Reprinted by permission of Carmen Leier, President, South Okanagan Branch, BCRMTA.

On Friday, October 19, the South Okanagan Branch of the BC Registered Music Teachers’ Association (BCRMTA) held its first Professional Development workshop of the season in Penticton, along with invited non-Registered Music Teachers in our ongoing outreach initiative. Our invited guest, Sean Bickerton, Director of the Canadian Music Centre in BC, came to our lovely, sun-filled valley to give a lecture on the activities of the CMC in BC. It was Sean’s initiative that helped establish the Murray Adaskin Salon and its successful concert series. Incidentally, BCRMTA first initiated efforts to purchase Murray Adaskin’s piano after the composer’s passing in 2002, made possible with help from many generous donors. The piano has recently been completely restored and rebuilt, and is today the jewel in the crown of the Murray Adaskin Salon.

Sean Bickerton gave insightful stories before and after each of the four short (5-12 minute) documentary films produced by the CMC in BC. Each film, in its own unique way, celebrates an esteemed BC composer. Barbara Pentland, Jean Coulthard, Murray Adaskin, and Elliot Weisgarber were our chosen four documentaries out of the five available. Using diverse film methods, such as highlighting some of the composers’ compositional techniques, their inspirational methods, old film snippets of their past, personal lives and works, we gained an insightful image of their legacy.

A group discussion followed with topics such as the credentials necessary to join CMC as an Associate Composer, how we can support this great Canadian establishment, the affirmation of the CMC’s mission statement and purpose, and future educational endeavours being covered, was welcomed by all. We can see that with Sean Bickerton leading the CMC as BC’s Director, this iconic institution is in very good hands moving forward. The Canadian Music Centre’s Mission Statement aligns very well with the BC Registered Music Teachers goal of honouring the legacy of Canadian musicians and composers. How fitting to have this lecture as we increase the awareness and appreciation of Canadian music during our South Okanagan Canada Music Week Recital on Nov. 18, 2018.