ALAIN PERRON studied oboe and composition in Trois-Rivières and Quebec City. He obtained his Masters Degree at Laval University under the supervision of François Morel. He received two prestigious grants, one from SSHRC (Canada) and one from FCAR (Québec), to study with the renowned composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki at the Academy of Music in Cracow, Poland, where he received his doctorate in 1996.
Dr. Perron has received numerous first prizes for his compositions for orchestra, including the Sir Ernest MacMillan Prize from SOCAN, the du Maurier New Music Festival in Winnipeg and the Mosaïco Music Festival Prize in Korea. He has also received many commissions from prestigious orchestras and ensembles such as the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Montréal), the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Jugendkammerorchester (Stuttgart), the Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke, the Claudel String Quartet, the Sinfonia de Lanaudière, the Molinari String Quartet, the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), the Nouvel Ensemble à Cordes de Québec, the Nelligan Quartet, Rocco Parisi (Italy), the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, the National Youth Choir, the Rubbing Stone Ensemble, the Ensemble Transmission (Montreal), the Trio Fibonacci (Montreal), Sixtrum (Montreal), the Bozzini String Quartet (Montreal) and several from the Société Radio-Canada and CBC.
Many of Perron’s works have been recorded on CD, and played in several countries throughout Europe, Asia and the former Soviet Union. In addition, he also pursues an active career as conductor and performer (oboe and English horn). He is the founder and artistic director of Le Nouvel Ensemble à Cordes de Québec (NEC). Since 2002 he has been teaching composition at the University of Regina where he is also the Music Director of the University Orchestra and the U of R New Music Ensemble. In 2009 and 2011, he has been nominated for the Western Canadian Music Awards category «Classical Composition of the Year».
Anthony Giglio – Trumpet
Anthony holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Windsor and a Diploma in Audio Recording Technology from The Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART). While attending the University of Windsor, Anthony was a Research Assistant for the Noiseborder Ensemble and specialized in experimental sound art performance and installation design. Now living in Saskatoon, SK, he is an Event Technology Director for PSAV, as well as a freelance audio engineer, trumpet player, and arranger.
Clinton Ackerman has a diverse artistic practice, working as a composer, sound designer, and music educator. He has an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on music and social work from the University of Regina. As a community-engaged artist he facilitates creative music programming with youth in Regina for the holistic benefits music promotes. As a creator his music was most recently performed at Sound Symposium XIX in St. John’s. Collaboration is central to his practice and he has enjoyed composing/designing for many theatre productions across Saskatchewan, including the upcoming Theatre in the Park production with Sum Theatre this summer.
Janelle Pewapsconias is a nehīyaw iskwesis (Plains Cree woman) who channels her creativity and passion for Indigenous culture via gaming platforms. Born and raised on the Little Pine First Nation, Treaty 6 Territory, Janelle is the founder and chief gamemaker of Neeched Up Games as well as an influential spoken word poet.
Janelle “ecoaborijanelle” Pewapsconias is a nehīyaw Cree spoken word poet, social innovator, and inclusive game designer. Janelle’s poetic prowess tells stories from a nehīyaw perspective, sharing cultural teachings and language in a unique style of spoken word. She has co-authored an Indigenous poetry chapbook and has been featured on many stages throughout Saskatchewan. Her culturally-respectful and hilariously neechie approach to analogue game design is integral to her mission. You can hear the voices and stories of Indigenous people and people “in the margins” in her poems and games.
Janet Gieck grew up surrounded by rural Saskatchewan culture and landscape, a fact which has profoundly affected her musical output. After completing music degrees from Prairie Bible College (Three Hills, AB) and the Royal Conservatory of Music, she has had her compositions performed at many concerts, New Music Festivals and on CBC radio. Her pedagogical compositions are now listed on many different syllabi across the country. Passionate about sharing music with those in her community and beyond, Janet is a member of the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects, the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association (currently serving as president of the Swift Current branch), and the composer’s collective Red Leaf Pianoworks. Currently, Janet works as a member of the fine arts department at Millar College of the Bible in Pambrun, SK where she lives with her husband and three children. She is also in demand as a piano teacher, adjudicator and clinician.
Kendra Harder is a composer and guitarist from Saskatoon. Her music playfully combines new musical elements within traditional forms. In 2018 she was a recipient of the inaugural Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes for new opera creation. She collaborated for a second time with Saskatoon-based librettist, Michelle Telford, on a comic opera about social media in a traditional oratorio format called “Book of Faces,” which was premiered at Tapestry Opera in Toronto in March, and will be performed at the Highlands Opera Festival in Halliburton, ON this summer. The opera was described as “funny, clever and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome,” and “deliciously silly.” In July 2018 Kendra had her European premiere at ClarinetFest in Belgium with her work, “Cat Fight,” which was commissioned by the Goodchild Grady Duo; and this spring her “Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Double Bass” was performed at the SSO Sunday Chamber Series. Kendra holds a BMus from University of Saskatchewan, where she studied guitar performance with Walter Hofmeister.
