How Canada Came to Be

Kelowna's Okanagan Symphony, Glenmore school choir, orchestrated by Dlaude LaPalme, with folk song arrangements by Rhonda Draper.

How Canada Came To Be, Back By Popular Demand

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO) and Kelowna’s Glenmore Elementary school are bringing back an exciting show to Okanagan audiences later this month.

“This is a world-class show, that we are pleased to be doing once again and perform for nearly 2,000 school children in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton during their school day, as well as an evening public performance” for the general public, said Rosemary Thomson, music director, Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, “one that orchestra’s across the country will present as part of their education series for years to come.”

The OSO commissioned Claude LaPalme, widely recognized as one of Canada’s foremost orchestrators, and Governor General Award Winner Rhonda Draper’s folk song arrangements and video presentation to create full orchestrations for the show.

Draper is enthusiastic about how the project has taken on a much wider musical life. “When I began this project, working with our students, our singers, other teachers and musicians in the community, I didn’t envision this orchestral version that would have such broad appeal to general audiences,” said Draper, producer of How Canada Came to Be.” I am thrilled at Claude’s and Rosemary’s expansion of my work!”

Canada’s history is illustrated to audiences through full orchestrations performed by the OSO augmented by young children as actors and singers. A big screen video runs throughout, showcasing images from Canada’s history, from the Voyageurs to Parliament Hill, from forests to mountains to fishers to rail history’s Golden Spike.

Arrangements of I’se the B’y, Land of the Silver Birch, Drill ye Tarriers Drill, are among the 15 song stories told. The 300-voice Glenmore Grizzly Bear Singers are featured throughout, and tell the stories, along with narrators, real canoes and dancing moose, with audience participation.

Audiences are invited to come celebrate this exciting musical story and learn how Canada became the country we live in, that we know and love.

The public concert is at 7 p.m. April 22 at the Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna.  Tickets for the evening show are $10 for all ages and are aimed as an affordable, professional quality entertainment show for the entire family.

Tickets can be purchased at the OSO office, Glenmore Elementary School, Kelowna Actors Studio or at

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra is the third largest professional Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia;  entertaining residents of the Okanagan Valley and visitors from around the globe with symphonic music since 1960. To learn more about the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra visit their website at or follow at or

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