VSO Indigenous Council

The VSO is committed to Truth and Reconciliation and building stronger relationships with local Indigenous communities. In seeking reconciliation, we have established an Indigenous Council made up of the Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh), and Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilwətaɁɬ) nations, as well as an elder, youth, Metis, and Urban Aboriginal representative.

VSO Indigenous Council

VSO Indigenous Council

Dennis Thomas (Whonoak), Chair (2022-)
Tsleil Waututh Nation Representative

Orene Askew (Tumáliya)
Squamish Nation Representative

Charleen Grant
Musqueam Nation Representative

Rosie Johnnie-Mills
Urban & Youth Representative (Haida & Cowichan)

Suzanne Anton
VSO Board Representative

Cristian Markos
VSO Musician Representative

Angela Elster President & CEO
VSO & VSO School of Music

We thank these founding members of the VSO Indigenous Council for their valued contributions to our work towards reconciliation:

Chastity Davis-Alphonse
Past Chair (2018-2022) Tla’amin & Tsilhqot’in

Alexander Dirksen
Urban & Youth Representative (BC Metis Nation) (2018-2022)

Lillian Howard (d. 2021)
Elder Representative (Nuu-Chah-Nulth, Mowachaht/Muchlaht) (2018-2021)


  • The Path Foward
  • Carnival of OUR Animals
  • Symphonic works by Indigenous Canadian composers:

    • Barbara Asiginaak
    • Ian Cusson
    • Cris Derksen
    • Andrew Balfour

With the guidance of the Council, we hope to continue working together to further our commitment to truth and reconciliation.

The Path Forward

Chastity Davis-Alphonse Speaker
Children of Takaya
Git Hayetsk Dancers
Eagle Song Dancers
Tsatsu Stalqayu
Tyler Evans-Knott
Miss Christie Lee
Amanda Nahanee
DJ Aslam
Butterflies in Spirit

Nicolas Ellis Conductor
William Rowson Conductor
Grace Huang Piano
Bogdan Dulu Piano
Krisztina Szabó Mezzo-soprano

The VSO Indigenous Council and guests at the 2023 Symphony Gala