The first show in the North Island Concert Society’s 20th season took the audience on an inspired journey through Canada’s rich musical history.
The Great Canadian Songbook is a show and collaboration between three artists, Tiller’s Folly, Ken Levigne, and Diyet.
It was also the first show for The Great Canadain Songbook as the Nov. 4 performance at the Port Hardy Civic Centre was the first stop in their Canadian tour.
All three artists performed together, blending their distinct sounds into a medley that captured the essence of a variety of musical genres and styles.
Tiller’s Folly, the accomplished Canadian Celtic trio, set the musical stage, accompanying former Canadian Tenor Ken Levigne, and Inuit singer Diyet.
Tiller’s Folly, Ken Levigne, and Diyet created the show in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Diyet and Levigne kicked off the show with a duet of “Four Strong Winds” a song written by Ian Tyson in the early 1960s.
Tiller’s Folly got the audience energized, singing “I’ve been everywhere man,” during their rendition of Tommy Hunter’s “Travellin’ Man”.
The performers also shared a few anecdotes about the legendary Candian musicians they were honoring.
Before singing Joni Mitchell’s “River”, Diyet noted Mitchell’s songs “are a reflection of her feelings of the environmental and social ideals close to her heart and that’s why they stand the test of time.”
All three also performed original songs from their own musical careers including Diyet’s song “Drum” which she wrote in tribute to her mother’s experience in residential schools.
Some of the Canadian hits performed were from legends like Stan Rogers, Neil Young, Buffy St. Marie, Anne Murry, and Stompin’ Tom Conners.
“We hope that you feel well drenched in Canadiana,” laughed Levigne.
The three artists also performed a few songs in tribute to the late Leonard Cohen, including one of his most beloved songs “Hallelujah.”
The concert rounded out with the classically patriotic Travellers’ song “This land is your land” honouring every corner of Canada’s wide expanse.
But Tiller’s Folly delighted the audience during the final number when they asked everyone to stand for the national anthem, and instead playing”The good ol’ Hockey game.”
The next concert in the Concert Society’s series will be Vivace, a four-piece band comprised of pop and classical singers who performed at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games in 2010, on Dec. 4 at the Port Hardy Civic Centre.