St. Alban's Church454 King Edward Ave

Arboretum Festival:
Queer Songbook Orchestra
with Melody McKiver

Presented with Asinabka Festival and the Ottawa International Writers Festival
"Sensational...a superb pop ensemble.
— NOW Magazine
Melody McKiver

The Queer Songbook Orchestra is an eleven piece chamber pop ensemble of top Toronto and Montreal based queer and allied musicians, from across the pop, classical and jazz spectrums. Lifting the rug on the last century of popular song, the QSO are looking back at this history with the queer lens intact and drawing on little known histories of influential queer songwriters and performers, and collecting personal narratives from within the community for songs that hold deep meaning and have empowered queer individuals.

Commissioning new arrangements written specifically for this ensemble from a selection of the finest composers/arrangers across Canada, the QSO present these reinterpretations alongside the stories which contextualize their significance within the community. This event will feature songs by Melissa Etheridge, Bronski Beat, Joe Meek, Rodgers & Hart, KD Lang, The Smiths and many others.

Joined by local Ottawa narrators, this performance will take an honest look at the contributions made by LGBTQ songwriters and performers to the popular canon and celebrate the unifying and empowering elements of music within community.

In partnership with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, the largest independent LGBTQ archives in the world.

Opening the evening is Melody McKiver, an Ottawa based Anishinaabe musician, media artist, and arts programmer. Melody will be scoring two films live. The films of Christian Chapman and Mosha Folger are presented by Asinabka Festival.

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