A Message from VSO’s President and CEO, Angela Elster

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, 2022, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the VSO School of Music continue our growth of understanding toward reconciliation through collaborative work with the VSO’s Indigenous Council.

2021/22 marked the building on the VSO’s first joint project with the Indigenous Council, Carnival of OUR Animals, with commissioned music and text presented to educate and engage young people regarding the people of the traditional, ancestral and unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations by introducing three spirit animals.

The Path Forward on April 10, 2022 was the next step, with leaders from the host Nations curating the event, while the Vancouver Symphony welcomed the traditional artists, listened, and participated. It was an amazing event where everyone involved committed to The Path Forward II in 2023.

On behalf of all of us at the Vancouver Symphony and the VSO School of Music we honour and respect the journey of all who celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day 2022.

A Message from Chair of the VSO’s Indigenous Council, Dennis Thomas-Whonaok

As Chair of the VSO’s Indigenous Council I am thrilled that our collaborative project Carnival of Our Animals is being shared with the world in celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day. Our Indigenous Council’s work with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the VSO School of Music is a wonderful example of how music provides healing and is an authentic path forward towards Truth and Reconciliation.

Streaming now through June 28


A New World

Otto Tausk, Music Director
Cris Derksen, Cello and Vocals
Rebecca Benson, Vocals


Carnival of OUR Animals

William Rowson, Conductor
Bogdan Dulu, Piano
Grace Huang, Piano
Dennis Thomas, Guest Presenter
Chief Ian Campbell, Guest Presenter
Elder Larry Grant, Guest Presenter

Knowledge Keepers:
Shane Pointe, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam)
Gabriel George, Seĺíĺwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh)
Swu7wu Billy, Skw­xwú7mesh (Squamish)