter belt of ancient trees provided a feast for the eyes.
Artists and vendors, various displays like blacksmith, honey producers of Saskatchewan, alpaca fiber and meat producers, and jewelry makers were found in shaded spots. The children’s activity area was always popular with the little folk.
Once the music started the crowds migrated to their reserved chairs and blankets to take in the offering. The opening act was presented by Rosie and the Riveters, a vintage-folk music all female group from Saskatoon.
The Regina Symphony Orchestra played from 2 – 4 pm. The musical offering included pieces by Guiseppe Verdi, Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Fritz Kreisler, John Williams, Giacomo Rossini, Aaron Copland, Georges Bizet and Pytor Ilich Tchaikovsky insuring a mix of classical and modern to meet a variety of musical tastes.
During the short intermission between the Symphony’s sets a brief visit from historical power house Nellie McClung entertained those that decided to stay in their seats. Nellie McClung’s soliloquy was thought provoking and in support of the Suffragette display in the visitor center.
This event deserves to be put on anyone’s “Destination Saskatchewan” list! A joint venture between this Parks Canada site and the Regina Symphony Orchestra – definitely a winning combination.