Date and time: Tue, May 31, 2011 - 4:00 pm
City/Town: Smithers, BC
Venue: Della Herman Theatre

The communities of Hazelton, Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Smithers are hosting Up Your Watershed! concerts in celebration of watershed stewardship, salmon conservation and the fabulous, unique rivers of British Columbia. Singers/songwriters/producers Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright of the Artist Response Team (ART) will join with choirs of local students to perform songs that are the “leading edge of environmental folk pop to rock your world!”

The Up Your Watershed! project is based on the Voices of Nature Community Outreach Model pioneered by ART. Voices of Nature weaves together music, education and ecology to inspire positive action. Other projects include Salish Sea (ocean protection), Water For Life (water conservation), Winds of Change (climate change) and Cycle of Life (endangered species), through songs that speak right to the heart.

The educational foundation for Voices of Nature are School Music Programs where Skeena watershed students have been learning songs over the past couple of months. Teachers are provided with ART’s award-winning Educators’ Handbooks that provide activities linked to the song lyrics that fulfill Provincially prescribed learning outcomes in science, social studies, language arts and other subjects. The Up Your Watershed! concerts are a forum to celebrate students’ learning and leadership in protecting the Skeena’s beautiful and precious ecosystems. Students sing and deliver their own messages about positive actions. A special focus is being brought to the importance of the small things we all can do, such as recycling beverage containers—an action within the power of a child.

Even very young children can make an informed choice about whether to throw their drink boxes into the garbage can or the recycling bin…whether to put their apple cores into the trash or the compost bin. Students learn how recycling reduces their ecological footprint, which helps protect the habitats of endangered species they love…like salmon, bears, eagles and big trees! They latch onto facts like these: when you recycle one aluminum juice can, it saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours!

Music is the medium; songs are the message; the messengers are artists and children. The result is joyous and effective engagement and action.

The coalition of partners producing the Skeena Up Your Watershed! Tour are the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, Encorp Pacific and the Artist Response Team (ART).

Be sure come out with families and friends, to these concerts that put our communities young people at centre stage and will raise the roof! May 19 – Hazelton Community at Hazelton Secondary School May 24 – Kitimat at Mount Elizabeth Secondary School May 27 – Prince Rupert at Conrad Elementary School May 31 – Smithers at Della Herman Theatre

Shannon Hurst
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