Kirsten L. Ewart is an emerging Canadian composer from Moose Jaw, SK and is currently living in Vancouver, BC. Her first orchestral work “Cueva de Villa Luz” was premiered by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival in January of 2019. The piece was well received by the discerning audience and was described as “iridescent and earthy” (Critipeg). Kirsten is pleased to have her music performed as part of the Strata Festival of New Music in June of 2019 for the second year in a row. She has also been selected for the competitive Arraymusic Young Composer Workshop in Toronto and Lunenburg Academy of Music’s Composition Workshop in Nova Scotia. Over the summer Kirsten will get to work with established composers Linda Catlin-Smith, Andrew Staniland, Zygmunt Krauze, and Robert Aitken as well as the many talented musicians performing her new works.
Kirsten completed her Bachelor of Music in Composition at the University of Regina in 2016. Kirsten began her studies in composition with Alain Perron, but also worked closely with David L. McIntyre. Shortly after completion of her degree, Kirsten moved to Vancouver, BC, where she studies with Jocelyn Morlock. In the fall of 2019, Kirsten will be pursuing a Masters Degree in Concert Music Composition at New York University – Steinhardt with composers Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe. Kirsten finds inspiration in the world around her and enjoys writing her music late into the night, which she finds to be a very peaceful time of day.
Michel Boutin is an interdisciplinary artist, arts educator and cultural animateur living and working in Prince Albert Sask. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Regina in 1995. He is the Artistic Director for IPAC, The Indigenous Peoples Artist Collective of Prince Albert. Michel is a staunch supporter of Contemporary Aboriginal art and Artist Run Culture. He has been a board member for Neutral Ground Artist Run Centre, Regina Sk. Red Shift Gallery, Saskatoon Sk. Paved Arts, Saskatoon Sk. and for ARCA, the Artist Run Centres and Collectives Conference of Canada, representing Aboriginal artist run centers nationally. Michel has been exhibiting his work publicly since 1990. In 2004, at the Art Gallery of Regina, and in 2006 at the Kenderdine Gallery in Saskatoon, he was featured in a two person exhibition with the artist Manwoman entitled “Sophisticated Folk”, curated by David Garneau. Also in 2006, David Garneau curated Michel’s work into the exhibition “the Great King Rabbit” was presented at AKA Gallery, Saskatoon. 2012 saw his work included in “Metissage”, an exhibition investigating the connections between Metis and Francophone culture organized by the Institute Francais, U of R and the First Nations University of Canada in conjunction with the year of the Fansaskois celebrations. His work was recently included in the exhibition CANADIAN INDIGENOUS CONTEMPORARY ART From Saskatchewan “the prairie province”, London, England curated by Adrian Stimson, presented by Creative Saskatchewan. Michel was the 2017 recipient of the Saskatchewan Arts Award for Individual Leadership.
Paul Suchan is a Canadian composer of instrumental and vocal music. His work is described as engaging and profound, though diverse in stylistic range and difficulty.
Many of Canada’s leading ensembles have performed works by Mr. Suchan, including the McGill Wind Symphony, Regina Symphony Orchestra, University of Saskatchewan Greystone Singers and the National Youth Band of Canada among others.
In 2011 Mr. Suchan completed The Beast in the Jungle, a ninety minute opera commissioned through the Brian and Elaine Dawe Performing Arts Grant. The Beast in the Jungle was premiered in Montreal with full orchestra under the baton of the composer.
An unashamed Saskatchewanian, Paul (Born 1983) is from Saskatoon, where he graduated with a B. Mus (2007) and B.Mus Ed (2007) from the University of Saskatchewan. He furthered his studies at the Universite de Montreal with a M.Mus in Composition (2012) where he studied with composer Alan Belkin.
Silas Friesen is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and composer from a musical family of eight. Active in both classical and jazz idioms, he has performed with, among others, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra, Vancouver Brass Project, Music on Main, Tommy Banks, and his own ensembles (Silas Friesen Group, HUTCH, Thunderbird Brass). Silas was the top graduate from the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan and recently completed a Master of Music in orchestral trumpet at UBC with Larry Knopp.
Tiess McKenzie is an emerging composer and trombonist; born in Edmonton, Alberta, and raised in Saskatoon. A graduate of the U of S Music Department in Music Education, he will be studying music composition at the University of Victoria in the fall of 2019. Tiess is excited to be involved with the Strata Festival for the fourth consecutive year!
The aesthetics and ethics of punk, d.i.y. and skate culture have always played a large role in my artistic practice. Growing up relatively isolated in the small town of Vanderhoof in central British Columbia, I latched onto every manifestation of this seemingly mysterious and ill-defined counterculture that I could get my hands on. I quickly became an avid collector of whatever music seemed to me as ‘difficult,’ ‘outsider’ or just strange. My current audio art practice developed through my involvement with the Noise Jam evenings at AKA’s sister organization PAVED Arts in 2009. These noise jams coalesced around a core group of performers, with PAVED Art’s Artistic Director David LaRiviere and previous Technical Coordinator Ian Campbell and myself eventually forming the audio/visual improvisation trio Psychic Driving Range. Reflecting on my past activity, there is the recurring interest in collaborative action. I have a sense that it is always first and foremost in the context of collective creativity where our activities take on meaning and find authentic purpose. Ironically, I believe this is where the ethos of punk and d.i.y. (do it yourself) alluded to earlier is most productive, and rings most true.