Canadian Opera Company Launches New Land Acknowledgement Commissioning Program

By Francisco Salazar

The Canadian Opera Company has announced a collaborative approach to land acknowledgment.

In commissioning Indigenous artists to co-create a visual land acknowledgment and artist statement together with a COC staff member, the program invites each participant to bring their own personal perspectives and relationships to the work.

In a statement, COC General Director Perryn Leech said, “We hope that when people take in our programming, whether that’s in-person or online, they’re also able to experience land acknowledgment in a new way – something that engages their senses, allows them to reflect on their own learnings and knowledge, and go away wanting to know more. Creating creative pathways of connection lies at the heart of what we do as a performing arts organization; we hope that continued creative collaborations like this one will support the boosting of Indigenous voices so that these stories and realities are shared widely, and into the future.”

Métis mezzo-soprano and visual artist Rebecca Cuddy is the first artist commissioned to contribute to the program. She is member of the Circle of Artists, an advisory body made up of Indigenous artists from across Canada. Her three-dimensional, experiential installation where the water meets the land features a sculptural component that showcases her experience with beadwork, as well as an immersive sound element, and will be displayed at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.